Good fit and finish for the spinach
A SNEAK PEEK OF THE ROLAND SANDS Designs “Apocalypse” graphic was all the motivation we needed to pick up this new Bell Vortex. Actual on-head performance of this Snell 2010-approved full-face helmet during our recent Open-class sportbike shootout (“Alternative Energy,” July) has kept it in place on our craniums.
Fancy graphics aside, there’s a lot going on here. For example, the ClickRelease shield mechanism makes visor swaps a snap. Shields are coated to prevent fogging, scratching and protect the wearer from harmful ultraviolet rays, by the way. The contoured cheek pads are removable for washing, as is the remainder of the antibacterial/ antimicrobial interior.
After breaking a sweat flogging bikes and logging laps at Miller Motorsports Park in Tooele, Utah, Associate Editor Mark Cernicky discovered that the Vortex’s three-opening, top-of-helmet
Velocity Flow Ventilation lacks the full, head-in-the-breeze flow of its pricier brother, the Star. The closable, glove-
friendly design is fine for a sporting street ride but left us wanting more air when wrestling literbikes around a racetrack. The padded full-wrap neck collar—a feature not found on the Star—does an admirable job of reducing wind noise.
Even more admirable is the Vortex’s price, which starts at $169.95 (add $20 for the Apocalypse and other graphics). Who says a comfortable, feature-filled and safe helmet has to cost an arm and a leg?
DETAILS Bell Powersports 5550 Scotts Valley Dr. Scotts Valley, CA 95066 800/456-2355 www.bellpowersports.com Price.. $189.95 A Magnetic chinstrap keeper is a snap A Space in ear ports for speakers A Shaped to fit rounder heads, as opposed to the "long oval" Star `~owns `V Hot head V 3Mode Shield adjustment of Star would be nice VA bit heavy