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If you've got a $10 head, wear a $10 helmet


That was Bell Helmet’s advertising slogan over 50 years ago.  Today’s prices and products are very different but the concept remains the same. Invest in what you value, because you get what you pay for.

 

Motorcycle riders, like race car drivers, need head protection.  The helmet industry, like most others, has grown and benefited from ever changing technology.  Materials, design, comfort, and performance are the latest and greatest.


For cruising and touring riders, the most popular helmets now come with smart technology, such as built-in cameras, intelligent noise suppression, Bluetooth wireless, and crash detection systems with an SOS beacon. They're not cheap.


Example: The Force MK1S features an Ai-powered voice command system, the ability to link to you smartphone, and reality navigation cues at the bottom of the visor. $1099


For baggers who want to talk with a passenger or fellow traveler there’s the Sena Stryker, with Harman Kardon sound and a multi-channel Open Mesh intercom system that can sync to other compatible devices.  $499


Road racers and performance motorcycle riders, like their four wheel driver brethren, have different priorities.  Their helmets need to offer protection above all, plus a light weight, comfort, and even aerodynamic advantages.


One of the most popular motorcycle racing helmets is the Shoei X-Fourteen. Developed with wind tunnel testing, it has removable and/or replaceable wings to suit the rider’s needs to specific track types.  Six intake and exhaust ports create excellent airflow and to disperse impact energy, the helmet has a dual-layer, dual-density EPS liner.  $890


If money is no object, a rider may choose a helmet designed for open-cockpit formula car racers, like the Bell HP77. It offers maximum impact safety by reinforcing the front of the helmet with advanced ballistic protection.  This lightweight, aerodynamically superior carbon fiber helmet is homologated to the FIA8860-2018 ABP standard, the most rigorous in the world.  $4995


Motocross, off-road, and adventure riders have different requirements, and the newest safety feature is multi-direction impact system technology.  MIPS reduces rotational motion by absorbing and redirecting forces and energies transferred to the brain from angled impacts to the head. 


The Bell Moto-9 Flex is considered among the best adventure riding helmet on the market, providing protection during three very different types of impact—low, mid- and high-speed.  The inside liners rotate/move slightly independently, reducing energy transference.  The helmet also has the hardware for an airbag-assisted Helmet Eject System, and pull-out cheek pads that, should the need arise, allow emergency personnel to remove the helmet easily.   $580 - 670


Today’s helmets are light years ahead of what was available to riders over half a century ago.  They are not only safer but relatively more affordable considering the protection, bells, and whistles they now offer. And the selection, to accommodate different types of riding, racing, and especially budgets, is larger than ever.


So to reprise Bell’s old ad slogan, adjusted for inflation, if you have a $100 head, get a $100 helmet. Your choice.

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