Bell MX-9 Adventure Helmet

Sleek design, dual functionality and a reasonable price point make the Bell MX-9 Adventure a nice choice for riders who hit the road and the trail. Photo: Courtesy of Bell Helmets

What’s in a helmet? Well … your melon, for one thing. Looks, styling and features aside, we mainly want to keep our grapes intact, which is why we first set out to procure the holy grail of protective equipment.

As Jerry Seinfeld once pondered, “Now why did we invent the helmet? Well, because we were participating in many activities that were cracking our heads. We looked at the situation. We chose not to avoid these activities, but to just make little plastic hats so that we can continue our head-cracking lifestyles.”

Bell is a longstanding company with a commitment to preserving our well being, despite our best efforts to foil their cause, and the MX-9 Adventure Helmet ($189.95 to $199.95, depending on options) is their newest offering in the dual sport/adventure moto market. For the price point, Bell has created a quality product that is both attractive and functional for the all-around rider.

Bell MX-9 Adventure helmet in action

All about that dual personality. Photo: Courtesy of Bell Helmets

The foremost measure of a helmet should always be its ability to defend your nugget against the sneak attack, and the MX-9 Adventure does just that. At 3.2 pounds, the ECE- and DOT-certified helmet is lightweight, and the polycarbonate construction feels quite solid.

The removable, washable antimicrobial cheek pads and comfort lining on the interior are comfortable over a long ride, and the channeling that Bell designed into the foam construction keeps the helmet cool in warmer temperatures. In colder weather, however, the lack of a closure system on the upper ports of the helmet can be an issue for you lizards out there.

Just like its cousin, the MX-9, the Adventure can be used with goggles and the design of the face shield allows for a clear, wide field of vision while sealing tightly around the face opening when fully closed.

The peak design is useful for a dual-sport configuration, but with limited positioning options, you’ll feel the peak grabbing air at high speeds on the road. A broader range of movement and on-the-fly adjustment would be helpful as the rider transitions from off-road to street and highway use. It’s a small detail, but certainly not a deal breaker in a sub-$200 helmet.

For those who spend more time on the pavement, the peak can be removed altogether and the helmet worn in its road configuration. (One small note here: When the peak is removed, exposing the two threaded holes on the crown, neither of the rubber plugs provided fit snugly in the holes and fell out when the helmet was turned over.)

For a couple hundred bucks, Bell has done a remarkable job in this market segment as compared to some of the more expensive offerings from its competitors. This helmet is great looking, comfortable all day and packs great pound-for-pound punch. The MX-9 Adventure will certainly not disappoint those looking to move from the road to the trail and back again without having to switch equipment.

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