Gear Pick: Bell Custom 500 Helmet

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Gear Pick: Bell Custom 500 Helmet

The Bell Custom 500 3/4 helmet pays homage to the first helmet Bell founder, Roy Richter, ever made. The DOT approved, Custom 500 is a classic open-face helmet with modern technology to help protect your noggin.

Price: $99.95 – $139.95*

*Price varies depending upon finish.

Gear Pick: Bell Custom 500 Helmet
Bell Custom 500 Helmet

Why We Like It: Nothing beats a classic look, except maybe protecting your face, but that’s not the point. As far as 3/4 open-faced helmets go, the Bell Custom 500 is your best bet. A lot of 3/4 helmets make your head look like a mushroom, the Custom 500 is on the slimmer side, minimizing the mushroom look while still offering excellent impact protection. Features include, a fiberglass shell, padded strap with D-ring closure and quilted liner. It is a light, comfortable helmet with high visibility and as much protection as you can get from a 3/4 helmet.

Less Expensive Competitor: Ranging from $89.99 – $124.99 the Torc Route 66 T-50 open-face helmet has similar features at a slightly lower price point.

You Should Also Check Out: The $149.95, retro-inspired, Biltwell Gringo full-face conjures up the same classic imagery as the Custom 500 but with a little more protection.

  • Archie

    “Nothing beats a classic look, except maybe protecting your face, but that’s not the point.”

    And there I thought that was entirely the point of a motorcycle helmet.

    • Robert Horn

      Wait for the upcoming review of the new DOT Approved Beard Gel – should be out in 3 months…

  • Rameses the 2nd

    Bell Custom is a bad choice, IMO. It is heavy and you cannot remove its liner to wash it. Licks NovDot is a better choice; it is DOT approved, lighter, has a slimmer profile, and you can remove its liner to wash it.

  • Nemosufu Namecheck

    These are really nice looking helmets – I’m glad the older guys can get good lids like they had when they first started riding. Any helmet is better than no helmet.

  • Jack Meoph

    Style over substance is not a good choice (no matter how cool you think you look) when the only thing between your face and the ground at 60 mph is air.

    I wear a full face even when I ride my scooter.

    • Piglet2010

      For some reason the general public has this delusion that crashing on a scooter hurts less than on a conventional motorcycle.

      I generally wear a solid yellow Bell Revolver EVO when riding a scooter – the flip-up is convenient for ride-through lanes and other short stops, but I always have it closed when riding.

      • HammSammich

        I just had this discussion with a friend of mine who rides her Yamaha Vino wearing stretchy yoga pants, sneakers, a sweatshirt and an open face helmet. When I asked her about her lack of gear (not even wearing gloves) she said, “well, it’s a scooter – not a REAL motorcycle.” She just blinked when I pointed out that she is just as exposed in traffic on her Vino, as I am on my Bonnie. Certainly, everyone has to choose his/her own level of risk acceptance, but for some reason (perhaps marketing) scooters are seen to be somehow “Safer” and less requiring of full gear than traditional motorcycles…it’s very worrisome, and I’m concerned that many people are accepting a level of risk to which they would otherwise be averse.

        • Piglet2010

          A motorcycle instructor I know refers to it as “The (mythical) Magic Scooter Bubble”. Of course, dimwitted Hollywood celebrities do not help the cause (in a just world she would be convicted of child endangerment).

          Retailers (both online and bricks and mortar) do not help, since under “scooter gear” they typically only have open-face helmets.

        • I Have the Hat

          This is so true. When I started riding a scooter it was like some rational part of my brain knew better, but everything I saw was sending a different message (random example:×236/buddy125.jpg), so I just kind of told myself the risk must not be as great as the logical part of my brain suspected. It doesn’t help that where I live you see a lot of motorcycles and I would say fewer than 1 in 50 riders is ATGATT, reinforcing the message that, somehow, as long as you wore some kind of helmet, you were magically protected, and the few people who ride around in full suits must be paranoid.

          Heck, I didn’t even understand that there *was* gear, besides leathers, to protect anything below my head, particularly mesh, which was an important discovery considering we have 100+ degree days four months out of the year.

          My perspective changed from reading a lot of first-hand accounts of scooter crashes. HammSammich, if your friend is open to it, I recommend reading all thirty pages of this thread: It contains over 200 first-hand accounts of scooter crashes, with details about injuries and gear worn. It changed my (scootering) life. Also, just learning about the gear that is available can turn it into a fun pursuit. Who doesn’t like getting cool new stuff?

          • HammSammich

            Thanks for the tip.

  • Clint Keener

    I might buy one of these to go snowboarding.

  • Davidabl2

    Good helmets..for Shriner’s Parades ;-)

  • Jason 1199

    This site is really moving backwards, and not in a good way. It was refreshing reading Sean and Wes’ ATGATT articles as they apply to our generation of motorcyclists and now were being recommended this fashion bucket. Nobody looks cool missing half their jaw or teeth

    • Clint Keener

      Icon’s sleeveless jacket is going to be the product of 2014.

      I liked how the site use to have Wes’ personal (correct) opinion about motorcycling running throughout.

      • ICON Motosports

        Better yet, we’ll make a half helmet with a decorative muzzle that’s held on by magnets. Oh wait…

        • Clint Keener

          haha nice. ( I do have one of your jackets that I love BTW.)

        • Piglet2010

          “…half helmet with a decorative muzzle that’s held on by magnets.”

          That description rings a bell, for some reason.

          (Double pun intended.)

  • Rich

    Dumbass non-protection with Laugh-In graphics. That covers the ATGATT bases.