Caberg Justissimo Review
by Rick K. for webBikeWorld.com
NOTE: This review was originally posted as the Jarow Mono X2.
The Justissimo was also known as the Caberg JL XILIX and also as the Jarow Mono X2. The Jarow name is no longer being used.
The Justissimo is a well-made flip-up helmet with some interesting features and nice attention to detail. Includes internal retractable tinted visor.
It is also relatively quiet and it has good ventilation.
The internal length from the back of helmet to chin bar is relatively short.
What to call this type of helmet? Flip-up, flip-open helmets and modular are some of the names we've heard used for helmets with a movable visor.
No matter -- they're rapidly increasing in popularity, and rightly so. The flip-up design offers a lot of features at relatively inexpensive prices and they're great for folks like me who wear eyeglasses.
The flip-up helmet market has been hot, and there's a lot of competition for sales. Competition usually benefits the consumer, because it can mean more choices, more features and better value.
The Justissimo is a good example, as we'll see -- this helmet has recently been released as the second generation of what was once known as the "Arrow" branded helmet.
The Arrow and Jarow names are no longer used, and the Justissimo is now sold under the Caberg brand name. The Justissimo is made in Italy, and is a close relative of the Mono Convertible (see the wBW Review of the Mono Convertible), which can be converted from a flip-up to an open face helmet.
It's my understanding that the design and manufacture of a flip-up helmet is much more complex than it is for full-face or open-face helmets.
This makes sense; consideration has to be given to the rotating parts, the latching mechanism, the greater potential for noise (due to the wider sides of the flip-up design), ventilation and safety.So it's interesting to note that many of the flip-up helmet manufacturers seem to have decided to target a lower price point with their helmets.
There's usually a pretty close correlation between cost-cutting and quality, and our email traffic confirms that this axiom holds true for many owners of the less expensive flip-ups. There seem to be more complaints about broken parts and noise from owners of flip-ups than owners of other helmet styles.
I'm not sure why so many of the flip-ups for sale are targeting the low-end of the market, but the Justissimo bucks the trend and delivers a higher level of quality and features then we've come to expect.
The Justissimo's looks are deceptive. With its subdued metallic silver finish, this Justissimo doesn't necessarily stand out as the jazziest model in the display case.
But the more you study Caberg's offering, the more you come to appreciate an attention to detail that is pretty impressive and one-ups the competition.
For example, most flip-up helmets fail miserably in the design of the outer portions of the pivot points for the flip-up assembly.
This area poses an engineering problem for flip-up designers, due to the two rotating pieces that must be taken into account, the visor and the flip-open helmet assembly.
Most of the flip-ups that are available have some type of appendage or gap that flies in the air stream and is destined to grab the wind in this sensitive area, causing lots of noise and turbulence.
But the Justissimo's designers figured out a clever way to blend together the area where the visor and flip-up assembly meet the helmet body, which has virtually eliminated any potential gaps. The face shield is molded to blend and seal the junction of the helmet and movable visor.
Then they added a spring-loaded plastic filler which is located directly above the face shield and pops out when the visor is closed to complete the seal. The result is a face shield and flip-up assembly that form a continuous fillet to blend and smooth the air stream, flowing it back and over the top and along a crease that also serves as the helmet's styling accent (left photo, below).
The lower rear sections of each side of the flip-up visor include a unique exhaust vent (right photo, above). Air flows in through the chin vent, is directed around each side of the chin bar, and narrow little scoops inside the helmet catch the air and direct it out the exhaust vents.
The result of this careful attention to detailing is a relatively quiet helmet. I always wear correctly fitted earplugs when riding (see the wBW Earplugs and Hearing Protection page), but I'm impressed with the low noise levels of the Justissimo -- it's quieter than many full-face helmets I've used, and it's definitely the quietest flip-up helmet I've tried.
Remember -- your mileage may vary if you don't wear earplugs, and it's also important to note that certain windscreens or fairings can increase turbulence and helmet noise with all motorcycle helmets, so the volume of noise that you experience may be different from mine.
The Justissimo has an internally rotating sun shield. The lever on the left-hand side of the helmet (shown in the photo on the left with the sun shield down) in back of the flip-up assembly is used to lower the sun shield.
The shield has just the right amount of tint -- not too dark, not too light.
An internal sun shield is a real benefit, especially for those who wear glasses.
It means that it's no longer necessary to carry an extra tinted visor or a separate pair of prescription sunglasses, which can be a pain to schlep around. It doesn't take long to get so used to the sun shield that you really don't want to wear a helmet without one!
The only other helmet that we're aware of with a built-in sun visor is the Schuberth Concept, and the Schuey costs about twice as much as the Justissimo, so providing a sun shield within the Justissimo's price range is a huge bonus. The sun shield's "wrap around" shape does add some distortion, which may take some getting used to.
The Justissimo's standard clear external visor is pre-treated with an anti-fog coating and takes five "clicks" to open. I like visors that can be cracked open a tiny bit, maybe 5mm (1/4") or so, just to let in a touch of fresh air while I ride.
The first click of the Justissimo's visor opens it up about twice as far as I'd like, and the strong detents mean that it takes a bit more effort and clacking sounds to open it than I'd like, but at least the detents should keep it from blowing all the way open at speed. Replacement clear visors are available.
I've noticed that many flip-up helmets share a common affliction in their internal dimensions. The internal front-to-back length for many flip-ups seems to be about 25mm (1") shorter than full-face helmets of the same hat size.
I'm not sure why a flip-up can't be designed to the same internal dimensions as a full-face helmet; it may have something to do with the manufacture of the movable visor assembly.
The size large Justissimo is a comfortable fit on my very round head, with one exception. The internal distance from the back of the Justissimo to the inside of the chin bar is a relatively short 225mm (8-7/8"). This causes the chin bar to press firmly against my face, causing some discomfort after a while.
I've noticed that the Justissimo has loosened up a bit during break in and has become a bit more comfortable. Tight chin room may not be a problem for those with a different head shape than mine, but you may want to try a Justissimo on before you buy.
Other than the front-to-back length, the helmet is a comfortable fit around the upper part of my head and the crucial (for a round head shape like me) temple area.
The comfortable lining is made from Coolmax material and can be removed for cleaning. The liner has some mesh sections and vents up top to circulate fresh air (see photo left).Cheekpads are available in three sizes to fine-tune the fit if necessary.
Caberg uses two shell sizes for their helmets: a small shell for the size XS and S, and a large shell for sizes M through XXL.
More is better when it comes to shell molding; a greater spread of mold sizes allows closer tolerancing of helmet internals, which improves the chances of finding a more comfortable and safer fit.
The Justissimo weighs in at 1806 grams, or 3 lb., 15-5/8 oz. (size L), which may be a few ounces more than the competition -- but then again, it has more features than the competition, so we'll give it a break. I'm sure the internal sun shield accounts for an extra gram or two. The Justissimo is well balanced and aerodynamically smooth, so the weight all but disappears in use.
The Justissimo's two vents are easy to operate while wearing gloves. The lever action chin vent is opened by pushing in on the bottom while it swings open from the top, and it's designed to indirectly let in air while keeping out the bugs.
The top vent is a large plastic "Flying V" shaped piece that fits flush when closed. A push towards the rear on the narrow end of the "V" easily opens the vent and uncovers a nice-sized opening, which lets fresh air flow across the top of the head.
Some of the air also flows down through a set of vents on the underside of the top of the visor opening to deliver air to the face and visor (you can see these vents on the right side of the photo on the left).
The Justissimo has one of the better air circulation systems I've experienced on a flip-up helmet, yet it has a simple and functional design with a minimum of tiny plastic parts that might break, so my prediction is that it should last a long time without problems.
The chin strap of the Justissimo uses a "quick release" buckle. Caberg has incorporated a security "D" ring which can be used to secure the helmet against theft. We're not aware of any other quick release buckles that also include a security ring for locking or stowing the helmet.
There are two pieces of vinyl designed to protect the underside of your chin from chafing on the nylon chin straps, but they're unlined and a bit narrow, so they aren't as comfortable as they could be.
By the way, the Justissimo meets the tough European ECE 22-05 safety standards and DOT FMVSS 218. The Justissimo can be easily opened with one hand by pressing a button on the lower part of the chin bar.
The Caberg Justissimo (aka Jarow Mono X2 and as the Caberg JL XILIX) was once sold in the U.S.A. and it met the DOT safety standards. Caberg helmets have not been sold in the U.S. since the mid-2000's. The Justissimo is still being made by Caberg in Italy and it's one of the most popular flip-up helmets of all time.
The Caberg Justissimo is a bit more expensive than some of its flip-up competitors, but it has several useful features and a level of quality that justifies the price. It's relatively quiet, it has a very useful internal sun shield, it flows a decent amount of air, it's nicely designed and the quality is good.
See Also: Caberg Mono Convertible Review
|wBW Review: Caberg Justissimo Helmet|
|Manufacturer: Caberg Helmets||List Price (2004?): $299.00 USD|
|Colors: Metallic Silver, Metallic Black, Titanium.||Made In: Italy|
|Review Date: 2004 (?)|
NOTE: See also important comments on the Caberg Mono Convertible.
From "M.K.": "I can attest
to the safety of the Caberg Justissimo helmet. I had a
school bus T-bone me when I had mine on (never ride without a
helmet!) and thought it totaled the bike and left a nice image
of the grill including the yellow paint on the helmet I had no
head trauma. If I didn't know better, I would be tempted
to continue to use it. As it is, I keep it as a reminder
that helmets do save lives.
I found the fit (large - same as Shoeis and Nolans I have worn) to be good and noise level acceptable. Everything operated easily and the smoked visor is great, especially when the sun comes up as you ride and you need the darker visor. I fully intend to buy a new one before my new ride arrives at the dealership."
From "K.W." (2005): "I bought one of these, largely due to your review, and have a few comments. The negatives:
First, Caberg's sizing chart doesn't work -- it says that I'm a Medium, but the Large that I got fits me, maybe even just a bit tight. I originally ordered a Medium, but FedEx lost it and Helmet Harbor only had Large left, or I would probably have to use a shoehorn.
Second, for some reason, the chin strap seems to be a little too far back for my comfort, but not enough to do anything about (any further back and I would have to remount it).
Third, I dunno about Italians, but most Americans that I know have EARS. The upper (expanded polystyrene) suspension is not properly relieved, so it presses against the top 1/3 of my ears (this one will need to be doctored).
Fourth (another ear issue), the cheek pads, covering the lower 2/3 of the ear, don't have room for speakers or my ANR earplugs (thus, another call for Doctor Mod Man). However, these are just snapped in and easily replaced.
So much for what I don't like. On to why I'm not sending it back.
My favorite feature is the internal sun visor. It's not out front, where the wind, sand and bugs lurk to mess it up. This is what a clear visor is for. It also means that I can flip up the main visor for air, or even raise the whole chin guard, without losing my "sunglasses" -- I could even take off the chin guard for 3/4-helmet mode and still have the tint.
Next, the latching mechanism is metal-to-metal. Not only do I have more confidence in this than in plastic latches, but it won't wear or get squeaky over time, the way nylon will.
The styling is good. I don't look like I'm off to joust with the Black Knight, but I also don't look like Gort from "The Day The Earth Stood Still." The Justissimo is sleek, though I think it would be fun to have one in white, with the cheek covers in black (I'd look like Snoopy).
I also appreciate the chin strap latch design. This one is also a metal-to-metal connection, but is "dead" -- that means that there is no mechanism of any kind along the axis of tension. A simple, strong metal loop is engaged by a simple, strong metal tab, and they have to move to the side (perpendicular to the axis of tension) to disengage. No way this is popping open in an accident.
The overall finish is what you'd expect from a $300 helmet.
The good outweighs the bad, and the bad can easily be fixed, so all in all, I'm glad that I got it. Todd at Helmet Harbor also did a great job of support before and after the sale."
From "A.N.": "I've been meaning to give you some feedback on the Caberg flip helmet. I've owned Shoei, Schuberth and Nolan flip helmets in the past....and they are all good to a certain extent, in their own right. But after two years of ownership now with the Caberg, I have to say it is one very VERY fine helmet!
I had been looking at them since around the time of BMW's National Rally up in Redmond Oregon a few years ago. I had stopped by Sierra BMW in Sparks Nevada to visit with long time friend Scott....the Service manager there.
While there I noted they carried them....so tried on a few....the XL fit well, but was just a tad big, while the large was very snug (almost to tight)...but I noticed that when I had the large on the side padding pushed that little bit of my ear in over and in effect blocked it off. I was intrigued by that...but didn't end up buying the helmet that trip.
I didn't buy it until about two years ago from Motorcycle Closeouts Site. I gambled and went with the large instead of the extra large (note here that all of my past flip helmets were extra large and after a year or two, they all got floppy on my head...that happens when you don't have hair to grow out and fill things in...LOL).
Anyway, the one thing that's always been a plus (besides the great quality of the helmet), has been the built in "organic" ear plugs with the Caberg. Now I'm sure there may be some folks that think getting a helmet that tight might not be appropriate....and they may be right.
But with this helmet about the only time I need to actually use additional plugs is on a long trip now....because around town and for general riding, my ears are plugged the moment the helmet is in place.
I mentioned the quality of the helmet and I shouldn't fail to also mention the quality of the paint. Most helmets I've owned are fairly well scratched up by the end of a year or two. This has not proven to be the case with the Caberg.
I had a couple of marks on the chin section from dropping it down on tables when ever I went into restaurants. I had used typical cleaning products thinking they would remove anything that could be removed.
Well, those marks didn't come off for several months....until the other day when I took the helmet apart to wash the liner, and generally clean up the shield. I used some plastic cleaning product (sorry I don't remember which one...I have 2 or 3 kinds) and just for fun applied it to the marks on the chin section..........VOILA......they cleaned up beautifully....with no scratch marks left.
The helmet paint appears to very soft yet resilient....not to sure just what it was....but I'm very impressed with this helmet. After two years of use, it still looks brand new....especially after the clean up I gave it.
I definitely plan to buy another one (to add to my stable) before the rest of the world catches on and the prices start going up. Thanks to you and your great site I finally have a helmet that, by all appearances to date, is going to actually give many years of good service!"
From "K.S." (2004): The Caberg Justissimo is identical to the Jarow Mono X2 Helmet, just sold with a different name. It is among the best-designed helmets in my collection, as it incorporates not only the most smoothly functioning flip-up mechanism (unlike my difficult to open Vega Summit XPV and my sometimes difficult to snap shut Roof Boxer), but also the second, dark inner visor (which kicks butt!), all without being excessively heavy and without sacrificing comfort.
The intelligent design which keeps surfaces flush does really result in decreased wind noise, and when I hit my horn while avoiding one of Taipei's killer taxis, I was struck by the muffled nature of the sound I heard. The thick core and all-around padding do a better job of sound absorption than any of my other hats. I am also very pleased with the quality of each aspect of the helmet, from the construction and functions to the fit and finish.
Having worn the Zeus 508W and Summit XPV, I would say that if you have the bucks, you're better off investing in the higher quality of the Caberg Justissimo. The top and chin vents, although plastic, appear to be adequately rugged, unlike most China- and Taiwan-made jobs, and much more importantly, the latches for the flip-up mechanism are all metal, and likely to both protect and last better.
When I first showed my Caberg to my officemate, he laughed, because he thought it looked like a puppy dog. True, the styling of the side plates does make them look a bit like droopy dog ears (see photo).
Judging from catalog photos, this effect is most pronounced in the lighter, plain-color models, and least visible in the Titanium Graphic version. I believe this helmet is a good candidate for adding some graphics which break up the lines of the ears.
The inner sun shield is one of the most useful additions I have ever seen, and like everything else on this helmet, works very smoothly; the lever has been refined to perfection, with just the right amount of resistance.
The lower edge of the sun shield is not quite low enough for my tastes, so my field of vision ends up with three occlusions which will take time to get used to: the edges of my eyeglasses, the lower edge of the sun visor, and the lower edge of the main visor, which I'm forced to crack open in the subtropical Taiwan heat.
I agree with (the reviewer) that the lower detent is a bit too strong and the first click a bit too open for the average weather, but it was a typical peak 97 degr. F (36 C) today, and the helmet's internal venting system, widely cracked visor, and Coolmax lining were adequate to make wearing this full-face surprisingly comfortable.
One problem was a stubborn, ugly sticker on the upper left corner of the visor which is proving VERY hard to remove. Another is that, although the high flexibility of the lower part of the helmet, where the chin straps attached, makes it easy to put on, there is no allowance in the padding for eyeglasses, so they get knocked askew when I put it on, unlike with my Roof Boxer.
I'll be forced to remove the liner and use a Tippi hot wire foam cutter to create space for my eyeglasses. (Note: helmet liner modifications are not recommended for reasons of safety - Editor).
The satin black finish on mine is attractive, although not as luxurious as the flat black of an Arai Renegade. It also shows fingerprints surprisingly badly, which should not be such a problem with lighter colors. In sum, this is the finest flip-up I've ever worn, and well worth the price."
From M.M. (2004): "I purchased my, Caberg Justissimo Helmet just because of your review. I liked everything about the helmet. I wear glasses now and the sun visor and the flip up works perfect with glasses!
I had and used a Bell Star full face in the 70's and liked it also but it's been too long to try and compare it to the X2. What I can compare is the fantastic service and care Protec Q., Inc. gave me, and your review, pointing out the neat features of this helmet. You also saved me a $100.00, I almost bought a Schuberth."