Tuesday, 2 August 2016

A New Helmet Filters Through From Biltwell

Many of you who follow Biltwell’s social media presence may be forgiven for thinking that the lives of the lads from Temecula is simply about “having fun and riding bikes”, to paraphrase their motto and hashtag. And while it is true that they manage to find an awful lot of time to spend on the road, truth is that they’re a hard-working bunch.

Proof of this is the new “Lane Splitter” helmet, which they have been apparently working on for the past two years. Whatever the case, there’s not a lot of technical info forthcoming about the new lid; all we know for the moment is that it is made of polycarbonate, like other existing helmets from Biltwell and that style-wise, it is a radical departure from the smooth, Seventies-inspired shape of the Gringo and Gringo S. The Lane Splitter takes its styling cues from the Eighties and early Nineties, with more than a passing nod at the legendary Simpson Bandit. It also is the first Biltwell helmet to feature ventilation, with aggressive venting in the chin bar and a discreet exhaust vent at the top rear of the helmet, the latter somewhat à la Bell Bullitt. And for those of you who like the shieldless full-face look, it seems to us that the eyeport is large enough to accommodate a pair of Bilwell’s Moto, Moto 2.0 or Overland goggles, or even a pair of 100%’s superlative Barstow goggles.

One piece of extremely good news for the brand’s enthusiasts from outside the US is that they will be seeking to obtain ECE 22.05 approval for the helmet, which means that it will be road-legal in most countries outside the US apart from Australia and Japan (these two countries have their own approval standards).

A limited batch of DOT-approved Lane Splitter helmets were available on Biltwell’s webstore at a price of US$249.95, but at the time of publishing, these have all sold out. There will be no further Lane Splitters available until late 2016 (dixit the Biltwell website).

Here at The Thruxtonian we are really impatient to get our hands on a Lane Splitter - hopefully before their official launch towards the end of this year and in time with our participation in the 2016 Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride in September.

All photographs: Biltwell Inc.

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