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Old 05-13-2016, 03:31 AM   #1
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Review Bell Moto9 Flex 49999

Bells new motocross helmet includes a comfy new internal structure designed to dissipate impact forces

THE carbon-fibre visible on the Moto-9 Flex is a good indication that this is Bell’s top-of-the-range off-road helmet, and while it lends additional claimed protection, I don’t think the awesome graphics do much to make it safer.

The words ‘carbon’ and ‘fibre’ are usually linked to a drop in weight, but the Moto-9 Flex weighs the same as the Moto-9 it replaces.

This helmet features Bell’s ‘Flex’ technology – a protection system that’s made up of a three-layer impact liner designed to manage energy transfer so impact forces are limited from reaching your head.

The core protection is made up using three layers designed to absorb impacts in different ways according to speed and features a mix of low-density polymer (called Expanded Polyolefin), expandable polypropylene and expanded polystyrene.

Alongside the layered structure is a rotational energy management system, intended to protect the brain from becoming injured from knocking against the inside of the skull, so when you take an impact in this helmet, there is a subtle movement between the inner and other layers which is designed to dissipate energy from an impact. It’s technology that will soon be appearing in Bell’s road helmets and this video explains it a bit more.

So while all that stuff is nice to have, the big question is whether it’s comfortable and thanks to the cheek pads sitting against my face in just the right place, it is.

The layered construction has another advantage it sets the helmet up nicely for an adaptive fit. When you pull the helmet on the segmented construction conforms to the shape of your head making the helmet very comfortable.

There’s more cleverness with the cheek pads thanks to the ‘eject system’, which will allow a medical team to gently and safely remove the helmet after you are injured; because the pads are held in with magnets, they can be removed prior to the shell being taken off, so reducing the risk of neck injury.

I always get hot and sweaty riding off-road and having well ventilated helmet is a great advantage. This lid features 18 vents in total and they work to create the kind of airflow I need to cool my sweaty face down. The layered internal system also helps with airflow because the air is able to move between the layers to contribute to the cooling effect.

The removable interior is made of X-static XT2 fibre, which is claimed to inhibit bacterial growth so it means the interior shouldn’t get stinky.

The Moto-9 Flex has an angular aggressive profile, which isn't too surprising considering the development. It’s comfortable at speed and thanks to the way the air flows over the shell, I didn’t feel the drag pulling my head back as much as I have experienced on other MX/enduro helmets. It was refreshingly free from buffeting as well.

Goggles sit well and fit easily in the helmet.

Fastening is taken care of with a D-ring fastener and the excess strap secures with a nice magnetic tab. The sun peak has is easy to flip up and down with fasteners that feel good quality.

The Moto-9 Flex is expensive compared to other high-end MX helmets, and it’s more expensive than the model it replaces, although for that extra outlay you get a new safety system. The helmet comes with a stylish helmet bag and the fact it comes with a five-year warranty should mean that if anything goes wrong with it, Bell should sort it out.

Tested: Bello Moto-9 Flex

Price: £499.99

Conact: Bell Helmets
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