Bell M1 Review: Crash Helmets for Sale. For other motorbike helmet reviews click the links in the menu above.
Summary: Bell’s entry-level motorcycle crash helmet is rated top for safety, has good finish and is light. Noise levels are good and it comes with an anti-fog visor. No major problems reported and it’s good value for money. A recommended buy in our crash helmets for sale section.
- 5 Star SHARP safety rated (maximum score)
- Weight 1.35Kg (light)
- ACU Gold Star (for track use)
- Double-D Ring fastening
- Typical price about £145 (though now discontinued)
Even though it seems Bell helmets have always been around, it seems they’re not that popular in the UK. Which is surprising, because they’ve been at the cutting-edge of motorycle crash helmet design for a long time – since 1954 in fact. And most of their crash helmets score the maximum 5 out of 5 SHARP safety rating! So let’s take a look at one of those 5 star rated helmets, the entry-level crash helmet in Bell’s range – the Bell M1.
The Bell M1 comes in two shell sizes which is OK as those two outer shells will cover the 6 available sizes (XS-XXL) reasonably well – meaning internal padding won’t need to be too thick or thin to cover the extremes of sizes (click the link to find out more). The Bell Europe website states it’s constructed of composite fibre which isn’t particularly descriptive as both fibreglass and carbon fibre are composites. However, with a 5 star rating, you can be sure it’ll do its job well. It’s also the lightest full faced helmet we’ve seen on this site weighing in at 1.35 kilos which is exceptional.
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The shell has also been wind tunnel tested to be slippery and reduce buffeting – something users agree is noticeably better than many other helmets – and it’s pretty quiet too. What’s slightly less good is the paint finish. Of course we’re used to exceptional standards in higher priced helmets (and let’s not forget this is Bell’s entry-level helmet) but the lacquer on some patterned helmets have been reported to be a bit ripply.
However, and certainly for the price, build quality and finish (other than the lacquer) is generally reported as good (one user said it was better than the Aria’s and Shoei’s he’d had!).
No complaints about comfort either – though a couple of guys with glasses said they found it difficult to get them to fit. The M1 has both removable cheek pads and liner so keeping things stink free should be pretty easy (if you want to know the best ways to clean the inside or outside of your lid, please click the links). Of course, as with any crash helmet, it’s important to get the right fit – but if you do, the M1 is a nice place to be and well designed for riders – with one rider commenting that it gives great vision looking up when you’re cranked over and driving out of a bend.
Something else that’s commonly agreed is good is ventilation. It’s got the usual chin and forehead vents which do a pretty good job, though the chin vents can be fiddly to operate and a couple of guys mentioned it was difficult to get it to close fully. Having said that, it’s reported the design of the vents and chin guard, coupled with the anti-fog visor, mean it’s hard to get it to fog up, even in low temperatures.
However, there are some negative comments about the visor. One guy mentioned a problem with getting the visor to shut properly (it still leaked air a little) and another complained that it doesn’t open far enough – when fully open you can barely see below the bottom edge and it didn’t open far enough for him to get his glasses on. However, for others, it was fine.