First look: the Bell RS-2 Full Face Motorcycle Helmet

Bell’s New RS-2 Full Face Helmet

The Bell RS-2 is the successor to Bell’s successful RS-1 helmet. That means it’s a helmet with a sporting heritage, but one that’s now firmly aimed at all-rounders.

With a fiberglass shell, drop down sun visor and design that’s less aggressive than many full-on sports bike helmets, the Bell RS2 should work for a wide range of bikes and riding styles.

It’s new on the market for 2018, so let’s take a look over what it has to offer.

Looking to buy this Bell helmet?

We recommend Revzilla (PA) for outstanding service and free shipping, and 2 Wheel (CA) for great service, free shipping and returns. Please click any link to drop onto their Bell helmets pages or see here for more info about our recommended stores, including a quick snapshot of their T&Cs.

Of course, the Bell RS-2 will be both DOT certified (for the US) and ECE 22.05 approved (for UK and Europe).

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Note all Bell RS-2s come with a clear visor

But the old RS-1 was also SHARP and Snell approved too. It was Snell M2015 approved and scored four out of five stars in the SHARP test, which is pretty damn good; and since the new RS-2 shares much of the old helmet’s heritage, we hope that the RS2 will score something similar when it’s finally tested.

The RS-2 is made in three different shell sizes and it’s also not too heavy, weighing in around 3.3lbs (1.5Kgs) – which is about bang-on average weight for a full face helmet.

Both these are good for safety (click the link in the header if you want to find out why).

And of course it also has a drop down internal sun visor: again that’s great not only for convenience but for safety too so you don’t get caught out and distracted by a low sun or dazzling.

It doesn’t look like the RS-2 will be the last word in safety (there’s no EQRS for example) – take a look at our safest helmets section to find some that are.

But for the price, it should give a decent level of protection, made by a helmet maker who has over half a century of helmet-crafting know-how (and is our joint top performing helmet-maker at the time of writing).

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Rear view of the RS-2 gloss white – showing x4 rear exhaust vents

Helmet Noise

(more about helmet noise)

There’s no word yet on how noisy he RS-2 is. When we hear, we’ll let you know on this page.

In the meantime, click the link above to read about everything you need to look out for if you’re after buying a quiet helmet.

The Bell RS-2 has a single 2-position chin vent and a twin crown vent; with both crown vents operated by the same central slider.

To the rear, there’s a small spoiler with two exhaust vents underneath, and another couple of vents towards to bottom rear.

The front vents suck air into the helmet, through the helmet shell and into a couple of front-to-back channels inside the EPS shock absorbing lining that’ll channel air into the helmet and onto your scalp – then out of the rear.

It’s a pretty conventional arrangement and first impressions are that it should give a reasonable amount of ventilation and cooling.

If great ventilation’s important to you, check out all our reviews of lids we know have fantastic ventilation.

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Moody matt black solid version of the RS-2

Shield

(more about shields)

The RS-2 will come with a clear shield, though everything from a variety of smoked and tinted shields, all the way to Bell’s excellent transitions photochromic range of shields are available for it too.

Out of the box, it’s a relatively basic shield system that works on a ratchet and with its opening tab to the left hand side (shame it’s not in the middle for easy opening if you’re at stop lights).

It is quick-release though, so you can quickly swap out or clean your shield without needing tools; though it’s not Pinlock anti-fog ready which is a shame.

Other than that, Bell make some decent shields without any known problems, so we’d expect the shield system on the RS-2 to be decent as well.

Unlike the original RS-1, the Bell RS-2 has an integral, drop down sun visor.

There’s not too many details on the sun visor yet, other than it operates by a slider on the left hand side of the helmet by the shield pivot. That’s one of the more convenient places for the slider so you should find it relatively easy to find and use.

And unlike some helmets with sun visors that are spring-loaded, the sun visor on the RS-2 is a simple system – slide it down to drop the visor down, pull back up to raise it.

No fuss and no fiddling (hopefully!).

Inside the Bell RS2, there’s a fully removable and washable lining.

Unlike some of the higher-end Bell helmets, the inside of the RS2 isn’t retained by magnets (what Bell call MagnetFusion) – so you’re gonna have to slum it with the rest of us and use poppers.

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This one’s the RS-2 Tactical in black and red

Having said that, with a bit of a pull, the lining comes out quickly and without fuss.

It also has a pair of sculpted cheek pads to give a decent snug fit.

And it also has Bell’s X-Static XT2 Silver Lining fabric to keep things from becoming too stinky (click the link above for more information about X-Static linings).

There’s also space for ear phones inside the helmet so you should be able to fit a bluetooth communicator in there.

Most Bells are designed to fit medium oval heads, so if that’s your head shape, read our helmet fitting guide, choose the correct helmet size and you should be sorted.

Of course, if you’re looking to buy one online, make sure you use a retailer who offers no-quibble returns in case you find it a bit tight or the wrong internal shape. Hint: all the retailers we refer you onto offer no-quibble returns – and some have free delivery. See info on our recommended retailers here.

Looks & Graphics

There’s a ton of classy graphics launched with the Bell RS-2. That includes a matt and gloss plain solid black and a gloss white.

But it’s some of the more adventurous graphics that are particularly cool (have to say, Bell do do a nice line in particularly classy helmet designs) – that includes the Empire and Tactical designs: you’ll find examples of these up and down the page but all are available in different colors so please click through to our recommended retailers below to check these out and see the latest offers.

Best places to buy this Bell crash helmet?

Please click below to visit the Bell helmets pages at our recommended stores. At the time of writing, it's available in all these stores - and if you buy from any, we get a small sum from the sale at no extra cost to you - a massive THANKS! (it's how we finance the site).

Click above to drop onto their Bell helmets pages or *quick view store T&Cs here.

Bell RS-2 Video

Here’s a quick 2m video showing you around the RS2.

Other stuff – fasteners, audio, glasses, warranty

The RS-2 has a double-d ring fastener – they’re nice and easy to use and safe as houses once you fasten them up tightly.

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The RS-2 Empire in hi viz yellow/blue/red

If you’re looking to add a bluetooth communicator to the RS-2, there’s space inside for speakers and a microphone, and there’s space enough on the outside to stick on the bluetooth unit too.

Inside the helmet, Bell say it’s also been designed to accommodate glasses.

And finally, the Bell RS2 comes with a superb 5 year warranty as standard.

Overall/Summary

The new Bell RS-2 slots neatly into the Bell line-up – sitting somewhere between the lower-cost Bell Qualifier DLX and the Star Range, which are designed for sportsbike riders.

And for the price, you get a whole lotta helmet.

You get a fiberglass shell along with multi-density EPS lining. Combine that with Bell’s excellent reputation for safety (see our safest helmet brands guide) and we reckon there’s no reason to doubt the RS2 will give you anything other than decent protection in an accident.

And with it’s ‘do anything’ design, it should be just as at home on the commute as it is on a touring holiday. All in all – well worth a look.

Crash Helmet Buying Guides

For (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 RS-2?

We’ve gotta mention the Bell RS-2s little brother the Bell Qualifier DLX.

While the standard version dropped a couple of stars in the SHARP helmet test, it comes as standard with a Bell Transitions photochromic shield in the box and has now been joined with a MIPS version, designed to reduce helmet rotation during impact. That makes the Qualifier DLX well worth looking over too.

You should also probably check out the base-level Bell Star. All Bell Stars are M2015 certified by Snell and the entry-level Star also gained maximum 5 stars for safety by SHARP in the UK. It comes in 5 shell sizes for best size/weight/fit ratio too, though it’s more track/sportsbike focused than the RS-2.

Outside of Bell, there’s loads of other brands and helmets you should check out.

If you’re looking to spend as little as possible, then how about the LS2 FF352 Rookie. OK it’s a polycarbonate helmet, but it still scores a very respectable 4/5 SHARP stars, comes with an optically-correct shield – and it’ll give you folding change out of $100.

Or there’s the well-rated AGV K5-S? That’s a carbon/fiberglass composite helmet with sun visor and SHARP 4 star safety rating for less than the RS2.

Looking to buy this Bell helmet?

We recommend Revzilla (PA) for outstanding service and free shipping, and 2 Wheel (CA) for great service, free shipping and returns. Please click any link to drop onto their Bell helmets pages or see here for more info about our recommended stores, including a quick snapshot of their T&Cs.

Other full face helmets

There are loads of great alternative full face crash helmets. You can check out our Top 10 full-face crash helmets list to see our best rated helmets. And we also recommend you take a look at all our full face crash helmet previews and reviews as well as our safest motorcycle helmets pages where you'll only find helmets that are Snell certified or SHARP four or five star rated - so you'll know you're wearing the best protection out there.

Definitely want a Bell?

Here you'll find all our Bell crash helmet reviews and previews including full face, flip-up and open face helmets.

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