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When you want that vintage style, go ahead and throw on that weather checked leather jacket, those broke in boots, but forget about that 30 year old helmet. If you want the same level of protection as that old helmet, you might as well throw a pillow in a salad bowl and strap it to your head. So what’s a rider to do if they want the complete retro look when they hit the road on their bike? Well, now there is hope. Helmet and goggle manufacturers have recognized the demand for vintage and retro styled helmets and have come out with some amazing designs that have all the style of the past, but with the safety advantages of modern helmets. Below is a list of some of the best retro styled motorcycle lids and goggles.
Bell Helmets started the powersport helmet revolution, so it is only fitting that they are putting forth retro-inspired motorcycle helmets. The first Bell helmet was formed out of fiberglass by Bell’s founder, Roy Richter, in 1954. Richter named this helmet the “500.” Helmet technology has come a long way since ’54, but that original design still appeals to many of us. Luckily, Bell recognized the demand for a high quality, retro motorcycle helmet and released the Custom 500 line. These open face helmets pay homage to the original Bell helmet in shape and graphic design, but has all the advantages of modern protective technology.
If you prefer a full face motorcycle helmet, you’re in luck in 2014. Bell will be releasing the Bullitt helmet, which is modeled after the famous Bell Star helmet. The Star was the first full face helmet to hit the market and has been one of the most trusted helmets since. The Bullitt is a top of the line helmet. The fit is amazing and feels amazing, as well. The interior of the Bell Bullitt is lined with premium leather and perforated micro-suede. One major advantage that you will get from the Bullitt over the original, is the ventilation. With the inclusion of a venturi ventilation system, you will stay cool and dry on those hot days. Also, this helmet will be available with the regular, flat shield or with an optional bubble shield. If you don’t want any shield and want to wear goggles or shades, the helmet will come with side pods to hide the shield mounting system. We can’t wait for the Bell Bullitt to hit the shelves in the New Year.
The Bell 500 and the original Bell Star motorcycle helmets were so influential that they were included in the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). When a motorcycle helmet makes it into an art museum, it must be awesome.
The resurgence of the retro helmet can owe a big thank you to Biltwell for being one of the first companies in the new era to focus on retro open face helmets. They are continuing to lead the way with their Bonanza ¾ lids. Biltwell has eliminated the massive-head look with their lower profile molded ABS helmet shell. The Bonanza is incredibly light as well, weighing in at only 2 lbs. 3 oz. for a medium. Whether you want all the flash with the metal flake or to go sleek with the flat colors, the Biltwell Bonanza has you covered. Biltwell also has an immense selection of bubble shields to keep the bugs out of your teeth.
If goggles are more your style, Biltwell has come up with a stripped down approach to Moto goggles. Their product description pretty much says it all, “Simple, well-made goggles engineered to keep stuff out of your eyes.”
If there has been one brand of goggles that has encapsulated the retro vibe, it has to be 100%. No other brand has balanced timeless Moto-styling with premium and modern technology like 100% has done with the Bartstow goggles. They have specifically geared this line of goggles to the vintage, desert racer and café racer crowd. The genuine leather, suede and canvas strap trims give the Barstow goggles immense detail and combined with the enamel-coated metal badges, make for the most aesthetically pleasing goggles available today. 100% has created goggles that completely capture the retro and handcrafted styling that is so popular.
What are your favorite vintage lids and goggs?
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