45 photos of more than 21 helmets

Dailies, Galleries -


Returning to Portland for an encore performance tonight, 21 Helmets showcases the work of local artists on Bell Custom 500 helmets. Here’s all those helmets along with a video revealing the process behind some of them.

Want to see the show in person? It’s joining The One Motorcycle Show in Portland tonight, February 11. We’ll be there and so should you.

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  • Denzel

    Someone remembers the blue and white L.A. Rams helmet… nice.

  • http://www.damiengaudet.blogspot.com damien

    Pretty cool. I liked HFL on his laptop, ha.

  • Ryan

    Any functional helmets? Ie full face

    • http://www.twitter.com/wessilerfanclub Sean (the other one)

      We get it.

    • isambard

      I gotta agree. For art objects that don’t have to protect anything, the Bell 500 is obviously a better starting point than any ugly modern full face helmet, but I’d like to have seen what the artists could have done with something safer/more aesthetically difficult.

      • aristurtle

        Design #16 in particular would work pretty well on a full-face.

        • http://www.TroyRank.com Troy R

          I would love these if they were actually helmets for motorcycle riding and not fashion shows.

          • Erica

            The custom 500s are as safe as any other open face. They can be worn for riding.

  • paul redican

    looks like North American Indian design is kinda in with the kids.I read in the Guardian that some tribes were thinking of suing Urban Outfitters for plastering cheap T-shirts and cardigans with their ancient symbols.

    • Sean Smith

      Yeah, that’s just tasteless. Everyone knows that it’s an insult not to use their current branding and symbols.

      • http://twitter.com/metabomber Jesse

        + Inappropriate laughter.

  • Groomez

    Wow I really expected there to be some PBR/Hipster hating comments already.

    That helmet art kicks ass – wish I could make it to Portland for the show.

    • aristurtle

      complete back-of-the-head protection, etc.

      Seriously, though, some of these look pretty nice.

  • dux [87 CBR600, 95 XR600R]

    Makes me wanna go paint my helmet now.

    • Trevor

      makes me want to burn the internet.

    • Corey

      I’ll bite. The bad tats and flannel are follies of youth. But drinking PBR in Portland? Extra lame. That pap was never good, even in the dumbest and most superficial ‘ironic’ context. Helmets weren’t much better. I’m way over fixies and dumbasses on café racers or beater scramblers. And sharpies? What a waste of an art school degree.

  • http://www.cdavisdesigns.com Chris Davis

    Some inspiring stuff – leather, tattoo, stained glass/Mondrian were all cool, but it was the gold leafed helmet that did it for me. Good work. Nice video. Between this and the super chevelas I’m inclined to head out to the garage and paint up the Bell Star.

  • oldblue

    What? No Faberge egg themes?

  • Kaphlux

    I’m sure this is going to piss a lot of people off, but aren’t “Dailies” supposed to be daily posts? For a pay site you guys really should post articles more than once every three days…

    • Michael

      I’ve noticed a huge slowdown in content over the past month or more. Wondering about that myself. There used to be several posts per day and now several days can pass before something new comes up. And I’m not sure this helmet rehash is even something new.

      • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

        Sean hurt himself, I’ve been travelling a bunch for stories and Grants been busy on a big project for one of our creative clients. It’s been a very, very busy couple of weeks. There’s 3 of us, we all spend 8 hours a day + on HFL, but there’s sometimes more to running a company than just writing articles.

        • OO_Fancy

          The slowdown in content is rough, but HFL totally gets my money. Looking at the HFL review of the 1000 gsxr as compared to other reviews (good example: http://www.motorcycle.com/manufacturer/suzuki/2012-suzuki-gsxr1000-review-91232.html) there is absolutely no contest. The HFL review was detailed, honest, and informative. All of the other reviews were godawful in comparison. Best two bucks I spend a month.

        • Michael

          It’s cool, Wes. I’m just glad it’s a sign of being busy and things going well behind the scenes. I guess it’s better people notice and want more (and maybe worry a little) instead of readers not giving a shit. That would be a bad sign.

          Not that it’s at all similar, but my own little bit of blogging went to zero after my crash last year. It’s surprising how hard it is to sit there and create content when you’re physically fucked up, even if the hand and brain are working OK. I hope Sean is doing well. I hate to see anyone get hurt in any context.

    • JVictor75

      I completely agree, yet at the same time I can’t really complain about “thinning” content when I only pay $1.99/mo.

      If I was paying more? Like news stand prices on other motorcycle-specific magazines? Yeah, I would be pretty pissed and probably think about cancelling my subscription.

      The last thing I want HFL to start doing is “filler”. Careful what you wish for. I hear there are a few former editors/columnists from well known moto-centric publications hanging about and possibly looking for work.

      If we aren’t careful about what we wish for we might start getting breathless reviews/”comparos” of the 3 latest and greatest 1000cc and up Japanese sportbikes in which none are any better than the other.

      Grant, Wes, Sean, and Ashlee have alot of “irons in the fire” at the moment, so we just need to be patient.

      • Ben NYC

        Yeah this is very true. I’m always amazed at how many motorcycle magazines can print literally thousands of words that say nothing definitive at all. It is probably the greatest example of bullshit in media today.

      • Scott-jay

        Writer’s dream: readers begging for content?

        • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

          Worse problems to have :)

    • Campisi

      I’ve noticed the slowdown, but haven’t been particularly bothered with it. It’s Hell for Leather Magazine, after all; it’s not the daily paper. Having worked for a daily publication for a couple years in the past, hitting a quota of content every single day with a limited staff can lead to serious quality problems sometimes. Quantity is worthless if the quality doesn’t warrant repetition.

  • Liquidogged

    Yeah, life happens, for the price I’m fine with content occasionally getting a bit sparse.

    There were some very cool helmets in the video. The gold leaf and the leather, in particular, stuck out as being examples of great concept as well as skilled execution. Everything else in the video made me want to pee on my screen. The folks at Bell are making asses of themselves by doing their damndest to latch onto the dying hipster trend in an effort to legitimize/gloss over a period of lackluster products for moto riders. It’s enough that they are now making good helmets for motorcycle riders. I get that they need to do PR, but this is gross. It’s like they took a page from the icon PR team handbook and poured PBR all over it.

    And now for some constructive criticism (rather than just nerd rage), which others have mentioned: I would have loved to have seen what these artists would do with more practical helmets that non-hipsters buy and wear. Let’s get serious here: you’re either wearing a full-face helmet or you’re not taking your safety seriously. It also so happens that most graphics on full-faces are ugly as sin. Really, it’s a golden opportunity that these guys totally missed out on.

    • Michael

      “It also so happens that most graphics on full-faces are ugly as sin.”

      True, but I think one of the exceptions is the SHOEI XR-1000 Diabolic Revelation?

      Try a Google search and check it out.
      Yes I have one and the pictures don’t do it justice, the real life detail is amazing.

      Cheers Mick.

    • Campisi

      This exhibition shows that there are still plenty of talented artists willing to paint my helmet.

  • http://www.racetrackstyle.com Racetrack Style

    PBR wasn’t the only beer available, thankfully.

    The PDX Cretin green Honda 450 with a modern fork & ’82 grey, BMW were choice.