CMS SUV Helmet
CMS SUV "Apribile" Helmet Review
by Rick K. for webBikeWorld.com
Helmet Reviews |
The first CMS flip-up feels solid and has a dual homologation as both a
full-face and "Jet" styled open-face helmet with the visor removed.
CMS has been manufacturing helmets in Portugal since
1976 and they're now one of the very few remaining independent motorcycle helmet
manufacturers with European production. We reviewed the
CMS GP4, the
CMS XR-7 and the
CMS D-Jet helmets and based on
that experience, it's apparent that the company provides good value for the
money and they also seem to have a knack for making helmets that weigh less than
The new CMS SUV is just entering production, having been introduced
at the 2009 EICMA show in Milan in November. The "SUV" in the name is
designed to reference the sport utility or all-around capabilities of the
helmet, while "Apribile" is an Italian adjective that, loosely translated, means
"something that can be opened" (aprire: to open) in this case, a flip-up.
But I think the SUV reference in the name is also appropriate, because the
CMS SUV helmet was designed to be worn with the rotating visor in either the
closed position or fully removed when riding. It has passed ECE tests for
visor-down homologation and is going through the final stages for homologation as a "Jet"
styled open-face helmet as this is being written.
The helmet also meets U.S. DOT safety standards and CMS plans on
distributing the helmet worldwide, as they do with all their other helmets.
The SUV reminds me of the
AGV Miglia flip-up (review),
but the SUV has the added attraction of the dual homologation plus an
internal sun visor and the two helmets weigh nearly the same. So CMS has
found a way to add these features with little or no gain in weight.
CMS SUV Paint, Graphics and Overall Quality
The SUV is available in a basic color palette with color names of
White, Titanium, Silver, Blue Lead, Matte Black and Metallic Black. CMS
has a leather-covered version in the works also, which should prove interesting.
They promised to send some photos as soon as it's ready.
The White version shown here has a nice finish, with a very fine metalflake
paint in what I'd call egg shell white -- a cross between white and cream.
The camera found it difficult to capture the exact color; a manual white balance
makes the color look slightly darker and less white in the photos and video, but
I hope you can get the idea.
The paint is nicely applied and feels thick and the clear coat layer feels
like it should help protect against the elements for some time. CMS also
states that the clear coat is UV resistant and the helmet shell is made from
"thermoplastic extra light resin".
The helmet does feel solid and I assume that the special rotating visor
mechanism is at least partially responsible for that. It had to be made to
pass the Jet homologation tests, and this probably adds some rigidity to the
The helmet also has a nice, tight feel on the head, and the creaking and
groaning noises that are too common on most flip-ups are mostly absent. The face
shield may be an exception to the overall quality impressions, as it is slightly
loose on this helmet and doesn't quite fit tight against the eye port gasket.
It should be noted, however, that the helmet shown here is an early
production model so hopefully the tolerances will become tighter as regular
production commences, which is very often the case.
The tabs or buttons that work the chin vent, top vent and the slider for the internal
sun visor could probably stand to be made larger and sturdier; they're made from
a relatively thin plastic that feels hard and the buttons seem a bit fragile. I would like to see these
made from a thicker material or perhaps nylon or something a little more robust.
Everything else about the helmet seems to be of good quality and equal at least to many other flip-up
helmets that are available.
Score: I'll give the CMS SUV a "Very Good" rating overall
for quality. See the Summary Table at the end of this page for a
description of our rating system.
CMS SUV Helmet Fit, Comfort and Internal Shape
The SUV fits just to the round side of neutral, which works
perfectly for me and I think it should fit the majority of head shapes.
This helmet is a size large and is designed to fit a 60-61 cm circumference head
and I think that is right on the mark, so we'll have to assume all sizes run
My head measures 60.5 cm, which often puts me between a large (usually 59-60
cm) and extra large (61-62 cm). I usually opt for the XL, but because the
SUV is marked as a large that fits a 60-61 cm head, I chose that size
and it fits very nicely.
The rotating visor closes with a solid "thunk" and feels tight. I have
room behind the chin bar with no interference, which isn't often the case in
flip-up helmets of this size. The chin bar is wide and feels secure,
although it does slightly inhibit the top-to-bottom visibility out the eye port,
which otherwise appears average from side to side.
The helmet has generous ear pockets that are lined, so the SUV
should work well for speaker installation.
Overall, the helmet is comfortable and I think because of the internal shape
and the sizing, it fits my head size and shape better than most of the other
flip-ups I've tried. The removable liner has an average amount of padding
that is adequate an the material feels comfortable. The liner is made with
DuPont Coolmax and it's also treated with the
SITIP (Italy) sanitizing
anti-microbial protection system.
More information on helmet fit can be found in the chart that lists the helmet weights of webBikeWorld reviewed helmets
and also by shape on the webBikeWorld
Motorcycle Helmet Shapes page.
The helmet shell feels proportional and,
like other CMS helmets we've reviewed, the shell does
not feel oversized.
I did have some trouble fitting my eyeglasses in the helmet as I
often do, so I had to resort to a cut-down pair that I use for this purpose (more).
Score: I'll give the CMS SUV an "Excellent"
rating for overall comfort and fit.
CMS SUV Helmet Face Shield
The clear face shield used on the CMS SUV helmet fits behind closed side
pods. It has three detent positions, with the first as a
larger-than-normal defogging position. However, I noticed that the face
shield can be cracked open slightly also for defogging, even though there does
not appear to be a detent to hold it.
The face shield has excellent optical qualities and this one measures 1.98 mm
thick. It does not have a VESC-8 stamp but meets ECE standards.
There is a slight gap between the face shield and the eye port gasket towards
the sides of the face shield, and the gasket does not completely surround the
eye port, so I'm not sure about how much water might pass through when the
rotating visor is attached. The face shield is inserted into the helmet
when the rotating visor is removed.
The rotating flip-up visor opens with a large single centrally-located release
under the chin bar. CMS calls it the "Advanced Safety Lock System"
and although it seems tight when the helmet is not being worn, once it's on the
head the lift release has a very solid feel and the visor rotates smoothly
through its arc and the detents feel solid and secure, especially when the visor
is fully raised.
I'll add another plug for the
Clarity Defog It (review)
anti-fog coating that has given us excellent results.
Overall, the CMS SUV helmet face shield is about average in its ease of use, it has good quality optics
but it has a lightly looser-than-average feel. The rotating visor feels
secure and it provides confidence in its protective abilities.
As mentioned above, the SUV helmet is ECE homologated as
both a full-face and Jet styled helmet and the rotating visor can be removed,
but to do so is a somewhat involved procedure and not something that can be
accomplished during a ride.
We did not attempt to remove it for
several reasons; the weather is simply too cold to consider wearing an open-face
helmet and this example is an early production model, so we didn't want to
The visor locking mechanism is partially hidden, making it difficult to determine how the visor locks
function, but the visor does
feel secure when it's closed. By the way, although it's uncertain whether or not the clear
face shield is treated with an anti-fog coating, it seemed somewhat resistant to
fogging in cold weather and in any case the chin vent directs a strong stream of
air to the inside of the helmet, quickly dissolving the fogging as long as the
rider is moving.
Internal Sun Shade
The internal sun shade opens and closes with a simple slider on the top of the
helmet, located behind the top vent. It's a lightweight system that puts
some of the more complex systems to shame. It works on friction, which is
really all that's needed to operate a sun shade.
An added bonus is that
the shade can be lowered to any position and it will hold, due to the friction.
This is the preferred method, in our opinion.
The sun shade is removable and it does seem to have less tint than others I've
tried, and the bottom edge is cut in a rather complex shape to fit around the
As with most of these devices, I'd rather it was cut as
straight across as possible and lowered as far as possible to remain out of the
line of sight. I usually lower the shade only enough to keep the overhead
sun out of my eyes, especially when riding west in the late afternoon, so a
straighter edge works best for me.
Opinionator - CMS SUV
The eye port on the CMS SUV helmet provides about average
top-to-bottom and side-to-side outward visibility, with slightly better than
average visibility looking down, probably due to the smaller breath guard.
Score: I'll give the overall face shield and operating
system an "Excellent".
CMS SUV Helmet Ventilation and Air Flow
The SUV helmet has a basic ventilation system with the exception of the EPS
foam liner, which has deep channels and openings for the air to flow in from the
top vent above the liner, where it exits out the rear exhaust vent.
The chin vent cover acts as a rocker panel; push it in to open the vent and
pull down on the small spring-loaded tab at the bottom to close the vent.
It works well and provides a better-than-average amount of air flow up on to the
back of the face shield. The chin bar does not have air passages through
the padding directly to the rider's face.
The system works well although the small closing tab feels just a touch on
the delicate side. The top vent uses a similar system where the rocker
panel cover is pushed down to open the vent and the spring-loaded tab in back of
the vent closes the rocker. On the top vent however, the tab can be pushed
once to close the vent half-way and then again to close the vent all the way.
My feeling is that the CMS SUV Apribile has good air flow through both the
front and top vents. The top venting system with the large channels in the
EPS under the liner seems effective also.
Opinionator - CMS SUV
Score: I'll give the CMS SUV helmet an
"Excellent" rating overall for ventilation.
The CMS SUV Apribile can be used as an open-face helmet when the rotating visor
is removed. Here the visor
is raised but the clean cheek plates are visible, which is how the helmet would
appear with the visor removed.
CMS SUV Helmet - Chin Strap and Visor Release
CMS SUV Sound Levels
I wasn't sure what to expect with regards to noise levels inside the SUV
helmet, but after riding with it for a few weeks I'd say it's about average to
quieter than average when compared to other flip-ups of this type.
Flip-up helmets usually transmit more noise than full-face helmets, but the SUV
isn't bad actually and the only problem area seems to be noise coming from
underneath and behind the ears. We have noticed this problem on several
helmets of different brands and types recently, and it seems that the split in
the lining between the rear edge of the cheek pads and the padding at the back
of the helmet is the culprit.
This is apparently a crucial area for noise reduction and although the CMS SUV
helmet has a decent-sized section of liner covering the bottom of this junction,
some wind rushing noise is generated there and can be eliminated with a hand
placed over the area.
Otherwise, the noise levels are well within reason and the slight gap noted
between the face shield and the eye port gasket doesn't seem to affect the noise
Helmet Noise Level Estimator -
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
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
Motorcycle Helmet Noise page.
Score: I'll give the CMS SUV helmet a "Very Good" score for noise control
and average noise levels.
CMS SUV Helmet Weight
This CMS SUV helmet in size L weighs a relatively light 1625 grams (3 lbs.,
9-3/8 oz.). This makes it one of the lightest flip-up helmets we've
reviewed, although it is a size L compared to many of the other flip-ups listed
Motorcycle Helmet Weights page that are size XL.
1625 grams is still a very good result and compares to the
Caberg Trip size XL at 1614 g; the
Vega Summit II size XL at 1615 g; the
ROOF Boxer V in size L at 1638 g and the
AGV Miglia in size XL
at 1666 grams.
The CMS SUV helmet meets DOT safety standards in North America and ECE
22.05 in Europe as both a full-face and Jet helmet when the visor is in the
For comparison purposes, see the
Motorcycle Helmet Weights page or the
Motorcycle Helmet Shapes page for a listing of all
of the helmets we've reviewed along with their weight and internal shape.
Score: I'll give the CMS SUV helmet an "Outstanding" rating
for light weight and good
Helmet Opinionator -
CMS SUV Apribile
Limited colors and graphics.
Face shield slightly loose
Vent tabs seem a bit fragile.
Removing the visor takes some
time and effort.
The chin strap padding used on the CMS SUV helmet is comfortable. The
strap has a micro-adjustable strap closure system rather than D-rings and
although the system is bulkier than D-rings, it does operate rather nicely.
And finally, the K3 carries a one-year warranty from sale date
and a three year warranty from manufacture date.
The CMS SUV Apribile is a good first flip-up helmet from the company known for
light weight helmets with excellent quality and good value. The helmet is
comfortable, has good ventilation (especially for a flip-up) and has the dual
certification, which should be popular with touring riders or for riding in slow
traffic in the city on hot days or even for sight-seeing.
Review: CMS SUV Apribile
||List Price: 249 €
Sizes: XS to XXL
Shell Sizes: 2
|Made In: Portugal
Date: February 2010 Notes: Helmet provided
by manufacturer for this review (more).
Ratings Scale: For reference, our ratings scale is subjective and
ranges from Unacceptable to Poor, Neutral, Very Good, Excellent and Outstanding.
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