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Thread: Bell SRT Review

  1. #1
    Registered User bigjohn72's Avatar
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    Feb 2015
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    Bell SRT Review

    Copied and pasted my review from the K1600 Forum, enjoy...

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------

    A couple weeks ago, I got my hands on the Bell SRT with a touch of skepticism and a lot of hope. This is a SNELL rated lid for a $200 price point. The driving reason for buying this helmet was that this helmet has the "Protint" option that is a photochromatic face shield for the helmet. One of my buddies has a helmet with the shield and I have been lusting over the feature that one shield does all. I have been wearing Arai helmets for a number of years now, and use that as a basis for comparison.


    Out of the box:


    1. It comes with a cheesy helmet sock that really does not offer any type of protection other than keeping the dust off of it. Once out of the bag though, the fit and finish of the helmet is wonderful, and even superior to some of the finish of the high end helmets, including my last 2 Arai helmets. There is minimal flex in the base of the helmet when pulling around at it, and appears to be of sturdy construction.


    2. The face shield has a simple push button release that makes shield changes a snap, and can be done in under 10 seconds, or even still on your head with a bit of practice. The shield it comes with has pinlock posts, but alas, you will need to buy your pinlock inserts separately. The protint shield matched right up to the helmet without any fuss.


    3. There are 3 main vents at the Chin bar, the brow, and the crown of the helmet. They large vents that are easily manipulated with gloves, however the face shield tab to raise the shield is right above the chin bar switch and can be inadvertently actuated with thicker gloves I am sure. not a big deal.


    4. The internals are soft and comfortable and are easily removed for cleaning. However, I am afraid the feel of the pads are not as good as that of my older Arai helmets or that of the Shoei I tried on and was contemplating at Cycle Gear. The impact absorption materials look to be of good quality, but there was minimal air ducting in the EPS foam with small holes at the venting sites on the outside of the helmet. The numbered SNELL certification sticker is in place as it should be. It appeared as if the ventilation would be lacking...


    5. The chin strap itself looks and feels cheep with a plastic retainer button to keep it from flapping. It is wrapped with a secondary cushion for most of the length that it is in contact with your skin while wearing the helmet. It does have firm attachment points inside the helmet.


    6. There are generous speaker pockets for those who use com systems, in which I use a Sena 20s on mine. It installed with little fuss until I started placing the neck roll pads back in. The clamp on the Sena makes it difficult to re-install as there is a lip that is stuck in the space between the shell and the EPS foam, which is where the clamp needs to reside. I was actually contemplating using the 3M adhesive strip over the clamp before I finally managed to get it on the way I wanted it. The speakers are close enough to the ears that I can still hear them clearly with ear plugs in.


    On the head:


    1. The helmet fits true to sizing on the sizing charts provided by Bell (XL for me), I am a typical intermediate oval, but with fat cheeks, which has required me to go to thinner cheek pads in the past. While the cheek pads on this helmets started a bit tight, they are breaking into a nice fit. The feel of the helmet still isn't quite a nice as a new Arai, but it definitely feels better than my 5 year old Arai. There is not any looseness or feelings of empty space between my head and the helmet, as it should be. The only real complaint I have about it is that I wish the cheek pads would fit further in front of my cheeks, towards my mouth and nose, but this is just personal preference.


    2. The eye port is narrow top to bottom compared what I am used to. I can see both the top and bottom at the same time when looking ahead. There is also a breath guard that is installed that the nose piece rises a bit high on, but it is removable. side to side though I cannot see the sides of the eye port, even when trying to look for it. It is in the literature that the sides of the eye port were redesigned to facilitate doing head checks while tucked on the STAR and RACE STAR helmets, and it was brought to this helmet as well... it works! The shield has only 2 detents, one at the bottom for defogging, and one at the top at fully open. Nothing in between. This is a bit of a bother for me but I will get use to it in time I'm sure. Eyeglasses fit well into the helmet if you wear them.


    3. This helmet is a LOT quieter than my Arai, however there is a noticeable sound increase when the top vent is open, and/or the face shield is cracked open. This of course is behind the stock windscreen on my '14 GTL, and I am 6' 3". the wind catches the helmet at the crown at interstate speed when in the up position.


    4. The ventilation is great, but not excellent. the best feature is the brow vents, as it really makes a difference in the heat, and it cools the entire forehead. The chin vent is directed directly to the inside of the face shield and not onto your face. I am willing to bet that the pinlock insert may not be needed in colder weather because of this. In the raid you can also leave the chin vent open and you wont get drowned by water coming in. The seal works as it should not letting rain inside the helmet as well. In heavy raid I am betting there will be water intrusion through the brow vent and maybe the crown, but I have not experienced that yet.


    5. I rode this helmet all day on my Triumph Speed Triple and did not experience any buffeting while looking forward, tucked, upright, leaning, head-checking, or just turning my head. The sound levels were about the same as described above without a windshield.


    6. The helmet is relatively light and well balanced. several days of all day riding have concluded to not provide fatigue in the neck and shoulders like what various others have done in years past, or the Arai XD-4 that I used for my GSA when there was wind to deal with.


    EXTRA


    1. The Protint shield is a must have for this helmet. It is unfortunately an expensive transitions shield at $149. It does transition quickly, from fully light to complete dark in about 60-90 seconds, and about 2 minutes when it lightens back up. The shield has a heavy duty appearance, almost as if it double panes. It does not however have the pinlock posts. You can get tinted shields with the posts if you need them however, and for around $50-$70 on eBay, or you can buy a tinted pinlock insert for your "in the box" shield.


    2. In my opinion, you will not find a better helmet that has SNELL certification at this price point unless you buy one that is used or several years old, and even then it will be tough.


    ***The jury is still out on this helmet, but I am sure I will be using it until it is too old, or (gulp) other circumstances that may occur.


    I do not think this helmet is as good as the top of the line helmets that are typically bought by riders that take helmets seriously, but this one is worth a look if you can get your hands on one. I would only advise to get one from a company that allows no questions asked returns.


    Hope this will help a few folks!
    Big John in Arkansas
    2014 K1600 GTL
    2007 R1200GS Adventure (Sold)
    MOA# 200130

  2. #2
    Thanks, I'm looking at the modular version. I was surprised at how comfortable they are for the price point.
    Tom
    2019 RT

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