Let’s be honest; the Bell Rogue is not a helmet that appeals to everyone. When it showed-up in our office our Managing Editor, Bryan Group, took one look at it and started screaming and flailing his arms about. He claims it wasn’t caused by the helmet but because a bee had apparently gotten into his shirt during his morning ride into work; we’re not sure we believe him. I, on the other hand, kind of like the helmet.
It’s not just people in our office that had that type of response either as most people I met who saw the Bell Rogue either liked it or hated it; and there weren’t many who fell in between those two extremes.
Bell seems to make two helmet shapes; their full face helmets are built for a long-oval head shape while their Custom 500, half helmets and the Rogue all lean more towards a mid-oval head shape. This becomes important if you own a Bell Star/RS-1/Vortex and decide that you like it so much you’ll buy a Bell Rogue to wear while riding your new cruiser; may not fit you as well as your Bell full face.
The Bell Rogue looks like a ½ helmet but offers a comfort level more in line with a ¾ helmet due to a foam pad that extends out below the rear and sides of the composite shell. That shell comes in 4 colors, btw; Solid Matte Black, Solid Black (gloss), Solid Army Green and Solid Gunny (a tan/khaki-ish color). I wouldn’t say that the Rogue offers the same levels of protection that a 3/4 helmet will because those foam extensions are softer and don’t have a “hard candy shell” protecting their soft innards.
All this is interesting of course but the calling card of the Rogue is the detachable muzzle. Why a detachable muzzle, you ask? Looks? Protection against flying debris? Protection from inclement weather? Looks? Wait, did I say looks twice? Yeah my guess is that, for all their talk about protection from the elements the Rogue muzzle was mostly a designer’s wet dream that went into production. And that’s not a bad thing. I wish more companies would let their designer’s have free reign to design and build what they want….the world would be a more interesting place.
The muzzle attaches to the helmet by something called the “Fidlock Magnetic Connection”. What the hell is a “Fidlock”, you ask? Don’t feel bad as I had to Google it myself. Turns out that Fidlock is actually the name of a company that makes some unique fastening systems for different companies. In the case of the Rogue the connector is magnetic and holds the muzzle firmly in place. As a matter of fact the magnets are strong enough that if you get the male end close enough to the female end the magnets attract strongly enough that the two ends just click together.
To remove the muzzle all you need to do is slide it up and the magnetic connection is broken. Since the muzzle isn’t intended to provide any protection at all if you dismount and bash your face into the ground, having it only held on by magnets isn’t a negative. Also the muzzle straps are adjustable for both length and angle so you should be able to find a fit that works for you.
The first time I put the Bell Rogue on and tried to fit the muzzle into place I looked like I was trying out for a sequel to Aliens; lots of grabbing and twisting and pulling and tugging on this thing that looked attached to my face – just like the Alien eggs/cocoons/whateverthehelltheywere attached to the peoples faces. Eventually I figured out how everything went together and from that point forward it was pretty easy to get the muzzle attached to the helmet while wearing it. Here’s a hint: One side at a time makes the process much easier. Just click in and go.
After getting it on my face and doing the obligatory 5 minutes of “Luke, I am your father” (yes I know that is not exactly what Vader says….it’s poetic license so give me a break) until someone threw a stapler at my head (I think it was Mr. “There’s a bee in my shirt!”) , I headed outside to get a feel for what it was going to like wearing the Rogue while riding. Actually I’m a bit ahead of myself as right before I went for a ride (but after the “Luke, I am your…..HEY NO THROWING STAPLERS IN THE OFFICE!!! incident) I realized that the muzzle was very uncomfortable. I tried adjusting it a bit more, then a bit more, then bit more before realizing that the part that was pressing into the bridge of my nose was removable. Yes the muzzle has a removable inner liner that would be great on colder rides but which I could never get to stop touching the bridge of my nose and driving me insane. Since it is held in with Velcro it’s easy to remove; which I did. Problem solved and off to ride I went.
I’m not sure what I expected the Bell Rogue to feel like when riding but I’m happy to report that it was pretty uneventful. There is no buffeting caused by the muzzle nor does it funnel air directly into your eyes. If anything I found less air hitting my eyes with the muzzle attached than I did when I rode with it off. I enjoyed the fact that with a simple slide up I could remove the muzzle and get some more air on my face whenever I chose. I ride with a full face helmet so often that I forget how enjoyable it is to feel the air on your face that comes with wearing ½ and ¾ helmets.
I think the only thing that would make the Bell Rogue even better would be a slide-down visor; preferably in dark smoke. Not only would that look insanely awesome it would also provide wind, rain and sun protection for your eyes. And did I mention how cool it would look?
The Bell Rogue has an MSRP of $249.95 which may seem high for a 1/2 helmet, or even a 3/4 helmet but you are paying a premium to look cool. And to be able to walk around saying “Luke, I am your father”. Which, when you really think about it, is the exact opposite of cool.
To purchase your own Bell Rogue and support 2WF.com please click here: http://www.motorcycle-superstore.com/3/11/98/56287/ITEM/Bell-Rogue-Helmet.aspx?
For more information on the Bell Rogue click here: http://www.bellhelmets.com/powersports/helmets/street/rogue