Bell Helmets is preparing to launch a new digital process that will record data about an individual’s head and based upon that information the company will create a custom-fit designed motorcycle helmet.
The process, which was created and developed last year, will, according to Bell, ultimately offer riders a better fitting and potentially a safer helmet.
This year is the 60th anniversary of Bell Helmets and the California-based company is now preparing to commercialize its new custom-fit motorcycle helmet process by demonstrating it at a series of motorcycle events across the U.S. this year.
The process involves a Bell technician using a scanning wand to circle an individual’s head. A three-dimensional image of a person’s skull is generated by a computer in about 30 seconds. From that digital data, Bell can make a custom-fit helmet just for you – that process takes around three hours – and it will then send you the finished custom-fit helmet in four to six weeks.
Bell says the digital imaging process can result in as much as a 40% energy reduction to a person’s head and the digital imaging is so precise that custom-fit helmets can be manufactured less expensively than before as they use less foam lining.
However, while Bell has reduced the costs for the helmet manufacturing process by using fewer materials, the scanning service will add extra dollars to your final bill. Currently Bell is estimating that a custom-fit for one of its Star helmets will cost around $999, or $899 for a Moto-9. These helmets currently retail for $649 and $549 respectively, meaning the new custom service is going to cost $350 a helmet.
Bell plans to showcase this new technology at five or six motorcycle events this year to demonstrate how it works. They will scan potential customer’s heads for free, whether they want to buy a new helmet or not, and will then keep the data on file for the future if they choose to buy a Bell helmet.
The company is also considering setting up the scanners at 20 retail stores across the U.S. towards the end of this year. Although Bell doesn’t have its own outlets, it’s hoping to work with its existing dealers to create special areas in stores. At present the custom-fit scanning capability is only available for motorcycle helmets, but eventually Bell says it could be developed for other kinds of protective headgear such as bicycles.