WHAT IS IT? The Bell Moto- 9 Flex has stepped up to
the plate with concussion-protection numbers comparable
to the safety standards of the popular 6D helmet.
WHAT’S IT COST? $649.95.
CONTACT? www.bellhelmets.com or your local dealer.
WHAT STANDS OUT? Here’s a list of things that stand
out with the Bell Moto- 9 Flex helmet.
(1) Distinction. How can you tell the Moto- 9 Flex
and the original Moto- 9 apart? You can’t, unless you
look inside. On the outside, they are identical. From a
marketing perspective, Bell should have made some
cosmetic changes to differentiate the Flex from the
standard Moto- 9. It is human nature to want to flaunt
your upscale purchases, which was why Hummers were
so ostentatious during the boom decade. When people
pay a premium for a product, it says something about
their identity and social status. The original Moto- 9 is an
attractive helmet, but the Moto- 9 Flex is $265 more
expensive, so it should scream, “I’m different.”
( 2) Moving target. We want to give Bell a round of
applause for stepping up to the plate, especially since 6D
had hit a home run in terms of helmet safety. Bell invested countless hours and buckets of money into developing
technology that it could call its own. The Moto- 9 Flex’s
system is not a clone of 6D’s ODS or another brand’s
MIPS system. This was important to Bell, because it was
not the first to make the leap in helmet safety. 6D beat
Bell out of the box with the Volvo of motocross helmets.
( 3) Safety. It is next to impossible to refute safety
claims because virtually every helmet can pass the
certification tests or deem the tests they don’t pass
irrelevant. Ultimately, helmet safety comes down to
selecting a certification process (ECE or Snell) and
hanging your hat on those results. Thus, Bell can claim
that it passes Snell 2010, while 6D touts its ECE 22.05
numbers. At the moment, the Bell Flex and 6D ATR-1
are at the head of the class in concussion management.
( 4) Technology. The Bell Flex achieves its test
numbers by combining three densities of foam into its
shell. The liner closest to your head has medium-density
foam (EPP). The middle liner in Bell’s ice-cream-sandwich
design has the softest foam (EPO), and the outer layer
is the firmest (EPS). Additionally, the foam liners are is
segmented into six sections that each offer 5mm of
slippage to help manage rotational movements. In the
most basic terms, the inner liner of the Bell Moto- 9 Flex
is like a three-layer cake that has been sliced into six
( 5) Comfort. The washable XT- 2 extended-wear
liner is firm enough to keep the helmet in place but
soft enough to be very comfortable. There are different
cheek-pad thicknesses to customize the fit.
( 6) Features. The Flex keeps the features that we
loved so much on the Moto-9: magnetic cheek pads,
flexible flying-bridge visor, quick-flip visor screws and
excellent ventilation (thanks to the segments).
WHAT’S THE SQUAWK? No complaints.
The Bell Flex rose to the bar that was set by
BELL MOTO- 9 FLEX HELMET
6D—and did it at a price that is $100 cheaper.
MXA TEAM TESTED