MXA TEAM TESTED: BELL MOTO-9 CARBON HELMET

April 28, 2014
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WHAT IS IT? The Bell Moto-9 Carbon is an upgraded version of the original Moto-9 that weighs a little less.

WHAT’S IT COST? $549.95.

CONTACT? www.bellhelmets.com or local dealer.

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

(1) Construction. The Bell Moto-9 Carbon is an upgrade from the original Moto-9. The multiple layers of Kevlar, fiberglass and carbon have been replaced with a full carbon shell. The material change shaves several grams off the original helmet. The Moto-9 is Snell M2010 and DOT certified.

(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 rider’s head and pushes the helmet off when inflated, preventing emergency medical
personnel from tugging on the rider’s neck or spine to remove the helmet after an accident. Bell’s magnetic cheek pads also facilitate helmet removal.

(3) Ergonomics. The Moto-9 has a round shape with more than a casual nod to the modern “edge” school of design. Although the chin bar is slightly longer than the Moto-8’s chin bar, it is still relatively short to reduce leverage in a crash. Additionally, the visor screws are hollowed out to sheer off in a crash. The Moto-9 is vented to increase airflow, but most MXA test riders wanted to be able to close the vents to stop cold air and noise from coming in.

(4) Visor. The visor is held in place with a screw on each side. It would be nice to have a third screw on top of the helmet to secure it in place. At high speeds, the visor would often get pushed down by the wind when test riders looked down. A nice feature on the visor screws is that the fold-out handles can be used with gloves.

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(5) Magnets. Reinstalling a helmet liner is often a pain. Bell uses magnets to secure the cheek pads so that in a matter of seconds you can take out and reinstall the pads. There are also magnets on the chin strap to secure the loose end.

(6) Comfort. The Moto-9 is plush. The inner liner is soft yet firm. Your head feels secure thanks to the form-fitting padding that cradles your head. When your head feels well protected, it gives you an automatic boost in confidence.

(7) Options/extras. The Moto-9 Carbon is available in sizes XS through XXL in nine colors. The helmet comes with a helmet bag and a five-year warranty.

WHAT’S THE SQUAWK? We had three 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) We would like to be able to close the air vents. (3) Adding a third screw to the visor would help keep it in place (we alleviated this problem by cranking down on the visor screw handles).

The Bell Moto-9 Carbon is a comfortable, safe helmet that has some cool features, but it is hard to justify the Carbon’s extra price for the very small weight savings.

The Bell Moto-9 Carbon is a comfortable, safe helmet that has some cool features, but it is hard to justify the Carbon’s extra price for the very small weight savings.

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