Bell Bullitt Alternatives - Torc T1 Helmet
H&H Sports Protection USA Inc.

Bell Bullitt Alternatives: Three-ish… Budget-Friendly Lookalikes

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Despite the existence of several Bell Bullitt alternatives, in the realm of retro motorcycle helmets, many riders consider the Bullitt reigns supreme. Yet, those same riders accept the helmet’s status isn’t a consequence of superior functionality or features.

Nonetheless, it has become the de facto helmet for riders of retro, classic and custom machines. It’s also spawned the moto gear segment of unique crash helmets echoing design silhouettes of yesteryear.

Here, however, we uncover three unabashed lookalike helmets with similar vintage appeal but at nearly half the cost of the Bell.

If you’re looking for a vintage-style helmet that isn’t a Bullit copycat, then check out our article featuring twelve of the best examples for 2023.

Bell Bullitt Qualities

Editor's Bell Bullitt Carbon RSD
Editor’s Bell Bullitt Carbon RSD – Image: @motophotonate

The Bullit’s ascendancy isn’t solely due to being a pioneer in the vintage-inspired helmets segment but likely its harmonious blend of reliable safety features, unmistakable retro aesthetic and all-round performance. It’s celebrated for its wide field of vision, quality of materials and construction, lightweight nature and vintage style.

Furthermore, with mix-and-match EPS liners for a closer fit, it has wide appeal. As such it’s not surprising to see a premium attached to the Bullitt. The prices for its carbon and brand collaboration variants can also be steep.

Even price aside, make no mistake the Bell is not without other faults – some riders simply don’t get on with the shape of the Bullitt. (It suits rounder heads.) Moreover, it’s not the quietest of helmets; it whistles like a kettle. To be fair, most retro helmets suffer from poor wind noise insulation.
As such don’t expect the helmets below to address that specific concern.

Selection Process

These Bell Bullitt alternatives were chosen for their visual similarities and affordability. Features-wise, you’ll find that they have parity with the Bullit. For some features, these challengers even come out on top.

As with all helmets we write about they’re DOT and ECE certified either 22.05 or the latest standard, 22.06.

The selection was compiled from a mixture of hands-on experience (10,000+ miles) with the Bell Bullitt and examining independent reviews by verified buyers across several online platforms.

Needless to say but we’ll say it anyway; it’s always prudent to do your due diligence before purchasing a helmet. Carefully examine customer reviews, try on various models and ensure your chosen helmet meets local legal safety standards. Also, double-check the return policy before purchasing any helmet.

Three of the Best Bell Bullitt Alternatives: Budget Bullitt Brain Buckets

In recent years a slew of brands have sprung up with Bell Bullitt alternatives that can compete from features and a performance perspective. And, importantly they’re wallet-friendly.

So, if you’re after a helmet that matches the looks of Bell’s retro offering without the hefty price tag the following three alternatives to the Bell Bullitt helmet could be for you: the ByCity Roadster II, the Origine Vega 06 and the Torc T1. We’re calling them the ‘Budget Bullitt Brain Buckets’. And without further ado here’s how they stack up.

ByCity Roadster II R.22.06 – Buy from £165.00 / $215.98 / €192.36

Bell Bullitt alternative - ByCity Helmet Roadster II Matt Grey ECE R.22.06
ByCity Helmet Roadster II Matt Grey ECE R.22.06 – Image: ByCity Helmets
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Pros
Lightweight Shell
Removable and washable liner
Good field of vision
Complies with ECE/UN R.22.06 safety standards
Good choice of solid and graphic colour schemes
Good value for money
Cons
Sizing runs small
Twin visor lock mechanism can be cumbersome

The Roadster II ECE (R.22.06) version is the popular Spanish urban moto gear brand, ByCity’s newest retro full-face helmet. The original Roadster was launched in 2020 and it quickly drew comparisons with the Bell Bullitt.

Like the Bullit, it boasts modern-day functionality and features wrapped in a retro silhouette. It offers unbelievable value, with refinement way beyond its very attractive starting price point. Featuring a leather trim and a suede-like interior (detachable for washing) it’s super comfortable.

The lightweight composite fibre shell (1,200 ± 50gr depending on the shell size) doesn’t compromise on safety.

Ventilation’s reasonably good too. It’s achieved through stylish mesh vents that keep your head cool and comfortable when riding in warmer temperatures.

ByCity Helmet Roadster II Carbon Gold Strike
ByCity Helmet Roadster II Carbon Gold Strike – Image: ByCity Helmets

Again like the Bullit it offers a wide viewport, enhancing visibility. So, true to the brand’s name, the Roadster II is a good choice for city riding.

The clear flat visor can be swapped for a bubble shield version that comes in various hues and tints. That’s the ultimate seventies motif for helmets. However, with the goggle strap at the rear, you completely swap out your visor for goggles to achieve a classic cafe racer rider look.

To appeal to a wide set of riders, ByCity offers the Roadster II in a diverse range of suitably seventies-inspired graphic or solid finishes in matte or gloss.

One thing to bear in mind, wearers have noted that this helmet sizing is smaller than expected. So, that means you may need to opt for a size above what you’d ordinarily wear to find the best fit. And that shouldn’t be a problem, as there are five sizes to choose from.

  • Head Shape: Intermediate Oval
  • Certification: DOT & ECE R-22.06
  • Shell Sizes: 2 Shell
  • Weight: 1,250g to 1,350 g (Composite S to L shell) or 1,200g to 1,300g (Carbon S to L)

Origine Vega 06 – Buy from £199.00 / $201.33 / €214.39

Origine Vega Primitive Orange Red Black Matt
Origine Vega Primitive Orange Red Black Matt – Image: Origine Helmets
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Pros
Plush and comfortable
Wide field of vision
Good controllable ventilation
Complies with new ECE 22.06 safety standards
Diverse range of colourways
Good value for money
Broad fitting range
Cons
Fogging can be an issue on the standard visor
Sizing discrepancies between the manufacturer’s guide and actual fit.
Practically flush forehead vent toggles are difficult to operate while riding

The Origine Vega 06: while strikingly reminiscent of the retro Bell Bullitt, makes distinct alternative styling choices. The metal sliders that control the air intake ports on the chin bar and forehead immediately catch your eye. They offer more precise control of airflow. However, their flush position on the forehead can make on-the-move adjustments challenging.

The rear of the helmet conspicuously features two geometric and two circular mesh-covered ports. They serve as exhausts for cooling but contribute to the helmet’s overall retro style.

Instead of a smooth dome found on the Bullitt, the Vega 06 opts for a sculpted frontal region and a central ridge that fades into the crown. It gives the helmet a more aggressive countenance reminiscent of 1970s racing helmet aesthetics.

Constructed from composite fibreglass, the Vega 06 complies with the new, more stringent ECE R.22.06 safety standard. Its weight, depending on the size, ranges from 1450g +/- 50g (XS-M shell) to 1550g +/- 50g (L-XXL shell), so it’s not the lightest of helmets.

The Vega’s viewport (similar to the Bullitt and Roadster II) boasts a generously wide aperture worthy of an astronaut’s praise. The visor is complete with a scratch-resistant and UV-coated finish. It also has a locking mechanism on the left side. Its design means a screwdriver or a coin is required for removal which is also true of the Bell. The lack of a Pinlock equivalent means fogging can occur in colder weather when you’re stationary.

Origine Vega 06 Helmet - Primitive Matt Orange Red Black rear
Origine Vega 06 Primitive Orange Red Black Matt showing rear exhausts – Image: Origine Helmets

Inside, the Vega 06 is plush, with a comfortable lining insert constructed from a faux suede that is both removable and washable. The helmet comes in two shell sizes, with three EPS inserts XS to XXLL head measurements.

That means there’s a good likelihood you’ll find your size, especially, if you’re a medium oval fit. Safety is further ensured by the inclusion of a D-ring retention strap, complementing the helmet’s retro aesthetic.

The Vega 06 amalgamates protection, style and affordability in one package. Its fusion of vintage aesthetics and modern features makes it a compelling option for retro riders looking for alternatives to Bell’s Bullitt helmet.

  • Head Shape: Intermediate Oval
  • Certification: DOT & ECE 22.06
  • Shell Sizes: 2 Shell
  • Weight: Weight – 1350g +/- 50g (S) 1450g +/- 50g (L)

Torc T-1 – Buy from £234.00 / $269.99 / €239.99

Torc T1 Full Tree Helmet
Torc T1 Full Tree Helmet – Image: Torc Helmets
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Pros
Comfortable, antimicrobial suede liner
Multi-Density EPS
Adjustable ventilation
DOT & ECE 22.05 certified
Excellent field of view
Cons
Sizing is slightly larger than stated
Visor fogging, buffeting, and wind noise.

The Torc T1’s resemblance to the Origine Vega 06 is not a coincidence. They’re identical. Both helmets are the creations of the same parent company, Shanghai Hehui(H&H), one of China’s largest motorcycle PPE and apparel manufacturers.

The company markets the helmet as the Torc T1 in North America (from the City of Industry, California) and as Origine Vega in Europe (from Bergamo, Italy).

In terms of features… see the Orgine Vega above. Although, notably the T1 is heavier than the Vega by 100g in both shell sizes.

Aside, similar to the Vega, the T1 comes in a composite shell but also a carbon-fibre variant. There are several diverse colourways that will appeal to most retro riders. The standout designs are the T-1 Iso Bars with its gold and brown hues combined with isobar graphics – and the Tree with its tricolour graphics. Both are reminiscent of ’70s style.

Torc Helmets T1 ISO Bar Left
Torc Helmets T1 ISO Bar [left view]- Image: Torc Helmets

As with the Vega, the T1 features an antimicrobial, sweat-wicking faux suede liner that can be removed for cleaning. The same multi-density EPS foam is offered in three sizes for a snug fit.

Interestingly, some Torc T1 wearers report opting for a size smaller than they usually wear as the Torc T1 sizes large. Keep this in mind if you’re considering this vintage-inspired helmet.
Both the T1 and Vega helmets comply with ECE and DOT, meaning you can purchase a Vega if you’re in North America or a Torc if you’re in the EU and use it locally. Notably, the Torc T1 meets the previous ECE. 22.05 standard.

  • Head Shape: Intermediate Oval
  • Certification: DOT & ECE 22.05
  • Shell Sizes: 2 Shell
  • Weight: XS-M 1450+/- 50g or L-XXL 1550+/- 50g

Three-ish More Bell Bullitt Alternatives

The Held Root, the Dexter Tannen and the Bogotto V135 are three more Bell Bullitt alternatives that you may wish to consider.

We’ve included them here with some caution as they’re not as widely available. Stocks have likely been allowed to run down in anticipation of ECE 22.06 compliant versions. Either that or they’ve simply been discontinued.

Dexter Tannen

Dexter Helmet Tannen Noir Blanc
Dexter Helmet Tannen Noir Blanc – Image: Dexter Helmets

Released by Motoblouz in 2021, the Dexter Tannen is seemingly another version of the helmet made by Shanghai Hehui(H&H). Aside, from the Tannen’s fine retro graphic finishes, there isn’t much to separate the helmets in terms of features and functionality.

Bogotto V135

Bogotto V135 D-R2 Helmet
Bogotto V135 D-R2 Helmet – Image: FC-Moto [Bogotto]

FC-Moto’s in-house brand Bogotto also uses the same base helmet for its V135 helmet, made by (you guessed it) Shanghai Hehui(H&H). The Bogotto brand has a wider, more extravagant range of colourways for its Bell Bullitt alternative.

Held Root

Held Root Matt Black Retro Helmet
Held Root Matt Black Retro Helmet – Image: Held

The ECE 22.05 Held Root looks almost identical to the ByCity except with different hardware. It’s showing as discontinued on most websites or low stock. This either means Held is about to release an ECE 22.06 version or the Root will be permanently discontinued.

Which Bell Bullitt Alternative?

Other Bell Bullitt Alternatives
Torc T1C Carbon Helmet – Image: H&H Sports Protection USA Inc.

Truly, there are only two alternatives to the Bell Bullitt: the ByCity Roadster II 06 and the H&H helmet marketed under the brand and model names: Torc T1 and Origine Vega, amongst others. Judging by reviews, the Originie Vega 06 and the ByCity Roadster II 06 seem to come out on top. However, like all retro helmets, they all have niggles.

Look, the Bullitt may still win overall, in areas of quality and brand prestige. As such, it’s probably still the king of the retro lids. However, from the selection of Bullitt lookalikes above, you should have deduced you don’t need to splurge on a top-tier Bell Bullitt for vintage appeal.

Each helmet has its idiosyncracies that may attract or repel in equal measure. Nonetheless, aesthetically they make affordable compelling alternatives to the Bullitt, And, they can serve as a starting point for your next helmet purchase… or not.

Ultimately, the best helmet is one that fits you well, reflects your style and offers you the greatest protection for your budget.

What Inspired the Bullitt Copycats?

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