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Bell Star Helmet Review

8/19/2013 2:09:18 PM

Hi All,

So I dropped my helmet a week or so ago, and as much as I loved it, I knew I had to get a new one. I do believe when the manufacturer says that they're built for ONE impact. I'm not taking any chances with my head, since it's not replaceable and will not "grow back"....so I got a new helmet.

I have been reading great things about the new line of Bell helmets, and decided that this time I will step up from the Scorpion exo700 and go with a higher-end helmet - either a Shoei or Arai, and then I came across some fantastic reviews for the Bell Star helmet, especially one where the rider was using a Scorpion 700 like I had...and he LOVED the new helmet. All three brands - Bell, Shoei, and Arai have their foundations in racing and safety, and they really don't need any introduction by me as a "high-end" helmet...but I have really grown to love the interior of the Scorpion helmets, although I've always wanted more ventilation - especially in the summer.

So I started looking on Google for the helmet: "Bell Star Closeout" is what I typed. (And you should always consult with Google like this before you buy anything - it will find the cheapest price for you!). Google led me to this:

http://www.motorcyclecloseouts.com/sport/motorcycle+helmets/bell_star+livin+large+helmet

And then after talking with Ed, I decided to go with the combo of the Transitions Shield (which automatically darkens and lightens based on the sun and UV's like transition glasses do) - REALLY COOL!

$389 with free shipping. The most expensive helmet for me to date, and those of you that know me have seen MANY helmets on my head over the years in my quest for the "perfect helmet". I THINK I FOUND IT!

FYI - this helmet retails in the $650 range, and the transition shield goes for $119 on Ebay. I was so happy to find Motorcycle Closeouts. The shipped next day and it was at my house in 3 days from purchase.

First: the helmet comes in a bag that should be sold for like $50 by itself! Really nice - seriously - and fits perfectly in my saddle bag. The helmet also comes with a nice instruction book, a chin guard, and air-dampener for racing, and 2 cleaning tools to get the bugs out of the huge air vents!

The helmets run true to size, so I measured my head and ended up using a Medium...and although I was worried it would be too small, it's perfect! The weight of the helmet seemed about 3/4 of a pound LESS than the Scorpion 700, and felt a bit lighter than a Shoei, too. That's great for my neck.

The interior comes with a sound dampener that keeps out wind and noise from the bottom of the helmet. The interior is really soft and feels good on my face. It makes a "seal" around my face, and you can tell even at 10mph how good the venting is by simply closing the windshield! There's huge vents on the chin, but the eyebrow vents are AMAZING, I feel my hair moving at 10mph inside the helmet because of the big wind channels cut into the foam. There's a top vent as well, with several rear exhaust ports, and yesterday was the first time ever that I rode in 90+ degree heat and didn't pull off a sweaty, nasty helmet! I AM SOLD!

The sound from the wind was a little below "average" but not incredibly more quiet than my Scorpions (which do a great job with sound). Highway riding did not bother my ears at all, and I was able to hear music clearly at 90mph. (I had to test it, you know!).

Another nice feature is that they cut away material in the helmet so your speakers can "sink in" and be flush with the rest of the helmet, but I left the extra insulation there for better sound control, and mounted the speakers on top. The sound quality seems better!

The face shield has a 3 position lock, with it being able to lock down for racing, crack it open about 1/4" for extra air (didn't need it), and then just the regular position so you can open and close it. The first detent when opening is a strong one, and holds the shield with about 1" open, and unlike my Scorpion which closed by itself with 50mph wind, the Bell did not.

Riding on the highway, I did notice the Bell helmet to be much lighter, and more slippery in the air - no shakes, vibrations, or pulling rearward at 90mph. That was NICE.

The entire insides come out so you can wash it, and another nicety is that instead of a snap for the d-ring strap, it's got a rare-earth magnet, so it's quick and easier to get on and off.

Final Summary:

I'm glad I finally "bit the bullet" and bought myself a pro-grade helmet. It looks great, the quality is AWESOME, the packaging, fit, and finish is what you'd expect of a $600+ helmet. Best of all, I didn't pay that much - there's deals out there if you look for them! I would totally recommend this helmet to anyone interested in getting a new helmet. It gets a 10 of 10 from me, because I can't think of a single thing I'd want or need added to it.

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