If you paid close attention to the final round of the Monster Energy Supercross Championship on the weekend in Salt Lake City, then you may have noticed Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Cooper Webb and newly-crowned champion Eli Tomac (Monster Energy Kawasaki) were sporting a new model of helmet from Bell.
Webb wore the fresh lid throughout the entire round, however Tomac only seemed to wear it during a few sessions - most likely because he was almost certain to claim the title, and depending on how far away this new model is from being publicly available, they probably wanted him in the current Moto-9 lid for promotional purposes.
It’s still unclear if the helmet is an updated version of the Moto-9, or if it will adopt a brand-new name altogether.
My guess is that it’s an overhauled Moto-9 - it still has that signature Bell look and carries many styling cues from the Moto-9, although the peak and top of the shell are dramatically different (note the protruding air vents).
The helmet still comes equipped with FLEX technology - which is Bell's own premium-level helmet liner that offers maximum protection.
It’s not unusual for brands to fit their riders with brand-new products at the races - Fox did the same last year when their all-new V3 helmet was introduced - although it is strange Bell left it to the final round, especially when the rounds were just a few days apart while in Salt Lake City.
This is the first time we’ve seen a dramatic update from Bell in their premium motocross helmet, the last update coming in 2015 when they introduced their FLEX technology.
Those that have picked up on the new helmet worn by Webb and Tomac have drawn mixed opinions across social media, although I was immediately impressed with the shape and design, and I can't wait to eventually get my hands on one being a long-time Bell user.
It will be interesting to see when more details surface on this lid, and it wouldn’t surprise me if COVID-19 has slowed the process down of it hitting the market and becoming available.