Some riders really prefer the vintage look, and it can be tricky to achieve when it comes to motorcycle helmets. Modern safety regulations mean that most helmets have to conform to certain standards, and apart from the occasional cool decal, it can be difficult to find a suitably-retro helmet.
Long-time riders will certainly be familiar with Bell, which claims to have invented the first fiberglass helmet. The model was reportedly designed by Roy Richter in 1954 and dubbed the “500.” It proved to be a popular choice with motorsports enthusiasts, and Bell has been a formidable player in the motorcycle helmet industry ever since.
Now, to honor that original creation, the company has released the new “Custom 500.” The simple styling of the helmet pays homage to the original Richter design, although modern riders can outfit it with a number of limited edition graphics and colors on the side.
Fortunately, riders won’t be gypped on safety features, as the helmet is DOT-compliant and features a specifically contoured EPS foam layer in addition to the custom fiberglass design. The company’s website advises riders not to think of it as a “retro” helmet but as the “original” in modern form.
The basic version of the Custom 500 retails for $100, although custom graphics and colors add on to the price.