Bell SRT helmet: a fiberglass all rounder with sportsbike-ready shield
Bell helmets are a little unusual. Unlike every helmet maker we can think of, from time to time they’ve made a full face helmet, and then they’ve decided to make a modular version of exactly the same helmet.
Which is not to say they’re doing anything wrong. In fact, it makes total sense: it saves development costs and gives riders the option of buying a helmet in a couple of different configurations.
They’ve done it before with the Revolver helmet to make the Revolver Evo. And they’ve now done it with the SRT to make the SRT Modular.
Thing is, Bell are starting to phase out the SRT full face, while the SRT modular is the new kid on the block. So we’ll focus on the flip-front version here – but you can read about the differences between the SRT full face and modular below too.
- All-rounder fiberglass helmet
- Modular and full face versions
- Drop down sun visor (modular only)
- DOT (US) and ECE (Europe) certified
- Wide/tall shield
- Sizes XS-XXXL (XXL Europe)
- Speaker pockets
- Glasses groove
- 5 year warranty
- Expect to pay around $300 when released
Differences between the SRT Full Face and Modular?
The SRT full face is quite a bit more of a budget helmet than the modular – or at least it’s available at a much lower price point.
But there’s lots more.
The full face only has a partially removable interior lining. And it’s made in three shell sizes, not two. And it doesn’t have a drop down sun visor like the modular.
The full face SRT is Snell certified too, which should give you a bit of peace of mind that it’ll give you decent protection; but as we mentioned, it looks like it’s being phased out very soon. That means there are a load of good deals out there at the moment, but obviously it means soon you’ll just have the option of one – the SRT modular.
It’s often tricky to work out how much protection a particular helmet will give.
The Bell SRT has a fiberglass shell. Fiberglass usually makes for lighter, stronger helmet shells – and they’re more likely to be found on slightly more costly helmets; or at least helmets that are pricier than most polycarbonate helmets.
And from our research*, they tend to score overall slightly higher when safety tested than polycarbonate helmets – but slightly lower than composite or carbon helmets (*SHARP testing data).
The SRT modular hasn’t been safety tested by an independent testing organisation yet (the old SRT full face was Snell certified). So there’s not much information we can turn to that’ll give us a definite answer, except for the fact it’s both ECE and DOT certified.
But if we look at how well Bell helmets have performed over the years, that might give us a pointer for how safe the SRT might be.
They were all full face helmets though and there’s only been one flip-up Bell helmet tested so far and that’s the ancient Bell M10. SHARP is the only testing organisation that publishes how often a chin guard comes unlocked for flip-up helmets during testing (obviously, if it comes unlocked in an accident, that’s A VERY BAD THING!) and the old M10 scored 90%, which is actually a pretty good score compared to lots of other modulars.
Other safety features?
That large panovision shield (width and height) gives more vision all-round (see shield section below for more info). It’s made in two shell sizes which ain’t many at this price point (read why here). And of course a drop down sun visor is well worth having to stop you squinting in the sun – especially when the sun’s low.
And of course, Bell are our No.2 safest helmet brand (2018).
All of which is a very long-winded way of saying we’d expect the SRT flip-front to give a decent level of protection in an accident.
All we’d say here is that modulars are notoriously noisy.
We’ll have to wait for our full review before we’ll know more about the SRT modular, but suffice to say if you’re looking for a really quiet helmet, either buy a modular and wear the most effective ear plugs you can, or buy a full face (especially one of these quietest helmets).
There’s a couple of vents in the chin guard to pass air to the chin area and up onto the back of the shield.
Way up top, there’s also a single central vent that’ll pass air through onto your crown. Helmets with sun visors have to push the top vent quite a way back because the sun visor sits just where you want to have ventilation channels when it’s retracted.
There’s a couple of exhaust vents at the back of the helmet, but because the crown vent is so far back, we’d be surprised if the ventilation was anything more than adequate on the SRT.
But we’ll have to wait until it’s been out a while before we’ll know what owners and riders reckon to the ventilation.
There’s quite a lot going on with the shield on the SRT modular.
First up, it shares a shield with a few other helmets in the range – notably the Bell Stars. It’s what Bell calls a panovision shield, meaning that it’s wide and tall to give you good all-round vision.
It goes without saying that’s important from a safety perspective – peripheral vision so you can spot stuff coming up alongside/behind that bit easier, and tall frontal vision for when you’re getting a move on with your head down, closer to the tank.
A big shield also makes for a helmet that’s easier to live with and for a more fun riding experience.
The panovision shield on the SRT is also class one optically correct, so you shouldn’t get any distortion. And it also features Bell’s quick-release shield system that owners rate as very good and means you can swap over your shield in the blink of an eye – okay a few blinks – but it is quick and easy to use.
What’s not so great is the lack of anti-fog on the SRT, and the fact there’s no Pinlock in the box – which is a real omission because a quality anti-fog system is a must for lots of us!
There is a panovision pinlock-ready shield available for the rest of the Bell Stars that should be compatible with the SRT, but the last time we looked that was over $100 (yep, you read that right!) so probably won’t be a viable option for most folks on a tighter budget.
As always, if you want a helmet that’s either Pinlock-ready or comes with a Pinlock in the box (the best solution we know of to stop your shield steaming up) check out our Pinlock Helmets section.
Unlike the full face version of the SRT, there’s a drop down sun visor integral to the SRT modular. We find that’s a must for daily riding and touring so that’s a definite thumbs up for the SRT flip-front.
It’s operated from a slider on the bottom left hand edge of the helmet (see white helmet photo above). We find that’s the best place to locate a slider as it’s easiest to find and use there. The only issue is you might find it limits your use of a bluetooth as it’s pretty well exactly where you’d want to stick on a communicator – something worth bearing in mind if you ride with a comms unit attached.
Comfort and Sizing
The SRT modular is made in two helmet shell sizes but available in internal fitment sizes XS-XXXL.
Inside, the lining is fully removable and washable and it’s antibacterial treated and moisture wicking.
There’s also grooves to accommodate glasses stems and speaker pockets in there for bluetooth speakers meaning it’s bluetooth communicator-ready.
Looks & Graphics
There’s three graphical options available at the time of writing. If you’re after a solid plain color, there’s a gloss white, gloss black and matt black available. They’ve also launched the Predator graphics, available in Blackout (classy grey version) as well as copper, yellow hi viz and black white. There’s also a single Hart Luck design.
Please click below to visit our recommended retailers where you’ll find the latest available designs and deals.
If you’re looking for a modular helmet from a maker who knows how to build quality helmets and that’s been in the business for eons (OK since 1954 – but that’s pretty much the same thing), then the Bell SRT modular is well worth checking out.
OK there are some great modulars available for much less money and which offer more features (and we’ve included a couple of those in our Alternatives section below), but the Bell SRT looks a class act. And with the flexibility to work as your daily commuter lid as well as on your sportsbike; and with all the main features you’ll want on a modular (except a Pinlock) it looks like a decent buy.
Crash Helmet Buying GuidesFor (hopefully!) other useful information to help you when buying your next helmet, check our various guides - or have a look at our top helmet lists where we've got the top 10 rated helmets overall and best budget/safest/full face/flip-up helmets.
Good Alternatives to the Bell SRT?
Of course, you’ll want to check out lots of helmets before you take the plunge – and there’s some great all-rounder modular helmets out there (you can check out our top 10 modulars here or view all our modular helmet reviews here).
First up, there’s the SHARP 4 star safety rated HJC IS Max II. It’s been around for years but that’s because it’s great value, has a sun visor, is comfortable and well ventilated and it has a Pinlock-ready shield (but it’s not in the box).
The 4 star safety rated Shark Evo-One II is Pinlock ready too. Owners say it’s easy to live with too and has great ventilation – but it’s a smidge pricier than the Bell.
At about half the price though, is the 4 star safety rated AGV Numo Evo. Sun visor, comfortable: it’s a quality helmet (though like most modulars, it’s pretty noisy).