Helmets are quickly accumulated when you get into motorcycling. Since I got started back in 2019, I now have seven brain buckets on my shelf, each catering to a specific requirement. It seems like a lot, but this is still at the amateur level compared to some riders I know. Of these seven, the one I use the most for longer rides is the Bell MX-9 Adventure. I got it back in summer of 2020, and I’ve used it since then for multiple road trips on the road and off.
At almost 1.7kg for a medium (mine is a large, so it’s probably heavier), it’s not especially light and I can feel the weight on longer rides, but the weight is put to good use with all the features it has. The shell uses the Multidirectional Impact Protection System (MIPS), which helps to mitigate rotational forces if you crash and hit your head. The antibacterial liner is washable and uses quick drying fabric, which I can attest to as I got caught in a rainstorm on one trip, didn’t have time to properly wash and dry it, but the helmet was dry again the next day.
While the MX-9 looks bulky and Storm Trooper-ish on the outside, this means there’s enough room in the shell for substantial padding and insulation. Even with the speakers and the mic of a Jabbre intercom unit installed, the helmet doesn’t feel crowded inside.
Vents on the front, the top and the back do a great job of keeping you cool in our tropical climate, and the facial opening is huge so I can gulp in fresh air. The standard face shield is a clear, scratch-resistant and anti-fog unit, easily removable with one screw on each side. There’s also a two-point, adjustable visor for slower, off-road riding. While the face shield doesn’t have notches to let you open it up a few millimeters, I found that tightening the screws gave it enough torque to keep the shield open a bit on especially hot days.
Dan’s, the Philippine distributor of Bell Helmets, was also kind enough to send over the new ProTint shield. Since I have astigmatism, I have to ride with eyeglasses. The problem is that, during the day, I have to squint if the sun is especially bright. At night, on the other hand, I’m always dazzled by oncoming vehicles with obnoxious LED high-beams burning through my retinas. Those are situations when I wish I had a dark tinted face shield.
The ProTint shield solves this by quickly adjusting its tint depending on light conditions. In low-light conditions, it’s almost clear and there’s just a relaxing light blue/gray tint. Under direct sunlight, the shield is nearly blacked out. There’s also no distortion anywhere on the shield. After two years of bearing with the limitations of the stock clear face shield, the ProTint made me feel like I was wearing an all-new helmet.
The ProTint lens is P8,000, while the MX-9 Adventure is P12,800. Pretty reasonable prices for a go-anywhere helmet that still looks good two years on.