Now that I've owned my titanium finish Bell Bullitt for over a year and a half, I figured it's time to do a review of it and help out others who are considering buying it. You can watch the video walk through below, or read on for the written review.
BELL BULLITT TITANIUM SPECS
Weight: 3.24 lbs. (1470 grams)
Retail Price: $300-400 USD
Purchase helmet here → https://amzn.to/2yXsYvc
Flat face shield in gold iridium → https://amzn.to/2tNCIlX
Extra inserts/replacement padding → https://amzn.to/2tRVCYK
Bubble shield → https://amzn.to/2NedrdE
Warranty: 5 Years
HISTORY OF THE BULLITT The Bell Bullitt is inspired by the Bell Star, the first full faced motorcycle helmet, released in the late 1960s. It set the new standard for safety, and was stylish at that. The Bell Bullitt was designed to reference the iconic styling of this 1960s innovation, but with the contemporary comforts and crash protection that we need today.
MY TITANIUM BELL BULLITT
I bought the Bullitt in November 2016. It's the second helmet I've ever owned, the first one being Bell qualifier. From the year and a half of wear, I've done some kind of crazy things to it.
I leaned it up against my hot exhaust not one time, but two times... So sometimes you just don't learn your lesson. Luckily it's no damage to the actual safety of the helmet. I did ask Bell if I could replace the rubber piping around the bottom, but it's not really a piece that they carry and send out, so I just kind of have to live with it. Maybe I'll try to file it down, but for the most part it just adds character and doesn't really bother me too much.
My helmet is a size small and it weighs about 3.34 lbs (91.85 grams). The retail price is between $300-400 USD depending on the time of year; sometimes you can get deeper discounts around holiday sales. I bought my Bell Bullitt during a Black Friday sale, so I got a pretty good deal, it cost me $240 for just the helmet and it came with the bubble shield.
HELMET COLORING & FACE SHIELDS
The titanium finish helmet has the Bullitt decal on the side that isn't on all the other helmets. It has this really nice neutral sheen to it; not really sparkly, very much a chrome and gunmetal color. I’ve paired this helmet with the iridescent face shield, it's very reflective, so hopefully you're not too distracted by all the things in my room. It ships out with the clear retro bubble shield, which is a great design if you don't like things too close to your face. But if you don't really like the look of it, it is kind of showy and not super standard and obviously it's vintage-inspired, so it doesn't look all that modern.
I purchased the iridescent shield separately because that's way more my vibe. It cost $39.99 USD. The flat shield in Gold Iridium is great because it blocks out some of the sun during the daytime and it provides a little bit of anonymity. I don't totally like everyone to be able to recognise me out on the street; it's kind of cool to not have people looking in on your helmet.
With the gold shield on at night time it still does let less light inside of the helmet while you're riding. I often ride with the shield up and then I just wear a pair of safety glasses. This is my very improvised method, which isn’t perfect because there's a lot of airflow that comes underneath the glasses and if you are like me and you wear contacts, it can dry your eyes out. But it's great to do this for short distances when you need to see more at night. Most of my riding is in the city and during the daytime; I'm never really out too late for long periods of time, so these work fine for me.
If I'm wearing my prescription glasses sometimes I'll just ride with those. I don't often switch out for the bubble shield because I like the look a little bit less, but I also think that the process is a little bit tedious to take the visor off. I mean, it's not awful, you have to have a coin that you rotate into the slot to loosen it up. You take the outer piece and screw off. You do the same on the other side and then you slide on the new visor and put the parts back together, it's just two pieces and you tighten it up. They can get a little bit loose as you ride if it vibrates a little bit, so every so often I retighten it down, but it's really not a big deal. The shield itself secures to the helmet with a really strong magnet. Just a couple months after getting the helmet, this little rubber stopper fell off for me but I asked Bell about it and they sent me a replacement at no cost to me, which is great. I've never had any issues with the stopper and magnet not being strong enough to keep the visor down or with it coming up on the freeway.
The interior is a combination of an anti-bacterial micro-suede and leather. With the titanium finish, all the insides are brown. On some of the other versions of the helmet, they are completely leather and the leather is black, so it all kinds of depends on the version you get. I like the brown, it all just kind of works with the retro look. The padding inside it is great because its removable and easily snaps out in three different pieces. Each cheek pad and the interior middle portion comes out and you can just clean them with soap and water by hand washing them.
The only thing about these is that they don't really dry that quickly, it takes more than 24 hours. I tried to wring it out pretty well last time I washed them; I rolled them in a towel but they still don't dry super quickly. So if this is your only helmet you might want to grab another set or if you've had the helmet for a little while and you just completely want to replace them that would probably be worthwhile to do too.
When all of this is in the helmet, the first time you wear it, it's going to be a pretty tight fit. I've noticed the padding does compress down pretty comfortably and I had no issue at all, I had wondered if I got a size too small and that's just not the case. I have a pretty small head, so a medium helmet, I would have been swimming in it by now. I don't know exactly when it felt like it was fully compressed and comfortable for me but I think it was at least a month before the padding wasn't super tight on my cheeks.
They recommend this helmet for round-oval shape. There’s actually also a space inside next to the cheeks that can fit a Bluetooth headset or earbuds in there. So it's great that even though it's a retro helmet, they really considered the modern conveniences that you would want. So overall I'd say the advantages of this helmet are that it's stylish, comfortable, the shield stays put. You can wear it without the shield completely if you wanted. It's also D.O.T. and ECE approved.
I'd say the disadvantages are that it is a slightly slow process swapping out the shield. It's not like the Bell Qualifier which has an amazingly quick process for swapping out shields. And another little disadvantage is that when the shield is up while riding, there's going to be a little bit of whistling from the air flowing between the top of the helmet and the shield. It just makes this perfect little wind tunnel. I heard that you can stop that whistling by just putting a little piece of felt or something to break up the wind flow and it won't make that sound.
While it is D.O.T. approved, it doesn't have the absolute highest safety ratings. If you wanted one of the absolute safest helmets, you'd probably be better off with a Shoei or Arai helmet. The Bell Bullitt is still a perfectly safe helmet though, and obviously anything is better than not wearing a helmet at all.
VENTS & COLD WEATHER RIDING
Now in terms of vents, there are several vents up top that let some wind in through the top to cool your head when it's hot outside. There's also a vent that's operated by a little latch in the front but I've seen almost no difference in cooling. I think on maybe a really cold day it helps to close that latch but the chinstrap is narrow enough that a lot of wind will just flow in from underneath the helmet as you're riding.
Now this is great during the summer time but in the winter it can get a little bit cold, so I usually pair it with a ski mask if I'm riding in weather that's 35 degrees and upwards of fifty degrees. As you start going faster, the wind chill makes it feel much colder which can be pretty brutal.
WHO IS THE BEST FIT FOR THE BULLITT
I think the Bell Bullitt is best for someone who's more of a stylish rider and someone who maybe dislikes the looks of those Shoei helmets. It definitely pairs well with a good retro bike, or modern classic like my 2017 Ducati Scrambler Café Racer. The Bullitt has a pretty iconic style, so if you're into the looks of your helmet, this is definitely one that covers those bases.
I have two other helmets that I am going to go ahead and do reviews of about the Bell Moto-3 with the Chemical Candy Customs finish, and then of course I've got the Bell Qualifier which is my first helmet.
If you want to see photos of me wearing the Bell Bullitt or just want to learn more about me and my bike, you can check me out on Instagram @starknakked.