BILTWELL GRINGO S VS BELL BULLITT | RETRO HELMET COMPARISON

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As the end of winter grows nearer, a lot of you are probably more than excited because you can finally go out and do the stuff which you love the most. For some, it’s taking long walks in nice weather or hiking along familiar trails, but others enjoy doing something which gets your blood pumping. Such are motorcycle aficionados, who understand the rush and pleasure derived from mounting a motorcycle and experiencing the freedom which comes with the ride. However, before you set out on one of these majestic rides, you are obliged to protect yourself accordingly. This is why choosing the right helmet for you is very important as finding the right one can sometimes be tricky because sacrificing high quality features and durability for style is not something you want to do. This is why we will help you choose between two excellent helmets: the Biltwell Gringo S and the Bell Bullitt.

Biltwell Gringo S Overview

Biltwell Gringo S retro motorcycle helmet with visor

Biltwell Gringo S front and side view

Let’s start with the Biltwell Gringo S. The Gringo S is the successor to Gringo, a full face helmet which is characterized by excellent craftsmanship and high durability. The Gringo is a hybrid of old-school style and modern protection. Unlike its successor, the Gringo has a wide and open eyeport which can fit almost any type of goggles and gives you a high level of vision. The Gringo S abandons this type of design and utilizes a hinged eyeport shield which raises the style and functionality of the helmet. The shield itself is an injection-molded, laser CNC cut polycarbonate eye port shield with simple hinge mechanics for easy removal for either replacement or cleaning as well as swift opening and secure closing. This is a huge step up from its predecessor which, apart from having the option of using goggles, has 5 snaps onto which Biltwell’s 3-snap Bubble shield or 5-snap Blast shield can be placed.

Biltwell Gringo retro motorcycle helmet

Biltwell Gringo color and shield variants

The approach taken with the Gringo S proves much better as noise levels are reduced without sacrificing much needed vision. As for the outer shell of this helmet, it is made from injection molded Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS) while the inner shell is shock-absorbing Expanded Polystyrene (EPS), a closed cell rigid-foam thermoplastic. These two sturdy and reliable materials will make sure you receive the necessary protection in case of a collision. In order to increase comfort, the chin bar cushion was made from BioFoam with hand-sewn contrast stitching which emphasizes the details in the design. The chinstrap is also very comfortable due to the Lycra material found on the touch points if it. The chinstrap also features a flat D-ring fastener with an adjustable snap-style end retainer. The Gringo S is available in 6 different sizes (XS, SM, MD, LG, XL and 2XL) and unlike its predecessor, which had to offer six different colors, it is available in four colors: flat black, flat primer, gloss black and gloss vintage white. What adds to the visual appeal of this helmet is the beautiful design which is reminiscent of F1 helmets during the 1970s.

Biltwell Gringo S Color

Biltwell Gringo S color and pattern variants


Bell Bullitt Overview

Our next contender is the Bell Bullitt, a helmet which is based on the design of the Bell Star model from 1960s and named after the character played by actor and motorsports enthusiast Steve McQueen in the classic motion picture Bullitt. Like the Gringo, this helmet also makes an attempt at appealing to customers with its aesthetic simplicity and it does so with success. As is the case with he Gringo S, the old-school design is complemented with modern-day technology and materials so that the sturdiness of the helmets doesn’t get traded off. The Bullitt is constructed with a low-profile fiberglass composite shell accompanied by a multi-density EPS liner which gives it notable durability while keeping the helmet very light. This helmet holds the edge over Gringo S when it comes to the flow of air as it boasts five metal mesh intake vents and a rear exhaust vent. Thanks to this feature hot air will be eliminated very effectively during those summer rides which, sadly, can’t be said for the Gringo S as the only option for cooling with that helmet is to pop open the shield. The only downside of this, otherwise useful, vent system is the amount of noise which it lets through.

Bell Bullitt side view

Bell Bullitt side view

When it comes to shields, Bullitt boasts a flat shield with a magnefusion closure system which incorporates a neodymium magnet on a leather strip for easy opening and closing of the shield. Apart from the flat shield, you can separately purchase a Bubble shield if it suits your style better or you can remove it entirely and use goggles instead. As for the interior of this helmet, it’s made from perforated micro-suede fabric with leather trim which is completely removable, washable, anti-bacterial and very comfortable. The padded chinstrap further enhances this comfort. Another feature of the Bullitt which Gringo S lacks is the option of installing a communication system in the 3D cut cheek pads. With the four colors (black, matte black, white and blue flake) in which the Bullitt is available, you can sport a retro look without the loss of durability and protection.

Bell Bullitt retro motorcycle helmet

Bell Bullitt color variants


Final Verdict

So, after checking out all of the features of these two excellent retro helmets we can say that both are very well designed, rocking the amazing look of the 60’s and 70’s helmets. However, as in every contest, only one can be triumphant. The Gringo S is very durable, provides good visibility and looks very well and with the price of $199.95 it gets way ahead of the Bullitt. Bullitt may have been equipped with a ventilation system and offers an option of installing a communication system, but this can hardly compensate for the steep price of $399.95. The very notable difference in pricing is the main reason it wasn’t mentioned earlier. This doesn’t mean that the Bullitt is a good-for-nothing helmet, it means that its purchase is open to debate and you should buy it only if you must because the Gringo S will provide you with the necessary safety and retro style accompanied by a much affordable price.

Both Biltwell and Bell have created something exceptional by releasing the Gringo S and Bullitt and even though this article was very specific about its choice in the matter, the choice of helmets will be greatly influenced by the preferences of the buyer. No matter which one of these helmets you decide to opt for, it is clear that by choosing this old-school style of helmets you will look amazing and remain certain in the protection they will provide.

Get the Biltwell Gringo S from Amazon here

Get the Bell Bullitt from Amazon here

Also interesting:

1. Skully Ar-1 Motorcycle Helmet

2. Bell Moto 3 | Chemical Candy Off-Road Motorcycle Helmet

3. Bell Bullitt Carbon | A Modern Helmet With Vintage Style

4. Biltwell Gringo S

5. Best Motorcycle Helmets

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