My Impression of the Bell Qualifier
Entry budget full-face helmet with problems
- Reported comfortable across the board by users
- A good field of vision
- Nice look and plenty of cool visual option to buy
- Internal speaker pockets (recent version of the helmet don’t include Sena communicator compartment anymore)
- 5-year Bell warranty
- The shield may flip open on its own at highway speed
- Across the board, users complained about the wind noise of this helmet.
- Top ventilation vents are reported to rattle for some users.
Is the Bell Qualifier a Good Helmet?
To be honest, It could be better.
Being polite, I’ll say it is an average to a good helmet.
Mind you, It is not terrible, especially at this ridiculous price point. But this product suffers from ‘’you get what you pay for’’ about wind noise and some safety issues.
And full disclaimer I want to like this helmet.
I am always an absolute fan of a cheaper piece of equipment going against all odds and winning.
You know the type. The item everyone thought is a steaming pile. But instead ending up being better quality than more expensive competitor’s items.
The Qualifier helmet is sadly not that.
This helmet got some excellent points to defend itself, I do agree. But in my mind, they barely make it up for its weakness.
The main reason to get the Qualifier is its fantastic price point and not much else.
Ok, let make the bad points first.
First Bad Elephant in the Room.
Many users are reporting a safety problem with the face shield.
When in the closed position, it will open and abruptly flip up on its own while riding.
Quite the safety issue. Scary surprises included and a bonus possible accident factor.
It seems the shield flips up can happen after reaching or exceeding a speed of 55mph.
Based on the review, it seems to happen when the riders moved their heads to the side like doing a shoulder check.
Is the Bell Qualifier quiet?
Far and wide, many buyers of this helmet complained about its noise level. And they complained about it a lot. It is the dominant complaint seen in users’ reviews.
If you are still interested in buying this helmet, wear earplugs.
And don’t feel weirded out about it.
I will always recommend you do, especially if you plan to go riding in higher speed zones.
No matter how loud or quiet your motorcycle helmet is, you should wear earplugs anyway.
The wind noise when riding is at a level that will damage your hearing sense over time.
Pure fact right here.
The Qualifier is noisier than average for a full-face. So putting decent earplugs or earbuds in your earholes will reduce that problem by a lot.
If you want to listen to music, find some comfortable earbuds that cut outside sound.
The newer Qualifier no longer features the sena communicator compartment. However, it retained its speaker pockets.
But I would not use them unless you ride at a lower speed most of the time, like street riding.
You could still install a communication device if you wish
But I mean, why bother with a communication device with this helmet? It is so noisy it is not going to be enjoyable. I don’t see the point.
Plus, it will damage your hearing sense even faster as you need the speaker’s sound to be louder than the wind noise.
Third Problem with the Bell Qualifier
This helmet and wind definitely don’t go together. And the wind causes another issue with the Qualifier.
The top two ventilation vents ports are reported to rattle and give a ‘’vibration noise’’.
There are some workarounds for this, but they are not ideal.
Some user’s solution was to remove the ports completely. But as a tradeoff, the vents are permanently open.
YouTuber Chapee Oldmansgapyear did the opposite. In his video right Here at 2:05 minute, he talks about this problem, and his solution was to tape the vents shut.
Bell Qualifier Price and its Other Good Points
Ok, I am done bashing this helmet…. For now 🙂
We’ll get back to some other less significant issues later.
Because this helmet is not entirely hopeless, let talk about its strong points.
The best perk of this helmet is its entry price point. At around 110$ US for a full face from a reputable company like Bell, it is a solid argument to consider.
Bell also gives a five-year warranty on their motorcycle helmets, including this one.
The Qualifier provides a wide field of vision, something riders always appreciate.
This helmet offers a significant number of visual options to buy. Although they are not as numerous and crazy as the Qualifier DLX version, the designs are still cool as hell.
It is also relatively light for a full face. A feature that was frequently mentioned and appreciated by its users.
This weight feature is the result of it polycarbonate blend and ABS shell.
The internal liner can also be removed to be washed appropriately. Something that is more and more industry-standard to extend your helmet lifespan.
What is the head shape of the bell Qualifier?
It is an Intermediate oval-shaped Motorcycle helmet available in three different shell sizes.
The shape and sizes are probably responsible for this helmet’s strongest positive point commented by its users.
The Qualifier is a comfortable motorcycle helmet.
And that a massive good point for an entry-level helmet. Some budget helmets tend to be unwearable after an hour or less.
Reasons being poor ventilation, pressure points on the user’s head, and other discomforts.
Also, comments regarding that the helmet was too small or too big due to bad sizing were rare.
Sizing being off is usually a problem with many motorcycle helmets. A point the Qualifier doesn’t seem to be affected.
Is the Bell qualifier ECE?
Yes, it is and DOT certified at the same time.
And although this version of the Qualifier Helmet has yet to be tested by other associations. I have something interesting to tell you.
The Qualifier DLX version and the DLX Mips were both tested by SHARP. These helmets are the Qualifier upgraded version.
Ok, real quick, if you don’t know what SHARP is.
It a UK organization that test helmet similar to ECE testing.
But SHARP gives a helmet safety rating based on a five stars system. the association also provides insight into a helmet’s weak points.
Both the DLX and DLX Mips scored 3 out of 5 stars. Not the worst but not the best either.
The weak points of the helmets seem to be on the sides.
Here the thing, these helmets are based on the basic version of the Qualifier. So let assume, based on logic, that the Qualifier basic would get a similar rating.
And as a side note, it is the older version of the Qualifier DLX and Mibs that SHARP tested.
The older version is the one with the communicator compartment no longer integrated.
There was a significant weak point on the left side of the helmet. If the hole for the communicator got nothing to do with it, that one hell of a coincidence.
I am glad it is no longer part of the Qualifier features.
I’m not too fond of this selling method;
Buy this item now. Great! Now you have to buy this other item because it is made for the one you just bought!
That was the case after buying the previous Qualifier version. You were strongly suggested to get in bed with Sena.
What is the difference between the Qualifier and the Qualifier DLX?
In short, not much.
The main difference being what which face shield comes with the helmet.
It also includes the same pros and cons but with a few changes and some add-ons.
Here the differences that the DLX version got over the Basic Qualifier
- Include a Transition Photochromic Shield (main appeal to get this helmet)
- The DLX features a chin curtain for reduced wind noise (not so much)
- More visual options than the standard Qualifier
Yet, there are now two new versions that are replacing the DLX
- The DLX Mibs
- The DLX Blackout
The DLX Mibs
The difference is the Mibs System included in the helmet.
MIPS – Multi-Directional Impact Protection System
The role of this technology is to reduce rotational impact force on the user’s brain. The system allows a small displacement room for the user’s head inside the helmet in a crash.
Studies seem to point in a positive direction about the effectiveness of this safety feature.
It also comes with the sought out Transition Photochromic Shield.
The face shield is clear in low light conditions but darkens on its own when exposed to strong lights like the sun.
The DLX Blackout
The difference is that it comes without the Transition Photochromic Shield or the Mibs system.
It instead includes a standard clear face shield and a dark smoked one. It up to you to switch them around to your liking.
All Qualifier’s versions feature a quick release and no tools system for interchanging face shields.
This makes it a much more enjoyable experience.
The side Bell logos were also removed to create a more discrete and ‘’Blackout’’ effect.
We are coming back to our basic version of the Qualifier.
The bottom line this is still is a decent helmet if you can workaround its cons.
I understand everybody got a wallet limit.
Buying a motorcycle helmet is a financial choice, no matter what.
That is what the Bell Qualifier helmet is. It is an answer to a more restricted budget for a full-face motorcycle helmet.
I get that and more power to you if this is what you need.
I feel that even with the Qualifier price point, there are better alternatives out there.
Or add fifty bucks to your budget. You can get different exciting options.
In the end, most buyers that didn’t have a heart attack due to the shield flipping up were pleased with this helmet.
Apart from its noisy problems, I do agree it could make a good beginner motorcyclist helmet.
It is an entry-level street helmet, after all.
Another type of rider this helmet would fit is a veteran rider wishing to transition to the full-face helmet.
For Getting a feel for it before considering a more expensive piece of equipment.
So put on some earplugs, use the Qualifier as an entry-level street riding helmet as advertised.
And try to stay away from high-speed situations, and you’re going to have a great time with the Qualifier.