Bell Snow Double Shield Kit for Vortex/RS-1/Star
Works as advertised... But the finish is subpar.
I bought this for my Bell RS-1. I ride year round in Northeast PA, so visor fogging in the winter is a real problem. I had used a universal breath box on my Scorprion and HJC helmets with no fogging problems. However, the RS-1 is a fogging machine in cold weather. Even with the universal breath box fitted, the wind that comes up from the bottom of the helmet brings my warm breath up to the visor and causes fogging (no matter how tight the breath box is fitted to my face). I tried sprays and such to no avail.
I was going to fit a pinlock system to my existing visor until I found this. Let me first say that it works! The coldest I've ridden now with this visor on was 14F. The edges of the visor not protected by the double pane were covered in frost by the time I finished my commute that morning (about 25 miles highway), but the double pane portion of the visor was completely clear. I then hyperventilated in my helmet with the visor down in an attempt to get it to fog/frost. I couldn't do it. I then removed the breath box and hyperventilated. Just a tiny bit of fog started appearing on the visor, but would quickly dissipate. I think that if I sat there long enough, I'd be able to make it stick... But I started getting light-headed before I could test that hypothesis. So, I am very pleased with the actual performance of this visor. I've had it in rain and cold weather and it does what it is advertised to do.
However, the fit and finish is very disappointing. There are a few dust particles trapped in between the panes that I obviously will never be able to get out. I can't see them when the helmet is on, so they're not a big deal... But I hate knowing they're there. There is a foam piece that elevates the second pane off of the visor. It is wavy and crooked at places. It is not terrible, but it surprised me that such little attention was paid to detail. The pane is also slightly off of center. It's not enough to notice while wearing, but, again, I hate knowing it's not centered. The clear glue that is used to hold everything together is kind of uneven at places as well. None of these are really a big deal individually, but add them all up and it left me disappointed in the quality of the workmanship.
I also wonder why they made the second pane so small. There is ample room to make it both taller and wider. As it is now, my vision is slightly restricted with the second pane. No matter what, some vision restriction would occur with this design, but they could have minimized it by making the double pane section larger. Regardless, there is MUCH less vision restriction than with fogging/frosting.
The visor is also HEAVY. I expected this to be much more similar to a pinlock system than it is. However, the second pane appears to be the same thickness as the visor, plus the thickness of the foam. The second pane sticks out about 1/4 of an inch. I haven't weighed it, but subjectively it feels about twice as heavy as a standard visor. You can feel the extra weight of the visor while wearing the helmet. When installing the visor on the helmet, this visor doesn't snap into place quite as easily as the standard visors and will fall down when propped open sometimes due to its additional weight. However, they have included new mechanisms to replace the stock ones where the visor attaches to the helmet. I haven't installed these because I switch back and forth between this and the standard visor, so that may alleviate those problems completely.
The breath box fits the helmet well, since it's designed for it. It fits much better than my universal one (obviously). However, there isn't much adjustment for different face shapes. I have a large nose, and it is difficult to adjust it to keep it from pushing against the bridge of my nose. I haven't used the balaclava, so I can't comment on that.
My review may sound pretty negative because I've listed several complaints about this system... But the bottom line is that it works. It has its flaws, but I can now ride in cold weather without having to crack the visor to keep it from fogging. I only took off one star for the subpar finish because it works so well. I definitely recommend this product to others, but only after warning them of its flaws.
January 8, 2013
Cold weather gear
I have mixed feeling on the package, balaclava has a good fit and is warm for your neck area. Breath box is handy, but you'll need to get a good fit around the nose area, otherwise its for not. The faceshield while working good at preventing fogging, is distracting with the doulble pane section slightly blurring that critical area of vision on the edge of your side view. I choose to use my transistion shield and the breath box. Overall a good value, you can mix and match the items to get a good result for your needs.
December 17, 2012
Double Shield and Breath Box
I ride year round in the pacific northwest USA. I will ride in the cold all the way down to below freezing... In the show if I get caught in it (rode up to an inch on the s1000rr @ 55 to 65 mph for 20-40 miles)... In the frosty mornings and evenings... Sleet / Freezing rain if i get caught in it. I don't ride if i wake up and see major ice and/or any over night standing snow...
Suffice to say I have tested the breath box only... NO FOG if you molded it to your face properly for a good seal... You will fog up if it isn't sealed properly against your face (fogs very slowly in this condition and only in a small area near the bottom or top, won't interfere with riding, won't have to worry if your trip is shorter than 40 miles)
Haven't had to used the double snow shield because the breath box is already more than adequate for the job.
I wear a Bell Star Rally Black helmet
November 22, 2012
Excellent for winter riding
After trying a fog city insert, as well as various anti-fog coatings and sprays, I finally found and picked up the snow kit for my RS-1. The dual pane visor is excellent, with minimal refraction and no fogging issues. The breath-box is minimally intrusive, but functions well. The venting from the front vents to the breath box works well, allowing airflow without getting cold.
I have only used the balaclava once, since at this point the temperature hasn't dropped down enough that I've felt I needed it, but it seems to do the job well enough.
November 19, 2012