[Products We Rate]

🎥 Review: Bell Moto-9 Flex Helmet

4 years ago | Words: Andy Wigan | Photos: Salvatore Aloisio, Jarrad Duffy

A product the Transmoto team has tried, tested and would recommend to a mate.

WHAT IS IT?

It’s the latest, top-of-the-line off-road helmet from one of the longest-standing dedicated helmet manufacturers in the world. Bell’s Moto-9 Carbon Flex uses a first-of-its-kind, three-layer impact liner. Instead of the traditional single layer of EPS, the Moto-9 Flex uses a combination of three different polymers to provide a ‘progressive’ energy management system that’s designed to absorb low, mid and high energy levels.

WHY WE RATE IT

PROS…

  • Quality – You’d expect an excellent quality of finish on a $900 helmet, and this thing delivers. With a carbon compose shell, it’s both lightweight (1300g) and strong. And as an added nice touch, it comes in a flash, padded carry bag.
  • Style – Aside from the cool carbon finish, it’s a good-looking lid with a contoured shell shape that’s devoid of any gimmicky ‘stabilising fins’.
  • Comfort/Fit – The sophisticated three-layer impact liner and soft padding produces an exceptionally good fit. In fact, you can feel the ‘Flex’ liner actually mould to your head shape, and this allows you to opt for a firmer-fitting sizing (rider who’ve always worn a Large in other helmet brands may well be better off with a Medium-sized Moto-9 Flex). In other words, it gives you a more personalised, adaptive fit.
  • The Padded Liner – With its uncomplicated design (no tabs, just four plastic clip-studs), the liner is simple and easy to remove/replace. And in addition to being convenient, the magnetic cheek pads are a real advantage in the case of an emergency.
  • Ventilation – The fact the three impact liners are segmented allows much better airflow and ventilation than helmets which the conventional single EPS impact liner.
  • Attention to Detail – The stainless steel mesh that’s used in the chin-piece and ventilation exhaust ports is stylish. The magnetic tip in the fastening strap makes it easy to secure with gloves on. And the built-in Eject Helmet Removal System cavity in the liner means there’s no need for any modifications to fit this system (which is now mandatory for racing in many countries).

CONS…

  • Visor Screws – They’re a cool design (they’re recessed, designed with breakaway tabs, flick out to use and then back to flush), but with only two lateral screws, you have to do them up super-tight to keep the visor fixed in place.
  • The Chin-piece – As the shell’s compact design puts the chin-piece close to your mouth, this can accelerate goggle fogging in wet conditions if you start to breathe heavily. Removing the chin-piece’s generous foam insert in wet conditions eliminates the issue.
  • The Eyeport – It’s a little smaller (top-to-bottom) than average, so you may need to dump the helmet’s removable nose guard if your goggles are too tight a fit.

At $900, the Bell Moto-9 Carbon Flex is one of the most expensive off-road helmets on the market, but it also comes with next-level protection, fit, comfort, function and looks. And a five-year warranty! If $900 is too rich for your blood, the Bell Moto-9 with MIPS (Multi-directional Impact System) is also an exceptional lid. It weighs in at 1450g (150g more than the Carbon Flex) and costs $549.95.

PRICE AND AVAILABILITY

This Bell Moto-9 Carbon Flex is available from any of Monza Imports’ dealers for $899.95


MORE DETAIL ON THE 2018 BELL HELMET RANGE

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