Simpson has been a part of motorsports since the 60s, and the brand is no stranger to the world of racing. Bill Simpson, founder of the iconic safety brand, was a drag racer himself. Inspired by his own personal injuries, he set out on a lifelong path to create top notch safety equipment for two- and four-wheeled speed enthusiasts. And after many years of providing safety equipment, Simpson has introduced the Ghost Bandit, which is designed exclusively for motorcyclists.I’ve always envied the cruiser crowd that sported Simpson full face helmets such as the Bandit. The design is quintessentially American: tough, utilitarian and never strays from the styling cues that Simpson established long ago. There is no mistake that this is a Simpson Bandit.
DOT and ECE Certified means that you’ll be able to rock this helmet legally in the US and EU with no legal repercussions. The standard shell is made up of a proprietary composite material and according to our trusty scale, comes in at a low weight of 3 lbs. flat.The Ghost Bandit helmet fitment is an intermediate ova, which makes up a large portion of the demographic. If you’ve had good luck with helmets of that shape, chances are this will be a good fit. While we can’t speak to individual fitment, as that is a completely subjective thing, we can talk about the padding. First off, the padding is held in with snaps and they certainly do their job well as it takes a bit of effort to pull them out. What you have here is a plush, moisture-wicking, antimicrobial material that doesn’t irritate the skin.In the cheek pad, Simpson has wisely chosen to have an integrated speaker and boom mic pocket – none of which are manufacturer specific and appear to accept a wide variety of products on the market. The comfort liner is a 3D shape that doesn’t create pressure points; a big plus in my book. Overall, the padding is comfortable and doesn’t cause any skin irritation that lower quality materials might cause.Other removable internal components include a chin guard, which snaps in and out with ease.Simpson has certainly stepped up their game with the Bandit Ghost and its face shield. You’ll notice that the new Ghost Bandit no longer requires tools to remove the face shield. They’ve chosen to use a quick release system that is reminiscent of the high-end Japanese helmets which meant that using the Simpson system was a familiar process. According the manufacturer, the shield will be offered in a handful of options, include one with a Pinlock.The Simpson Ghost Bandit has an internal sun visor that is controlled by an easy to use slider on your left hand side. This is great for the commuter, someone who might be riding both during the day and at night because it eliminates the need to carry another face shield or suffer with sun glare. The Simpson Ghost Bandit’s internal visor also doesn’t affect the bespectacled riders. Even though my glasses’ frames are a bit on the larger side, the internal sun visor doesn’t hang up or make contact with my glasses in the least bit.On your left, you’ll have a shield lock, again very easy to operate with a gloved hand and a small indent in the helmet shell to lift the face shield. In the face shield department, I would appreciate a little more feedback when locking it down. A final snap to really know what things are secure but that doesn’t detract from the Ghost Bandit too much.Noise is relatively low with the Ghost Bandit. Typically, I ride with earplugs but for the sake of reviewing, I got up to pace without my foam friends in the ear. The traditional wind noise is there but nothing that made me immediately regret my decision to forgo ear protection.This noise reduction may be thanks to the front vent placement, which is off to each side. A styling choice for sure, as it wouldn’t be the iconic Bandit without the flat front but it also seems to have a positive contribution. Up front there are two vents (one to each side) that are adjustable. Unlike a lot of helmets on the market, your adjusters are found on the inside of the shell. In my experience, it was easy to manipulate with gloves hands.On the top and rear you have some excellent venting as well however – they’re always open. I happened to test the Simpson Ghost Bandit in the early AM all the way through to a high 70s Californian afternoon and at no point did I feel too chilly or too warm.Double D-ring construction secures the Ghost Bandit on your head. The Simpson Ghost Bandit is available in XS through XXL, and arrives in the following colors: White, Black, Matte Black and Carbon Fiber.The standard Ghost Bandit has an MSRP of $449.95, and the carbon fiber variant $649.95.For additional information, visit Simpson Race Products.
Hello everyone and welcome once again to the Ultimate Motorcycling podcast—Motos and Friends. My name is Arthur Coldwells.
Motos and Friends is brought to you by the Yamaha YZF-R7—Yamaha’s awesome supersport machine that is as capable on the racetrack as it is on the street. …and it’s comfortable too! Check it out at at your local Yamaha dealer, or of course at YamahaMotorsports.com.
In this week’s first segment, Senior Editor Nic de Sena rides the BMW K 1600 GT. This is the sporty bagger version of BMW’s K series of machines, those are the models with the awesome 6-cylinder engine. The GT has been given a little makeover for 2023, and Nic gives us his take.
In the second segment, I chat with one of my all time heroes—three-time World Champion racer ‘fast’ Freddie Spencer. I’ll do my best not to come off as too much of a fanboy here, but frankly it’ll be tough!
In my humble opinion, Spencer is a contender for the GOAT—greatest of all time. Sure, his career was a little shorter than some, and his number of championships falls behind the likes of Lawson, Doohan, Rossi, and of course Marquez. But at the time, Freddie literally changed the way motorcycles were ridden. 30 years before Marc Marquez, Freddie was able to push the front wheel into a slide, corner after corner, lap after lap in order to get the bike turned faster than anyone else. Freddie took completely different lines and was able to get on the throttle so early he could out accelerate anyone off a corner.
In the modern era, of course Freddie is the chairman of the FIM MotoGP Stewards panel. This is the panel of referees for all three classes of Grand prix racing. I talked to Freddie about his task there, and although for contractual reasons with Dorna and the FIM he cannot talk about specific riders, teams, or events, nevertheless his explanation of the job makes for interesting listening. It’s a tough job, and frankly I wouldn’t want to do it!
Actually—Ultimate Motorcycling is giving away five copies of the book—signed by Freddie himself—to the first five listeners who contact us with the correct answer to the question: How many national AMA championships did Freddie win, and which years were they?
Please email your answers to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will contact the winners and send you a signed copy of Feel. Those five winners will be announced on a future episode. Unfortunately for legal reasons this offer is ONLY open to US residents.
So, from all of us here at Ultimate Motorcycling, we hope you enjoy this episode!