Biltwell ‘Lane Splitter’ Helmets – Feature-Rich and Convincing
The motorcycle helmet “space” is a “crowded house” at the best of times, but with tastes and business opportunities changing as new generations of riders seek to differentiate themselves, the market has become complex from a dealer’s point of view.
The stocking overhead has risen as more styles are needed to cater to traditional and emerging customer groups, and the choices that a store makes says a lot about how close to the action the owners are.
As the stakes rise, vendor choices are critical, and of all the volume helmet options that buyers are faced with, that ability for the shop to make a statement about itself is at a premium.
Enter into fray Californian designer Biltwell. Not entirely new to the market, Biltwell has carefully finessed its offer and the perception of its brand values over several years. The result of that experience is now to be seen in three ranges – their half shell DOT approved ‘Bonanza’ line, ‘Gringo’ and ‘Gringo S’ full face DOT programs (ECE approval is expected to follow later this year), and, seen here, their top-selling comms-ready DOT/ECE ‘Lane Splitter’ full face range.
All three are feature-rich, combining comfort with safety, and all three deliver on one of the ‘Holy Grails’ of the helmet designers – that often sought but rarely achieved marriage between 21st century materials and safety standards, and a convincing interpretation of ‘retro’ design that simultaneously has contemporary and authentic etched into their DNA.
Crafted around Biltwell’s proprietary injection molded ABS outer shell, with a shock-absorbing EPS (Expanded Polystyrene) inner shell delivering the safety, a hand-stitched, removable, washable and hypoallergenic brushed Lycra liner with contrasting diamond-stitched, quilted open-cell foam interior padding, cheek pads and BioFoam chin bar cushion delivering on the comfort.
Generous vents in the chin bar get the air flowing and the outlet at the back lets hot air escape. The ‘Lane Splitter’ shield boasts extremely accurate optics and simple hinge mechanics for high style and easy removal for replacement or cleaning.
A brass peg and hole configuration on the left side of the shield offers speedy, glove-friendly opening and secure closing with little difficulty or complication. Mesh audio pockets are included in the ear recesses - perfect for drop-in aftermarket communication systems, and the whole package is beautifully detailed with a selection of eight different “retro- contemporary” hand painted finishes.