New Gear: Bell Bullitt Helmet – AIMExpo 2013

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Bell released the all-new Bullitt helmet today at the AIMExpo in Orlando, Florida. The Bullitt is a full-face helmet to pair with their Bell Custom 500 ¾ helmet, and after the recent success of the $149.95 Biltwell Gringo, it is positioned at an increased price point of $399.95.

A modern take on the 40-year-old classic Bell Star, the Bell Bullitt helmet joins the full-face vintage helmet market alongside the Ruby Castel and Biltwell Gringo. It looks almost like a blend of the two, which isn’t a bad thing.

The Specs:
• Ultra low-profile fiber composite shell
• Multi-Density EPS liner
• Removable, washable and anti-bacterial interior
• Perforated micro-suede interior fabric with leather trim
• Padded chin strap with stainless steel D-Ring closure with leather pull tab
• 3 shell 3 EPS system
• 5 Metal Mesh intake vents with 1 rear exhaust vent
• 3D Cut cheek pads with speaker pockets
• Magnefusion shield closure system
• Accessory shields available
• Five-year warranty
• DOT and ECE 22.05 Certification
• Sizes: XS/S, M/L, XL/XXL
• Weight: 1400g
• Available March 1, 2014

What would it take for you to spend $250 over the price of a Biltwell Gringo to get a new Bell Bullitt?

Related Links:
The Competition: Biltwell Gringo
History: 50 Years of Full-Face Motorcycle Crash Helmets

  • Rob

    What would it take for you to spend $250 over the price of a Biltwell Gringo to get a new Bell Bullitt?

    A helmet that’s vintage looking and ACTUALLY as SAFE as a current design. Helmet’s aren’t built for fashion, they’re built for protection. That comes first. If you can get the protection side down pat, then comes the fashion bit. I think bell is a great company and they are the most likely to put in the research and development required to improve these “modern vintage” designs.

    At a price point of $399, I’m banking on it being full SNELL.

    • charlie

      Snell means nothing. It’s a gimmick. In fact, they have found that DOT is as effective if not better than Snell. Don’t believe the hype.

      • Daniel

        The label you’re looking for is ECE.

      • appliance5000

        This isn’t true – it’s not a gimmick.

        • charlie

          Sure it isn’t. Whatever helps you sleep at night.

      • Rob

        Whatever, SNELL, ECE, and DOT are all better than a helmet without any of those ratings.

        • BigRooster69

          According to Wes it is ECE 22.05 and DOT. So what are you guys going to complain about now? :)

          • Rob

            I’m not complaining, I’m just saying, I’d pay that much over a gringo if it’s got safety certifications. It does, so, to me, the price is justified

      • the antagonist

        “they have found that DOT is as effective if not better than Snell”

        False. It’s true, many DOT only helmets have been proven more effective in independent tests than Snell M2005 certified helmets for common types of accidents. But correlation is not causation. This does not mean that any DOT helmet is as good as or better than a Snell helmet. The minimum bar for passing DOT requirements is pretty low. Reputable manufacturers aim above that bar; that’s why the standard ad copy reads “meets or exceeds DOT standards”.

        Furthermore, most of this Snell vs DOT debate comes from the 2005 Motorcyclist article, “Blowing the Lid Off”. One of the main reasons the Snell helmets faired so poorly is because Snell testing required a helmet be struck on an anvil twice in the same place, something unlikely to happen on the street. To survive this, Snell helmets used harder foam which transmitted higher G loading to the head. The take away was that an ECE or quality (not just any) DOT only helmet was likely more effective in most real world accidents.

        That applied to Snell M2005. The updated Snell M2010 standard brought testing closer to ECE standards, which is why helmets like the Arai rx-7 GP can now meet both Snell and ECE reguations.

        Personally, I prefer ECE lids, but have no problem wearing a Snell M2010 or a well made DOT only helmet from a reputable manufacturer.

        Wear what you want, but please stop spreading half-truths on the internet.

        • charlie

          Your first statement should make your head hurt since it makes no sense. DOT is the base standard that is required by law. SNELL isn’t. It’s just added if the manufacturer feels like it to help sell the product just like the bells and whistles on some cars. Please show me an instance of a rider being killed or severely injured because he only had a DOT helmet and not the addition of SNELL. Your statement saying the bar for DOT is low is just complete nonsense considering that the process has more in common with ECE than SNELL and we all know the former is the worldwide standard. That’s a fact. Look it up. I’ll wait here. I actually didn’t know of that Motorcyclist article until recently but to say that was the reason for the controversy is absurd. You really think riders weren’t aware of the SNELL BS before? Even the guy that used to head Snell said it was a marketing gimmick! “The updated Snell M2010 standard brought testing closer to ECE standards” and I’m sure the upcoming M2015 will be even closer lol. What they should do is get rid of SNELL altogether, hire a bunch of those ECE guys to basically help refine the DOT standard and share any future revisions. You don’t need to add any BS to that. As for that webbikeworld link, I respect what they do very much. I’ve read a lot of their reviews over the years but when they say that ECE isn’t as good as DOT, then there’s a problem. Not to mention the fact that after I had asked them for some input on conflicting information concerning theirs and RideApart’s RF-1200 review, they said, “I don’t know what they’re talking about. It looks like they didn’t even ride with the helmet. They just repeated some press info”. Meanwhile, Wes is clearly seen in three pictures riding with the helmet lol.

      • LS650

        Who is “they”?

        • charlie

          Well first I was going by the word of former administrative staff at Snell but after reading that article that another reader pointed out, the scientists and researchers that were part of that study also present clear evidence. Any more questions? :)

    • http://www.bikeexif.com/ Chris Hunter

      If it was Snell, I wouldn’t buy it.

      • Rob

        Well, some actual rated level of safety more so than snell. I just said that because it’s the one that came to mind at the moment. DOT, whatever the European standard is, snell, whatever, I just want it to protect my head better than the hair on my scalp.

      • the antagonist

        May I ask why? I understand the problem with the Snell M2005 certification and I too avoided them after the “Blowing the Lid Off” article was published. But from what I understand, Snell M2010 is a pretty good standard. (http://www.webbikeworld.com/motorcycle-helmets/snell-2010-standard.htm)

        If nothing else, it comes closer to the ECE standard. So much so that now some helmets wear both certifications.

        Do you think Snell M2010 is really that bad, or is there some other standard that you prefer?

        Personally, I’m still in the ECE camp, but I wouldn’t hesitate to buy a Snell M2010 lid either. Should I?

      • grindz145

        rofl.

    • Jorn Bjorn Jorvi

      The problem is that those cool old timey helmets had a lot less foam on the inside to protect your head in a crash. That’s why they always had such a small shell shape. Look at the biltwell original “novelty” lid compared to the DOT version they sell and you’ll see the difference.

      • Rob

        Well put man

    • Dave Mucci

      Both the Gringo and Bullitt are DOT, so you never really answered the question.

  • Beju

    “What would it take for you to spend $250 over the price of a Biltwell Gringo to get a new Bell Bullitt?”

    I’ll just keep wearing a modern full-face while riding my 35 year old UJM.

  • Mr.Paynter

    I dig it, and just shelled out for a Gringo!

    At first I was bleak but the price point is definitely pretty far removed. They will need to capture the whole crazy-glitter-colours crowd which they already do well with the 500s!

    I dig Bells but that seems a bit steep unless there are major safety and yes, fashion gains on the gringos!

  • Стефан ‘Dobermann’ Петров

    I wear size XXL(63cm) and Biltwell’s helmet is not offered in big sizes and it has zero ventilation, so that’s why I will go for this one.

  • the antagonist

    I love the look, but to spend $400 it would have to perform as well as a modern helmet in fit, visibility, and ventelation. And I’d have to be reasonably assured it would actually protect my head. An ECE cert would be nice.

    • BigRooster69

      ECE 22.05 according to the Instagram link from Sohl (above)

      • the antagonist

        Nice. Given Bell’s past helmets, I’m sure it will be well made and have a nice interior. That giant eye port should offer excellent visibility, as long as the bubble shield doesn’t distort too much. But I’m sure they’ll get that right. So the only question for me now is how well it flows air. (I live in the South, so good ventilation is a must.)

        I wonder if you’ll be able to remove the shield in summer and wear goggles with it. It would fit the retro look and effectively turn the entire eye port into a giant vent.

  • Sohl

    The shot of Wes(?) on Instagram makes this helmet look SICK: http://instagram.com/p/fjBNTXDabn

    • Matthew

      I liked the helmet before I saw that instagram picture but that picture makes me like it even more. It looks like the visor in the instagram picture isn’t bubbled and gives it a completely different look. How great would it be to change visors and get a different look and feel?

      • charlie

        I think the instagram version looks better than a bubble shield. So much badassness.

    • http://metabomber.com/ Jesse

      Thomas Bangalter called, and wants his lid back. :)

  • Phil Mills

    I’m gonna say “No”.
    …but: at least the Bell appears to have better outward visibility than the Biltwell and Ruby helmets. I think those are the exact helmets that turned all of the older riders I know OFF of full-face helmets – the common explanation all of them give for rejecting full-face helmets was that they felt claustrophobic and unsafe because they couldn’t see out of them.

  • Bhadd Kreddit

    fucking sick broooooooooo

  • FrVentura

    looks awesome

  • CruisingTroll

    Just in time for Halloween, you to can be Gord.

  • Davidabl2

    Yep. it’s amazing that so many of them work in hi-tech when they show so little common sense isn’t it? gives a whole new meaning to the term ‘fashion victim” after all, some of the gnarly old graybeards with questionable gear may get away with it because they have 30yrs. experience..but the hipsters sure don’t.

    • UnicornMaster

      I agree on the ‘fashion victim’ part. That said, I’ve always been drawn to classic design sense with a modern touch and am often disappointed in the lack of viable, modern safety gear fitting that description; this helmet is what I’ve been waiting for. I would never sacrifice safety in any way, ESPECIALLY fashion. As a result, I was on the fence about the Gringo, as I wasn’t sure how safe it is. But this? This I’m going to get.

  • Heeno

    Show looks empty, was anybody attending?

  • DerekB

    That’s a beautiful looking helmet, anyone want to buy a gt air? ;)

  • LS650

    Fugly.

  • james

    Very cool, the real test of its safety will be if it passes australian standards. You americans and europeans are always so confused about what is the best, as much as i hate the limited range and high price having your own standard creates, knowing that every helmet i buy is as safe as a helmet can possibly be is very comforting. Bell has only just been reintroduced to australia in the last year or so, hopefully this will get approval and if it does then i would consider buying one if it was comfortable, i have a big head so wearing a huge modern helmet makes me look like a fucking alien, not that i really care but it would be nice to have a better looking lid for when i want to go for the occasional pose on my bike. Just like i dont wear my race suit to uni, i dont need to wear my shoei rf11000 either provided there is a safe alternative which hopefully this bell helmet will be.

    But yeah, wait and see if it gets australian standards approval, if it does then its just as good as any other full face from a good brand.

    • Стефан ‘Dobermann’ Петров

      If ze Germans say that it is safe, then it is safe.

  • Corey Cook

    Wes-
    Could you provide any insight on how this helmet fits compared to the Shoei RF1200 that you just recently tested?
    I’ve got a new helmet on my christmas list and it’s going to be one of those two.

  • Justin Henry

    I love this helmet, but I don’t understand the comparison to the Gringo. I own a Gingo. I bought it for the style. The Gringo gets a 10 for style, but a 1 for comfort and protection. Is comfort and protection better with this helmet? It definitely has the style.

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

      No one has reviewed or ridden with it. They just released news of it at AIMExpo and had one or two for people to hold. We’re hoping, with the much higher price point, that it will perform better.

  • racerX47

    “What would it take for you to spend $250 over the price of a Biltwell Gringo to get a new Bell Bullitt?”

    A $250 cash back scheme.