MXA TEAM TESTED: BELL MOTO-9 HELMET

November 3, 2011
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WHAT IS IT?
The Moto-9 is Bell’s brand-new, redesigned lid that replaces the Moto-8 as Bell’s premium off-road helmet.

WHAT’S IT COST? $475.95.

CONTACT?
(800) 456-2355 or www.bellpowersports.com.

WHAT STANDS OUT?
Here’s a list of things that stand out with Bell’s Moto-9 helmet.

(1) Construction. No matter how high tech, the Kevlar, fiberglass and carbon fiber materials of the Moto-9′s composite shell don’t set the helmet apart from other premium helmets, but Bell takes pride in the pre-impregnated layers of the shell. Bell claims that their pre-preg system reduces pooling and dry spots in the resin.

(2) Safe removal. The Moto-9 is specifically designed to accommodate Shock Doctor’s Helmet Eject Removal System. The Helmet Eject is a deflated airbag that sits on the crown of the head and pushes the helmet off when inflated?avoiding tugging on the neck or spine by medical personnel. The magnetic cheek pads also facilitate helmet removal. The Moto-9 is Snell M2010 and DOT certified.

(3) Leverage. The Moto-9 has a round shape with very few sharp edges or creases to snag on the ground. The chin bar?although slightly longer than the Moto-8?is still relatively short to reduce leverage, and the visor is mounted with hollowed-out screws designed to shear off.

(4) Visor mount. The visor is held in place with a screw on each side. When an impact knocks the visor out of place, it can be quickly pushed back into place. The visor’s screws have fold-out handles that can be used with gloves.

(5) Magnets. Magnets hold the cheek pads in place to make the pads easy to remove between motos. There are also magnets on the chin strap to secure the loose end. Even if you forget to attach it, it can bounce up and stick while you are riding.

(6) Comfort. The biggest improvement over the Moto-8 is in comfort. The Moto-8 had various pressure points that had our testers tugging at the chin bar to try and find a comfortable position. The Moto-9 is noticeably plusher. Our medium-sized test helmet was 3.5 pounds, which is on the heavy side of the normal range for helmets.

(7) Options/extras. The Moto-9 is available in sizes XS through XXL in five different colors and in two patterns. The helmet comes with a helmet bag, removable rubber nose guard and a five-year warranty.

WHAT’S THE SQUAWK? We had two minor issues. (1) If the chin straps aren’t pulled wide enough when putting on or removing the helmet, the cheek pads can be dislodged. (2) The Helmet Eject system is not included with the helmet.


The Moto-9 is a night-and-day improvement over the Moto-8, and the attention to detail makes life inside a lid much easier.

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