Biltwell Gringo Motorcycle Helmet Review: Is This Retro Cool Helmet Worth It?

  • Outer shell: ABS material
  • Inner shell: EPS liner
  • Interior padding: Brushed Lycra
  • Sizing: XS to XXL
  • Straps: Double D-ring strap; neck strap
  • Pinlock: None
  • Accessories: Shields, visor, glasses, face shield, and goggles are all sold separately
  • Air ventilation: 2 holes for air

Staying protected and looking cool are important factors when choosing a helmet. We don’t really like looking like a giant mushroom head while riding, do we?

Thankfully, the Biltwell Gringo motorcycle helmet ensures TOP-TIER protection and style throughout your road trips.

Let’s delve deep into the motorcycle product, shall we?

A Brief Overview of the Gringo Product

Biltwell Gringo helmets have been receiving the hype lately because they offer both.

It makes you look awesome in retro style while ensuring that it’s DOT and ECE approved and passed the safety standards.

The price is considered affordable too (approximately around $175), and many riders highly praise the wear comfort.

Biltwell Gringo Helmet Review: Specifications and Features

The Biltwell Gringo helmet doesn’t shy away from the features. It has undeniably good specifications that meet the standards.

Source: Biltwellinc.com

Outer Shell: ABS Material

If you look at Gringo helmets, their defining feature is the beautiful shiny head that looks polished, old school, and glossy.

Well, you have the ABS shell to thank for that. (Though they also have a matte option in flat black.)

PROS of ABS Material

It’s a known material for older helmets, and here are the specific benefits it has:

  • It’s scratch-proof! So no matter what your helmet goes through, it can maintain that sleek look.
  • Like vintage cars, this vintage helmet is rigid and durable.
  • It has a good impact, chemical and cold resistance.
  • It’s more affordable than polycarbonate.

CONS of ABS Material

However, we admit that ABS is not as durable and resistant as polycarbonate, which is the more common material helmet manufacturers use today.

There’s a reason why they switched to modern materials for a novelty helmet now. And that’s because ABS has some cons:

  • Though good, it’s still less resistant than polycarbonate.
  • It’s not self-extinguishing in case of fire.
  • It’s not UV resistant.
  • Being rigid is good for some cases but can be more harmful to some impacts.

BUT OVERALL, understand that those going for Gringo helmets are after the style and look WHILE still staying protected.

They know that it’s not the top player in terms of the durability of materials.

Inner Shell: EPS Liner

The inner EPS liner is shock-absorbing, which is a huge plus for helmets, of course.

To put it simply, EPS is more like styrofoam. Yes, as in the one in disposable cups.

But don’t worry, it’s not exactly that. The process and source are the same, but the ones in helmets are MORE specialized and of HIGHER quality.

But the point is the “crushable foam” slows the transmission of impact from the helmet to your head.

EPS is also resistant to common chemicals, so it doesn’t easily degrade or deteriorate over time.

If you want to understand more about EPS liners, check out this blog for more technical explanations.

Interior Padding: Cheek Pads, Chin Bar, Lining

The interior is made with brushed Lycra, a known fabric for its suede-like smoothness and comfortability.

Other than the material, the Biltwell Gringo helmets are complete with chin bar pads, cheek pads, and internal lining pads that are removable and washable.

Gringo offers replacement comfort liners if you need a brand new one.

The linings – specifically evident on the chin bar pad – have a criss-cross pattern. It may not look like it’s worth anything, but trust us, it adds to the comfortable feeling of the pad!

Sizing: XS to XXL

One thing we also appreciate about Biltwell Gringo is that they have a wide range of size options and two shell sizes.

One may think that the helmet’s round shape restricts the fit on most heads, but not with Biltwell!

To find your accurate shell size, we think their Youtube tutorial will help you determine the right one for you.

Straps: Double D-Ring Strap and Neck Strap

Our opinions of this motorcycle helmet’s strap system are a bit divided.

For one, we like the double D-ring system, which securely fastens the helmet on your head with the two d-rings.

Despite the old-school look, they’ve brought in modern safety features such as this one if an accident occurs.

However, the strap on the neck could use some improvements. The fabric is a bit rough on the skin, which can be uncomfortable when wearing it on longer trips.

Pinlock and Accessories

We’ll merge these two categories since they’re connected.

First, we’d like to emphasize that Biltwell offers another full-face helmet, the Gringo S.

There are some distinctions, and this one specifically has a flip-up visor attached, and therefore it follows that it has a pin lock.

But since we’re focusing on the Gringo only, this one has no pin lock.

It does have snaps where you can attach ACCESSORIES such as shields, a bubble shield, face shield, visor, etc. (NOTE: Biltwell Gringo sells these SEPARATELY.)

Here’s a front view of the helmet so you can see the snaps.

Source: biltwellinc.com

Some riders wear goggles and glasses instead for eye protection. But keep in mind that with the pads inside, the space can be a bit narrow. So wearing thicker goggles and glasses may not fit comfortably.

Some buy Biltwell Gringo goggles with overhead straps (like this one), so they can wrap them around the head of the helmet instead.

NOTE: You can check out their visor selections here.

Ventilation: 2 Holes Only

One of the cons that we don’t particularly like about the Biltwell Gringo helmets is the lack of ventilation and funnel air.

Don’t get us wrong. It’s not that it doesn’t have ventilation and funnel air at all – it has.

But it’s not as good as the other ones.

The only holes this helmet has are for your head and eyes, and that’s it.

Though riders say that removing the pads can help with the helmet’s ventilation, it kind of defeats the purpose of the pads.

Noise: Loud

When you run at high speeds, this full-face helmet has a louder noise than other helmet options.

Because of the simplicity of its shells and features, it’s not very good in terms of blocking the road noises.

It’s even LOUDER since you don’t have a visor or shield covering you. But then, going back to the ventilation concern, it’s one of the two holes that this full-face helmet has.

So, if you prefer a more quiet ride, then this might be a problem for you. But for some Biltwell Gringo fans, they claim that it’s not much of a problem.

The loud noise isn’t as bothersome, and it’s still a lot better than other open-faced helmets.

Verdict: Should You Go For Biltwell Gringo Helmets?

Our overall answer is a yes.

The features are already excellent considering the affordable price point. But at the end of it all, the final say still depends on your wearing and riding preferences.

Let’s simplify it a bit:

When Should You Buy It?

The Biltwell Gringo full-face helmets will be PERFECT for you if you’re this type of rider:

  • You’re mainly going for the cool retro style.
  • You don’t mind not having a built-in visor or shield protection.
  • You only intend to wear it for short trips.
  • You don’t wear bulky glasses while riding.

When Should You NOT Buy It?

The Biltwell Gringo Motorcycle Helmet might e a PROBLEM for you if:

  • You need better helmet ventilation.
  • You prefer full-face helmets with a built-in face shield.
  • You’re planning to use it for long, risky rides.
  • You prefer your helmet to be quieter without the road noises.

Biltwell Gringo Face Helmet Frequently Asked Questions [FAQs]

By now, we’re sure that you’re almost convinced to go with Gringo for your helmet choice! But to help you further, here’s a FAQs section to address the questions we often come across:

What’s the Difference Between the Gringo and Gringo S Helmet?

The main difference is the built-in availability of accessories such as the shield, visor, etc. But other than that, both Gringo variations are pretty much similar.

There are little differences, such as an increased weight with the Gringo S since there’s an added regular shield for additional safety – so that also means an additional $20 or so.

But all else aside, they’re MOSTLY IDENTICAL!

For the Gringo, you can still attach a shield, but it’s not built-in. You can buy a snap-on shield that’s compatible with Gringo units.

If you need or highly prefer a shield, we suggest going for the Gringo S despite the additional price.

Buying the Gringo would still mean purchasing a separate shield, so you might as well go with the built-in ones.

What Are the Safety Approval Standards of the Gringo Face Helmet?

We understand that the focus on its looks can be a little unsettling in terms of safety. But don’t worry, the Gringo is approved! Here are some of the specifics:

  • DOT approved
  • ECE approved
  • SNELL approved

Are Gringo Helmets Legal in the UK?

For those who won’t know, Biltwell Gringo helmets used to not be ECE approved yet – only DOT. Because of this, Gringo technically wasn’t legal in the UK yet.

But great news! Gringo products are now ECE approved.

That means your Gringo is not legal for a ride in UK, Europe, and other places that follow the ECE standards.

Is the Gringo True to Size?

For the most part, Gringo is fairly true to size. Biltwell actually gives us a size chart we can follow and a Youtube video (above) that guides us on how to use it.

We’ve also included the chart above under the “Sizing” heading for your reference.

But here are some tips in finding the best fitting Gringo for you:

  • If you have other helmets not from Gringo, use that as a comparison. If none, you can use a hat and follow the US sizing of it.
  • Make the largest circumference of your head as the basis (usually around your temple).

Is Gringo the Safest Option for a Helmet?

We have to be honest with you. It’s not.

As we’ve mentioned repeatedly, the selling point of the Gringo is really its aesthetic advantage.

People are buying the Gringo because of its retro and vintage look while fully knowing that it’s not the type you’ll use for a race of some sort.

But this isn’t to say that the Gringo isn’t safe because it is.

REMEMBER: It passes the most common standard approvals, and it’s safe to take out on the road.

It’s just not the best option for longer and more dangerous rides considering the ventilation concern, the lack of a shield, and the ABC outer material instead of polycarbonate.

Biltwell Gringo Full Face Helmet Summary [TL;DR]

If you’re looking for a summarized overview, this section will help. But of course, we still encourage reading the more thorough review above for a better grasp!

Helmet Features

  • Shells (outer)
  • Shells (inner): ABS material and EPS lining
  • Interior padding: Lycra
  • Sizing: XS to XXL
  • Straps: Double D-ring straps; neck straps
  • Pinlock: None
  • Accessories: Shields, visor, glasses, face shield are all sold separately
  • Ventilation: 2 holes only
  • Noise: Loud

Gringo Helmet PROS

  • Stylish vintage; visually pleasing while you’re wearing it!
  • Merges style and safety
  • Comfortable
  • Reasonable pricing
  • Size ranges and two shell sizes fit various head shapes

Gringo Helmet CONS

  • Not for a long ride
  • No built-in face shield, visor, and the likes (sold separately)
  • Rigid; but not as resistant as polycarbonate ones
  • Not quiet

Conclusion

So, there we have it. Everything that you need to know about one of the most iconic vintage style motorcycle helmets available today.

Yes, the Gringo is worth it. As long as you remember to be safe and practice the precautions, it will protect you without compromising the style – which is the main point, anyway.

Get that Gringo you’ve been eyeing and take it for a ride while looking cool and retro! Happy riding!

I have been riding on and off the road for about the last 20 years. Having access to 100's of brands of helmets, gear, and bikes - you could say that I have the dream job of a motorcycle junkie.