Caberg Duke motorcycle helmet review
Having used this helmet for over 2 months now, I think I am in a position to share the features and my personal opinion about it. I am not, by any means, a helmet expert so please just take it as an opinion from your ordinary guy from the street.
I like the story attached to this helmet:
The overall design and Italian flag on it has a deeper meaning – it was designed and made in Italy.
It is a flip-up helmet, made by the very same company who came up with the concept and introduced it to the market.
Briefly about Caberg company
Caberg makes it simple for people like me – all of their helmets are made in the same factory, which is based in Bergamo (not too far from Milan). In comparison, a lot of Italian brands are getting tempted to outsource manufacturing and hence different products, although under the same company name, come from different places. While Caberg is sticking to their birthplace they do keep up on the innovation front – as the introduction of a flip-up helmet in the market place shows. I personally also find it interesting that manufacturing and testing facilities are all based in the same building – which, I guess, help with the quality control.
Very impressed indeed – that would be my very first statement. I normally put priority to the story, history or quirky fact to any item I own. And, I will admit, it was the main reason why I bought it. It was an Italian made helmet with an Italian flag on it. But as I started using it I was more and more impressed with the features and quality of this thing.
Safety was my second most important criteria and if it was not certified as “excellent” by a SHARP test carried out by the UK Department of Transport I would not be reviewing it today.
And lastly, I liked that it was quite light (1500 g) as I picked it up and all moving parts felt solid. But at the end of the day, the true is in the pudding – riding and using it daily. So here is my detailed review bellow.
|One lever – two helmets in one
Thanks to P/J lever it is functionally and legally a full size helmet and an open face helmet. Switch the lever to J (Jet mode) with the chin guard fully open and it will secure it in place, avoiding any accidental drops in a critical moment. While in P (full face mode) you can bring the chin up when its needed. It locks quite firmly, but can be pull down and locked in full face mode if required. Thanks to dual homologation approval both modes are equivalent to open and full face helmets from the safety point of view.
I find jet style useful for low speed rides and the times when I am stuck in traffic, especially on a hot day. It is a pure joy to open it up when I feel like it and I would not change this for a straight full face helmet, ever.
To pull it up, I just need to press the big black button at the front with my thumb while lifting the front of the helmet with the rest of my hand. It is going up quite smooth and has a good and firm lock in position at the top. It has never dropped on my accidentally, and still allows easy access to internal visor controls on the top. To pull it down I just use one hand and then give it a push from the front to lock it in securely.
One of the first things I noticed when I put this helmet on for, the first time, was the viewing angle. I could see lower than usual without tilting my head down. The hinges feel soft and yet firm enough to secure visor in one of the five positions. It felt quite straightforward when I tried to replace the visor as a test – pull the lock-in mechanism, one click and done.
It is treated for anti-scratch as fell as anti-fog properties which so far did not let me down. I also tried it out in a long and heavy rain with no leaks or dampness seeping in.
|Inner Sun Visor
I found it very handy on numerous occasions and definitely see the advantage of having one. It can be deployed in all modes – when the helmet is in Jet mode (as pictured), and when it is in full helmet mode with the front visor either up or down. Light filtration was sufficient for the bright sun in the UK and the design did not allow any unwanted airflows into my eyes. The visor itself also treated for anti-scratch properties and in the two months of daily usage, I cannot see any so far.
|Internal Visor Control
Initially I did not think that I will need this that much and hence it was only an extra bonus when buying it. However, now I can hardly imagine not having an option to just pull down the ‘sunglasses’ with a quick pull of a lever. I had a case where it was raining and I started to get a bright sunlight from the edge of the cloud. Without opening my visor I just lowered the sunscreen in seconds.
The lever is easy to feel even with thicker gloves and it clips softly yet firmly into position.
Before I go into details, can I just say that the design of these air vents also make a statement. It just looks so mean, so bad boy.
In total there are five vents on the chin guard, top three flow on the back of the windshield to prevent fogging, while the bottom two provide general ventilation. Considering that visor is also coated by anti-fog layer – it works amazingly well. Unusually though, I found it strange that it did not have on/off button to reduce the flow on the colder days.
There are also two square vents on the top (with an on/off switch) to ventilate the back of the helmet.
The lining can be removed completely and is suitable for washing. There was no need for me to wash so far, but it was useful when installing my bluetooth set. As it is shown on the picture, it is mostly clipped together in sections across the entire helmet. The fabric is breathable and hypoallergenic throughout with some leather patches in high worn areas at the bottom and a strip of reflective material at the back.
From the noise perspective, I found it to be quieter than my previous helmet and neat fitting lining is greatly contributing to that.
This is something new to me, and I was not sure how useful it is. Especially that it is not permanently fixed it but rather easily connected when required. On the colder day it prevents cold air from flowing inside the helmet. But most importantly this nifty feature reduces noise when riding at high speeds. It was very useful on my long recent ride London – Barcelona – Lisbon, in autumn weather. Interestingly, I still haven’t managed to understand what are those additional 4 holes for. But I doubt it is anything important.