Bell Moto-9: Bubba Stewart’s helmet

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This all-new Bell Moto-9 incorporates more safety features than we’ve ever seen in a motocross helmet before. In addition to the Kevlar/carbon/fiberglass shell and Snell M2010 certification there’s magnetic cheekpads which facilitate easy helmet removal by EMTs, who will also be able to use the inflatable bladder of the Eject Helmet Removal System to further reduce the risk of injury.

The Moto-9 is Bell’s new range-topping motocross helmet, replacing the Moto-8. In addition to those safety features, Bell also claims improved ventilation, comfort and fit. That last improvement is important, while Grant found the Moto-8 to be the correct shape and size and it was initially comfortable, the lack of interior padding created pressure points that became severe after only 50 miles or so of riding. I had no such problems with my Bell Moto-8, wearing it all the way to Labrador and back, including a crash halfway through. On that trip, I found the helmet to be all-day comfortable, even at highway speeds where its stability belied its dirt design. That Moto-8 was incredibly light and, as a neat feature, it had a magentic strap retainer that was super easy to use.

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The Moto-9 expands those magnetic connectors to the cheekpads, which, as Bubba points out in the video, means benefits beyond emergency removal. Enabling emergency responders to remove a helmet without disturbing the neck or spine greatly reduces the risk of secondary injury. In addition to being able to pop those cheekpads out easily, they’ll be able to connect a hand pump to a bladder hidden in the helmet’s top lining. By slowing inflating that bladder, the helmet lifts itself off the rider’s head gently, without any twisting or pulling. The bladder itself is only 2mm thick when deflated and shouldn’t add any appreciable weight to the overall package.

The helmet liner is made from X-Static, an antimicrobial/antibacterial fabric that incorporates silver. That wicks moisture and is claimed to kill 99.9% of odor-causing bacteria. It’s washable too.

Another neat feature carried over from the Moto-8 are the flip-up screw adjusters that make loosening or tightening the peak for adjustment simple and easy, even while wearing gloves.

Our only criticism of the Moto-9 is that it’s made to the Snell M2010 rather than ECE 22.05 safety standard. While M2010 is a much more reasonable standard than M2005 or previous iterations were, it may be worth seeking out an ECE 22.05 lid if you’re buying a helmet for a small child or anyone else with a very small head. If your head is of normal proportions, it’s not something you need to worry about.

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  • Wilbur

    Are they coming out with solid colors or is looking like a jackass part of the new safety system?

  • Archer

    I can’t help but think Easton-Bell Sports would have been better off dropping the Bell name for high-end helmets and bringing them out under a new name. The Walmart Bell era taints the brand in spite of their obvious improvemenmts under Easton-Bell.