— Testing a top performer —
Bell Helmets has long been the “Choice of Professionals” in all forms of motorsports racing, and Bell won the 2019 AMA Supercross and FIM World 450 Championship with Cooper Webb and Red Bull KTM this spring. Bell has also been the go-to company for off-road racing, but Bell Helmets hasn’t produced a UTV-specific racing helmet—until now. This year, Bell introduces the UTV-specific Eliminator Forced Air, the Qualifier Forced Air, and the Qualifier DLX Forced Air. We got our hands on one of the first Eliminator Forced Airs for testing. It comes in Matt Black or Gloss White in XS, S, M, L, XL, XXL, M-L and XXXL sizes. We got the XXL in Matte Black.
Bell took the original Eliminator and built in a state-of-the-art ventilation system so that we UTV enthusiasts could breathe easy in some very dirty and dusty places. This full-face, flip-shield helmet is very versatile and can be configured many ways. It has four filtered intake ports on the chin bar and several exhaust ports on top of the shell, so it vents well. The Eliminator Forced Air port kit ($9.95) covers the big port on the left side to attach a forced-air hose, or get the Eliminator Vent kit ($4.95) to cover both big ports while still allowing venting. The Eliminator also has a black Visor that replaces the flip-up shield and leaves room for wearing prescription glasses or sun glasses in non-dusty conditions. The standard flip-up is a Pro-vision Anti-Fog shield with Class 1 optics, and there is also an accessory dark smoke shield that will be handy for dune and desert fans.
The Eliminator Forced Air has a fiberglass composite shell and DOT certification. The removable, washable liner has quick-drying materials woven with real silver fibers, and the X-Static XT2 liner inhibits growth of odor-causing bacteria and fungi. There are no closing ports, and the Forced Air and Vent kits are plastic with two-sided tape mounts. Plastic pivots and steel screws attach the poly face shield or visor. The chin straps have D-rings and a small plastic-encased magnet on the free end so it doesn’t flap in the wind.
WHO’S IT FOR?
Serious UTV drivers and racers who have custom cages on their UTVs will appreciate the side-port design, as the two Qualifier helmets have the port on top. The Eliminator also has an optional Dust Curtain that attaches to the Eliminator with Velcro tape. The Curtain has a zipper in front and rear flap with Velcro closure for a tight dust seal.
First, we configured the Eliminator with the black visor and vent kit and went riding after a desert monsoon in cold weather on perfect dirt. The black plastic visor has a dark smoke translucent strip across the bottom, so you can filter out the low sun when driving. The Eliminator is super comfortable to wear, and it’s also comfortable with glasses. Using the same mounts as the shield, the visor flips up for putting on or taking off glasses. It took a 5/16 Allen and #10 Torx bit to change shields.
We then changed back to the shield and installed the Forced Air kit for the Rally on the Rocks. The shield has great optics for picking lines and viewing the sights, and it has a very positive closure with a left-side screw and collar. You have to pry the corner of the shield outward to open it, so it’s well sealed for the clean-air system. The liner and padding partially block the intake port, so air doesn’t blast your cheek. Instead, it’s directed forward and up to the nostrils. Comfort is superb. For very heavy dust or extreme silt, like in Baja and Lucerne/Johnson Valleys, we installed the Dust Curtain, which is a very soft and comfortable material. Good stuff.
We’re impressed with Bell’s first UTV-specific helmet. The Eliminator is a well-sealed helmet that is very comfortable. The Forced Air’s port blows air at the smaller vents on the chin bar, preventing dust from entering. Even without forced air, it does a good job of keeping most of the dust out via a good seal with the shield. The smaller vents do let in some dust. The chin-strap magnet attaches to any nearby metal when we’re not wearing it, though.
CONTACT: www.bellhelmets.com, (800) 216-9446 order/service,
(800) 456-2355 info/warranty