MO Tested: Bell ProTint Photochromatic Visor Review

Evans Brasfield
by Evans Brasfield

Fits all Bell helmets with Panovosion viewports

Photochromatic visors are the ultimate convenience when it comes to helmet visor technology. They eliminate the need to carry extra visors or have complicated internal visor mechanics built in to a helmet to account for changing light conditions. Since their introduction, photochromatic visors have gotten progressively more versatile in their reactivity time and percentage of tinting that they provide. While still priced considerably more than regular visors, their utility makes them great items for daily riders. With the ProTint visor, Bell has become the first helmet manufacturer to develop its own photochromatic shield technology.


MO Tested: Shoei CWR–1 Transitions Shield Review

Designed to fit any Bell helmet that features the Panovision viewport, the $149.95 ProTint is compatible with the Pro Star, Race Star Flex, Star MIPS, and SRT-Modular helmets. The visors react to UV light and vary with its intensity. This translates into a visor that quickly darkens in bright light yet offers clarity for riders in low light. Bell also claims that the color of the tinting is more neutral than with other photochromatic visors, which means that riders’ eyes don’t have to go through an extra step to discern colors. According to Bell, the ProTint achieves 80% of its darkening in just 20 seconds and can go to full dark in a minute.

My experience with the ProTint visor over the course of a month of frequent use is that I hardly notice it’s there. Occasionally, after going from cloudy conditions with a relatively clear visor to bright sun with the visor darkened, I’ll flip up the visor at a stop and be surprised by how bright it is. The reverse is also true; the ProTint changes from dark to clear so seamlessly that I frequently don’t notice the change – even when going in and out of varied light.

The constantly varying tint of the ProTint visor makes it ideal for everyday riders.

The optical clarity of all of the Bell Panovision viewport visors has always been perfect. I’ve never noticed even the slightest distortion when the visor is closed.

My time with the Bell ProTint visor has made me grow increasingly fond of it with each ride. If you are a frequent rider who has one of the Bell Panovision helmets listed above, I highly recommend you spend the $149.95 for this visor. You won’t be disappointed.

You can learn more about the Bell ProTint visor at the Bell Helmets website.

We are committed to finding, researching, and recommending the best products. We earn commissions from purchases you make using the retail links in our product reviews and other articles. Learn more about how this works.

Evans Brasfield
Evans Brasfield

Like most of the best happenings in his life, Evans stumbled into his motojournalism career. While on his way to a planned life in academia, he applied for a job at a motorcycle magazine, thinking he’d get the opportunity to write some freelance articles. Instead, he was offered a full-time job in which he discovered he could actually get paid to ride other people’s motorcycles – and he’s never looked back. Over the 25 years he’s been in the motorcycle industry, Evans has written two books, 101 Sportbike Performance Projects and How to Modify Your Metric Cruiser, and has ridden just about every production motorcycle manufactured. Evans has a deep love of motorcycles and believes they are a force for good in the world.

More by Evans Brasfield

Join the conversation
6 of 11 comments
  • Meaty Midrange Meaty Midrange on Jun 06, 2018

    I'd love a self-adjusting tint visor, but it's not a strong enough feature to dictate which helmet I'd choose.

    Does anyone make photo-chromo visors for Arai or Shoei helmets? Does Bell hold a patent or trademark on the tech that makes it exclusive to them?

  • Motonut_1 Motonut_1 on Jun 06, 2018

    While testing the shield, did you have occasion to ride from bright sunlight into a dark tunnel? There are several of these on the BRP. How long does it take for the shield to go from dark to light enough to be able to see well in this type of situation?

    • Evans Brasfield Evans Brasfield on Jun 06, 2018

      It's faster than previous generations but still not instantaneous. Better than sunglasses or a standard tinted visor.