There are only a limited number of motorbike helmet brands that are known for their quality and are a common sight in many races. Bell is one such brand that has a strong following in flagship races especially the F1. The U.S’s top helmet brand manufactures various kinds of helmets but it is its Custom 500 series that enjoys the highest number of sales in the U.S. The best-selling series has received several upgrades over the years and the Cruisier 2020 model is one of its latest variants.
Before this test ride I had never tried a fully open face helmet but with my sunglasses and face covering it felt just the same as wearing my modular helmet. It’s been almost a month since I have been using this helmet and jotted below is my experience of the Custom 500’s Cruisier.
The great thing about the Custom 500 is its availability in up to five different shell sizes. I love the chequered design on this helmet. The fiberglass composite shell keeps the overall weight quite light which is a great feature for any helmet especially an open face helmet that’s going to be used on longer journeys. Furthermore, there’s a wide range of graphic schemes available, but the one I have has a unique checkmate design complemented by golden & red lines. For me, this is the perfect design since it is neither bland nor overdone and looks quite contemporary unlike many open face helmets commonly used by cruiser riders.
Bell’s Cruisier also fares well when it comes to its interior upholstery’s aesthetics and comfort. The perforated quilted micro suede liner offers ample cushioning and at the same time forms a perfect wind barrier. The wind whistle is nicely damped at motorway speeds and the perforations in the liner does a great job at venting all the heat despite the fact there are no vents on the outer shell. Bell has also given due attention to smaller details such as the pull tab and the goggle strap, both of which are wrapped in real leather which, as a whole, enhance the overall quality feel of the helmet.
The Cruisier 2020 version just like any other model of Custom 500 is DOT ECE certified which is one reason why Bell’s open face helmet made a late entry in the EU. Moreover, the helmet is compatible with dozens of shields & visors, though, I for one believe that an open face helmet is best utilized without a shield or a visor, but in the end, it is up to everyone’s personal choice. Last but certainly not the least, is the free inclusion of a retro leather bag that will be perfect for covering your iconic Bell helmet in case the weather take a turn for the worse.
Helmet worn in test kindly supplied by Bell Helmets UK