I first described the new Caberg HyperX helmet in this report from the EICMA motorcycle show in November of 2010.
The helmet is now in production and I’ve been wearing it for the last few weeks — weather permitting, of course — and this is my report.
The HyperX is what we term a “modular” helmet; that is, it can be converted from one helmet format to another.
In our terminology, a flip-up helmet is not a modular helmet.
A modular helmet is a chameleon because it can be converted to a different helmet type. An example of a flip-up that is also modular is the Zeus ZS-3000, which converts from a flip-up to “Jet” style helmet.
The Caberg HyperX is classified as a full-face helmet but it has dual EC homologation as both a full-face and Jet style helmet via its removable chin bar.
Unlike some of the other dual-homologated modular helmets we’ve reviewed however, the HyperX feels solid and secure when the chin bar is in place.
Yet it also works very well when converted to “Jet” mode.
And, as I’ll describe in more detail below, it has a trick feature.
It can be opened slightly on one side, which allows the helmet to be put on without removing the chin bar entirely.
Our conclusion is that the Caberg HyperX is the most successfully executed helmet of this type that we’ve reviewed and it works very nicely in either configuration — not an easy design challenge.
I also feel that the HyperX is a much more “user friendly” and versatile helmet for adventure touring, compared to the “Enduro” style helmet (a motocross helmet with a face shield) currently popular with adventure touring riders.
The HyperX is easier to wear than the Enduro helmet; it has more of the familiar street-oriented features; and it has near-perfect forward visibility, important for seeing those rocks and ruts when travelling off-road.
It also has a new type of internally rotating sun visor with a dark tint and straight bottom edge to keep it out of the rider’s line of sight.
Combined with the ability to convert to an open-face Jet type helmet, the HyperX is a do-it-all helmet that breaks new ground in helmet design, which is not an easy thing to do.
The Caberg HyperX – Paint, Graphics and Overall Quality
Caberg helmets have a unique look and the HyperX is no exception. The helmet has a family resemblance to the Caberg Sintesi (review) in terms of styling.
The HyperX also uses the top vent system from the Sintesi, complete with the very nice rubber vent button switchgear that works well on both helmets.
The paint and graphics on the “White Anthracite” and “Black Silver ” versions of the HyperX (photo showing both helmets at the bottom of this page) is excellent and the design nicely complements the shape of the helmet.
The clear coat feels thick and while perhaps not quite as “hard” as the clear coat used on recent Nolan helmets, it has a quality appearance and should do a good job at protecting the finish.
The HyperX is also available in White, Silver, Gunmetal and Black. Caberg also redesigned their logo recently and it looks great the bold black, gray and red. Somehow, it is also fitting for the very modern HyperX helmet design.
The vent switches and levers and other moving parts on the HyperX are of very good quality and the large rubber-covered vent and internal sun visor pushers should be a model for every other helmet manufacturer.
They’re not only easy to locate when wearing gloves of any type, the large rubber serrations give a glue-like grip and feel. The top vent on the HyperX snaps open and closed with a loud “click”, giving positive feedback to the rider.
The removable chin bar snaps in and out after pulling the red tabs located along the top of the cheek area, seen in the photos.
The chin bar is thick, padded and feels sturdy and with the chin bar in place, the HyperX doesn’t feel all that much different from a full-face helmet.
The attachment “hooks” and assembly are made from a heavy plastic and the chin bar seats firmly into the helmet shell, feeling as secure as the best flip-up helmets. The back of the chin bar appears to have the same type of padding used in a flip-up helmet.
The internally rotating sun visor deserves special mention; not only is the slider easy to operate, it can be set to stop the sun visor at any location in its arc, a real plus.
The sun visor also has also been redesigned with much less curvature along the lower edge, which helps to keep it out of the rider’s line of sight.
This is something we’ve been harping about since these devices first started appearing on motorcycle helmets, and Caberg must have taken the feedback seriously because they pointed out the new design to me at the EICMA show.
Score: I’ll give the HyperX an “Outstanding” rating for a combination of its modern and fresh design, excellent paint and complementary graphics and quality feel of the moving parts. See the Summary Table at the end of this page for a description of our rating system.
Caberg HyperX Helmet Fit, Internal Shape and Liner
The HyperX has a neutral fit that tends slightly towards narrow on the sides.
The size large feels correct to size and the Black/Silver HyperX shown here should fit the 59 cm to 60 cm head size shown in the Caberg size charts, although head sizes of perhaps a 60.5 cm will also have enough room.
The sides of the helmet feel slightly narrow and although a section of the liner material can be removed from the ear pockets, the narrowness on the sides means the ear pockets have a shallow depth.
The helmet is available in sizes ranging from XS (53/54 cm) to XL (61/62 cm).
Overall, the fit is comfortable and to characterize it I’d say it’s similar to the fit provided by theAGV Stealth (review) but perhaps tending more to neutral than the slightly narrower Nolan helmets I’ve tried.
Compared to the Nolan N43 Air (review), the HyperX has more front-to-back room with no interference (for my head shape) with the chin bar. The removable chin bar on the HyperX also feels sturdier than the N43, if memory serves me correctly.
The removable liner feels comfortable and the padding is slightly thin but comfortable, with no hard spots. The fabric used in the lining seems softer than average, so it has a very comfortable feel next to the skin.
The HyperX has a special red-colored eyeglass seating material on either side, but I’m not sure of its purpose. I can fit think wire-framed eyeglasses in the helmet.
Score: I’ll give the Caberg HyperX an “Excellent” rating for comfort and liner materials and padding.
The large rubber-covered switchgear used on the HyperX is easy to find and easy to use.
Caberg HyperX Face Shield, Eye Port and Visibility
The HyperX has a huge face shield that provides outstanding forward visibility, even with the removable chin bar in place.
The feeling is one of unlimited visibility — almost like wearing no helmet at all — although the side-to-side visibility isn’t quite as unlimited, appearing slightly better than average when compared to a full-face helmet.
The outstanding top-to-bottom visibility feels much safer than most other helmets because it gives a better view of the instruments and the road or trail directly in front of the bike, which is important for off-road riding.
The face shield clicks through 6 detents, including a small first position for defogging.
The anti-fog treatment used by Caberg is also outstanding; I literally can not get this face shield to fog, even when coughing or breathing directly on it in very cold weather. The face shield is also treated with an anti-scratch coating.
I measure the face shield at 2.3 mm thick and it has no distortion so the optical qualities are also outstanding.
The shield also positions into a receiver located on both cheek sections of the helmet shell, which keep it in place with or without the chin bar (see video).
The large lifting tab on the left-hand side is used to move the face shield up and down with little to no twisting.
The internally rotating sun visor is one of the best we’ve used. It can be stopped in any position, which is important because it allows the sun visor to be used as a sun block when the sun is high overhead.
The tint seems darker than normal, but I’ll have to assume it meets ECE regulations.
The eye port gasket runs full length across the top and seals the face shield securely on both of these helmets with no water leakage.
The face shield is removed by lining up the embossed arrow on the face shield with the arrow embossed on the plastic rotating boss on the side of the helmet. Note that the face shield is not lifted to its highest position at this point, which is unusual.
The spring-loaded triangular-shaped button on the side then releases the face shield for removal.
Score: I’ll give the Caberg HyperX an “Outstanding” rating for the overall quality and operation of the face shield and eye port and outward visibility.
The rear vents on the HyperX pull air from between the EPS and helmet shell.
The removable chin bar on the HyperX does not have a vent, but so far I haven’t missed it. The top vent works well, contributing a slight increase in noise levels and no direct vent through the EPS liner.
The air is instead pulled up along the sides of the EPS through channels molded into a crown at the top of the helmet.
The exhaust vents in the rear then pull the air through and out the back, which means that what passes for the chin vent system is an “always on” ventilation system that is controlled more by motorcycle speed than vent positioning.
This means that the ventilation at the chin is caused by air travelling up from underneath the chin bar, but it feels like the exhaust system works well enough that somehow the helmet has a “flow-through” ventilation system without feeling like there’s a fan blowing air in from the bottom.
The cold winter air accentuates the feeling of ventilation so I can only guess how the system might work in hot weather but I think it should be fine.
Score: I’ll give the HyperX an “Excellent” rating for air flow, although it can’t be controlled as well as other helmets.
The HyperX has a button release for the face shield.
The HyperX liner is comfortable but the padding is slightly thin.
Caberg HyperX Sound Levels
The HyperX is actually a fairly quiet helmet, all things considered.
The air seems well controlled around the bottom of the helmet and I think the absence of high pressure buildup inside the helmet, due to the efficiency of the rear exhaust vents, prevents the low-frequency “booming” noises characteristic of full-face helmets when riding behind a windscreen.
There is an increase in volume around the bottom of the helmet when riding behind some windscreens, but it presents itself as higher levels of wind rushing noise and not the low-frequency “booming’ sounds that can be so annoying.
The top half of the helmet actually seems fairly quiet, with a slight increase in noise when the top vent is opened, and then only at certain angles of attack.
So overall, I’d rate the HyperX as average to slightly better than average for noise control. Remember that “average” means “loud” when it comes to motorcycle helmets, so always wear ear plugs!
Note that our helmet evaluations are a combined effort of several riders over time on different types of motorcycles with and without windscreens.
Evaluators wear correctly fitted, high quality ear plugs (even when evaluating motorcycle intercom systems).
Always protect your hearing when riding a motorcycle. See the wBWEarplug Reviews 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 rider’s clothing.
Score: I’ll give the HyperX an “Excellent” rating for its low weight and excellent balance.
The HyperX meets the ECE 22.05 safety standard only. The helmet also has a European-style ratcheting chin strap buckle. Warranty is unknown.
The Caberg HyperX is a unique helmet that pushes the modular design format to a new level.
It’s a highly versatile helmet that is much more user friendly — and, I think, better looking — than the “Enduro” helmets favored by adventure touring riders.
The visibility out the front of the HyperX must be seen to be believed, to coin an apt phrase. This alone is a strong safety feature.
With the chin bar installed, the helmet feels secure, unlike some of the other modular helmets we’ve reviewed that make one wonder how the ECE helmet safety standard test was passed.
Although perhaps not ideal for riding in extreme cold weather because of the shorter chin bar and absence of a chin curtain, the HyperX should be an excellent companion for multiple seasons and temperatures.
Caberg has very much advanced the breed with the HyperX, heralding a new breed of highly versatile and cross-functional motorcycle helmets with few, if any, compromises.
From “M.U.” (October 2014): “About a year ago I have purchased a Caberg Hyper-X helmet and in general, I am quite content with the exception of 2 things.
First, the ventilation, the top vent does absolutely nothing. If you pull the internal lining out, you can see that there is no flow to the head, air flows along the top and out through the rear vents. In the summer, one cannot feel any breeze inside.
Second, the anti-fog coating on the visor does not work, especially in winter, with the visor fully closed. The ventilation does nothing and if one wears the turtle neck, no air goes inside and the visor fogs in seconds.
Pretty useless and the only thing that works is Caberg’s Hyper Shield Fog City inserts (kind of like a Pinlock).”
From “M.M.” (May 2012): “I ordered a HyperX in black and I think they sent me the first edition model. The inner tinted visor doesn’t lower quite far enough.
I have a small head so I ordered a small. It was tight and It turned out that my head is a combi-shaped head, a reverse egg or something along that avenue of description. It did fit however and has broken in to fit better.
It is definitely made for a round head. Because I am not supposed to have the helmet in the states at all I couldn’t very well send it back for a refund so I dedicated myself to the use of it.
My chin rests on the chin bar but I have become used to it. My love for the look, weight and function of the helmet keeps me from moving on just yet and I hope that the Ego comes to the US.
I have found that there are two major things besides those of round shape, chin bar, and insufficient inner visor levels that will stop me from buying another HyperX. The first failing being the neck roll stitching.
After six months of use the seam stitching broke and made the foam visible.
The second issue is that the shallow inner ear pockets don’t leave enough room for a decent comm system and my ear. I have tiny ears. Other than that list of issues that are specific to me, as in my chin and head shape, I love the helmet.
I love the look of the huge window for visibility and the light weight of the helmet. I love the removable chin bar – though I rarely remove it. Nothing looks like it and I get questions from almost every biker I run across.
I have now used the helmet almost every week day and many weekends for over sixteen months. Every part of the helmet except the neck roll and ear cushions is sturdy, well placed, usable and unbreakable.
If you have a round head and a fondness for cutting edge design get this helmet. If the Ego is built to the overall high engineering standards of the HyperX, I will find a way to import one. Here is my vote for bringing Caberg back to the states.”
From “M.H.” (January 2012): “I too would love to see the Caberg come to Canada. My Shark Evoline is needing to be replaced and this seems to be a worth candidate.
Keeping the helmet at the $250 would even be a competitive entry point to the Canadian market!! Seems like a great helmet for the rider looking for a technical addition to their gear.”
From “K.M.S.” (October 2011): “Here’s my review after using the helmet for some months. It’s a good looking helmet but there are some issues, for example�
Pads are too thin and the ears area doesn�t have, like other helmets, a space to keep ears free of pressure. So when I use it for many hours, my ears begin to hurt, really.
It’s a very annoying thing when you�re in the middle of nowhere and you don’t have another helmet for a change. So for me, it’s a good city helmet, very light.
There is also, inside the helmet, a piece of foam placed in the crown of it, removable. I had to remove it so the helmet fit well into my head. Otherwise, I feel the helmet too high., weird thing that foam pad.
Helmet is a little noisy too, not quiet as I thought it would be. Very good vision and the sun visor works good.”
From “J.B.” (September 2011): “This helmet has two significant problems and one minor one.
This helmet has some shortcomings. The sizing is off. Specifically I have a confirmed 57 cm medium-narrow head and according to Caberg this calls for a medium. Wrong!
The medium that I ordered is significantly too large but to send it back would cost me an additional $80.
There are 2 problems with an oversized helmet � increased wind noise and less head protection in case of a severe impact (I am an emergency physician and a proper helmet fit is key in diminishing head injury).
The sun visor works nicely but when engaged I can�t read my bike�s instruments because of its optical impurity.
This was confirmed when I tried to read a paperback book in my living room with helmet on and spotlight on the reading material � the print became “muddy”.
A minor annoyance is the ratcheting neck strap � I prefer the old-fashioned D-ring because I can dial in the tension more precisely. The field of vision is absolutely fantastic!
My advice is not to purchase this item (from Europe) but wait until it arrives in the USA so that you can determine which size fits best for you.”
From “M.S.” (06/2011): “Thank you for the excellent reviews you carry out. Having read your review of the HyperX helmet, I decided to purchase one and can say that I agree with your views on this truly outstanding helmet.
The easy fit system is so simple and yet so effective that it is bound to be copied. The fit for my round head shape is very comfortable and the visibility out of the face shield is stunning.
The finish of the helmet is fabulous at this price point (I got this at a bargain discount of $221) and the icing on the cake is the fact that it is pre wired for Bluetooth. keep up with the great reviews you carry out I find them both Informative and thorough.”
From “K.O.” (05/11): “After reading the review I was so convinced of the merits of the HyperX that I ordered one from Europe. Coming on three months of use later, I remain convinced of those merits.
The fit and finish are really quite nice, especially given the reasonable price point the helmet is sold at. The face shield detents are solid and “click” nicely, and the anti-fog treatment works as advertised, although in some of the recent inclement weather we’ve experienced, I definitely hit its saturation point.
The internal visor works well and I like the positive feel of the lever, and the shade it provides is dark enough that I haven’t felt my sunglasses would fare much better. The only complaint is that I wish it came down lower.
As for the amount of visibility, it truly needs to be seen to be believed! Looking straight ahead is probably the closest sensation you can get with a “full-face” to riding without a helmet. There is definitely a period of adjustment whenever I switch back to my Arai.
All in all I’m glad of my purchase and I certainly hope Caberg do decide to come over to North America so that more riders can enjoy their products.”
From “D.K.” (05/11): “Just read the review on the HyperX. Nice write up. Just like the N43 Air, I’d like to see the HyperX sold in the USA. Living in Southwest Utah, the better airflow is high on my list.
With a yellow Gold Wing, I like the yellow/black colors on the Air and would like to see the HyperX also with a similar two-tone scheme. Just replace the white with yellow.
It would not be a deal breaker, but Big Bird (the Gold Wing) has had some of its Tupperware changed to black or yellow. Keep up the great reviews!”
From “M.M.” (04/11): “Very impressive review. The visibility comments are especially noteworthy since this is chronic issue with almost all other helmets. I would have liked to see the process of taking the helmet on and off with the chin bar in place.
Assuming that process is more or less as convenient as with a typical flip-up helmet, I would definitely buy one of these. Design is outstanding and appears beautifully integrated.”
Editor’s Note: The chin bar on the HyperX has the Caberg “Easy Fit” system. It is designed to pull out on one side, as described in the review and illustrated in the photos above. This makes it easy to put the helmet on or take it off.
From “D.P.” (02/11): “I would love to see Caberg start selling helmets in the States. I have an extremely hard time finding helmets that fit me and look good and while I haven’t tried one on yet the Cabergs definitely look good.
I especially like the Sintesi in “Sintesi Shadow” and Gun Metal colors. The Century also looks like a very fun helmet. I would absolutely purchase both of these helmets assuming they fit comfortably.”
From “M.B.” (02/11): “I live in Canada and would certainly be interested in this helmet. Motorcycle touring requires equipment that meets multiple demands, the ability to get you through cold rainy days, usually followed by hot humid rides.
The HyperX would easily fulfill those moments in motorcycling and continue to impress when city site-seeing in jet helmet mode.. sounds like a great all-rounder!”
From “D.S.” (01/11): “I would buy the HyperX if it came to the States. I have an aging Caberg Justissimo that will have to be replaced soon. I would really like to replace it with a helmet with a removable chin bar but I hadn�t found the perfect one yet. The increase in visibility would be a real plus!”
From “S.A.” (01/11): “If the Caberg HyperX were in stores in Canada I would currently own one. There is nothing else like it on the market. I believe this helmet hits a sweet spot with its unique features, modern simple design and price point. I have been pondering if I should ask my relatives to send me one from Europe!”
Update from “S.A.” (04/11): “After contemplating my options, I contacted Caberg in Italy via e-mail to enquire if they would sell me a HyperX helmet. I got a polite but negative response with a few names of UK retailers who are willing to ship to the US / Canada.
I bought one and have been able to ride with it in cooler Canadian weather rain and shine over the last 2 weeks. In summary, I love it. It is extremely light and very comfortable with good air flow, almost too good for cold weather.
The size of the view port is huge which makes riding safer, particularly in city traffic. The sun visor is excellent and extends low enough to cover your normal range of view, with a medium tint, dark enough so I won’t need to worry about sunglasses any more.
I love the removable chin bar, usually riding in town without it. As it is so small, I carry it in my top box so it’s always ready prior to hitting the freeway.
The only things I did not expect are that the minimal neck roll and absence of a chin curtain make the helmet more suitable for warm weather riding in my opinion and that helmet entry is very restricted if the chin bar is not at least eased into the “easy fit” position.
This morning I “retired” my previous 3/4 and flip-up helmets into their respective helmet bags. I suspect, they will start collecting dust on a shelf.”
From “K.O.” (01/11): “I would love to see the Caberg helmets in Canada as it would give us more options in this market, especially if they kept it in the $350-400 price point. There is nothing remotely close to the feature set available with the Hyper-X.
I see this helmet as the perfect complement to my current Arai XD3. I think the two colour schemes on offer look great. I’m not a fan of flashy graphics and these are understated, yet unique enough to stand out.”
From “M.S.” (01/11): “Would love to have this option here in the states. While I love my Arai Profile, having this as an option on the hot summer days that start with a cool morning here in Indiana would be perfect.
For the commute in town traffic I’m sure the bigger view port, the buckle chin strap, and such would be nice to have too with how often it’s on and off on my around town trips.
Heck, I’d even take on the selfless task of testing it out for them if they wanted to mail me one (medium sized) for evaluation 🙂 ”
From “N” (01/11): “If Caberg would bring the HyperX to Canada would be great. Either color scheme is fine with me.”
From “F.W.” (01/11): “They should have never left it in my opinion, as they make a great product. However, I think they are so big in Europe that they simply did not value the US market at the time.
I had warranty issues with a Justissimo helmet purchased during their last incursion into the US market, and can tell you that the distributor tried hard, but was very frustrated with the factory’s support, both with product and on warranty issues.
I think that with their strong presence in the European market, Caberg simply did not need the US market.
Perhaps in this new economy they may now value the US market. If they do re-enter the US, they should do so with the right distributor, and plan to support whoever they choose with product and with after the sale service and parts.”
From “E.A.” (01/11): “I’d like for Caberg bring the Hyper X, Sintesi and Justissimo (in that order of preference) brought into the US. And it sure would be nice if they decided to have as one of the colors for all three to be Hi-Viz Green.”
From “R.C.” (01/11): “I just read your review about the HyperX and am extremely interested. I have owned Nolans for quite a few years and like them except for the chin bar which rubs. This is very annoying to say the least.
Your review of the HyperX indicates more room between the chin bar and the chin which would satisfy my needs.
On top of it the helmet is very good looking. I think I would shell out the bucks for a helmet that fit and provided the needed protection. Hope Caberg comes over the pond and does business.”
From “P.N.” (01/11): “Would love to see Caberg bring their line of helmets to the ”new world ”. The HyperX really interests me as I have the Nolan N43 Trilogy which is my all time favourite. Do wonder how much distortion there is on the HyperX shield which you didn’t mention, seems like there is some on the Nolan.”
From “A.C.” (01/11): “Thanks for the great and exciting review of the Caberg HyperX Motorcycle Helmet. But I missed some kind of comparison with the Nolan N43 Air (review), which I think is almost the same as this one.
Caberg is newer, prettier in my opinion, but is it better than N43 air on ventilation, comfort and quality?
Rick’s Reply: Good question! Unfortunately the N43 review was a couple of years ago and we don’t have one for comparison. Offhand I think the Caberg is probably of slightly higher quality and feels a bit more secure.
But the Nolan has better upper ventilation. The chin bar and amount of room inside in the Caberg is much better I think than the N43.