By John Burns
At one time back there in the mists of time, a Bell helmet was the motorcycle helmet to have. If Bell didn’t invent the full-face helmet, they did have the first one everybody wanted. Things changed, the brand was sold, quality became poor or inconsistent, and those of us lucky enough to have our druthers started wearing Shoeis, Arais and other expensive foreign lids.
Ahh, it seems like that’s about to change or maybe already has. I got my head into a new Star a couple months ago, and found a lot to like – especially the fit, which is the most important thing in any helmet. But that base-model Star is one of three; its sibling lids the Pro Star and Race Star will hit the market soon, and Bell reps Zach Kadletz and Rob Salcedo (on the left in the photo above with EiC Duke) were good enough to drop by and fill us in on some of those helmets details.
Mainly, Bell is out to once again establish itself as the high-end helmet manufacturer; the Pro Star starts at $1199.95, the Race Star at $699.95. The difference between those two is that the Pro Star’s shell is made of TeXtreme carbon-fiber, a lighter, cutting-edge c-f weave that makes the Pro 120 grams lighter than the Race Star’s conventional carbon shell. High school (parking lot) math tells us that’s 4.3 ounces or a bit more than a quarter-pound, which is a significant weight/aerodynamic savings especially if you’re Josh Hayes or Cameron Beaubier, Bell-sponsored racers.
Both of those high-end Stars use a different liner than the base Star; the new “Flex” system was introduced on Bell’s Moto 9 two years ago. The deal here is that instead of one thick layer of EPS – expanded polystyrene, the styrofoamy liner in …read more