Bell Rs7 and M8 helmet review

just posting here to hopefully save someone the time I spent on figuring this out, I have had some neck/spine injuries so was looking for a lighter helmet. My Bell Vortex Rs1 helmet I’ve been using was an amazing helmet for the budget and served me well but weighs 4.8lbs and I would note as a motorcycle helmet it has quite large visor.

I went on the hunt for a good carbon helmet and wanted to run a Bell. I ordered the Rs7-k carbon helmet because it was the lightest on the market, I got the helmet and it is amazing and fits me great, weighs only 2.8lbs but OH MAN the visor slot to look out was TINY and if I had a visor strip on there felt like peaking through a mail slot and I really didn’t like it. For sizing the 60 was about perfect. The weight (lack of) is just absurd also, the moment you feel it almost like not having a helmet on from weight side.

Rs7K pluses:
dual pane visor never fogs up
TONS of ventilation holes and air scoops all over it
truly ridiculously light. i didn’t even know it was possible to make a helmet this light.
interior fabric looks tough but also silky smooth for easy to put on
no hans mounting points so if you ever want to use in a racecar will need another helmet

Rs7K negatives:
visor view port is TINY

to find one with larger viewing area I ordered a Bell carbon M8, which weighs barely 3lbs even, so only about .2lbs more weight than the feather light Rs7k, this helmet is AMAZING and perfect for me, huge viewing area, very comfortable and fits my head great, the cloth on the inside is very soft but doesn’t look as durable as Rs7k, but I race with a head sock anyway so my beard won’t wear out the helmet interior, padding feels touch softer than rs7

bell m8 carbon pluses:
still ludicrously lightweight
HUGE viewing area is really nice
interior incredibly soft and plush
surprised but you can for sure feel the tiny bit heavier the m8 is than the carbon rs7k, it’s not a big deal but I was surprised how small weight differences in helmets are so apparent

Bell m8 carbon negatives:
less airflow holes and scoops than rs7
single pane lens requires aftermarket Bell overpriced lens stick on insert, the rs7k has an obviously nicer and higher quality lens on it
rs7k has better air scoops on it stock and more air holes in the shell but you can peel off the smaller m8 vents and put other larger one on

I wanted the larger viewing pane so I ended up with the M8 and so far is the best helmet I’ve ever used just amazing how light and really helped with my neck and spine pain, I wasn’t sure how big of a difference the weight reduction would be but I was shocked how obviously nicer this was on my neck, huge huge improvement and well worth the extra cost


Good list of pros and cons. The M8 is more geared toward closed-cockpit driving with the larger eyeport whereas the RS7 line is more of an open-cockpit helmet as the smaller eyeport = more facial protection. Not as necessary in a kart probably, but something to think about when you take feral piece of debris to the face.

I can understand the vision in the smaller eyeport being annoying for some, but personally I like it as I feel more focused on the track and not the birds flying over my head.

Either way, both nice helmets.

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Thank you for review.

Can you please measure the M8’s eyeport opening size and post it?

update here, the m8 is still awesome but i think it is made in a different factory or something than the rs7k carbon, the air vent holes inside were not all the way drilled through the foam and some of them partially or all the way covered by internal padding and the vents not entirely over the helmet shell air holes, had one helmet where the left side visor screw hole for the big visor bolt thing was messed up and cross threaded from the factory and had to send it back, all fixable but for $1,200 i’d expect a bit more in the quality department. the rs7k was dramatically more well put together

i will measure size of m8 visor opening and come back also

That sucks. Bell has had some issues with QC. I believe all their helmets are made in their Bahrain factory though the higher spec ones probably get more attention.

I had a Bell I sanded last week that had big runs in the clearcoat.

No manufacturer is immune to some of these issues, but the Arais are all hand-made and assembled so it seems like they sus out those issues a bit better.

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Cute little corporate offices. Still a homey company.