Bell has brought the Star name back from the dead for its latest range-topping helmet in the hopes it'll have a rejuvenating effect on its entire brand. In 1968, the original Star became the world's first full-face helmet, forever changing the motorcycle world. It's unlikely this new model will have such a huge historical impact, but the company is hoping the helmet will help it return to the kind of prominence now enjoyed by Shoei and Arai.
The Star calls on Bell's expertise in auto racing, snowmobiling, cycling and on its own motorcycle racing heritage.
The helmet's shape is based on Bell's legendary Feuling SS open-cockpit
car helmet. Designed in a wind tunnel, it's known for its stability at
speed. Since motorcycle riders need aerodynamic stability with their
heads turned too, the company included a chin shape perfected by Eddie
Lawson in the '80s. Additionally, there's an optional add-on spoiler
that lengthens and sharpens the angle of rear spoiler. Combine all
three and Bell claims the Star is unrivalled in its stability at
speed, no matter which angle the wind approaches it from.
Looking to its motocross and cycling departments, Bell found
inspiration in the way air flows through those more open designs,
translating as much as possible in this full-face design.
The visor mechanism was perfected by a team more accustomed to working
on the small mechanisms found in snow helmets, with the aim of making
it as easy and intuitive to use as possible. It looks like they've
arrived at a solution similar to that employed by Shoei.
Having seen the Star in person, we can vouch for its angular good looks
and quality feel. Only time will tell if it lives up to its Corsair and
X-Eleven rivaling reputation.
The Star goes on sale this month in a range of plain colors and
race-inspired graphics. Look for a Roland Sands Design paint scheme
later in the year.