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Caberg Duke flip-up helmet review

Caberg Duke
Caberg Duke

The Italian-made Caberg Duke flip-up helmet is the type of quality helmet we will start to see filtering into Australia now that they’re legal to sell here.

It is a UN/ECE 22.05 approved helmet that is legal to wear in Queensland, Victoria and the Northern Territory and is expected to be approved in other states and territories soon.

It is currently only available via the internet from New Zealand distributor Motorgear, but spokesman Tim Foster says they are already in talks with a chain in NSW since the laws changed last month.

Caberg Duke flip-up helmet
MBW tests the Caberg Duke flip-up helmet in Mexico


I’ve been testing the Caberg Duke helmet on our Tacos ’n’ Tequila Tour of Mexico, Guatemala and Belize with Ferris Wheels Motorcycle Safaris where the temperatures and humidity have been high and the riding long and hard.

I’ve even had a small spill in the mud and hit my helmet on the ground, so it’s been low-speed crash tested!

I’ve got to say, I am impressed.

I’m not usually a fan of flip-up helmets because they are often bigger, heavier and noisier than a standard full-face helmet. I also worry about the structural integrity of the hinged system in a crash.

However, this helmet is smaller, lighter and more streamlined than most flip-up helmets and it withstood the small bump with no problems.

Flip-up helmets are also handy on tours because you can often fuel up, speak to other riders and take photos without having to take it off.

Caberg Duke flip-up helmet
Flip-ups are great for fuelling up!

Even though it only costs $396, It feels plush inside like an expensive helmet and the jaw piece and visor open and close with a solid “clunk”.

I’ve been opening and closing frequently the helmet for the past two weeks and it doesn’t feel like it’s ever going to get loose and rattly.

The anti-scratch visor is easy to replace and it comes Pinlock-ready which has been great in these humid conditions.

It’s made of a polycarbonate outer shell with removable, washable and sanitised inserts with a reflective piece at the back.

Caberg Duke flip-up helmet
Running repairs without removing my helmet

The jaw piece not only goes all the way up, but you can lock it in that position and in some jurisdictions, it’s permissible to ride with it up, which is what I’ve been doing in slow-moving Mexican traffic.

My main concern with the helmet is the venting. It’s quite hot in these conditions and it only has one adjustable vent at the top and three small vents in the chin piece which seem ineffective.

Consequently, I have been perspiring heavily in the helmet.

Yet it is only just starting to smell a little and when I get home, I’ll remove them and give them a wash anyway.

Caberg Duke flip-up helmet
Getting hot under the lid!

It comes wth a ratchet quick-release chin strap fastener which some people don’t like, but it feels firm and secure.

The Duke weighs just 1.5kg which is light compared with other flip-ups I’ve tested and doesn’t get tiring even on long 12-hour rides.

While the helmet is a little noisy wth the visor closed, it is actually rather quiet wth the visor open which is how I have been using it.

The helmet also comes with a handy drop-down sunvisor, but the lever to open and close it is on the top of the helmet which is a little difficult to find sometimes when you are riding.

With the clear visor open and the sunvisor down, there is plenty of cooling air, but hardly any wind in your eyes even at highway speeds.

Caberg Duke flip-up helmet
An admirer checks out the helmet

Duke comes in the solid colours of Metallic White like I have, Metallic Black, Matt Black and Gunmetal; the unpainted Smart version; the Commander with camouflage graphics under varnish on a matt black base; Legend with a black base and white stripes, matt black with orange stripes, matt black yellow fluro stripes; Legend Italy with the Italian flag tri-colours; and Hi Vizion yellow fluro.

It comes in sizes XS, S, M, L  and XL.

  1. Once upon a time you used to be able to buy shoes or other item like gloves and helmets in fractional sizes now days even though the potential customer base is in the millions or even billions you get one size fits all or they stop at xl or if you are lucky enough to find an xxl or xxxl it will still not fit because you don’t need a xxxl just an xxl that is the right shape.
    If I took out a petition on asking for better and fractional sizing to be brought back there would be over a billion signatories but who the hell can I send it to!
    My rant is on behalf of all who are larger than jockeys have size 11 – 18 feet hands that are large but don’t have fingers that wrap around a basketball and who have to shop at the expensive end of town just to get a xxl helmet that fits.
    I bought a LS2 helmet from Amazon and it fits OK a bit tight around the ears and cheeks mainly I think because when I was fitting the Bluetooth system I noticed that the shell is actually stamped xl, do LS2 also make tardises?

    1. Generally Al,helmet manufacturers use only a limited number of shells it’s the padding inside that is graded by size to give you the fit that suits, as a general rule the more expensive the helmet the greater range of shells.
      Apologies if you already know this and I’m just blowing hot air.

  2. I’m in NZ and I bought the wrong size helmet based on my current at the time lid. They sent it with a return courier ticket just in case this was the case. So I exchanged it for the next size down.
    I have used it over the 2016/17 summer holidays on a trip down the south island.
    Things I like are;
    1 quality of finish,
    2 drop down dark sun visor,
    3 flip chin operation,
    4 I can easily put it on and take it off while wearing my glasses.
    5 relatively quiet for a flip helmet
    6 safety rating is
    7 pin lock is supplied in the box though I don’t use it.

    Things I don’t like;
    1 ventilation or lack of.
    2 chin guard inner molding is too close to my chin so I trimmed it a bit and problem solved though it looks a bit shit now if you were to look inside.

  3. I just bought this helmet and I agree with your observations. The chin guard is so close to my chin that it is difficult to close the chin guard while riding. I have to pull my chin in to close the lid and making funny faces while doing it. I might carve a little material off from inner part. The Large size is slightly bigger than my Shoei (also L size). Ventilation seems to be poor indeed. Quite good helmet for its low price, and good SHARP rating (better than my Shoei).

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