The first time I saw a full-face Bell Star was in the late ’60s, when it was described as an “evil-robot-style helmet.” And I still have my first Bell Star, which I bought in 1973; my sister created a sunrise scene in stained glass in the eyeport, and that helmet still hangs as a lamp in my shop. This long history is why I was particularly interested in testing the new 2010 Bell Star.
The reason for the new Star is that the Snell Memorial Foundation’s motorcycle helmet standard is upgraded every five years, and the new helmet has been designed not only to meet that new standard, but has also been given some minor tweaks and updates. However, don’t expect huge changes as, according to the Snell website, “This standard introduces a change in the way helmets will be tested…” Further, Snell says that, “if a rider has a good Snell M2005 helmet, he need not run out looking for a Snell M2010.” In addition to the Snell standard, the Star also meets the U.S. DOT standard.
The new Star’s shell is composed of a TriMatrix composite, which incorporates a mix of Kevlar, carbon fiber and fiberglass. Weight is 3.65 pounds, which is middlin’ for a full-face helmet. Some updates have to do with removing seams from the comfort liner to relieve pressure points, improvements to the integrated speaker pockets and the addition of Bell’s new magnetic strap keeper.
Slip it on and the interior fabric immediately feels warm on the skin, somewhat rubbery, yet not clammy. Also, the interior structure is more supportive, which addresses a complaint I had with the previous model Star. As with its predecessor the 2010 Star provides a good deal of controllable air movement with a pair of individual crown vents (which tousled what’s left of my hair), a horizontal vent above the eyeport and a chinbar vent, the latter of which provides a two-position setting.
The shield can be opened in any number of positions, propped open slightly for airflow or locked closed. Shield changing is a model of ease and simplicity with the 3Mode ClickRelease: with the shield open, push a little arm back on each sideplate and the mechanism springs open to release the shield. To reattach, position the shield over the mechanism and push and twist it into place. Bell offers 12 optional shields with the Star. A unique feature is the magnetic strap keeper that keeps the end of the chin strap from flying about by mounting a magnet in its end that clings to another magnet incorporated with the D-rings. The aerodynamic profile is derived from Bell’s Indy Car and Formula One racing experience. Its shape is pleasant and modern, and the helmet is quieter than most on the road.
Bell’s new Star addresses some previous shortcomings, fit and finish are superb, as is function of the venting and shield mechanism. Graphics have been renewed for 2010, and it certainly has a high-tech style. The Bell Star is priced from $549.95-$699.95, comes in sizes XS-XXL and includes a five-year warranty.
For more information: Contact Bell Powersports Inc. at (800) 456-2355 or Bell Helmets