Product Evaluation: Motorcycle Helmet Of The Month, Bell Pit Boss

Have you ever encountered this problem? While riding at speed, does your half helmet catch air and lift off your head? Worse, does it rotate backward, causing the chinstrap to strangle you? Bell has come up with an ingenious device in its latest cruiser half helmet, the Pit Boss, to combat the dreaded Ill-Fitting Half Helmet Lift Syndrome. First shown at the Indy Dealer Expo trade show, the Pit Boss may have the outward appearance of just another cruiser half lid — but it’s what’s inside this helmet that distinguishes it from the also-rans.

First off, the Pit Boss has a hidden, integrated, pull-down eye visor, removable neck curtain, and wide, fabric-covered, V-shaped side straps, which all enhance rider comfort. But located at the center rear of the interior of the helmet is something called the Speed Dial system. After strapping the helmet on, simply rotate the ratcheting adjustment knob and a flexible plastic interior backstrap — which runs from just over each ear — starts to tighten, firmly securing the helmet to the rider’s head. I find that the size XL Pit Boss fits me relatively well without any added aids. I can dial in one extra click and the tension is increased just enough to hold it comfortably on my head. A word of caution: don’t overtighten! Any more than two clicks, and I have to release the mechanism and start over to avoid getting a headache. To release the Speed Dial, you simply press upward on the dial, causing it to freewheel, and all tension is removed.

The shell is comprised of ultra-light TriMatrix construction, a layup of carbon fiber, Kevlar, and fiberglass, which keeps the weight to just under 2 pounds (31.7 ounces) while still passing DOT standards.
The Speed Dial isn’t meant to make the wrong helmet fit your head, but it does aid in custom-
fitting this half helmet and providing better rider comfort. —Steve Lita

Bell Pit Boss/Checker, $130, 800/456-2355,


  1. RICHARD EDDY says:

    There needs to be a to way to reduce the air daming effect under the lower edge of the helmet. The neck skirt is fine for cooler weather, but to hot for summer. The air rushing past your ears is detfning,I think the helmet designers should be looking to minimize noise so the rider can hear to the side and behind, Save your hearing & your life. I am curious to know if anyone as developed a really low profile ear cover that would reduce noise under the half hellmet. Hey, what i,am saying is, if you want to make money , you have to spend some. so lets get into the science of it & make everyone comfortable.

  2. I really don’t care unless they make the helmet in sizes for American males. They only go up to 2x so who gives a bag of boogers what fancy straps they make.