The Bell Qualifier DLX replaces my very worn-out AGV K3 SV. It was nearly a year after I purchased my AGV that I learned that helmets were designed differently for more than just stylistic reasons. If only I had known this earlier, I would have got myself a helmet less aggressive and more suited towards road riding. And this brings me back to my shiny (not really, its matte!) new helmet. The Qualifier DLX isn’t designed to vent only when tucked down on a supersport; it does so even while riding in an upright position on a naked or a cruiser. Ventilation is important, especially in a country as hot and humid as ours. Air passes through this helmet from an impressive total of 12 vents!
But venting decent amounts air is not all that makes the Qualifier DLX well-suited to our weather. It also has a moisture-wicking, removable/washable interior. However, with the ventilation comes the wind noise, and even though this helmet manages to deflect some of it with its ‘aerodynamic profile’, there is a considerable amount. The helmet gets a removable chin curtain, which I have removed to maximise ventilation. The interior of this helmet also feels upmarket, and a lot plusher than my K3 which I paid twice as much for. The cheek pads are also contoured to fit your face better.
Moisture-wicking, removable interior.
The Qualifier DLX comes in three shell sizes. In my case, my helmet size was large, which uses the medium-sized shell. Speaking of the shell, this Bell uses a polycarbonate one. While it may be lightweight at 1,500g for a polycarbonate lid, it is quite heavy when compared to helmets built from fibreglass and carbon fibre.
Another impressive feature is the ‘ClickRelease’ visor-changing mechanism; it is a lot faster and easier to use than the mechanisms I have used on my AGV and Arai. That said, the way the visor closes is extremely unsatisfying. It doesn’t click shut into the closed positon in an assuring way. I don’t think I can ever get used to that and will always end up double-taking if I have really shut it. But, that doesn’t affect the usability, and the rubber gasket that sits around the visor does a fine job at keeping the air out.
The helmet also has a unique cut-out for a Bluetooth headset and speaker pockets, and while it may be designed for a Sena SMH10/Cardo Scala Rider Q1/Q3, my Chinese Freedconn headset fits just fine. Many manufacturers will shy away from making such indentations in the shell, but Bell claims a DOT and ECE safety certification. I’m glad to see a D-ring closure which replaces the clasp system on my AGV and the helmet also comes with a five-year warranty against manufacturing defects.
Being the DLX variant, this helmet also comes with two visors as standard (smoked and clear). The downside of the Blackout colour scheme, however, is that the matte finish is a magnet to oily fingerprints and needs to be cleaned frequently. If only I bought one in another colour…
Price: Rs 12,500