The search for the right retro helmet generally boils down to Bell Bullitt and Biltwell Gringo. These are the two most common styles for riders who want a race helmet. Both blend new safety principles with the old school look of retro, so choosing one is a little bit challenging. Also, in the USA, the two models have the highest standard and comfort. Keep reading and hear a little more about these two, so you can find out what will be the perfect fit for your next adventure.
Comparing Design, Features, and Construction
Bell Bullitt Helmet
Design and Shape
Bullitt is available in many colors and formats, the two most common being glossy and matte black. Although it’s a traditional choice, black makes the helmet look so more retro-like when paired with real leather color. It’s oval, so it’s only fit whether your head is built like that or the like. Maybe the oval form of the head doesn’t sit too well.
Bullitt is not the finest of aerodynamics since you can only tell from looking at it. When driving at high speeds, the circular form is pushed against the wind at times. As a result, when you are around 75mph, you will notice the winding that pulls from below.
Construction and Materials
This is a complete helmet inspired by the original iteration, the first-ever. It protects the whole of your head, face, and jaw. The transparent visor also covers your eyes, ensuring that no exposed space is left. Bullitt has a composite shell of carbon fiber which weighs a weight of about 3.5 pounds.
Within, the helmet has EPS foaming and authentic leather to ensure maximum comfort on the way. The padding can be removed at any moment; thus, you can wash it. The cheek pads have even been contoured to fit into your face form. The chin strap is made from leather and is fully padded. The helmet is intended for safety. The brace is closed with a D-ring to make it secure. The lining and the strap are also anti-bacterial, making them ideal for those who sweat a lot.
Bullitt is not fogging, and the built-in ventilation ensures a constant temperature. The air flows into it with five metal mesh and exhaust vents. There’s a hole in the kidney region that keeps you from fogging as near as possible to the body. This is also closed so that the passing air can be controlled. The whole ventilation system functions well and makes the helmet ideal for both high and low temperatures.
This is one of the Helmets with the largest range of view. It comes with a transparent shield and other separately sold colors. The viewfinder has three positions, up, down, and up. The bubble and the flat are two styles. The apartment is perfect for optical distortion elimination when the bubble one can be ventilated. It seems like both of them are more vintage. It is closed with the Magnefusion Shield Closure System of Bell, which is different from any other. It uses magnets, and you can need to get used to it for a while. But you’re still going to enjoy it once you do.
Biltwell Gringo ECE Helmet
Design and shape
The Biltwell Gringo ECE Helmet has a slender profile shell in the old school style. Most people buy Biltwell Gringo because they look like it. This is why Biltwell has created so many old-school and subdued colors which will suit your Triumph or HD in older schools. It is not the common oval shape, but rather a slight rounder helmet fit, so it is fairly neutral, built to fit most heads. Gringo scale is about right, so simply measure the head and place the correct size.
Comfort and material
The ECE Gringo Helmet features more EPS internal foam, EPS foam in the bar, and a BioFoam closed cell with extra impact shielding in the front section of the bar. Now there is space for installing speakers in the ear region so that when you travel, you can bring your music or buddies with you. The Gringo ECE helmet has a finely crafted, diamond-stitched adjustable liner that meets today’s riders’ needs, a gauntlet that takes up almost any kind of goggle you choose to wear, and five snaps that fit with every three-snack universal shield, Biltwells own bubble shield or their 5-snap Blast shield.
There are just two drainage gaps in the Gringo. It’s one large hole in the front and the other huge hole in the head. There are null winds besides that. What couldn’t be a challenge if you wear the Gringo town for a trip or if you carry it without a viewfinder and leave the air in a bunch. And the big thing is that most of you who buy the Gringo do so because you want to return to the basics and forgive the Gringo little concerns like low ventilation.
A motorcycle helmet also finishes with a much bigger helmet shell to receive the ECE certification. BILTWELL has continued to retain the helmet shell dimensions of the gringo so much that it is physically difficult to see a gap in direct contrast with the predecessor. Just like the Gringos was available in two sizes (XS-M/L-XXL).
The weight rose by about 160g (Gringo S). The height of the facet opening is the same, and the visor of the latest ECE model is also approved by Gringo S. The edges are stronger and cleaner and have +50 UV protection, as with the previous one. The new viewfinder is scratch-resistant and fog-resistant, in addition to UV protection. As with the ancestor, the visor system functions, and all four settings are visible.
Comparing Safety Certifications
Bell Bullitt Helmet
The Bell Bullitt has been assessed for protection by the SHARP security rating unit of the UK Government and has scored a creditable three-star rating from a maximum of 5. The Economic Commission for Europe safety test approved in 47 nations, including the UK, is accredited in the US as a DOT (Department of Transport) standard and also an EU ECE standard. Both the standards entail casting the helmet on a spherical and smooth surface anvil from a set height, obviously not what you’re going to do with it, but saving dummies from crashing tests.
Due to the excellent track record of Bell for making extremely secure helmets, we expect Bullitt to do very well (nearly every SHARP checked Helmet has scored a maximum of five/5 Stars). With its huge nod for retrospect, there was certainly doubt about its anticipated crash results. But it was more put to bed with a 3-star ranking.
Biltwell Gringo ECE Helmet
Gringo’s shield is composed of ABS, a similar substance in helmets, and is a thermoplastic material. DOT approved for road use in the US but not for lawful road use in the European Union. It is not ECE certified. And no helmet was independently tested by Snell or SHARP. There is also no word on the safety offered by Gringo in an accident beyond its construction to pass DOT testing.
There is, however, an EPS (extended polystyrene shock absorbent liner) and an adequate two-dimensional ring fastener to hold the head securely attached. The S edition also comes with a permanent viewfinder, which would be a positive safety feature. Indeed, certain owners of the standard Gringo (without a viewing device) feel that without the visor, you have only so much wind blast – if you ride with or without sunglasses.
Which One Should I Buy?
It’s not as straightforward to choose one, mostly because they both have different things to say. Think carefully of all the reasons and what is important for you. The secret is the little information that helps riders to choose between the two common options.
You might like Bullitt if you care about safety requirements. This is scored by DOT, but as we said earlier, the European Safety Rating of ECE 22.05 is also applicable. You even open your face to the mouth from the forehead. This makes recognition of you easy for strangers but also allows you a clearer picture of your surroundings. Although both models look a little retro, the one is polished further. The brand’s first helmet is a new approach, combining both the most modern and the most classic styles.
If comfort comes first, you can like a Gringo. This one is more convenient than its rival and has superior padding. The polished Lycra lining and the padding on open cells provide both softness and protection for long-distance rides. Gringo protects your face further so that you are exposed to only your front and region above your nose. Some people regard this as safer, as it also protects their mouth and chin. This one’s sole form makes it look old school. This one matches the theme well if you have a vintage-like motorcycle.