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PRODUCT EVALUATION BELL MOTO 9 HELMET Big money, awesome product

 
(7/26/2012)
By the staff of Dirt Wheels


q When it comes to protection, we don’t like to skimp. Our editorial staff and test riders won’t ride without the proper gear, and helmets are the most important safety gear there is. We won’t even print reader’s photos if the riders aren’t wearing helmets. We tested the $475.95 Bell Moto 9 to see if it’s worth the price.

Bell has been around since 1923 as Bell Auto Parts, and they produced their first race helmets in 1954. In 1956, Bell Helmets was formed as a separate division of the company focused specifically on racing safety gear. After a few corporate mergers and splits, we now have the Bell Helmets of today. The first off-road, full-faced helmet Bell designed was released in 1971, and the Moto 9 helmet you see here is a direct descendant of it.

Bell designed the Moto 9 to provide protection in a crash and to be safely and easily removed by emergency personnel. The Moto 9 is compatible with the Eject helmet removal system, which is an air bladder fitted to the inside of the helmet. When inflated, the air bladder allows the helmet to be removed without putting any pressure on the neck. Bell’s new MERS, or Magnefusion Emergency Removal System, uses magnets to hold the cheek pads in place instead of snaps, making it even easier to remove the helmet in an emergency. It also makes it easier to remove the pads for washing, and there are no snaps to break over time. Bell also magnetized the end of the chin strap so the slack on the strap doesn’t have to be snapped into place.
The Bell Moto 9 has held up well to our testing, and we have washed the pads multiple times with no visible deterioration.
 

The Moto 9 is Snell M2010 and DOT certified with thick, ergonomic padding and a padded chin strap. Multiple intake and exhaust vents do a great job of cooling down your head, and the silver-woven anti-microbial padding keeps the helmet from getting stinky. The helmet also comes with a removable roost guard, positioned just above the mouthpiece. The Moto 9 is available in “Stunt” and “Legacy” paint schemes with two colors in each design. The one you see here is the tan metallic Stunt design, complete with bright orange pinstripes and a star flag design.

When you first slide the helmet on, you will know what you’re paying for. The helmet is super light at 3.2 pounds, and the padding is comfortable and doesn’t bunch up around the ears. Cheek pad fitment is snug but not overly tight, and there is plenty of padding in the crown to keep your scalp comfortable. We have about 100 hours of riding time on the helmet and have washed the padding twice. The helmet is holding up very well, with no pad deterioration or paint chips so far.
The thumb-adjust visor screws are perhaps the best thing about the helmet. They are easy to keep tight and never come loose, and you don’t need a screwdriver!

FINAL THOUGHTS

We love this helmet, and it has only gotten more comfortable with use. The helmet resists sweat staining and odor very well, and the vents keep us cool. Our only gripe is the price. At $475.95, it’s a little on the high side, but you get what you pay for. The carbon fiber/kevlar/fiberglass construction is high-end, as are the chromed flip-up visor screws that allow you to tighten the visor without tools and with gloves on. The helmet also comes with a spare visor, a padded helmet bag, and a five-year manufacturer’s warranty. For us, that’s worth the price of admission! Contact Bell Helmets at (800) 216-9446 or visit www.bellsports.com. q


Topic: Product Tests

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WARNING: Much of the action de­pict­­ed in this magazine is potentially dan­gerous. Virtually all of the riders seen in our photos are experienced ex­­perts or professionals. Do not at­tempt to duplicate any stunts that are be­­yond your own capabilities. Always wear the appropriate safety gear.
Copyright 2008 Hi-Torque Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.
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