With the biggest movement in motorcycling circles coming from the “modern retro” sector, it’s hardly surprising that entire ranges of motorcycling apparel have sprung up for the hipster generation to complete their image while retaining the protection qualities afforded by traditional motorcycling gear.
Inspired by the very first Bell Star helmet, the Bullitt is a modern take on the original, much like the modern retro bikes the target audience will be riding. Being designed by the legendary Roland Sands and featuring the RSD Design Concepts sticker on the side only goes to increase the coolness of this helmet, especially when you notice the effect of the lacquered and un-lacquered carbon fibre combined with the gloss black and gold colour scheme – this helmet really is a work of art.
Inside and the nod to fashion continues, with a brown removable and washable anti-bacterial micro suede Interior that, as you’d expect, comes complete with integrated speaker pockets. Even though it’s not your traditional helmet shape, I was surprised to find the fit and feel of the inside of the Bullitt was still comfortable, but I did require to go one size up from my usual large.
Even though the Bullitt is a replica of the original Bell helmet, it doesn’t mean that it’s not up to standard, with the composite carbon shell supplying modern levels of proper protection and meeting the required industry standards for full-face helmets. The three shell and EPS sizes mean the Bullitt fits better without being oversized; and the double D-ring fastener means you get a nice tight closure every time.
The only drawback is that as this is such a faithful replica of the original helmet, which means the Bullitt misses out on a few of the niceties we’ve come to expect on modern crash helmets. The chin bar is narrow, meaning there’s less coverage at the front and also less room for a decent air vent. The visor doesn’t lock closed, with only a magnetic tabs used to keep the visor shut, and the old-style visor system means it doesn’t open and close in increments. And again due to the traditional styling, the Bullitt doesn’t seal particularly tightly, therefore making wind noise possibly more of a factor than, say, one of Bell’s modern sports or touring helmets.
But, let’s face it: comfort, quietness and air vents isn’t why you’d buy this helmet. And you wouldn’t be buying it to wear if you were about to embark on a tour of the country. No, the Bullitt is a styling exercise, which combines modern-day safety with the look of yesteryear. Just like riding a modern Triumph with ABS and fuel injection, the Bullitt gives us the cool factor without all the nonsense that comes with owning and using old stuff; and, for that, the Bell Bullitt has to be one of the coolest helmets out there.
Tested By: Paul | Rating: 8/10 | Check Out: www.crownkiwi.co.nz