Product Evolution

From our first helmet manufactured in a garage behind Bell Auto Parts in Bell, California in 1954 under the leadership of Roy Richter, to the present line, we’re constantly breaking new ground in safety, protection, comfort, technology and innovation. We know that, as quick as the final flash of that checkered flag, the future soon becomes the past – we don’t look back, we push forward, searching for the next finish line, the next win in a long history of wins. That legacy continues today with the purpose of creating and producing state-of-the-art head protection worn by the world’s best drivers.


Bell manufactures its first racing helmet – the 500, in a garage located behind Bell Auto Parts


Cal Niday becomes the first driver to wear a Bell Helmet in the Indianapolis 500.


500 TX, the first motorsports helmet to use an EPS (expanded polystyrene) liner


Jim Bryan becomes Bell’s first Indianapolis 500 Champion


Bell becomes the first company to certify a helmet to the Snell Memorial Foundation standard


The 500-TX is selected by the Museum of Modern Art in New York for Excellence of Design. Four Bell helmet models are on continuous display at MoMA


Jimmy Clark becomes Bell’s first world champion


Bell introduces the world’s first full-face helmet – the Star


Dan Gurney becomes the first racer to wear a full-face helmet in competition


Mario Andretti wins the Indy 500 – the last driver to win the 500 in an open face helmet


Unique in auto racing history, all 33 drivers at each of USAC’s 500-mile championship races – Indianapolis, Pocono and Ontario – wear Bell Helmets


Bell introduces the first helmet with a fire-retardant interior


The Star II becomes the first helmet with a flip-up visor system


The first dual eyeport helmet, Star XF is introduced


The XFM-1 is the first lightweight composite helmet in motorsports


Bell introduces the Mag 4 RS, the first purpose-built helmet for NASCAR, stock car style racing


The AFX-1 is the first ultra-lightweight all Kevlar helmet in motorsports


The Vortex is the first helmet to include aerodynamic elements including trip strips and vortex generators


Based on a design by Jim Feuling, the Feuling SS is introduced, revolutionizing aerodynamic helmet performance with a unique seven-degree flat back design incorporating a front chin gurney and rear wicker gurney to eliminate helmet buffeting and lift at high-speeds


The Dominator is introduced, the first helmet with gurneys built into the shell for enhanced aerodynamic performance in a compact design


Bell introduces the DSAF insert designed into the helmet shield to create a natural air barrier to eliminate shield fogging in high-temperature and high-humidity environments


Bell’s HP1 is the first helmet to be homologated to the FIA8860 advanced helmet standard and used in F1 competition


The KC3 is the first helmet to be homologated to the new Snell/FIA CMR children’s standard


The GTX, the first helmet developed specifically for dirt racing, is introduced featuring rear facing vents designed to create a venturi effect, allowing ventilation while preventing dust and dirt from entering the helmet


Bell’s BR1 is the first forced air helmet design for use in either a side or top air configuration using a kit system


Bell is the first company to homologate and use a Zylon Visor Panel in F1 competition


Bell introduces the HP7 featuring an innovative shell and integrated shield design optimized moving the pivot locations down and forward to improve acoustic and aerodynamic performance while enhancing energy management capacities


Bell introduces the ultra-lightweight RS7C LTWT model in collaboration with Penske Racing weighing less than 2.75 pounds


The Bell HP77, the first helmet to feature the Visor Panel incorporated into the shell is revealed at the FIA Sport Conference in Manila