It feels like we've beaten this horse to death, but there are still enough redundant questions surfacing in social media about our first DOT-approved full-face helmet that a blog about the Gringo seems necessary. In no particular order, here are some short, sweet answers to the questions we hear most often:
What colors does the Gringo come in?
That's easy: Gloss Black, Flat Black, Gloss Orange, Gloss Antique White and Flat Titanium Is the Gringo helmet DOT approved?
Yes, The Gringo is DOT approved.
Are you going to introduce a novelty version of the Gringo helmet?
No, and here's why: Novelty helmets exist to help style-conscious bikeriders avoid the astronaut look so common with open-face helmets. Because full-face helmets have a chin bar that obscures the rider's face, the astronaut factor is greatly minimized. People who buy full-face helmets are doing so for safety, so a novelty full face doesn't make sense.
Will Biltwell goggles and bubble shields work with the Gringo helmet?
Yes. See photos for proof. Peripheral vision in the Gringo meets or exceeds DOT standards, but motocross goggles have a tendency to reduce the rider's peripheral vision do to limitations inherent in their design. If you like the look of a retro-inspired full face like the Gringo with MX goggles, please keep this in mind. Peripheral vision is more important on a street bike than it is on the motocross track, where most of the action happens in the rider's line of sight. On a street bike, shit's going down everywhere, and you need to see it. If safety is your number one priority, there are few safer or better-looking setups than our bubble shield on a Gringo.
How many sizes? Do the different sizes employ different-sized outer shells?
The Gringo comes in six sizes: XS through XXL. There are two different outer shell sizes: One for XS through M, and a second slightly larger one for L, XL and XXL.
Can I wash the Gringo's cheek pads and inside comfort liner?
Both the interior comfort liner and cheek pads in the Gringo are removable and washable, but you must use care in doing so. NEVER throw the liner or cheek pads in a washer or dryerâ€”hand wash only with mild soapy water and allow to air dry before reinstalling. We will offer replacement cheek pads and comfort liners for Gringos in the future, probably in the early fall of 2013.
If I order a Gringo online, can I exchange it if it doesn't fit?
Yes, but please see our sizing chart for Gringo helmets here before placing your order. Sorry, we will not accept returns on improperly sized Gringo helmets that show visible signs of excessive wear and tear. If it doesn't fit, put it into its original packaging and email Erik at Biltwell customer service for instructions on returning helmets.
Bonanza. This is the open face helmet that replaces previous models like the Hustler and El Fuerte. We will have these in stock and ready to ship by the end of this week.
Colors:Gloss Black, Gloss Vintage White, Flat Black, Flat Primer Red, Flat Titanium, Root Beer Mega Flake, Wine Red Mega Flake and Gang Green Mega Flake.
Prices: Flat and Gloss colors are $99.95 and all Mega Flakes will be $119.95
Fitment: These are the same shell and foam shape as the previous El Fuertes. The only difference is some labeling and the foam density. If you had an EF and liked the fit, the Bonanza should be a direct replacement for you. Sizes are XS thru XXL.
Gringo. The much anticipated full-face DOT-approved lid. We've been ride and lab testing these for a while now. So far, the Gringo has passed everything needed for DOT certification. We are working on the second mold and making sure all sizes pass all tests. Sorry if this seems like it takes forever, it just does. We've learned not to rush the process.
Availability: We're hoping to have the first run (L, XL and XXL) ready to ship in May. A month or so after, we should have the smaller sizes (XS, S and M).
Colors:We're going to surprise you with this one. No reason to tell any other helmet companies what's coming next. Don't worry, you will like 'em and there will be more choices later on down the road.
Sizing: These are not the tiny Japanese novelty style helmets that fit super close to your face. These are real helmets and have reasonable proportions. When placed next to a modern sport bike helmet they look tiny. Think 1970's flat track. If you like that look, you'll like these. We'll do some action shots and comparisons before they go on sale so you can see the lids in context. For now, all we have is this one of me from about a month ago (thanks, Austin).
Features: None. Just kidding, there are a few, but compared to a contemporary, feature-laden sport bike helmet, the Gringo is quite sparse. We did this on purpose because we like the simple look of early full-face lids. There are no vents. There will be five snaps. A flat, non flip-up clear screen will be available, and Biltwell Moto Goggles and Bubble Shields work with the snaps and eye port.
Price: Figure around $150 USD
Check out our website for all helmet and helmet accessory availability.
That's about it. If you have further questions, feel free to ask them here so other people can see the answers too. -Bill
A couple weeks ago, a group of us rode down to Baja to check on things in preparation for the upcoming El Diablo Run and to see if the newly-constructed highway south to Gonzaga Bay was completed yet. It's not. But it's close. Only about three or four miles of dirt road left and then it'll be smooth sailing to one of Baja's loneliest shorelines. Bittersweet really, as they say: "good roads bring bad people" and all that. Either way, I wanted to be the first people to ride choppers there and back and by the comments from the few locals, I think we pulled it off. We cheated and brought the van and a small trailer which was nice for hauling a big ice chest full of beer, a load of fire wood and the occasional broken bike. In the end, all bikes made it save one (there's just no finding a modern Triumph coil down there). I'll save you the blow-by-blow description, but if you ever want to go, it's an easy route to navigate and even nicer coming back through Tecate where we stayed in some rather posh little cabinas. http://www.rancho-ojai.com/ Here's the route: http://tinyurl.com/ac2hzhv
Austin's bike just before heading into Borrego Springs. EDR route.
Just north of San Felipe. No construction on the highway this time for once.
South of Puertocitas on the new highway. It'll probably be full of graffiti and trash in a couple years so it was nice to see it in it's virgin state.
Good as it gets right here.
The last few miles were dirt, but totally doable.
We made it. The PEMEX station was open and the store had ice cold Pacifico. Recently acquired pan did great!
Setting up camp. I think it cost us $2.00 US per person to stay here.
The van was about five hours behind dealing with other stuff so we scrounged a fire.
JD and McGoo relaced his wheel minus three broken spokes (now spaced equidistant) and everyone was together again just before dark.
Just in case you wondered, an empty mini keg placed on a bed of hot coals will blow in about one minute. It isn't smart, but it sure is fun. Close tents get ventilated. Sorry, Evan!
Sunrise on the Sea of Cortez is pretty hard to beat. I woke up just long enough to snap a pic and go back to sleep.
After a dinner of MRE's, breakfast at Alfonsina's in Gonzaga Bay did not suck.
Back on the road again. We rode four across on some stretches of the deserted highway.
Hot Springs in Puertocitas mix with the incoming tide. This pool was too hot to go into yet.
But this one was just right...
Frick the van pilot has had it with cranky motorcycles by this point. A sticky float got a little love and we were back on the road.
You can't stop Black Rob and his well-worn CB750.
I can't help but take photos when riding next to JD.
Charlie "The Cobra" got his ass kicked by two blind guys (don't ask, he doesn't remember) a couple nights before the trip. He wasn't about to give up though, so he jumped in the van.
We tried to steal this kid but he said "Struts are for kooks ess-aye" and hauled ass.
Cabinas in Tecate were a nice surprise for everybody.
Kickstand rubs the belt? We can fix that.
Austin of Odyn Vovk. Forget what people say about "kids these days". There are young guns out there that kick ass. Here's one of 'em.
More youngsters that got it right. Whitney and Eric. Lots to learn from these two.
Jason "Timmy" Ball. No matter what name you know him by, you probably know him. If you don't, your girlfriend most likely does. Just sayin'.
Thanks to everyone for a real memorable trip. This is the part about motorcycles I enjoy the most and this trip well above average. Sorry Joel, Nick, McGoo and Evan, somehow I didn't get any decent pics of you guys. Â¡Viva Motos!
Wanna get your bike to CA from the East Coast or other places in between? Walt and Mike 47 have teamed up with a big truck and trailer that is going both ways. They've got room for a couple more bikes. Fly in like a rock star, get some work done in Mexico for a few days and then fly home sunburned and hungover like a boss. Details here: http://www.kickstartcycle.com/blog.php?id=7492194265374661214
With all the instagrams and facebooks and whatnots, does anyone ever visit regular old blogs anymore? We haven't done anything on the Biltwell Blog in about a year but are kinda thinkin' about bringing it back. Any opinions?
We just finished printing a paper catalog for the first time in a couple years. We'll have 'em here next week (it was printed in Ohio) and will be throwing them in with orders, dragging them around to events, etc. With a ton of new bars, a new riser set up and some other new stuff it seemed like the time to do a legit piece. If you'd rather save a few trees and view online, you can check it out as a flip book here
Michael Schmidt shot all the "action" photos out in Ocotillo during the worst conditions possible. It's fun to see the stuff you enjoy doing, but through the lens of a true professional who also digs cycles. Thanks, Mike! Check out more of his work here