Bell RS1 Helmet: Review

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Bell RS1 Helmet
  • Editor Rating

  • Rated 3.5 stars
  • 70%

  • Bell RS1 Helmet
  • Reviewed by:
  • Published on:
  • Last modified: August 11, 2015
  • Quality
    Editor: 60%
  • Protection
    Editor: 95%
  • Comfort
    Editor: 90%
  • Ventilation
    Editor: 90%
  • Noise Suppression
    Editor: 90%
  • Value-for-money
    Editor: 70%

Summary: The Bell RS1 fares well in terms of the features it offers like noise suppression and ventilation, but does not fare well in the overall quality department. It can be considered a mid to high range helmet, retailing between $349-$399.

The Bell RS1 retailing between $350-$399 was introduced to bridge the gap between the high-end Bell Star and the entry range Bell Vortex. Bell is one of the oldest and well reputed helmet manufacturers out there in the market. Let us see how it fares in the review:

Construction Quality:

The Good:

  • The visor opening and closing mechanism is really slick and sturdy.
  • The 3 mode shield mechanism is smooth and feels really good.
  • The paint quality is not the best I have seen but it’s still good enough to be placed under the ‘Good’ category.
  • The padding is really plush and has a premium feel to it.

The not-so-good:

  • The open-close mechanism of all the vents is really flimsy. They are easy to operate even with leather gloves on, but the mechanism itself could have been much better: it feels like a hard nudge on any of the vent levers may break them or damage them.
  • The area around the top most vent has lost a bit of paint owing to the vent lever scraping against that area.
  • Few plastic parts on the outside of the helmet give out squeaky noises when touched and are not up to the mark quality-wise as well. Disappointing to say the least, considering this to be a mid-to-high range lid.
Bell RS1

Poor quality vent open-close mechanism

Protection:

The Good:

  • The Kevlar/Fiberglass based shell of the Bell RS1 is DOT and SNELL M2010 (now M2015 as well) certified. (Click here to know the finer details about helmet certifications)
  • Three shell sizes encompass the whole size range from XS to 2XL which ensures optimum protection.
  • The helmet has a double D-ring neck strap locking system which fits securely beneath the chin.

The not-so-good:

  • None.

 

Comfort and Fit:

The Good:

  • The RS1 is a race-oriented lid, so the fit is more on the snug-side. That being said, the cheek pads and liner are of top-notch quality and a few weeks after breaking in, the helmet feels pretty comfortable.
  • The D-ring fits below the chin without any discomfort. Bell’s patented magnetic chin strap keeper works well and is really easy to use.
  • A size-L weighs 1603 grams which is on par with say, the Shoei Qwest. After a whole day of riding, I did not feel any strain on the neck.
  • Turning the head to the sides does not cause it to be pushed to one side.
  • The aerodynamic cut structure of the helmet ensures no buffeting even at speeds greater than 150 kph.
  • The shield swapping mechanism is extremely quick and easy.

The not-so-good:

  • None.

Advice:

  • Wear the helmet for at least 15 minutes in the shop from where you are purchasing. This helps ensuring there are no pressure points that develop anywhere around your head. If you do feel pressure points, do not buy the helmet.
  • Ensure that the helmet is snug fit.

 

Bell RS1 Helmet Sizing:

Size Head Measurement (cm)
XS 54-55
SM 55-56
MD 57-58
LG 58-59
XL 60-61
2XL 62-63

 

Ventilation:

The Good:

  • The chin vent on the RS1 is the most efficient vent of all the vents on the helmet. It directs a steady flow of air to the chin and forehead which proves pretty useful on a sunny hot day.
  • The two vents on the top of the helmet also do a good job of keeping the top of the head cool on a hot summer day.

The not-so-good:

  • None.

Advice:

  • Do not open the vents in dusty conditions as the dust will start accumulating in the vent.
  • Keeping the vents open also leads to small insects getting stuck inside the vents, which could eventually block the vents. Hence, use the vents wisely.

 

Weather Compatibility:

The Good:

  • Use the helmet on sunny and hot days, and the vents do a good job of keeping things cool under the hood. The helmet has not been used in cold temperatures, so would not be able to comment on its cold weather comfort.
  • The visor comes pre-coated with an anti-fog coating which is extremely effective even in heavy rain. I had absolutely no fogging issues, even at standstill.
  • This helmet also has an anti-fogging mechanism. It works as follows: Pull the lever located on the side of the helmet as shown in the picture below. This leads to a small gap between the visor and the window beading. Thus, when one breathes, the air passes through this small gap, thus preventing visor fogging. This mechanism could not be tested by itself as the anti-fog coated shield was perfectly doing its job.

 

Bell RS1

Shield is in anti-fog mode

 

The not-so-good:

  • The cheek pads and liner do not absorb sweat that well, leading to a sticky feeling on the cheeks after riding for an hour or so.
  • The anti-fog coating on the visor is a bit sticky, causing dust particles to easily settle on the inside. On trying to remove this dust with a soft moist cloth, I accidentally managed to scrape off a small portion of the coating. Thereafter, I clean the visor very gently on the inside, but this means dust particles do not come off, which is annoying to say the least.
  • The chin curtain could have been bigger in size, which would have resulted in lesser amount of dust entering from the bottom.

 

Noise Suppression:

The Good:

  • I was happily surprised at how quiet this lid actually is, even at speeds greater than 140 kph.
  • The bottom of the helmet has an extra layer of padding which prevents quite a bit of wind from entering the bottom of the helmet. This is a neat addition as the majority of the wind noise in a helmet is actually from the bottom.
  • Engine sound can be heard real clear, which is something I really like.

 

Verdict:

The Bell RS1 scores high on the features front like noise suppression, ventilation and anti-fogging abilities. That being said, the overall quality is disappointing, considering the not-so-low price point.

 

Purchase:

The Bell RS1 can be purchased from Revzilla at US$399.

The Bell RS1 can also be purchased from Amazon.

 

Image Gallery:

Do go through each image for better visual insights into the helmet.

Pros

  • Excellent noise suppression
  • Good ventilation
  • Effective anti-fog coating

Cons

  • Overall quality disappointing
  • Padding does not absorb sweat well
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Suraj Patil

Founder/Editor-in-Chief at Moto Gear Advisor
A techie on weekdays, Suraj makes a Ninja-shift to being a hardcore rider on weekends and administrator of Moto Gear Advisor at night.

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