New Gear: Bell Qualifier Helmet – AIMExpo 2013

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Bell, one of the pioneering manufacturers in full-face helmets, released the new Bell Qualifier today at the AIMExpo in Orlando, Florida. It falls on the bottom end of Bell’s range, hitting an unbelievably low $119.95 price point and will be available starting February 1, 2014.

At RideApart, we are big fans of Bell full-face helmets. Our own Wes Siler loves the Bell Star Carbon, while I’m a huge fan of my Bell RS-1. This all-new Bell Qualifier helmet fits below both of these in the range, though as far as we can tell from the spec list, it has many of the features we’ve come to love. This is a helmet we can’t wait to get our hands on next.

The Specs:
• Lightweight polycarbonate Shell
• Removable, washable, and antibacterial interior
• Aerodynamic design for exceptional stability
• Adjustable ventilation system for cooling and comfort
• Padded wind collar to drastically reduce wind and road noise
• Contoured cheek pads for excellent fit and comfort
• Integrated speaker pockets for audio speakers
• ClickRelease for a fast, easy and tool-free shield change
• NutraFog II superior anti-fog, anti-scratch and UV protected shield
• Padded chin strap with D-ring closure
• Five-year warranty
• Available in sizes XS/S, M/L, XL/XXL
• Weighs 1550g
• DOT Certified

We love it when big brands begin to target the entry-level market and offer new riders well-made options. We’d love to see this helmet, as well as helmets from other well-known manufacturers, enter the lower end of the market to give ICON a run for their money. This helmet specs out to be awesome, especially if it uses the same visor as Bell’s other, more expensive, full-face helmets and allows you to add the Transitions Photochromatic face shield. Yes, the Transitions Photochromatic shield costs the same as the Qualifier helmet, but wouldn’t that still be an amazing setup?


Related Links:
Roundup:
The Best Street Motorcycle Helmets Under $800
Review: Bell RS-1
Review: Bell Star Matte Carbon
Roundup: The 13 Best Helmet Graphics For Summer 2013

  • Rameses the 2nd

    I have no personal experience with Bell, but on my cheap HJC the vents did nothing; they very mainly for looks, I guess. Also it wasn’t very comfortable on longer rides. I upgraded to Shoei RF1100 this year and it is so much better. I think it is better to save a little bit money and buy a helmet that can last you some time v/s buying a cheap $100 every year.

    • NONo443

      The ventilation system on my Star (2005 Snell spec) is pretty damn good, almost too good in some ways (in the winter). This one won’t probably be as good, but I doubt it will be the worst on the market (even for it’s price).

    • Justin McClintock

      I have a cheap HJC as well. It’s my winter helmet, so it’s almost a bonus that the ventilation sucks. HJC’s breath deflector makes it a fantastic winter commuting choice. I’ve only worn it once in the summer….and never will again.

    • http://www.twitter.com/seanmacdonald sean macdonald

      For what it’s worth, my $400 is Bell is (RS-1) better than my $400 Shoei (RF-1100) and my $150 ICON is a fantastic helmet.

  • Stephen Mears

    Track day special!

    • PDXGSXR

      Not unless it gets a SNELL rating.

  • Piglet2010

    My current favorite budget lid is the Bell Vortex – only in ventilation and/or on a lean-forward sportbike at track day speeds does my Bell Star offer significant advantages and 2½ times the cost.

    If this lid does use the same visor as the Star/RS1/Vortex/Revolver EVO, it means you can also use the Bell double-layer or heated snowmobile visors for winter riding. I am down to about 5 seconds time to remove or remount a visor.

    • Stephen Mears

      How is the Vortex on the track. After scuffing my Day of the Dead Bell Star at the track I am set on using cheap helmets for track days.

      • Piglet2010

        More noise than the Star, a bit more wind resistance with your head turned, and lacks the shield lock. For a slower bike or even a super-sport on a technical track I would be happy with the Vortex – riding a super-sport or super-bike at Road America or similar fast track I would want the Star.

        The Star has better ventilation, but the Vortex is acceptable on a hot day too.

        And the Star is Snell M2010 rated, which means you will be allowed to use it pretty much anywhere in the US – at least the track days and schools I have attended have required M2010 and/or ECE 22.05.

    • runnermatt

      When I bought my first bike I bought a Bell Vortex (from the Bell website) in the same size as my Bell Racing “Sport” motorsport helmet. When I received my Vortex and tried it on it fit so tight it was painful. I think the Vortex is for round heads and not the more common long oval head that I have. After going through Bell’s Return and Refund process I swore I would never buy another Bell helmet, which is unfortunate as I think Bell is to making helmets as Honda is to making motorcycles.

      • Piglet2010

        I wear a L Bell Star and an XL Bell Revolver EVO and Vortex – all three fit about the same.

  • skeelo221

    DOT only? Are they in the process of getting proper ratings?

    • PDXGSXR

      It’s possible it will only be DOT rated. One could presume that SNELL ratings are more stringent and require more expensive features/design/test time.