• Bell RS7-K Helmet - Quick Review

    Kart Review Score: 9.2

    Heyhoe
    Brand: Bell
    Price: £334.80 Inc VAT
    Retailer: Demon Tweeks

    Snell K2010 approved, this latest offering from Bell is designed specifically for karting, according to the manufacturer. We take a quick look around the helmet and give you our thoughts.

    First Impressions
    We think Bell have done a good job in the looks department with this helmet. It's much more aggressive than we have previously seen. Using an outer shell which is very similar to the Bell HP7 which is used by many Formula One drivers means the form factor has instant credibility.

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    The Helmet is rated as Snell K2010 which means it is only certified for use in karting. This also means that the moldings designed to seat the Hans posts at the rear of the helmet are blanked off. The helmet is available in the SA2010 specification which can be used for car racing. The model name for this model is the RS7-Pro.

    General Use/Observations
    The visor on this helmet is much easier to operate than previous helmets we have used, in particular the Bell Sport series. It's unique shape allows you to open the visor much more easily when wearing gloves. We still think Arai's mechanism for the visor is easier to operate, mind you.

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    Something that we did notice, is the sheer number of vent holes on the helmet. This is because karting, in comparison to full circuit racing, has a relatively low average speed. This can mean the helmet steams up until you reach the main straight or when you have a head wind.

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    Not pictured, is the rear spoiler which is a thin piece of polycarbonate and at £68 is a rip off. I'm not going to try and defend Bell on this as they realise this is a very desirable item and charge top whack for it. Having had experience with the simple process of making a mould and manufacturing polycarbonate items, I would love to hear Bell's justification for such a price tag.

    We were unable to find a pattern part spoiler for this particular Bell helmet. You can find these on ebay for Arai helmets and various other brands for just £25. If you find one, please use the comments section to point people in the right direction.

    General build quality is good although there was some faint orange peel effect on the clear coat of this helmet. This could be limited to a few helmets or may be a sign of the painting process being changed. I have to stress that this is not an issue and purely an up close observation compared to the Sport 4 I had sitting next to this helmet.

    The helmet is comfortable, but feels smaller than the Sport series. We will update the review once the helmet has worn in a little.

    The aperture of this helmet is short! It actually has a wider aperture than the Sport series but much shorter in height. The large Bell visor sticker which comes supplied with this helmet leaves you feeling quite detached from the outside world.

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    The neck strap on the helmet is now all black, which is much better than the older yellow straps which had a tendency to show up dirt.

    One more comparison to the Sport 4 is the RS7's outer shell size. It is noticeably smaller even though it's the same size fit of helmet (57cm - Small)

    It's also around 150g lighter coming in at around 1450g.

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    Summary
    A solid, modern, karting specific helmet which won't break the bank.

    UPDATE 18/03/2015:

    So I finally got round to using the helmet at Shenington in KZ. My sport 4 visor kept flying open on the straight and if I closed it fully, would steam up resulting in no visibility! This was pretty scary so I decided to use the new lid. I could not get the visor to steam up even if I tried! The helmet seems to withdraw the vapour away from the visor very well and there was no hint of any steaming up on the visor.

    The vent holes meant the helmet was a little colder than normal but this was on a particularly cold day and was not uncomfortable.


    Pros

    • Excellent form factor
    • Good ventilation for slow speed
    • Improved visor system
    • Good Value


    Cons

    • Expensive accessories (Spoiler & Visors)

    Scoring

    Value: 8
    Quality: 9
    Performance: 10
    Appeal: 9
    Effectiveness: 10

    Kart Review Score: 9.2

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