Star helmet with Day of the Dead (MSRP $599.95) graphics. Included is a padded, plush-line
Bell Star Helmet
Since Bell introduced the Star model of full-face helmets a couple of years ago, this lid has been one of our favorites. It's about as comfortable a helmet as anyone could want right out of the box, with a really plush and soft interior. Perhaps the best feature (aside from the looks) of the helmet is the venting. High-tech university research went into the Velocity Flow Ventilation system that combines advanced flow dynamics modeling, wind tunnel testing, and professional rider trials.
The fit and finish on the Star is second to none. The graphics look custom, they are so ni
This is the coolest (temperature-wise) full face we have ever tested. You can feel the cool air flowing over your head while riding. The ventilation can be altered with a combination of adjustable vents on the brow and mouth guard. Its Kevlar/carbon fiber/fiberglass shell is light as well as strong. The shield system makes changing shields from clear to smoked fast and tool-less. Bell even thought up a new way to keep the strap from flapping around: it's magnetic instead of a cumbersome clip.
Rear exhaust vents really get the hot air out of the helmet. The wing on the top adds to t
On the safety side, the new Star meets the strict Snell 2010 (and DOT) certification requirements. The biggest change to the new Snell cert is making different sized shell shapes for different sized helmets. In the past a "small" helmet may have had a shell made for a "large" helmet but with extra padding inside to make up the difference. The new requirements make the helmets safer for the user and take into account that a small head weighs less than a large head. This is obviously a very technical subject, but in a nutshell the Snell 2010 standard requires a lot of testing and safety built into the helmet.
For more information, log on to or call (800) 456-2355 to find a dealer near you.
Look for Big Ear at a rally near you.
Big Ear Protection
Constant loud noises, such as riding a motorcycle, will deteriorate our hearing over time. It's not necessarily the exhaust sounds we have to worry about; wind noise can wreak havoc on our auditory system. By the time we notice there may be a problem, it's often too late and there is almost nothing that can be done once our hearing has been compromised. The best bet is to protect our hearing before the damage is done.
While on the road this spring we ran into our old friend, Ann Marie, who takes hearing loss seriously. She works with Big Ear Inc., a company that is dedicated to protecting our precious hearing through its products as well as education. We got a chance to meet up with Glenn Hood, the founder and CEO of Big Ear. We explained how our squishy, store-bought ear plugs just weren't cutting it; the plugs don't fit well, break down over time, and can be uncomfortable under a helmet.
The first step was to put a barrier (foam) in the ear to prevent the molding material
Glenn understood and suggested we try a set of custom-made earplugs for our ride back to L.A. Within the hour we were all set up with custom-fitted earplugs. Big Ear also makes custom-fit stereo earplugs that can be used in a variety of situations from shooting activities, to industrial, to motorcycling. We got fitted for a set of Stereo Ear Plugs as well. About 10 days later they arrived in the mail.
We really wished we had gotten some of these earplugs sooner. Wow! What a difference. No more ringing ears at the end of a ride. The Stereo Ear Plugs sound amazing and perfect for either using on your non-audio equipped bike or just lounging around the pool. Follow along as we take you through the basic steps of making custom stereo earplugs, the Big Ear way.
Call (866) 661-2041 or log on to bigearinc.com for more information.
Glenn gently pushed the barrier into Toph's ear. The string is for easy removal later
Glenn then injected the molding material into each ear. In about 10 minutes the silic
There are a variety of colors to choose from for the ear plugs (BE-SP, Ear Plugs $84.
Here are the custom fit Big Ear BE-1C Stereo Ear Plugs ($349.95). The flat outside bl
A view of how low-profile the Stereo Ear Plugs are. They are very comfortable to wear
Likewise, the Ear Plugs are comfortable and easy to use. We wouldn't leave home again