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Bell Sports Moto-9 Carbon Flex Helmet Reviews

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  • Price Range $499.95 ~ $699.95 Shop Now
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Larry Chirco 259

   6 of 6 members found this review helpful 6 / 6 members

Recently I received an opportunity to review the Bell Moto-9 Carbon Flex helmet as part of the ThumperTalk review crew.  Good timing as I had my eyes on one anyway, being the helmet of choice for more than a few top riders.

Lots of things came to mind when I opened the box, but but the first thing that jumped out was how incredible sexy this lid is!  The combo of gloss and matte cyan blue and hound red is punchy, but not overbearing, and the use of shading, shadowing and sections that allow the unpainted carbon fiber to show bring it all together. Don't like this combo? Only another 11 color combos to choose from in 6 sizes (XS-XXL). I also appreciated that the Bell Moto-9 Carbon Flex ships with true helmet bag, not just a cheapo fabric drawstring bag. At an MSRP of $649.95, it's squarely in the premium moto helmet segment, so nice to see Bell didn't cheap out. Riders dropping this amount of money will likely want to keep their lid looking good. I sure do!

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The most important part of any helmet is the safety baked in. We can't test these systems in real life (intentionally anyway), but I do want to cover key system systems of the Bell Moto-9 Carbon Flex helmet.

3K Carbon Fiber Shell

Bell uses 3k decussated weave CF to make the Bell Moto-9 Carbon Flex shell. This makes for a helmet that is very light (3.19lbs.), but exceptionally strong. Not only are light-weight helmets easier on neck muscles after a hard day of riding, in a crash, less weight to control and bring to the stop is a good thing.

Flex Energy Management

I started to write about this system, saw this video and realized that you'll understand it both better and faster watching it. No use reinventing the wheel!

MERS

MERS stands for Magnefusion Emergency Release System, a fancy way of saying magnetic cheek pads. This allows the helmet to be more easily removed with an absolute minimum of movement of the rider's head, reducing the chances of further injury. As a bonus it also makes removal & reassembly after cleaning a breeze.

Comfort & Fitment

All helmet makers should take note on the softness of the Moto-9 Carbon Flex liner. It's like slipping a pillow on your head. My head shape is more round than oval and the helmet fit me just fine. I do think that the Moto-9 runs a little on the small side. I'm usually a medium and it was on the tighter side, but not enough so to move up to the next size. After a number of rides the liner really hasn't loosened up, so if it's too tight when you first put one on, don't expect that to change much. Once on, the Moto-9 feels slender & streamlined; no bobble-head feeling.

Performance

I'm not one to put a helmet on with gloves, but it can be done as the strap D-rings are large enough and easy to grab. I also appreciate the elegantly simple magnetic strap retainer; so much easier than trying to locate a button to snap together.

The Moto-9 Carbon Flex venting works very well with airflow felt even at lower speeds. I ride MX & some off-road in the Mojave in/around Las Vegas, so just a bit of heat in the summer months! For those that ride in very cold or wet conditions, the vents are open all the time and cannot be closed. The fast drying liner was also very effective, allowing my sweat to evaporate nicely between motos.

I ride with Scott Prospect Goggles, maybe one of the largest framed options on the market and I had no problem with fitting them with the Moto-9. They do take up the entire eyeport, but don't rest or catch on anything that would not allow them to sit properly on my face. This helmet/goggle combo offers awesome field of vision and doesn't feel claustrophobic. I also ride with an Alpinestar BNS tech Carbon neck brace and didn't notice any rubbing or clearancing issues that would otherwise inhibit movement or annoy.

The one complaint that I have is the visor. I like its toolless adjustability, but it doesn't have a center support and it's made from a softer material. Because of this, the visor often times looks uneven or bent. I'd also like to have seen a spare visor included at this price point vs. being an extra 30 bucks. However, it does offer good protection from sun glare and roost when you drop your head.

The Moto-9 Carbon Flex is light in the hand and I noticed near effortless range of motion when riding. Anytime quality protective equipment does its job without contributing to fatigue or putting a damper on my fun it's a keeper and that was my experience riding with this helmet.

Warranty

Bell offers one of the best limited warranties in the business at 5 years. Simply register your purchase online and if your lid takes a hit you're concerned about you can call or send it to Bell for professional inspection. If it needs to be replaced, Bell will extend a discount on a replacement. 

Bottom-line

Bell's Moto-9 Carbon Flex helmet definitely hit the mark for me. The cost of entry isn't cheap but it's my head I'm protecting, making it the single most important piece of safety gear I wear. The quality is evident, it's comfortable, and it performs very well. Again, no way I can attest to how it will perform in a nasty crash, but based upon what I learned about its design & construction, I do believe that I've stacked the deck in my favor and that's about all riders can do.

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