70’s inspired retro DOT approved full face helmet.
“Like a tastefully chopped shovelhead, it does exactly what the owner asks in a timeless way, without joining the swollen ranks of the over-featured, over-teched, modern world. It won’t be the perfect helmet for every rider, but that was never the point.” –Biltwell
The Gringo helmet was Biltwell’s first attempt in the full faced market. Well known for its ¾ DOT and novelty helmets and aggressive participation in the motorcycle culture, Biltwell saw an opportunity in the helmet market after receiving a ton of feedback from people repurposing and reupholstering old, similarly styled helmets. In an uncommon move, Biltwell responded and built it. Thank you Biltwell!
Let me first start off by saying that I am all about comfort. If I don’t feel comfortable then I’m not putting all of my focus where it should be, on the road. Instead I’m trying to figure out how I’m going to loosen my chin strap at 60 mph because it’s become a garrote around my throat. Which then leads to me constantly pulling my chin bar down as the helmet tries to fly off my head and so on and so forth. You see my point here? Directly after comfort comes safety. Although I love the look of a ¾ helmet it’s just not for me. Full face or no face kids. Last but not least, size. Depending on how a helmet is made I can wear anything from a Youth Large to an Adult Medium. Shopping for a helmet is normally a nightmare for me. So much so that after my last experience I vented on social media about it. Thankfully, the network of women riders that has been steadily growing in recent years came to my rescue and lead me to my unicorn.
I admit that I had serious doubts about this helmet being “The One” but it wasn’t enough to deter me from buying it. I was hooked the moment I saw the vintage styling. I have what I fondly refer to as the “born too late” syndrome.
Now I’m sure a few of you are wondering about my choice in color. This is the Hazard Orange glossy finish version. Biltwell has many different color options but this helmet jumped off the page at me. There’s a method to my madness, I promise. After the recent rash of incidents we’ve been hearing about lately visibility became really important to me. I want people to see me coming. Can you see me now?! Plus it’s totally rad.
When I first got the helmet I immediately tried it on and what do you know, it fit! Despite me looking like a bobble-head. I ordered a size small due to the fact my head measures in at around 21” even. Here’s Biltwell’s sizing guide for reference:
The inner shell was a little snug but I was okay with that. I like my helmets to be a little tight so they don’t move around at high speeds. As I walked around my house I noticed that I had good peripheral vision. This was looking like a good decision. Then I tried out the chin strap. The touch points were long enough that I don’t feel the nylon strap. The button snaps into place easily and is short enough it doesn’t catch on my clothing.
I could’ve ordered the bubble shield along with the helmet but I opted for Biltwell’s Moto Goggles. Going for broke, I put them on, and after a little maneuvering to get them to where I felt comfortable I went for a test run.
I wasnt giving the peoples’ eyebrow, when i put these bitches on they were tight enough they pulled my face. It’s a weird mix of IDGAF and oh shit! on my face, don’t you think?
I did a quick 40 mile highway/town ride and came up with a couple conclusions.
1. Biltwell had just gained a lifelong customer.
2. I needed to buy a smoked lens for my goggles.
Even though the goggles sit inside the opening of the helmet it still does not help with the sun. The goggles worked great on all other fronts. I have issues with my eyes drying out because I wear my contacts when I ride. I tried it with my glasses once and I got dizzy from the vibration shaking them the whole time. Never again. The seal around my eyes kept the wind from doing damage.
About the helmet. Most helmets I’ve gotten a slight case of claustrophobia from while wearing. The Gringo has enough room in the front that I could breathe easy. Even though it doesn’t have the vents you would commonly find on other helmets I never broke a sweat and it was in the eighties that day. I would say the road noise was probably on par with any other helmet I’ve owned but I didn’t buy it to improve on that so I have no issues with it. Overall, I can say when it’s time for another helmet I will be buying another Gringo. Maybe in Spectrum Gang Green next time.
About the Biltwell Full- Faced helmet:
Construction: Seamless injection-molded ABS outer shell, shock-absorbing EPS inner shell and a removable, hand-stitched removable comfort liner with open-cell foam and brushed Lycra construction. The chinstrap is adorned with brushed Lycra material on touch points and features a flat D-ring fastener with an adjustable snap end retainer. Five snaps around the Gringo’s eye port facilitate easy installation of a Biltwell bubble shield or Blast shield (sold separately.)
• Injection-molded ABS outer shell with hand-painted finish
• Expanded polystyrene inner shell
• Hand-sewn removable brushed Lycra liner with diamond-stitched quilted open-cell foam padding
• Meets DOT safety standards
• Internal BioFoam chin pad with hand-sewn contrast stitching
• XS through XXL sizes