The search for the best vintage-looking helmet usually narrows down to Bell Bullitt and Biltwell Gringo. These are the two most popular models for bikers looking for a racing helmet.
Both combine modern safety standards with vintage, old school design, so it’s a bit tricky to choose just one. Plus, the two models are made in the USA, and they offer supreme quality and comfort.
So, how to choose one from the two?
Continue reading to learn a bit more about these two, so it’s easier for you to figure out which one would be the best match for your next adventure.
Comparing Design, Features, and Construction
Bell Bullitt Design
If you had a chance to put the two next to each other, you’d notice some interesting differences. First, Bell Bullitt has a smaller chin guard that measures 5cm. For this reason, the helmet exposes more of your face from forehead to your mouth.
This one is a bit lighter, but the difference isn’t as noticeable. It comes in the standard white, black and gray, while you can also get it in combinations of red and black, and blue and red.
It has magnetic visor tabs that allow easy exposing of the face. Plus, the list of different visors available is quite broad as you get to choose between different colors and finishes.
Bullitt might be a better choice if you’re looking for a long distance helmet due to its ventilation. It doesn’t have any padding on the inside, but it’s quite comfortable thanks to its refined design. It’s DOT rated and ECE 22.05 European Safety Rated for some added security.
Overall, it looks a bit more polished due to its quality and paint finish. The interior features leather that’s anti-bacterial, removable and washable. It’s easy to maintain and quite durable so it won’t show any signs of wear any time soon.
Biltwell Gringo Design
This one comes in nine different colors to choose from as opposed to Bell’s five options. The most significant difference between the two is the Biltwell’s brushed Lycra liner that’s hand sewn and removable. It’s combined with open cell padding, so it’s a bit more comfortable than Bullitt.
This one has an 8½ cm chin guard that’s quite larger than that of its competitor. The injection-molded abs outer shell looks sleek and supreme as it’s hand-painted. Its inner shell is made of expanded polystyrene.
It’s almost half a price cheaper than Bell, but it doesn’t lack anything so significant. It might not look as polished, but many people consider it more comfortable as it has better padding on the inside.
Bittwell doesn’t show as much of your face due to its larger chin guard. It exposes only your forehead and down to around your nose.
It has a snug fit, and it’s a bit easier to wear due to more padding. However, it’s only DOT approved which it wasn’t subjected to the rigorous ECE tests. Keep in mind that the Department of Transportation is an adequate safety standard in the USA, but it’s not of importance anywhere else.
Comparing Safety Certifications
Bell Bullitt Safety
Bell Bullitt is made of durable materials and has a scratch-resistant finish. It’s rated by the Department of Transportation in the USA, but it’s also ECE 22.05 European Safety Rated. This means it has passed some rigorous testing.
Another thing worth noting is its visor. The view opening is huge, so you get to see more of what’s in front and around you. Peripheral vision is essential, and it’s what you’re getting with this one.
Find out more about helmet safety ratings.
Biltwell Gringo Safety
Biltwell meets DOT safety standards but hasn’t been tested by any other organization. Still, the injection-molded abs outer shell provides a high level of durability and endurance.
The inner shell is made of polystyrene and is padded with open-cell padding. It has a lot of padding which holds your head in place and keeps the helmet snug to your skull. Biltwell also has a larger chin guard than its competitor.
Which Should I Buy?
Choosing just one isn’t as simple as it seems, mainly because both have different things to offer. Consider all the factors carefully and think about what matters the most to you. The key is in the little details that help bikers decide between the two popular choices.
You Might Like the Bullitt if…
- Safety standards are important to you – this one is rated by DOT, but as we previously mentioned, it’s also ECE 22.05 European Safety Rated.
- You want to show your face – this one exposes your face from the forehead to your mouth. This makes it easier for people to recognize you, but it also gives you a better view of what’s around you.
- You’re looking for a modern helmet – though both models look a bit vintage, this one is more polished. It’s a modern take on the brand’s first helmet, so it combines the best from both modern and old-school designs.
Want more info? Read the Bullitt review.
You Might Like the Gringo If...
- Comfort comes first – this one has superior padding and is considered more comfortable than its competitor. The brushed Lycra liner and open-cell padding provide the softness as well as the support you need for long distance rides.
- You want more coverage – the Gringo covers more of your face, so only your forehead and the area around your nose are exposed. Some people consider this safer as it keeps your mouth and chin protected as well.
- You want a vintage-looking helmet – the sole shape of this one makes it appear old-school. If you have a vintage-looking motorcycle, this one will match the style perfectly.
Bell Bullitt vs. Biltwell Gringo is an ongoing battle that’s unlikely ever to have a winner. It’s because both models are quite durable that it’s hard for people to choose between them.
As you noticed from our comparison, one helmet has what the other lacks and vice versa. For this reason, you’re the best person to decide on which one would be better for your needs.
Consider what you need and like in a helmet, and read carefully what these two offer. This is the best way to determine which one is the winner for you.