I picked up a new helmet for my 2018 Hells Nerds ride in the US.
I have had my eye on the Bell Bullitt for a while now. I wore an open face helmet on the 2017 Devils Highway trip and there were times it really got on my nerves. It was not the best fit and although happy to be wearing it on the one time I did hit the deck, it wouldn’t have really helped me in a faster, harder crash.
Yes I bought the Bell because of the styling but it’s also a huge leap up in terms of quality and safety. It’s no way the safest helmet available, but if you want to be 100% safe don’t ride a motorbike. No helmet can save you from a traumatic brain injury, but it will certainly increase your chances of survival.
The Bullitt fits well, offers great vision, stays put at speed, and makes me look like an trainee astronaut popping home on his lunch break. It is quieter than an open face helmet but I still feel my face is free and visible. Although I don’t have the science to back this up, I think other drivers notice faces on a subconscious level. I wear an open face helmet around town in the UK because I feel I’m noticed by those that are aware and can shout at those that are not. I’m hoping this helmet will offer me the same. With the added safety of the chin bar.
I’ve noticed new wind sounds I’ll have to get used to, but I normally wear ear plugs on long rides. It’s well vented and well made like the Ruby Belvedere Concorde I have used in the UK for the last 10 years. If this fares well in the deserts of New Mexico It may become my goto lid.
Technically I don’t have to wear a helmet in New Mexico. Three states in the US have no helmet laws at all; Iowa, Illinois and New Hampshire. But many of the other states like NM only legislate for those 17 and under. Even in the heat I’d rather not take my chances. I’ll be full face helmet, kevlar jeans and upper body armour all the way.
[Update: The helmet did me proud. Although it would occasionally become weaponised in the bright sun causing other riders to squint like cowboys, it worked great in the heat. It did earn me the temporary nickname of ‘Disco ball’ but thankfully that wore off. (I swear it was matt grey in the online photo when I bought it.)]
~ Christian @Documentally Payne