The Caberg Ego is a very innovative and revolutionary new motorcycle helmet that makes everything else seem so old-fashioned.
But there's more to the Ego than just the top vent; it's an outstanding helmet that adds a webBikeWorld-inspired internal sun visor, relatively light weight and low cost to make a hard-to-resist package!
2011 is shaping up to be (another) "Year of the Motorcycle Helmet".
New helmets are being released as fast as we can review them and each new helmet seems designed to top the one that came before.
There really have been some impressive gains in motorcycle helmet design, styling and features recently and that's a beautiful thing for every rider.
Caberg has been right in the middle of this scrum, designing and producing new helmets at a frenetic pace, each one better than the one before.
But the Caberg designers and engineers weren't content to rest on their laurels just yet, so out pops one more -- the Caberg Ego! The Ego is surely one of the most revolutionary helmets ever.
Regular webBikeWorld readers will recall the news of the Ego, first introduced at the 2010 EICMA show in Milan, with my report that included some photos and a quick video of the Caberg Ego in its pre-production version.
When I first laid eyes on the helmet, I was impressed -- but my very next thought was that the unique design probably wouldn't meet the DOT standard. Well, keep your fingers crossed, because Caberg said they may just be able to get it done!
Our European motorcycle compadres are lucky -- they can buy the Caberg Ego today. With luck and a four-leaf clover or two, U.S. customers will see it in 2012, as Caberg is hoping to enter the U.S. market and the Ego is one of the helmets they'd like to sell.
If you read the 2010 EICMA report on the Caberg Ego, you already know about this revolutionary new helmet. If not, well, all it takes is one glance at the photo above and you'll see why.
That cover on top is the big, huge, Caberg "CASC" -- the "Caberg Air Safety Concept" venting system that provides more air than the Moto Guzzi wind tunnel! Caberg calls it the CASC; we call it the "World's First Motorcycle Helmet Sunroof"!
You can see how it works in the photos and video below, and I'll describe it in more detail in the Ventilation section, also below. Two words will suffice for now: it works!
But of course, a motorcycle helmet is more than just a good top venting system. The "perfect" helmet has to fit correctly, feel good, look good and possess a host of other features like light weight, well-controlled noise levels and more. And it doesn't hurt to be affordable also.
Well, the good news is that the Ego pretty much checks all of those boxes. And that's what makes everyone here so enthusiastic about it.
The paint and graphics on the Ego helmets I handled at the EICMA show and this regular production example all exhibited outstanding quality. The helmet shown here is the black and white "Ego Ultralight" graphics version and the design is a nice complement to the overall shape of the helmet. The Ego is available in a variety of graphics and solid colors, so there should be one to please every customer.
The graphics were specially chosen to integrate the CASC vent on top, and I like the way it works in the "Ultralight" design, with the pattern and the character lines on the sides of the helmet leading back to the exhaust vent array.
All of the fittings and moving parts work very nicely on this example and they operate with a solid feel.
The CASC "Sunroof" snaps open and closed and yes -- it's waterproof. We poured and sprayed water all over the helmet and not a drop leaked through.
In fact, Caberg created this special label (left) to add to the helmet, assuring customers of the ability of the CASC system to keep moisture out.
Any water that might get past the seal between the "Sunroof" and the boundary, it is shunted out the back through special channels under the cover that forms the top of the exhaust vents. It's clever and it works.
The Ego also has a nicely designed internal sun visor that surprisingly doesn't seem to add much weight at all to the helmet. And it's nearly straight across the bottom, designed based on webBikeWorld reader feedback.
One more nice little touch: the face shield has a centrally-located lift tab, which makes it easier to operate and prevents twisting of the shield as it's raised or lowered.
All of these features come together very nicely and the Ego gets a big thumbs up!
Score: I'll give the Caberg Ego an "Outstanding" rating for graphics, design and overall quality. See the Summary Table at the bottom of the page for a description of our rating system.
This Ego is a size large and it feels exact to size. The Caberg size chart indicates that a size large will fit a 59 cm to 60 cm head, and I think that's right on the money. My round head is about 60.5 cm and the Ego maybe feels just a tad snug, as is expected for a size large (and better than a too-loose fit).
The internal shape is slightly different from what seems to be the typical narrower European ECE fit, such as that used by Nolan in the X-Lite X-551 (review) or by Schuberth in the Schuberth C3 (review) or some Shark helmets.
Off the top of my head (pun intended), the Ego feels like it fits closer to perhaps a Shoei RF-1000 (review) or the Shoei Qwest (review) or maybe a Scorpion EXO-700 (review). The Ego feels like it has a less narrow, more neutral/rounded profile than a typical Nolan helmet.
So I'll rate the Ego as a "Neutral" shape in our scale of internal helmet shapes, shaded just a touch to the round. The fit is comfortable and although the padding feels like it might be slightly thin when I squeeze it with my hand, it feels fine when I'm wearing the helmet.
Due to the unique design, the Ego uses one shell size across the head size range. The shell size is apparently optimized to fit the size large helmet, because it seems perfect for this size -- not too big and not too small.
The fabric used for the liner probably adds to the comfort; it's smooth and soft-feeling. The liner and the cheek pads are removable.
The shape of the liner and ear pockets should work with some types of eyeglass frames and the ear pockets are covered with a layer of padding. The ear pockets aren't very deep but some thin speakers should be able to fit.
We did not try to mount an intercom on the Ego but I don't anticipate any issues, as it has the standard type of gasket around the bottom, so a clip-on intercom should fit.
webBikeWorld Internal Shape Estimator: Caberg Ego
|Narrow||Med. Narrow||Slight Narrow||Neutral||Slight Round||Med. Round||Round|
|Helmet Internal Shape Examples (see more Motorcycle Helmet Shapes)|
|Scorpion EXO-700 Neon||
More information on helmet fit can be found in the webBikeWorld Motorcycle Helmet FAQ page, along with the chart that lists the helmet weights of webBikeWorld reviewed helmets and also by shape on the webBikeWorld Motorcycle Helmet Shapes page.
Score: I'll give the Caberg Ego an "Excellent" rating for comfort and liner materials and padding and a fit that should satisfy the majority of riders.
The face shield on this Ego is 2.25 mm thick and it has a lift tab located in the center, which is the preferred location but unfortunately not found very often. Locating the tab in the center can help prevent torque or twisting of the face shield as its raised or lowered, not to mention the ease of use with either hand.
The face shield has a first position for defogging, although that first position is probably slightly wider than necessary for that task. The shield rotates crisply through 5 total detents. The face shield on the Ego is equipped with pins for a Pinlock-type anti-fog insert and Caberg includes one with the helmet.
The face shield is removed by rotating it upwards until the small arrow on the shield lines up with a mark on the side (illustrated in the video below). This is not the fully raised position, but two clicks down.
In this position, the spring-loaded slider can be pushed and the face shield is removed. It's not quite as fast or seamless as the best systems, but it's easy enough.
The eye port gasket is not continuous around the perimeter, but water drains down the sides and out the bottom of the face shield. The shield seals tightly along the rest of the gasket on this example.
The eye port provides slightly better than average side-to-side visibility and average to slightly better than average vertical visibility.
The Caberg Ego includes an internally rotating sun visor, and it's one of the best I've used. Regular readers know I've been critical of some of the sun visor designs in the past, but this one rings all the bells. First of all, it doesn't seem to add much weight at all to the helmet; in fact, I didn't even realize it was there and the helmet is relatively light for a full-face.
Second, it has a nearly straight edge along the bottom; Caberg staff mentioned that this was in reaction to webBikeWorld suggestions. Third, it rotates down out of the line of sight and has no sharp cutoffs at the corners. And finally, the operating lever on the left-hand side, just aft of the face shield, is a handy location and it has a solid feel.
All told, this adds up to a highly functional internal sun visor that actually does what it's supposed to and it's useful in real-world motorcycle riding and not just as another feature the marketing department can add to the checklist.
And besides all that, it seems darker than others I've tried, although this is probably my imagination!
webBikeWorld Eye Port Visibility Estimator: Caberg Ego
|Visibility||Poor||Below Average||Average||Above Average||Outstanding|
|Top to Bottom||■|
|Side to Side||■|
Score: I'll give the Caberg Ego an "Outstanding" rating for the overall quality and operation of the face shield, the internal sun visor and outward visibility.
The Caberg Ego is all about ventilation and then some. Peel back that big CASC sunroof and you'll expose two large vertical vents or channels that flow the air down on to your head. This is ventilation to the max, no doubt about it!
Designing the CASC system probably wasn't as easy as simply popping a big hole in the top of the helmet. After all, you wouldn't want a tornado pummeling the top of your head -- that would get old quick.
In fact, the CASC system provides outstanding ventilation, but it cleverly avoids the feeling of being exposed to a tornado swirling around upstairs. A lot of air comes in, but it circulates around, cools things off and somehow exits. It feels more like a continuous breeze than a swirling tornado, and sometimes it almost feels like air is being pulled through and out rather than being forced down and in.
This keeps the top of the head as cool as possible without a lot of fuss 'n' bother. The slider has a detent at the end of its travel and the only improvement I might suggest would be to have three or four detents along the way, so the slider could be opened part way. Actually, it can be opened part way and there's enough friction to keep it open, but a few detents might be nice.
But that's an inconsequential issue. The Ego is still all about top ventilation, and although there is obviously an increase in noise when the slider is open, it's really not as loud as I thought it might be and, in fact, I've worn helmets with much smaller top vents that are louder. When the slider is closed, the helmet is actually quieter than normal; how they managed that, I have no idea.
Also, the CASC slider is waterproof when it's closed. Any water that might sneak by is funneled out the back in special channels designed for that purpose. We ran some experiments to try everything we could think of to soak the helmet and it remained dry inside.
The perforated metal top used for the CASC is stainless steel. And Caberg said they think the CASC system may be able to meet the DOT standard, albeit with slightly smaller diameter perforations. The company is hoping to enter the North American market, probably in 2012, and the Ego is one of the helmets they'd like to bring over.
The chin vent uses a similar perforated screen, also made from stainless steel. Behind the screen is the vent opening, which operates via a small rocker switch under the chin bar. I'd like to be able to say that the chin vent provides the same levels of ventilation as the CASC slider on top, but the small rocker switch doesn't seem to provide enough back and forth travel to open the vent cover wide enough to provide the same level of ventilation.
Also, there are no direct vent channels through the chin bar in the Ego unfortunately. So the air that does enter the chin vent travels up behind the small breath guard and on to the back of the face shield. The ventilation it provides is better than average, but I did find that I had to pop open the face shield to the first position when riding slow, even in temperatures of only 65 F or so.
Once underway at speeds of anything over about 30 MPH or so, the chin vent is fine, and the outstanding ventilation up top more than makes up for it.
webBikeWorld Opinionator: Caberg Ego Ventilation
|Location||Poor||Below Average||Average||Above Average||Outstanding|
Score: I'll give the ventilation system of the Caberg Ego an "Outstanding" rating.
One of the most surprising things about the Caberg Ego is that even with the CASC system, the noise levels are fairly well controlled. The top vent can certainly be heard when it's open as a wind rushing noise (and the tradeoff in air flow is well worth it), but when the slider is closed, the Ego actually seems quieter than some other helmets I've worn.
Noise levels around the rest of the helmet seem well controlled also, although there is some wind rushing noise that enters from around the bottom of the helmet, just below the ears. This was noticed on the Caberg HyperX and Sintesi also, so perhaps a redesign of the neck roll with some thicker padding is in order.
Motorcycle helmets have improved dramatically in all areas since we first started publishing reviews over 11 years ago. Ventilation has improved, along with safety and visibility. Helmets are generally quieter than ever, but one of the last frontiers, if you will, is the neck area. Some day, someone will develop a better/thicker neck roll that will greatly decrease noise levels. Either that, or a built-in Bose sound-cancelling system. Simply beefing up the neck padding would be cheaper...
webBikeWorld Opinionator: Caberg Ego Noise Levels
|Location||Very Quiet||Quieter||Average||Louder||Very Loud|
Note that our helmet evaluations are normally a combined effort of several riders over time, on different types of motorcycles with and without windscreens. Evaluators wear correctly fitted, high quality earplugs (even when evaluating motorcycle intercom systems) and (usually) a helmet liner. It is strongly recommended that hearing protection is used when riding a motorcycle. See the wBW Earplugs and Hearing Protection page for more information on choosing and wearing earplugs.
Note also that perceived noise levels will vary, depending on the individual. Noise can be caused by many factors, including helmet fit; the type of motorcycle and windscreen; wind speed and direction and even the type of clothing that is being worn. For more information on helmet noise, visit the wBW Motorcycle Helmet Noise page.
Score: I'll give the Caberg Ego a "Very Good" rating for slightly better than average noise control.
Another amazing feature is that after all this technology, the Caberg Ego shown here weighs only 1567 grams (3 lbs., 7-1/4 oz.), which is a relatively light weight considering all of the features on this helmet, including the internal sun visor.
Other helmets in this weight range include the Bell Star (review) in size large at 1559 grams; the HJC IS-Multi in size large at 1560 grams; the Shark RSI (review) (XL) at 1565 grams; the Shark S900 (review) (L), also at 1565 grams; the Bell Arrow (review) (L) at 1568 grams and the SparX S-07 (review) (XL) at 1569 grams.
The shell on the size large Ego feels nicely proportioned, so it may very well be the largest head size for this shell. Lift and balance are excellent with no undue buffeting or lift when the helmet fits properly.
Note also that all of the helmets reviewed on webBikeWorld have been weighed and the weights are available on the wBW Motorcycle Helmet Weights page, along with a chart that lists the helmets by weight and shape on the wBW Motorcycle Helmet Shapes page.
Score: I'll give the Caberg Ego an "Outstanding" rating for its relatively low weight, especially considering all of its included features.
The Caberg Ego uses a "Microlock" quick-release chin strap system, with a metal D-ring included to lock the helmet if desired. The helmet has a two-year warranty. The helmet meets the ECE 22.05 safety standard (more). This helmet is currently sold in the EU only but Caberg is considering it as one of the helmets that would be sold in the U.S.A.
webBikeWorld Overall Opinionator - Caberg Ego
The Caberg Ego has to be one of the most revolutionary motorcycle helmets we've seen in a long time. The CASC upper venting system is phenomenal -- it probably can't get much better than this and still meet the relevant safety standards.
Caberg has so many great-looking helmets, it's hard to choose. The Ego has modern styling that isn't too far out and it's made with a high level of quality. And the price is extremely reasonable.
Caberg has always been interested in your support and feedback and we can only remain very jealous of our many European visitors who can buy the ECE version of the Ego today, while we wait to see if it will be released in the U.S. soon!
wBW Product Review: Caberg Ego Helmet
|Available From: Caberg Helmets (Italy)||List Price: £159.99|
|Colors: Solids and graphics.||Made In: Italy|
|Sizes: XS to XXL. Shell Sizes: One||Star Rating (1-5):|
|Review Date: March 2011|
Note: Item was provided by a retailer, distributor or manufacturer with these Terms and Conditions.
Ratings Scale: For reference, our ratings scale is subjective and ranges from Unacceptable to Poor, Neutral, Very Good, Excellent and Outstanding.
Note: For informational use only. All material and photographs are Copyright © webWorld International, LLC - 2000-2012. All rights reserved. See the webBikeWorld© Site Info page. Product specifications, features and details may change or differ from our descriptions. Always check before purchasing. Read the Terms and Conditions!
From "G.S." (October 2012): "I have had mine for twelve months now and think on the whole it's a good helmet. I agree with a lot of the comments on here but I do find it noisier than my old Shoei.
The sunroof just works and with a little practice can be operated on the move. The chin vent lever needs some work, impossible to detect any movement, I found the paintwork to be of a high quality but quite delicate and does scuff quite easily if not careful, but not a major concern.
I tried to think of the best feedback I could give to Caberg and the thing I would work on is the visor and rain penetration. Riding in heavy rain at moderate speeds with visor in the first raised position seems to force the airflow and rain onto the inside of the visor.
Another comment on here mentioned it leaks, I haven't had a leak in the helmet, but after a 200 mile ride across Southern England in torrential rain I noticed the helmet dripped water run off down my neck. I suspect it may be the aero dynamics at the base of the helmet.
After prolong use at motorway speeds in heavy rain, at the base, the flow is forced round the helmet then forced forwards, towards the back of the neck then dripping down from the cushioning area. Just a few drips now and then. Again, no reason to not buy this helmet, I would recommend it and will buy from Caberg again.
Thanks to the reviewer, main factor in me buying this helmet."
From "N.S." (August 2012): "I've had my Ego for about a year now. It's my only helmet (having given away the free "helmet" that came with my bike), and so has been through everything I've been through as a rider. I tour and commute (on a 135 cc bike) through all kinds of weather.
First, let me say that its sunroof does its job and does it well. I rarely have to crack open my visor, even on the hottest of days.
However, for some reason, its microlock strap system has almost completely rotted away. Now I can fully appreciate why you prefer the double-D ring style. It might something to with the acidity of my sweat, or the fact that storms rarely stop me from riding (or maybe a combination of both).
Another issue that has come up is leaking. Recently, I've noticed water manages to seep in somewhere. I can't say for certain where, though, since I can't exactly just pull over and inspect my helmet when it happens. It doesn't happen often (mostly during *extremely* heavy rain). But when it does happen, it's extremely annoying and rather disconcerting. I also have a hard time duplicating it, even when standing under the shower with the helmet on.
However, even with these issues, I still love my Caberg Ego to bits. It's just that I was hoping I could get at least three years out of it. I'm looking at other Caberg helmets now, but I won't be able to get another one until after I've managed to get another job. :)
P.S. I recently had an opportunity to ride without earplugs on (ear infection caused by, ironically, being too clean). I remember thinking, "If this is what a 'quiet' helmet sounds without plugs on, I wonder how nasty 'loud' helmets must be!"
From "L.P." (August 2012): "Iím a fairly new rider for a few months now and Caberg Ego is the only helmet Iíve worn so far, therefore I cannot compare to other helmets. IMO, noise levels are acceptable up to around 90 km/h.
My motorcycle has a very short windshield, therefore I rely on the helmet. The ventilation is really good, it does a great job at temperatures above 30įC. There is one small issue with it. Even with all the vents closed, I still get a small air flow which aims right at my forehead. It is OK, since it doesnít get into my eyes, but at low temperatures it might be a problem.
Some more experienced riders told me itís because the wind protection at the chin is not good enough, and indeed, when I covered it with my hand, the airflow stopped. I think thatís the only and minor problem with this helmet, but considering the price, the quality, the very useful sun visor and the noise levels, itís a good deal."
From "G.D." (July 2012): "Well done Caberg! I've had a Caberg helmet for approx. 5 years. I first got it for the drop down sun visor. Brilliant for the money. It's still in good order.
Recently got EGO for touring. The sunroof works really well, with not much wind rush noise at all. the visor remains a lifesaver when suddenly faced with bright sun. With the sun roof shut, the helmet is really quiet at legal speeds. Very comfortable.
I chose the pearl white colour. Had a batch of three helmets sitting in the sun. The two mainly black helmets were almost too hot to touch, whilst my white Caberg remained just warm. 1500 miles in France was a reasonable test. The anti fog pin lock insert also faultless. New chin strap fixing works fine.
I'm really pleased with my second Caberg, and at £115 inc. sourced in the UK with helmet rucksack -- felt I'd got excellent value for money."
From "D.L." (May 2012): "I'm from Kuching Malaysia riding Ninja 250r. Always looking for a helmet that suit the hot and humid weather here; and thanks to your writeup I found one. Bought online and get it shipped to Malaysia last week, and have a first ride yesterday.
1 hours ride at 2pm time that is the hottest moment here, very comfortable and the wind just blow in from the sun roof. Wow, very nice did not feel hot at all on top section, just the forehead that contact with the lining feel not so comfortable. By changing the head angle, can feel different strongest of wind blowing in.
My head measure at 58 cm, but i ordered a size L, fit just nice. Just little bit of pressing feeling at bout ears, hopefully after break in the press will go. I wear spec also, and the spec fit in just nice still a flip up is more convenient. Hopefully Caberg can have a model that is flip-up and with the same sun roof. Thanks again for your recommendation."
From "J.F." (November 2011): "After a summer with the Caberg Ego it has become my go-to lid. The helmet is comfortable and has good air flow. I have had zero problems with it. I love the tinted retractable visor. Clear coat over the graphics is very durable. I pulled out the interior and washed it. Both removal and installation was a snap. It cleaned up very well in the kitchen sink using warm water and Sport Wash."
From "M.M." (06/2011): "I took your reviews to heart because after watching and reading many of them I found myself agreeing with almost all of what was reported and expanded on. So I just ordered a HyperX in black from an unnamed source in Europe.
I really like that look and function set. I live in Phoenix, Arizona and we have had 3 days of 110+ degrees F with more on the way. I have watched the red line rise to 115 degrees F at my specific location here in the valley.
I was considering the Ego but a small idea pinged me while I was studying the video and photos. The sun here is relentless and spends most of its time right over our heads. The amount of open space at the top of the Ego had me imaging 2nd degree sun burns on my skull. So I opted for the HyperX.
I would like to put my vote in for all of the flip-up and full-face helmets listed for the U.S. They are all beautiful helmets and we desperately need some new blood and new ideas here in the states.
I would like to suggest splashing colors on the HyperX and the Ego. The shapes of those helmets are begging to (start) new color wars. One more request if you don't mind. Please, for the love of art and uncommon sense, don't use Bell racing helmets or the latest AGV "replica" helmets as your guide to "splashing" (the colors). I believe that too much of a good thing is often bent toward "too much" while leaving the "good thing" dead and buried under the rubble of good intentions.
Please come to the U.S.! I just bought one of your new helmets and I will be needing cost effective replacement parts."
From "J.F." (04/11): "(I ordered) the Caberg Ego Colt helmet medium as per the fitment guides I referenced at it is a very good fit even though I have a "long oval" noggin. ...
Interior is nice and it seems to have a better bottom skirt than my Arai or Shoei helmets, but they are both 5 plus years old. My wife is liking the visor aspect of it sooo.. I might be ordering another one for her. She wasn't ready to try it on 'cause it might mess her hair and she would have to take her glasses off (Oprah was on).
Thanks again for all the work you people do tracking down and testing the products.
I was out for about 5 hrs with the helmet and Roxie (a red '93 750 Nighthawk) and I found the helmet very comfortable and stable at the speeds I ride this bike.
I especially like the visor, it is not too dark but really cuts the glare. No more sunglasses with this helmet. Putting on my regular glasses with the helmet on is quite easy and no problems with the ER6 ear buds either.
It was a rather cool day so the "sunroof" wasn't open too much but when it was there was enough air flow to get a cold spot. Sliding the roof shut a little solved that problem. The only nit pick is the chin vent operating tab. Its just a little hard to move due to its extremely short range of movement.
Overall, this is a great helmet and a great value. Thanks again for the review."
From "A.P." (04/11): "Thank you for the great review! Riding all year in the Southern California heat I am always on the lookout for helmets that can help me stay cool while not compromising protection (too much ;) ). So, given how revolutionary its ventilation system is, I just HAVE to try the Ego out.
While it is not available in the US there are plenty of sellers in Europe that will ship to US locations. I just ordered one from England .... Even with the international shipping and the cool graphics it came to well under $300 - quite a good deal. I look forward to trying it out.
Note: while the helmet is ECE 22-05 certified it is not certified by the DOT, so technically it is not legal to wear it around this parts. Ironic, having seen the kinds of useless, minimal buckets some riders wear around here just to be legal on the road. I am fairly sure no cop is going to ever harass me because of the lack of a DOT label on the Caberg, but the potential for it is something to be aware of if ordering these helmets from overseas. Keep up the good work! :)"
From "J.Q." (04/11): "Nice review on the Caberg Ego. I hope they are able to import it to the US in the near future.
Since they seem to pay attention to your reviews, I hope they will decide to offer some bright solid-color options. I get really tired of all the zoomy patterns and dark colors offered by one helmet manufacturer after another, though I suppose they're just responding to market pressure. Of course, I really like the Axis Yellow color on my old Shoei, so that gives you an idea of what appeals to me."