Bell Bullitt Review
When Chad Hodge’s Bell Bullitt concept and prototype images released a few years ago, we immediately knew we “had” to have one. At the time of its release we had only been wearing open face helmets so we where eager and excited to get our hands on one of these to protect our sensitive, girly, and beardless faces. We are writing these reviews from our own perspectives and would love to know your thoughts as well, so make sure to leave a comment down at the bottom.
With that being said, as soon as the helmet was sent into mass production I ordered the “TT” model in a size large and spent about 10,000 miles with the helmet during a cross country trip from Atlanta to Los Angeles and back. I wore the helmet every single day for more than a month ( some pics of it in action ). A lot of the days on this trip were 500 + mile days on highways at 70+ miles per hour. I dropped the helmet a ton of times on this trip at gas stations and camp sites and the paint held up better that it probably should have. Heck, I even had a motorcycle accident while wearing the helmet at 30ish mph and it held up beautifully. I preface this review with all of this because I have a special spot in my heart for this helmet so I maybe a bit biased.
It will always remain my first love in this “vintage inspired” or “throwback” helmet niche.
The first thing I love about the Bullitt is that it’s just plain cool. The TT especially with its retro bubble shield and brown plush interior just screams nostalgia and classic styling. I would say it’s easily one of the best looking helmets on the market, but the helmet also boasts some pretty nice features. The field of view in these helmets is excellent. The opening is incredibly wide (unlike the NEXX XG100 ) and when paired with the bubble shield it feels cavernous. Both the bubble shield and visors for this helmet boast a magnetic fastener that I found really helps to keep the visor closed and secure. This all combined with the plush interior provides for a pretty comfortable all around experience. Personally for my head shape this helmet always seems to be snug in all of the right places. Where as a Biltwell Gringo always seemed to really hug my cheeks this felt like it was gripping my forehead.
Now that same cavernous opening leads us directly into the cons of this helmet. The downside of this opening / shield combo is when you open up the helmet; at almost any speed, a very high pitched whistle will stay with you and drive you absolutely mad. It’s painful and screeching at highway speeds. If you have a visor on this helmet, the bottom line is you best keep it down/closed. Now you’re thinking why would you open this visor up at highway speed? But a lot of times on our trip we would be in death valley or some other scorching place on this Earth and it would get hotter than the devils coffee. You would think that the chin guard vent and strategically placed brow vents would help alleviate this, but they are in my experience purely aesthetic. No matter what position I put the chin guard vent in, it always seemed to be closed.
Overall I would say that if you are looking for an incredibly stylish “vintage inspired” helmet this should be a solid contender. It’s just downright cool at the very core and has the legacy of Bell to support it. Is it the most practical helmet? Of course not. Are there more refined helmets at this price that give you more bang for your buck? You better believe it! Would I wear this across the country again? Maybe. If there were lots of cameras around. Do I wear this everyday still despite its shortcomings? You had better believe it and Ill keep it for years to come.
Much like Bobby mentioned. I also ventured on the 10,000 + mile cross country trip wearing one of these beautiful helmets ( pic of it in action ). It was a last minute purchase and I did get a size large apposed to usually wearing a size Medium. Although it still fit it was a little looser than I would normally wear. That being said it is "true to it's size". Unlike the TT model I chose a flat black which came with a clear flat visor. The mechanics for flipping the visor up and down feels great, although it is either fully open or fully closed. With the flatter shield the aerodynamics at high speed are really good... now this is compared to a Biltwell Gringo I usually wear.
My momma gave me chubby cheeks but the inside of the Bullitt hugs them softly with it's premium lining. While wearing it for full day rides ( 8 + hours ) I never felt uncomfortable with it on. The only annoyance was the high pitch whistle I would get when lifting the lid to get some fresh air. As Bobby mentioned the front "vent" is a silly joke. So what about the rain? I was lucky enough to be stuck in one of Atlanta's notorious rush hour traffic crawls while the summer rain poured down. After a good hour of being drenched on my bike my head was still dry as could be, but the constant fogging of the flat shield became annoying and sometimes dangerous with one hand consistently wiping off the visor or flipping it up and down to clear the fog.
All this to say. I love the Bullitt and recommend it to anyone looking for a well styled helmet that is comfortable for those trips up to the mountains or your everyday around town shindigs.
1 Star = Would not recommend / not worth the hype
2 Star = A good product but has it’s issues.
3 Star = A nice product with all around appeal and value
4 Star = Recommended product. Would personally own and is of great value.
5 Star = A must own. This should be in every motorcycle enthusiasts kit.