Bell Race Star Flex DLX Helmet Review
**I’d like to start off by saying that Bell Powersports has in no way shape or form sponsored this post. These words and opinions are my own. This review has been formed by wearing the Bell Race Star over the last 5 years or 50,000+ miles through multiple road and weather conditions**
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 backorder and I had to join the wait list.
Finally, around mid September of 2016, I was able to get my hands on the redesigned Bell 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. (Edit as of January 9, 2021: I’ve since updated this post. I’ve lost count, but as of April 2019, I’d say i have at least 30,000 miles on this helmet)
Bell Race Star Fitment
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.
Breaking in the Race Star
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…oof. 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.
Weight & Aerodynamics
I’ve heard a few people complain that the new Bell Race Star is still heavier than some of its competitors. My Small is extremely lightweight (1547 grams) and I can’t even begin to complain about it hurting my head from wind drag or weight issues. In other words, 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.
Is the Bell Race Star Noisy?
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 Bell 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.
New for 2020: The Bell Race Star now has Speaker Pockets
In 2020, I upgraded to a new Race Star Helmet and was stoked to find that they had added speaker pockets to the EPS System. This made my Sena Bluetooth 50R speakers fit perfectly in the helmet. Pockets on my pants, pockets on my jackets, pocket in my helmet. Perhaps I’m a pocket person? Either way, this was a great upgrade to an already amazing helmet.
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.
Upgraded: ProTint Panovision Shield
Since this helmet’s release in 2016, I’ve been able to test out Bell’s new ProTint Photochromatic shield. You may remember it as the Transitions shield in the past. These are essentially the same thing, but they are now called ProTint. I absolutely love mine.
The ProTint shield adapts to changing light conditions. UV Rays react with the shield and darkens during sunny days, and at night, the shield stays clear. The shield doesn’t go from clear to darkly shaded, either. If it’s cloudy out, you’ll still be able to see perfectly fine. This allows you to see perfectly without needing to change the shield out when the sun goes down.
New for 2020, the ProTint shield is no longer an accessory for the Bell Race Star. Fresh out of the box, your Race Star will come equipped with one of these highly reviewed Panovision shields, without a hike in the price tag. Win, win!
- 3K Carbon Shell
- Eyewear Compatible
- Speaker Pockets (For 2020 and newer models)
- Flex Impact Liner
- Magnefusion™ Removable Magnetic Cheekpads
- Raceview Orientation
- Virus Cool Jade Power mesh Liner
- ECE 22.05
- Snell M201
Now, in 2021, the Race Star is still my favorite helmet.
Five years later, I still love my Race Star just as much as I did when I originally wrote this blog in 2016. 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.