Bell Bullitt first ride report

Gear, accessories, gadgets, etc that make your ride more enjoyable.
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webman94
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Thu Jan 07, 2016 11:13 pm

Well, I've been looking for a new helmet for quite awhile, and I just got one of these as a Christmas gift. Only one ride in so far, and I liked it!

It was about 60 degrees and breezy for my first ride, and I put in about 60 miles, mixed freeway, country road, and city streets. The helmet's louder than my older Shoei full face, but surprisingly, at highway speed, I had much less buffeting than I get with the Shoei. Not sure why, but this is a nice surprise.

There's a bit of draft that leaks through the gap between the visor and the helmet, not really an issue, as I wear glasses, but might bother someone who wears contact lenses. One nice benefit of this is that the shield is much less fog-prone than my Shoei.

I've read some reviewers that complain about noise from the forehead vents, and it seems to be highly dependent on your riding position; with the head down in more of a sport bike "attack" position, the vents whistle noticeably, but in a more standard bike riding position, the noise disappeared. Note that I wear earplugs when riding, so there may be noise that I'm not hearing...

The Bullitt has a HUGE eye port, much larger than my Shoei, or any other full face helmet that I've ever seen. I noticed a major increase in peripheral vision with the first left turn out of my neighborhood, a really nice thing. The chin bar is much lower than on my Shoei, practically out of view; it's almost like riding with a 3/4 helmet with a flat shield. This is a new experience for me, as I've never owned an open-faced helmet, but now I understand why they're so popular. In fact, when it warms up, I look forward to trying out my new goggles with this helmet. It'll be interesting to try riding with goggles on the street; I've only done so on a dirtbike before. It should be even more like riding with an open faced helmet. I'll let you know.

The interior of my black helmet is a beautifully finished brown leather, with a red leather pull tab on the d-ring. There's also a very effective snap at the end of the chinstrap, which keeps the strap in place. One of my pet peeves with my Shoei was that the strap is really long, with no retention system. This often results in it flapping annoyingly at speed.

I found the helmet interior to be quite snug, but it felt great after about 15 minutes. I expect it'll feel even better as the leather breaks in. The one complaint I had is that the neck roll leaves a rather small opening to put your head into, meaning that it felt as if I was going to tear my ears off the first time I put it on. Hopefully, this will get easier as things break in. Fitting my glasses in was quite easy once the helmet was on, so if you prefer sunglasses to wearing a shield or goggles, this is a viable option.

Overall, I'm really pleased with the helmet so far. It is beautiful, and seems to function really well for what I need. I'll do an update this summer; by then it should be breaking in a bit, and the hot Arizona summer will provide a good test of its ventilation!

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webman94
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Wed Feb 17, 2016 1:06 am

Finally took a picture of my new helmet; it's still pretty stiff, but the leather's beginning to break in a bit.

Image

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webman94
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Wed Feb 17, 2016 8:40 pm

I bought my helmet for $399 from Revzilla; I didn't mention this in my original review. They have excellent service, and good video reviews. Also, literally hundreds of customer reviews for almost every product!

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Vinerman
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Tue Mar 08, 2016 2:23 pm

Hey there.

I am a fellow rider with the Bell Bullet. Have been using it for about 3 years now. I like the helmet, but will be looking forward to getting a new one. I have had to replace the cheek pads in the helmet as since the have worn in too much, the helmet moves around a bit. I had to upgrade to the 40mm pads.

Also, the helmet will leak through the visor. Since the visor doesn't have a super snug fit like on other helmets, water will get in and leak during riding int he rain. It is odd to be riding on the highway and suddenly have a raindrop inside the helmet.

It always gets great complements from people. The helmet is a great conversation starter. many people will come up and talk to me because they are interested in the helmet.

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webman94
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Wed Mar 09, 2016 1:35 am

Great comments, Vinerman; I haven't ridden in rain with mine yet, but I can see what you mean.

On another note, I got some goggles, and went for my first ride with them this weekend; it was an interesting experience!

Image

The short version is that goggles work great with this helmet up to about 65mph, but there's a bit of buffeting above this figure. They felt fantastic below this speed. Having never ridden on the street with them before, I noticed a slight loss of peripheral vision, but not much of a problem; the only reason I noticed this was that this helmet has such a wide field of view that any reduction was noticeable. I actually experienced slightly LESS air hitting my eyes with goggles (I wear glasses) than with the face shield in place. This was a bit of a surprise to me! The airflow around my face felt good, and I look forward to trying them on a hot day; on a moderate day like we had this weekend, my glasses fogged slightly on a couple of stops, but the goggles didn't. I'll report back this summer!

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Siper2
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Fri Apr 08, 2016 1:11 pm

Great feedback!

I can only second your enthusiasm for Revzilla, I've bought most of my gear (and a few accessories) from them. Their service is all but impossible to beat, and the video reviews are great. Recently they started doing bike reviews too, and the videography on them is top notch.

I like that Bullitt a lot. I bought my Bell in 2013, it's a Vortex full-face. I opted for the Transitions-style accessory visor as well, very nice. :clap: It's a little heavy, and quite loud (earplugs a must), but has a lot of features for the price. The Bullitt is a solid class above the Vortex, though - I really like how that looks!

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webman94
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Sat Dec 30, 2017 11:46 pm

I just realized that I never did follow up on this! Anyway, the goggles worked fairly well in the Arizona summer, better than I would have thought. More air hits your face, but it's still pretty hot behind the goggles. I didn't have any issues with fogging, which was a nice surprise. I may use the goggles a bit more this summer, if i can get some more riding done than last summer. I spent most of last summer working on a tenure dossier for the university I work for. LOTS of work, but it was successful!!!

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