The Caberg Duke is a popular modular/flip up crash helmet. On the face of things, it’s not hard to see why because it ticks all the right boxes – it’s pretty light, looks cool, it’s independently tested to be about as safe as they come (SHARP 5 star rating) and it has a host of useful features like a integral sun visor and micrometric fastener. That’s all fine and dandy, but if it doesn’t do the basics right, then it’s going to be a pain to live (and ride) with right?
- SHARP 5 star safety rated
- Modular/flip up
- Approved for use open or closed
- Pinlock anti-fog included
- Micrometric fastener
- 1550g (light for a modular)
- Typical price range: £110-£180 depending on model
Helmet Shell & Safety
The Duke’s shell is made of polycarbonate. Old timers like me tend to sneer at polycarb helmets as being inferior to fibreglass or kevlar – but it’s all pretty baseless. Polycarbonate lids make for low cost, lightweight, durable and, ultimately, safe helmets – you don’t score 5 stars in a SHARP test by making a flimsy helmet shell. Inside the helmet, there’s the usual dual-density polystyrene to absorb impacts and beneath that a fully removable/washable lining. All present and correct there. And it must do the job well because not only is it 5 star rated for safety, but owners say it’s very comfy indeed.
A couple of owners have also commented that the shell size seems to be externally slightly smaller than previous crash helmets they’ve owned, meaning looking back and life-savers are that much easier. This is probably a comment from people with larger helmet sizes because the Duke is only available in one shell size meaning for wearers of larger helmets, it’ll feel smaller – see later.
Folks also reckon the the visor aperture is slightly narrower than most – not enough to cause any problems though, but you might find it noticeable.
The Duke has been wind-tunnel designed and owners reckon it’s made for a slippery shape with many noticing less buffeting that other helmets. This will also help with reducing wind noise too.
In fact, several owners commented that they don’t ride with ear plugs in with the Duke because it’s so quiet – which is astonishing for any helmet never mind a flip-up. However, despite a few positive comments like this, overall it’s fair to say the Duke is about average for noise suppression. It’s quiet for a modular, but they’re usually noisy compared to full face helmets.
In the UK, the Caberg Duke is available in the usual plain colours and a couple of hi-vis options such as the white or hi-vis yellow (though that has to be ordered specially). Other options are variants on the dual racing-stripes (was it Gulf that started that design originally?) including a cool streetfighter-esque version in urban cammo called the Duke Commander. Here it is, looking all mean and moody. Scares me just looking at it!
Looking to buy a Caberg?We recommend either Sportsbikeshop (UK) or GetGeared (UK) for outstanding service, or FC-Moto (Ger) for the widest range. Please click any link to see their full range and latest prices.
Ventilation & Visor
Onto ventilation – and again the Duke scores well. It has effective chin and forehead vents that pull air in up over the face and through channels in the polystyrene liner to give a decent amount of ventilation. The top vent has a big slider to open/close it and is easy to use even with your winter gloves on. They’re not enough to stop the main visor steaming up on its own (they never are) but despite being one of the lower-priced helmets, the Duke comes with a Pinlock anti-fog insert in the box, which is outstanding value and it really does work. OK you may get mist creeping in to your peripheral vision if you’re sat in zero degree temperatures, at the lights in the rain – but that’s about it. The Pinlock’s a brilliant addition.
The Duke comes with a sun visor too – there’s a slider on the top of the lid to open/close it and it can be stopped at any point in between (not all helmets with sun visors can, which is a nuisance for some riders). Of course, internal visors can steam up in the cold/damp – I’ve yet to find one that doesn’t – so if you do lots of cold weather riding, some anti-fog spray might be useful. However, the sun visor is optically very good so in all it’s one of the best.
The flip up chin bar is easy to use with a large central button to press before the chin bar raises. The Duke has been dual-homologated for use on the road in either the full-face position or with the chin bar up – not all are so beware. Having said that, I’ve never heard of anyone being stopped by the plod for illegally using their modular helmet, and I reckon plenty of police are probably unaware of this and breaking the law themselves!
There’s also a little locking tab that you can use to lock the chin guard in the open position too – which is a nice touch, although I’m not sure I’d want to have an off with the chin guard up as it could easily catch and rotate the helmet. That’s something you definitely don’t want to happen during an accident!
On safety, it’s worth noting that in the SHARP tests, the chin guard remained fully locked in 87% of impacts which, believe it or not, is actually pretty good for a flip-up helmet; though we’ve removed half a star because it still compromises safety in an accident.
Well one or two folks think it feels a bit cheap and the shell only comes in one size. That means if you’re an XS you’ll get the same outer shell size as the XL – which might make it look massive on you. A few people reported that there’s not much room for their chin (it seems to be only the occasional modular helmet that has this sort of problem) so if yours is particularly large or pointy, you might want to try before you buy.
Other stuff – Fastener and Communications
Well it has a nice and easy micrometric fastener which we like very much and it’s also Caberg Just Speak Communicator-ready.
It’s pretty hard to fault the Caberg Duke – and very few owners do. We knew before we started that the Duke looked great on paper and were wondering if it covers off all the basics to make it a good real-world helmet that’s easy to live with. And we’re happy to report that it sure does. It’s comfortable, light weight and reasonably quiet (for a modular!) and has a host of nice touches that make the Duke a superb all rounder. And it all comes at an extremely competitive price too. Very well done Caberg – at the time of writing, the Caberg Duke is one of our top-rated flip-up helmets.
Modular/Flip-up helmets are pretty popular at the moment and there’s some good alternatives out there. There’s the Shoei Neotech which has similar features and is all day comfortable – though it’s much more expensive and only scored 4 on the SHARP safety test (though the chin guard stayed closed a creditable 93% of the time when being tested). There’s also the excellent Caberg Tourmax which is also dual-homologated, is packed with features and is well liked by owners – though it hasn’t yet been SHARP tested.
Best places to buy a Caberg crash helmet?We've chosen three of the best places to buy from - whether it's a Caberg or any other helmet/gear.
If you want piece of mind when you buy, Sportsbikeshop is based in the UK and offers outstanding service (9.8/10 on Trustpilot) including 365 day refunds. They may not be the cheapest but are our recommended retailer for quality of service. FC-Moto usually has the widest range of helmets in Europe and scores a decent (8.7/10 on Trustpilot) - and are based in Germany. They're still competitively priced despite the £-€ exchange rate too. GetGeared is another recommended UK retailer, with a no-quibble 365 day returns policy and scoring 4.8/5 on eKomi. Please click any picture below to visit their Caberg pages where you can see all the latest colour schemes and prices. And if you buy from any, we get a small sum from the sale at no extra cost to you - a massive THANKS! (it's how we finance the site).