2016 Bell Race Star Review

Staci Wilt tries out Bell's top-notch helmet

Head protection is at the top of my priority list when riding a motorcycle. I might ride in questionable items such as shorts and tube socks, but it's rare you'll see me out and about without a helmet on, much less a full face. While I was living in Arizona, my roommate graciously let me test out her Bell Star Carbon, the predecessor of the Race Star. I was immediately hooked and after riding around Phoenix for a few days with it, I was sold. Unfortunately for me, the 2016 model release was on back order and I had to join the wait list.

Finally, around mid September, I was able to get my hands on the Race Star. In the last month and a half I’ve put about 10,000 miles on my bike and this helmet has lived on my head the entire time.

women bell race star
Staci Wilt in her Bell Race StarGenevieve Davis

During the 2016 COTA MotoGP Races I had my noggin custom fitted for a Star Helmet. After learning and understanding the changes Bell made to the fitment, I wanted to be sure I got the right size. For 2016, Bell swapped from a 3-shell to a 5-shell & 6 EPS system. Each size has its own shell, which makes it critical to have your size figured out before ordering online, since most companies don't allow you to return helmets orders.

I had Bell look up my fitment scan in their computers and according to their records I was a Medium. What? No way. I’ve never been close to wearing a medium in my life. Plus, the previous Star Carbon model I tried on that fit me oh-so-perfectly was an XS. So here I go, off to Hobby Lobby to borrow a measuring tape to have my head measured. Sure enough, Bell’s records were right. My head measured in right at 22 1/4″ which is the lower end of a Medium. Being paranoid about the helmet breaking in too much and fitting loose after the break-in period, I ordered a Small.

There’s an added top pad which velcros to the roof of the helmet. Personally, I like my helmet to sit a little lower on my head, so I took mine out. However for others, this might be an added bonus.

Staci Wilt
Rocking the Bell Race Star on her custom Sportster out at Harley-Davidson WorldGenevieve Davis

If there's anything I can say about the quality of the padding, it's that it definitely doesn't lose its form for a while–on top of being extremely comfy and soft compared to lower end helmets I've worn. It took a solid 2,000 miles for this helmet to finally form to the shape of my head. I would have been safe with a Medium after all, however since I prefer my helmets to be extra snug post-break-in period, I don't regret ordering a Small. Just a fair warning–as with any extra snug helmet, you'll probably get a headache after a while if you're on a road trip. Luckily, my helmet fits like a glove now and headaches are non existent. But for those first 2,000 miles…ooff. Snug as bug.

If the pads break in too much, or you need smaller or larger ones, Bell does offer different sizes, and are a snap to switch out. The cheek pads are magnetized and come out with a slight pull. Being a girl, I get makeup all over mine. So it’s convenient to be able to pull them and wash them and have them sit back in the helmet easily.

Bell helmet scan
Having her head scanned by Bell to ensure a perfect fitGenevieve Davis

I've heard a few people complain that the new Star Model is still heavier than some of it's competitors. My Small is extremely lightweight and I can't even begin to complain about it hurting my head from wind drag or weight issues–as in I can't recall a single time either has occurred. This is easily the most aerodynamic helmet I've ever worn. I've already done an iron butt ride (1,000 miles in under 24 hours) with this helmet on and have had zero issues on the long haul.

The ventilation system on these lids is superb. With or without a fairing, I’ve gotten plenty of airflow through my helmet to keep me cool in the 90+ degree desert temps. And on the other end, the option to close and add the optional vent cover (which comes standard in the helmet) during cold weather months keeps me a little more toasty during the chilly temps. I’ve had zero issues with my helmet fogging up while I ride, which is another pro.

Bell race star
On the road in the Bell Race StarGenevieve Davis

For me, personally, this helmet is quiet. However, I've had a few people voice that they think its a bit noisy. I listen to music while I ride, and with headphones in I have zero clue whats going on in the world outside my helmet. Its me, the road, and Taylor Swift's 1989 album blasting at 90mph. Even without headphones in, I feel that the Race Star has an appropriate amount of noise-cancellation to still hear your bike and focus on the road. Maybe I have extremely selective hearing, or maybe I don't get annoyed easily by the ability to hear the world around me when I choose to.

VISIBILITY: The new "Panovision" shield design is intended to increase the riders' field of vision. I've had zero issues finding people in my blind spots and checking for fellow riding buddies or cars out of the corner of my eye.

3K Carbon Shell
Eyewear Compatible
Flex Impact Liner
Magnefusion Removable Magnetic Cheekpads
Raceview Orientation
Virus Cool Jade Power mesh Liner
WEIGHT: 1500 Grams
ECE 22.05
Snell M201

Bell Powersports has done it again! I'm completely sold on the Star Series, and have absolutely zero negative things to say about it. There's been zero issues with the quality and build of the helmet, and zero issues performance-wise.

10/10 I would recommend this to a friend, family, or foe.