I’m a big fan of useful motorcycle equipment, stuff that makes touring easier. I like adventure riding jackets that keep out water and have lots of pockets to hold your stuff. Or, a helmet with well-design vents and a flip-front for touring comfort. Or, a communications system that allows me to connect to my riding buddies, or listen to local radio stations while I’m touring.
But sometimes, I’m like any other impressionable rider: I see a piece of flashy-looking gear and think “That looks cool—I’d like to try that.” That’s how I ended up with a Bell Moto-3 helmet in Classic Flo Orange.
My expectations for the helmet were somewhat low. I wanted a safer-looking retro lid for banging around town, as my open-faced helmet offers zero protection to my visage in a crash. I wasn’t expecting the cushiony comfort or whisper quietness of other more expensive helmets. I figured I’d get 1970s performance to match 1970s styling.
So far, though, I’ve been pleasantly surprised. I’ve ridden in the Moto-3 a few times and found it surprisingly light, thanks to a fiberglass shell). There are three shell sizes offered, so if your head is smaller than mine (size XL, please!), then your lid might even be lighter (it’s rated at 1250 grams, but I don’t have a scale to check it). It also carries not only a DOT rating, but an ECE safety rating, so that’s reassuring.
Against expectations, I’ve found the helmet to be relatively quiet, possibly due to the lack of vents. So far, I’ve only ridden with the brim attached, and haven’t found that it catches the wind on the highway. That may not be the case at higher speeds, as my Suzuki DR350 doesn’t allow grossly extra-legal speeds on the four-lane.
I’m also a big fan of the garish orange colour, as I’ve ridden in some very foul weather with this helmet, and always felt as if cars were still able to spot the bright paint.
I haven’t had the helmet long enough to remove the liner for washing, but I’ll probably be happy for that capability as the riding season runs its course.
I do have a couple points of discontent so far. Despite the extended chin bar, the Moto-3 doesn’t seem to flow as much air as I’d hoped. Despite the styling, this helmet is really marketed at street riders, not off-roaders, so this isn’t really surprising.
My other minor beef isn’t surprising either. While riding in the rain at speed, the helmet allows raindrops to hydroblast your lower face; perhaps wearing a bandanna or something similar would cut down on the pressure washer effect.
All in all, in the first few rides, the Moto-3 has exceeded my expectations, and I’m looking forward to seeing how it works out for the rest of the riding season.