Beginner Motorcycling

Information on Motorcycling for Beginners

Month: January 2018

Bilt Raptor Motorcycle Helmet Review

Bilt Raptor Motorcycle Helmet

Bilt Raptor Helmet

Bilt is one of the house brands of the Cycle Gear motorcycle gear store, and the Bilt helmet line runs from $30 cruiser half helmets to modular bluetooth helmets in the low $300s price range.  The Bilt Raptor motorcycle helmet is a full-face motorcycle helmet that is in the low $100 dollar price range, and represents a good value for those looking for a good cheap motorcycle helmet for themselves or a good cheap backup motorcycle helmet for passengers or guests.

Bilt Raptor Helmet Specifications

The basic Bilt Raptor specifications are as follows:

Shell: Polycarbonate

Shape: Long Oval

Main Face Shield: Clear Quick Release Shield

Sun Shield:  Internal Drop Down Sun Shield (replaceable)

Vents: 3 on Front (1 chin, 2 forehead, + rear exhaust vents)

Colors: A variety of colors and designs, no neon high-viz

Weight: 3.52 pounds

Safety Standards: DOT standard and ECE standardBilt Raptor Full Face Helmet

The Raptor has a sleek aerodynamic shape and in my opinion looks quite good.  Of course, looks are subjective, but I like both the shape and the looks of the three air vents on the Raptor.  As for comfort, the washable padding on the Raptor is quite comfortable to me, and those three airvents provide quite a good bit of ventilation and really help lessen the fogging up that I often have problems with.  The Raptor also has a nice drop down sun visor that is easy to activate while riding and is both slightly darker than many drop down sun shields and for me is also great in that it provides good coverage but yet does not rub against my (slightly large) nose.  Don’t get me wrong, the sun shield is not super dark, but a lot of drop down sun shields that I’ve seen are very light, so I was pleased with the one on the Raptor.

Of course, a side effect of those big vents is that the Raptor can be a bit on the loud side.  However, as I’ve mentioned before every rider in every type of helmet need to be using motorcycle hearing protection every time they ride at highway speeds.  And for me the trade-off for better ventilation and less fogging is worth it.

A final aspect of the Raptor helmet that deserves comment is that the Raptor is one of the lowest costing helmets I’ve seen that meets bot DOT standards and ECE (European) safety standards.

The Verdict

Overall, I think the Bilt Raptor is a great value for a cheap ECE motorcycle helmet, and it is well ventilated and has very good features for a low cost full-face helmet. You can click one of the listings below for color and pricing information.

Why You Need Motorcycle Hearing Protection

motorcycle hearing protectionEven the best and most expensive motorcycle helmets available do not protect your hearing.  That’s right, even if you’re wearing a good quality full-face motorcycle helmet (which you should) studies have shown that your hearing is still likely to be damaged by wind noise if you don’t use motorcycle hearing protection.

Studies show that even 15 minutes of riding a motorcycle at highway speeds without ear protection can cause hearing damage.  And a U.S. Department of Transportation study shows that at 70 miles per hour even the most expensive motorcycle helmets do not prevent 100 decibels of wind noise.  And the type of motorcycle and type of motorcycle windscreen do not significantly change this (even though you may not feel as much wind).  In some cases, a single ride can lead to permanent hearing loss.

So, every motorcycle rider who will be riding at highway speeds should wear motorcycle ear protection.  The good news is that cheap foam earplugs can be just as effective (or sometimes more effective) than more expensive hearing protection.  So, I bought a big pack of cheap foam ear plugs to make sure I have enough for me, my passenger (pillion), and I put some extras in jacket pockets and luggage to be sure that I’m not caught without hearing protection on my motorcycle.  With the foam earplugs, just be sure to compress them and insert them deeply into the ear and hold them in place for about ten seconds to be sure they stay in place.

Riding a motorcycle is a lot of fun, but don’t forget to take the steps necessary to protect your hearing.  Make inserting hearing protection a part of your pre-ride routine, so that you don’t put your helmet on until after your plugs are in.  Ride safe, and have fun!

More on motorcycle hearing loss: Hearing Loss in Motorcyclists

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