Bell Moto-9 motocross helmet ($475)
When it comes to motocross riding gear, nothing is more important then choosing the right helmet to protect your precious dome-piece. And with so many options on the market it can be pretty tough for newbies to weed through the garbage to find a winner. But if you do happen to know a thing or two about motocross helmets, you know that Bell has set the standard for quality, protection and design for over 50 years and their latest offering, the Moto-9, has undoubtedly raised the bar of what a motocross helmet should be.
WHAT IT IS:
The Bell Moto-9 helmet is the successor to the Moto 8 and is all-new from the ground up for 2011. Heavily involved since the beginning of the Moto-9's production, Supercross and Motocross champ James Stewart worked closely with Bell to offer invaluable feedback on comfort and design, while Bell took it in their own hands to break new ground in the technology department, making for the most advanced helmet on the market.
"Pretty much every little feature, besides the actual construction of the helmet, I had a big part in developing it," said Stewart. "It took us a long time to get it to where I was stoked with it, but now we got it and that's the Bell Moto-9."
WHY IT RULES:
Groundbreaking safety features on the Moto-9 are aplenty making it the safest helmet motocross helmet in existence. Bell's new magnetic cheek pad system -- the Magnefusion Emergency Release System (MERS) -- allows for easy helmet removal in emergency situations, which is unfortunately an all-too-common occurrence in motocross. Used in conjunction with the Eject Helmet Removal System, which the Bell Moto-9's liner was specifically designed to accommodate, the two features allow paramedics to gently remove the helmet from the rider's head after a major crash, reducing the potential for secondary neck or spine injuries in the most crucial of situations.
The more practical side of the magnetic cheek pads and helmet liner (MERS) allows for easy removal and hand washing of the cheek pads, which is vital due to how nasty they get after each and every ride. The removable liner and pads are made from Bell's patent X-Static, which is a silver-woven antimicrobial and antibacterial material that wicks moisture away from the head and kills off 99.9% of odor causing bacteria. In other words, say goodbye to that funky helmet stank after a long day of riding.
Beyond the many new features on the inside of the helmet, the new shape of the shell -- composed of a super-lightweight interwoven blend of Kevlar, carbon fiber and fiberglass, dubbed the TriMatrix -- is much sleeker, futuristic and race driven then the somewhat bulky Bell helmets of the past.
WHERE TO FIND IT:
As always, we recommend you head to your local motorcycle accessories dealer to purchase the Moto-9, and if they don't happen to have it on their shelves, they can easily special order it for you. If you live in the boonies and don't have an accessible dealer in your area, you can purchase the Moto-9 directly from Bell via their online store. Tell them Stewart sent you ...