MotoOnline.com.au puts Bell's Moto-9 to the test in the brand's return to Australia.
Bell Helmets made their long-awaited return to the Australian market when local distributor Monza Imports launched the 2013 line last October, returning after what was an 18-year hiatus. Worn by some of the greatest athletes on the planet, it was no wonder MotoOnline.com.au was stoked to get our hands on a few Moto-9 models to put to the test.
The Moto-9 has been rated internationally as the ‘most technologically advanced motocross helmet on the market’ and has a variety of innovative features to back up those kinds of statements.
It has Magnefusion Emergency Removal System Cheekpads, which allows for easy helmet removal in emergency situations. Used in conjunction with the Eject Helmet Removal System (which the Bell accomodates), the two features allow medical staff to gently remove the helmet from a rider’s head, reducing the potential for secondary neck or spine injuries.
Bell also uses a Magnefusion Magnetic Strap Keeper and padded chin strap with D-ring closure.
Bell’s Flying Bridge Visor is easily adjusted with two hand-in-glove adjustable QuickFlip screws that firmly hold the visor in place. On top of that, Bell’s Velocity Flow Ventilation System literally pulls air through the helmet, keeping the rider cooler.
It has an EPS-lined chinbar, integrated vented roost guard Tri-Matrix Composite Shell and X-Static Extended Wear Interior.
Monza Imports will distribute the Moto-9 Carbon ($569.95 RRP) and Moto-9 ($499.95 RRP), as well as the MX-2 ($239.95 RRP) and SX-1 ($139.95 RRP) models for motocross and off-road riders in an assortment of graphics and colour combinations.
Personally, I was super excited to get my hands on the Moto-9 upon their release in Australia late last year. I’d worn Bell Helmets as a kid and have obviously seen the likes of James Stewart and the JDR Motorsports team wearing them in recent years, keen to get a feel for them myselves.
I’m a massive fan of the bulky, but streamlined, look that Bell has on the Moto-9 and the colourways are suitable for a variety of different gear combinations. As a moto-journalist, that can be a vital aspect of what we wear since we switch gear out a lot!
The helmet itself though has been incredibly comfortable, easy to get used to and fits me perfectly. The soft liners, snug fit and impressive airflow all makes for a great helmet that certainly met my initial expectations.
Having magnetic cheekpads makes it easy to clean within seconds and the way they slot back into position seamlessly is like they’ve never been removed. You can tell in the entire helmet’s design that it’s had an extended thought process put into its design and effectiveness.
When purchasing the Moto-9, the quality helmet bag it comes with serves as a perfect travel protector for when you’re headed to the races.
What you will have to be particularly focused on when setting up your Moto-9 is the visor, because it does take some time to get in the correct position. While the QuickFlip screws are very user-friendly, the fact that the sides are the only screw points (none beneath the visor) makes it a finicky process if you’re a perfectionist when it comes to visor height.
The way the screws clip are handy, but you also do have to get a feel for how tight to do them since they’re planted on a rubber base that squishes in the final turns. Its not a huge deal, but takes time to get a feel for.
Apart from that, the roost guard can come loose pretty easily if you snag it while putting your goggles on, so I ended up removing mine completely and problem solved. On track I didn’t notice any difference whatsoever, but it is personal preference.
The Moto-9 from Bell is an exceptional helmet that I’d be happy to wear and put my hard-earned dollars on for a long time to come. As mentioned earlier, it met my expectations with ease and an added bonus is that Monza Imports has basically matched prices from the US.
Visit www.monzaimports.com.au for further information on Bell Helmets in Australia.