Monday, 28 June 2010

Bell 500 Speed Soul

As mentioned last week Sideburn was sent a new Bell 500 open-face lid to have a look at. Like Barbour (with their International jacket), Bell can say they're not retro, they've been doing this since this helmet was cutting edge.
The shape is the same, but protection (say Bell, is much improved). The padding is thinner, than say a Davida Jet, so the shell's small like an old helmet, but it has American DOT approval (though I don't think that's anything like as rigorous as British BS testing).
Bell say 'Again, this is not a retro, copy helmet. This is a remake of the original Bell 500. Bell invented the EPS liner for motorsports helmets, and the 500 was one of the first to feature this huge advance in safety.
'The new Custom 500 has a surprising amount of technology in it. Bell wanted to retain the slim look of the original Bell 500 while still meeting modern DOT impact standards. A fiberglass shell and a special EPS liner refined in their Santa Cruz California headquarters enabled them to do this. Most modern helmets with this slim, open-face design do not meet modern safety standards and are sold as "novelty" helmets.'
The feelgood quality starts as soon as you pick up the box. It's covered in printed pinstriping, a flat tracker printed on it, open the flap and the Bell Horse Power is snorting at you, then there's a (cheap feeling) helmet bag, a cool label on the strap and the lid itself.
The interior is really nicely made, silky and stitched. The paint finish is excellent too. This design is by Roland Sands and is part of an artists series of 500s. Other artists are Jimbo Phillips and Chris Wood. We'd love to see a Death Spray one.
And the price is good too - about $130.
Go to the Bell Powersports for more info and US dealers.
We'll let you know about European dealers and prices as soon as we get them.


Nick said...

Is this made in the USA, or in Italy? I bought one a few years ago to replace my original early 70s Bell Magnum, and it was a pale copy made in Italy and not anything like the sumptuous original, I was most disappointed

Sideburn Magazine said...

Hi Nick
It is designed in Santa Cruz and made in China. BUT, it is a nice lid. G

Skylar said...

It's rather ugly, but I like the shape, and 130 is good for a 2010 lid. I'd have to get fitted though, in the vintage helmets I can wear a variety of sizes.

Vintage Helmets said...


This helmet design is looking very beautiful. Many peoples are prefer to purchased this design helmet for wearing, while they are riding. The interior is really nicely made, silky and stitched. Thanks for this information.