Biltwell Inc builds new products with old school cool designed right in to every bolt, screw, nut, and fabric they use to make their extensive product line.
We just started reviewing our new long term Indian Chieftain and wanted to have some new gear to match the bold styling. Biltwell has the perfect style and protection to complement any model cruiser and the LE Checker we received fits the bill perfectly.
The Gringo S is built around Biltwell’s injection-molded ABS outer shell and features a shock-absorbing EPS liner with hand-stitched interior padding, cheek pads and BioFoam chin bar cushion for comfort.The Gringo S shield boasts awesome optics and simple hinge mechanics for high style and easy removal for replacement or cleaning. A snap and tab configuration on the rider’s left side offers speedy opening and secure closing to protect its wearer from road debris and wind irritation with little fanfare or complication.
• Injection-molded ABS outer shell with hand-painted finish
• Expanded polystyrene inner shell
• Hand-sewn brushed Lycra liner w/ contrasting diamond-stitched quilted open-cell foam padding
• Meets DOT safety standards
• Internal BioFoam chin pad with contrast stitching
• Injection-molded, laser CNC cut polycarbonate eye port shield with stylish, rugged aluminum hinge covers and mounting hardware
All of that information is handy but it doesn’t really tell you much about the helmet itself.
Fit and Finish
The internal shape is definitely round. The size is accurate but for folks like me with an oval head there will be some space on the sides.
The ear pockets are huge! The only way to have more space is to wear a half helmet or no helmet. That makes it easy to add communications if you want to.
Eye port visibility is outstanding. The opening is massive and does not inhibit your view at all. It doesn’t seal tight allowing plenty of air flow. It has to flow air since there are no vents to speak of anywhere else. The airflow isn’t obtrusive or annoying, especially when you ride behind a fairing. I also tested it riding an naked sport bike and it was smooth, comfortable, and reasonably quiet. That lack of external vents also means there isn;t anything that creates turbulence and additional noise.
The internal fit and finish has custom touches that you would expect in helmets costing hundreds of dollars more. The stitching, the soft lining, and the precision in which it was assembled are clearly evident.
That carries over to the paint. Typically you find dirt, or poorly finished areas on ABS helmets. Biltwell definitely goes the extra mile and makes sure their helmets are finished as nice as anything on the market today.
Another nice touch that I have never run into is the snap for the strap. Usually it folds back on itself near the buckle. This one snaps near the middle on a slider. It’s super convenient to put on and take off and allows for a ton of adjustment so the strap fits properly and wherever you need it.
I really only have one issue with the helmet. The snap on the shield doesn’t always snap properly. It has some play on the shield and I am not sure if that’s normal or an anomaly. I will update once I hear back from Biltwell.
Priced at $229 the Gringo S LE Checker is right at the top of the sweet spot for helmets like this. When you compare it to the Bell Bullit, it’s almost half the price and offers all the same features, excellent fit and finish, and tons of optional styles. I definitely recommend the helmet for anyone looking for a great full face helmet with that vintage flare.