Bell Moto 9 Carbon Flex Review

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This is the Moto 9 Flex. A sturdy helmet, built for dirt riding, that provides a level of protection that other helmets only dream of. You may be asking yourself “wait, isn’t this just the exact same helmet as the Moto 9?” When you look at the helmet from the outside, you are totally right. Everything that meets the eye with the Moto 9 Flex is essentially the same as the original Moto 9, but on the inside of the helmet, there is one big difference.

The Moto 9 Flex features an interior lined with Bell’s fairly new comfort and protection technology that they call “Flex.” What does this mean for you, the rider? Instead of having one liner between the comfort liner and the shell, you actually now have three total liners. Bell’s goal with Flex technology is to give the rider the maximum amount of protection as possible, while still giving you a fairly lightweight and comfortable helmet to ride with.

This is Bell’s pro-level helmet. The technology and the design that go into this helmet put the Moto Flex 9 at the top of the heap when it comes to professional industry standards, in this model can go toe-to-toe with some of the best pro-level helmets in the industry.

Let’s dive in and take a look at some of the exceptional features that the Bell Moto 9 Flex has to offer.

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Ratings

Comfort:

97%
Comfort

Visibility:

95%
Visibility

Ventilation:

98%
Ventilation

Quietness:

90%
Quietness

Specifications

Outer shell material : carbon composite shell

Shell size : XS-XXL

Liner : Bell have used three layers of material to help absorb energy at different speeds. And there’s a moisture-wicking and removable/washable lining. With the Moto-9 Flex, you also get their X-Static XT2 silver liner

Weight : 1.45Kg

Pinlock : Bell’s Flying Bridge Visor – that’s an adjustable visor with air intakes. It’s been designed so you can adjust it without tools and in gloves and there’s quite a lot of up/down adjustments to be had.

Strap System : D-ring fastener

Safety Ratings

DOT : Yes

ECE : Yes

SNELL : Yes

SHARP : Not tested


Shape and materials

The helmet actually has three internal liners, which include expanded polystyrene, polyolefin, and polypropylene.

How about the exterior?

The outside of the helmet is made of carbon fiber and composite material that keeps the bucket lightweight, at about 1.45 KG. The carbon fiber and composite shell keep the helmet super light, especially when you consider all of the additional safety layering in this model.

Aside from the price difference in that the Moto 9 Flex is more expensive, the major distinguishing design factors between the Moto 9 and the Moto 9 Flex are that the Moto 9 lacks the multi-layer Flex liner and that model is also made of tri-composite, instead of carbon fiber. You are going to be paying more for the Moto 9 Flex, but the protection and features are well worth it for aggressive offroad and motocross riders.

The matte paint is a design signature of this helmet. The paint and finish actually fits the helmet so well that it almost conceals the aerodynamic contouring around the exterior. There is also molding and contouring around the back of the helmet and the eye-port to keep your goggles and your goggle straps in place.


Overall comfort

What about the fit of the Moto 9 Flex? The original fit of the helmet is intermediate oval, which keeps it open and comfortable for a large audience of riders, especially here in the US. Since this is a pro-level helmet, you can also use Bell’s custom-fit program and personalize the helmet to fit your head shape perfectly.

The intake and exhaust system on the Moto 9 Flex keep the interior nice and cool for aggressive off road riding. The cheek pads and the comfort liner use sweat-wicking microfiber that makes them both smooth and comfortable. They include silver in the weave of the helmet liner to make it even more antimicrobial. This addition keeps your helmet from smelling as bad as it normally would if you were using an intermediate or beginner level helmet, after a hard day of riding.


Things I liked

  • Well-ventilated
  • Flex technology to protect against rotational forces
  • Added layering for added protection
  • Antimicrobial, silver-weave comfort liner
  • Contouring for goggles
  • Interchangeable visor
  • Light carbon fiber and composite bucket

Things I don’t like

  • You may have to shell out more for a custom fit if you aren’t an intermediate oval

Visibility

Bell gives riders the same quality in terms of the level of visibility that they bring with the other premium aspects of this helmet. You have tons of visibility out the top, bottom, and peripherals of the eye-port, and lots of room on the front of the mask to fit goggles of most sizes.


Quietness

How is the Moto 9 Flex in terms of loudness and noise suppression? This goes along with other pro aspects of this helmet in that the flex cuts a substantial amount of noise for the level of ventilation that this model has.


Ventilation

How is the ventilation on the Moto 9 Flex? With all of those layers in the liner, one would think that you aren’t going to be getting a ton of airflow and ventilation through the helmet. Aggressive, pro-level riding can really heat up the inside of your helmet, especially in training and competition.

Since that’s the case, Bell has loaded the Moto 9 Flex up with nine different vents to make sure that you, the rider, getting plenty of ventilation, breathability, and cooling. The comfort liner provides plenty of openings and ventilation as well to let air flow smoothly from the front to the back of the helmet.


Safety

This technology makes the helmet retain the same DOT and SNELL ratings in normal speed crashes and also optimizes the helmet for offroad and supercross crashes that happen at low speeds, that place angular acceleration on the head.

This helmet lining gives your head and neck protection and minimizes the rotational forces that act on the helmet when you get in angular, low-speed crashes.

How is that possible?

The Flex liner is built to rotate slightly within the helmet. That rotational capacity and the extra layers of padding give the Moto 9 Flex the ability to absorb those jarring and harmful rotational forces that are the common culprits in low-speed motocross and offroad crashes. The additional layers of the helmet work to reduce the transfer of the energy of the impact through the helmet. Each additional protective layer increases the distance that the blow has to travel before reaching your head, thereby increasing the abilities of the liner in terms of absorbing, redistributing, and lessening the trauma caused by the impact.

Conclusion

If you are looking for a high-tech, pro-level helmet and price is no issue, you should be shopping for something that is going to keep you both comfortable and safe. Safety and comfort are two of the biggest reasons we would put the Bell Moto 9 Flex at the top of the list for high-rated, pro-level helmets.

As an experienced offroad and/or motocross rider, you know that safety should always be one of your top priorities. The more aggressive and dangerous riding you do, the greater the level of protection you are going to need to protect you in an accident. The Flex technology that Bell uses in the Moto 9 Flex make this one of the safest and most comfortable offroad helmets that you will be able to find.

Beginner and intermediate level helmets tend to have one or two key selling points or features, and a few setbacks. That’s just the price you pay when you are shopping around for less expensive or beginner helmets. With pro-level models like the Moto 9 Flex, design errors and shortcomings become harder or impossible to spot, with manufacturers paying close attention to perfecting even the finest details of models like this one. The Bell Moto 9 Flex is exemplary of this notion, and it really is difficult or impossible to find anything that is lacking in its performance or design. 

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