Bell Star Review
The Bell Star franchise is the most storied among motorcycle helmets. When Bell introduced the Star in 1967, it was the first full-face motorcycle helmet, revolutionizing safety for our sport. While the Bell Helmet Company that changed the world has changed hands many times, and is now owned by the Vista Outdoor conglomerate, the Star line is flourishing.Bell has split the Star line into three categories—the Pro Star for professional racers (such as Cameron Beaubier and William Dunlop), the Race Star for personal track use, and the street-focused Star, which is the subject of this review.Weighing in at 3 pounds, 10.2 ounces, the Star is in the standard range for high-end helmets. Bell gets to that weight using a shell that is a blend of aramid, fiberglass, and carbon fiber. Like all quality lids, the weight is much less noticeable once it is on your head thanks to excellent balance.Slipping on the helmet easily, you will find the Star has a luxuriously plush interior; you feel comfortable immediately. Impressively, Bell accomplished this while still having a scalloped pate. That’s important, as it allows cooling air to ow over your scalp.
While the vents on the Star—mouth, forehead, and crown—are not large, they do work well. The tiny nubs that control the top two intake sliders are small, yet easy to find and operate with gloves on for on-the-fly adjustments. There’s also a row of fixed exhaust vents integrated into the stylish rear spoiler, plus one higher exit vent that can be opened and closed. All combined, the airflow system is effective.Bell put extra effort into noise reduction, and the results are good. In addition to the air dam on the chin guard, the side and back of the helmet has a very soft U-shaped dam that absorbs sound while increasing comfort.A high-quality clear faceshield is standard, though we greatly prefer the optional photo-chromatic Transitions shield. The faceshield is easy to swap out without tools.
Positioning the faceshield is a bit unusual, as it has only three settings—locked down, opened a crack, and fully raised. To unlock it, you simply lift the large tab on the lower front of the shield, and if you don’t push up, it stays in the cracked position. However, push it high enough and a spring raises it all the way up. If you don’t push the shield up far enough, the spring snaps it back down to the cracked position.Having tested the helmet on sport bikes, cruisers and adventure bikes, I found the Star to be ideal for all. Aerodynamics are excellent, with or without a fairing.From a safety perspective, the Bell Star meets Snell M2015 and ECE 22.05 standards, which is more than adequate. The Star comes in six sizes (XS-XXL) and, impressively, has five outer-shell sizes so you don’t get more helmet than you need. I wear a medium, typically, and the Star’s medium fit me perfectly.Meeting the expectations of an icon name like Bell Star is no easy task, but the latest iteration of the original full-face helmet is more than satisfying.For additional information, visit Bell Helmets.