We’ve been wearing open-face helmets until 1968 and until Bell Helmets came out with the first full-face model. It was a game changer and a combination of safety and comfort.
Fast forward 40 years and the company came out with a new classic inspired by the original silhouette. Bell Bullitt was born to present improved safety standards and overall more modern concept while keeping the retro style.
If you’re looking for your next helmet, you should look into the Bell Bullitt helmet in this review. Continue reading as we discuss its safety, design, construction, as well as all the features and specifications it comes with.
You might love Bell Bullitt if…
- You like the retro style – Bullitt is known for its old-school design inspired by the first ever full-face helmet. It has the original round, low-profile shell and a glossy finish that matches all retro bikes. Plus, it features leather that adds to the overall vintage style.
- Safety is important to you – the safety aspect is the most critical factor to consider when buying a helmet. Bullitt is a tough one with 3K carbon fiber shell and three shell and EPS sizes. It comes with a chin strap with D-ring closure for a secure and comfortable fit. It’s also DOT approved for safety and durability according to their FMVSS 218 Standard.
- You suffer from fatigue – full-face helmets tend to have a ventilation problem due to insufficient vents which could lead to fatigue. Bad airflow can also cause fogging and heating inside the shell. Bullitt has front chin vents with metal mesh on both intake and exhaust vents.
You might not like Bell Bullitt if…
- You want a tinted shield – Bell makes bubble and flat shields and in several colors to choose from. However, Bullitt comes with a clear shield only so you’d have to buy others separately. This is a bit of a drag, especially if you live in a sunny area where the tinted shield is quite useful.
- You have an oval head – unfortunately, the helmet is a more modern take on Bell’s original full-face model and as such, fits only round heads. It does come in several sizes for both shell and EPS foaming, but all of them probably wouldn’t fit you well if you have an oval head shape.
- Wind noise annoys you – if you tend to ride at high speeds, you’ll probably notice how this one tends to get a bit noisy. Although it’s nothing too bad and it shouldn’t seriously disturb your riding, you’ll still be able to hear the wind. There’s no helping this since Bullitt is a retro helmet.
Design and Shape
Bullitt comes in several colors and designs to choose from with glossy and matte black being the two most popular ones. Though it’s a classic choice, black makes the helmet look that much more retro when combined with the color of genuine leather.
As we mentioned, it has a round shape, so it will only fit you if your head is shaped in such or similar way. Oval head shape might not fit as comfortably.
On top of that, Bullitt isn’t the best when it comes to aerodynamics as you can tell just by looking at it. The round shape pushes against the wind at times when you’re riding at high speeds. As a result, you’ll notice the winding pulling it up from underneath once you’re at around 75mph.
Construction and Materials
This is a full-face helmet inspired by the original, first ever model. It covers your entire head as well as your face and chin. The clear visor protects your eyes as well, so no area is left exposed.
Find out more about full face and modular models.
Bullitt has a carbon fiber composite shell that’s approved by the Department of Transportation for its durability and resistance. It weighs approximately 3.5 pounds in total. The low-profile composite shell is comfortable and easy to put on and take off.
On the inside, the helmet has EPS foaming and genuine leather for ultimate comfort while riding. All the padding is removable, so you can wash it at any time. The manufacturer recommends you wash the padding by hand and allow it to air dry thoroughly before you place it back in the shell.
It also has contoured cheek pads that adjust to the shape of your face. For this reason, you might notice the helmet isn’t the most comfortable when you put it on the first time. Give it a few days to adapt to your face which is when it provides full comfort.
Its chin strap is also made of leather and is fully padded. It’s meant to secure the helmet, so it doesn’t fly off your head in case of an impact. The strap has D-ring closure to ensure the secure fit.
Both padding and the strap are anti-bacterial, so they’re suitable for people who sweat a lot. Make sure to wash them regularly and only use them dry for best results.
Bullitt doesn’t fog and remains steady temperature thanks to the built-in ventilation. It has five metal mesh intake and exhaust vents that keep the air flowing throughout.
There’s a vent opening on the chin area which is the one that prevents fogging the most since it’s the closest to your mouth. This one is also closable so you can control the air that passes through. The entire ventilation system works well and makes the helmet suitable for both hot and cold weather conditions.
This is one of the helmets with the widest viewing range. It comes with a clear shield with other colors sold separately.
The visor has three positions that are the up, down and halfway between. It comes in two styles – bubble and flat. The flat is ideal for eliminating visual distortion while the bubble one is best for ventilation. It also looks more retro of the two.
It’s closed with the Bell’s Magnefusion Shield Closure System that’s unlike any other. It uses magnets, and it might take you a while to get used to it. However, once you do, you’ll probably love it.
Safety Certifications and Features
Bell Bullitt is tasted by the UK’s Sharp safety rating unit where it scored three stars out of a maximum five. It’s also certified with the DOT standard which applies in America and the Economic Commission for Europe (ECE) that’s applied in 47 countries.
In each testing, the helmet was dropped from a certain height onto several different anvils to determine its safety level.
It’s not as safe as other Bell helmets, which is mostly due to the overall retro shape. Still, three out of five stars are relatively impressive for a retro lid.
As we’ve mentioned, there are three shell and EPS sizes you can choose from depending on the size and shape of your face.
Keep in mind that the helmet can only perform as well if you select the size that fits you. For this reason, follow Bell’s sizing chart to determine which shell and EPS size fit you the best.
Bullitt is among the most popular helmets by Bell since it’s a modern take on the first ever full-face model. Although it looks quite retro and old-school, it features new and improved elements such as better ventilation system and a padded chin strap.
The helmet is best for a round head shape but selecting the right size is vital to ensure full safety. When trying it on, make sure you don’t feel any added pressure on any parts of your head.
Overall, it’s a good-looking helmet that’s also one of the safest and most comfortable ones on the market. Find the right size and select the color of your choice to fully enjoy all the benefits it brings.