The Roof Desmo is a very clever helmet that looks pretty cool and imposing too. It’s dual-homologated, meaning that it’s been tested and approved as both an open-faced and full-faced crash helmet. It’s well finished and feels good quality. The chin guard can be moved from full to open-faced positions and back with just one hand. It’s slightly below average for noise suppression, pretty aerodynamic and very easy to get along with day to day.
It’s also SHARP 4 star safety rated (chin bar 97%) which means it should offer excellent protection too.
Apart from the fact that Roof dealers seem to be few and far between (only 2 in the UK at the time of writing) it’s a good performing modular helmet that’s well worth a look.
- 1.7 Kg
- Sizes XS to XXL
- ECE 22.05 dual homologated as both full-faced and open-faced helmet
- Flip up helmet
- SHARP 4 Star Safety Rated
- Thermoplastic composite shell
- Typical price range: £250-£350 depending on model/retailer
It’s also dual-homologated – meaning that it’s been ECE approved as both an open faced and full faced helmet. So if you have an accident with the chin bar up it should still give excellent protection – as long as you don’t face plant as that won’t end up so well!
If you do ride with the chin bar down, it should give great face protection too. SHARP tests the percentage of time that the chin bar stays locked and closed during their impact testing, and in the case of the Roof Desmo, that was 97% of the time which is very good – it came unlocked just once during their testing by my calculations.
It’s not massively noisy for a flip-up helmet, but it’s not massively quiet too. If you’re used to a full face helmet, you’ll probably find it a bit noisy. It’s OK if you use ear plugs of course, and, as always, it depends on what sort of bike you’re riding and whether the wind is routed at or over the helmet. In general though, I’d say it’s probably about average amongst modular helmets for noise suppression.
Looking to buy this Roof helmet?
You'll find a good range at these stores (both recommended for excellent customer service and compeitive prices). First up is SportsBikeShop (UK) who offer free delivery and 365 day (free!) returns. Or if you're happy to buy from Germany, Motoin are a quality operation with decent Euro prices and great review scores too. Please see here for more info on our recommended stores or click the links to go straight to their Roof helmets pages.
Some folks reckon that Roof helmets are a little short, front to back. With the Desmo’s chin guard down, I find my chin presses against the inside of the guard a little, so that’s probably true. However I find it comfortable and it helps keep the helmet positioned correctly whereas some other helmets slip around a little when your speed goes up. While the interior is fully removable and washable, Roof also provide the cheek guards in different sizes to help you get just the right fitment. Size Large was about bang on for me and about the same size as my regular Shoei.
One of the main downsides for the Roof Boxer was the lack of ventilation. So Roof have made a particular effort to improve it with the Desmo. It’s got a double vent in the chin guard, a vent at the top of the helmet and another exhaust vent to the rear. The front chin vent is really effective. It’s a little fiddly to operate – there’s two small tabs inside the vent and you push one up and the other down to open the vent. Once open, the airflow is directly into your mouth. The top vent is spring-loaded. You push down on the two little panels to open the vent; and to close it, you push back on a tab behind them and the vent panels pop back into place to seal the vent. That works OK. The vent at the back is sealable too but probably not something you’d change when riding along as it’ll be too awkward. Overall though, the ventilation is great – good enough to keep things mist-free in the winter and cool in the summer. Bang on.
Visor & chin guard
The visor mechanism on the Desmo is ace. The visor itself is a big old bendy thing in the style of a helicopter pilot’s, but despite this, it’s optically pretty good. It’s also anti-scratch (obviously) and has an anti-fog coating.
When the chin bar is down and in position, the visor sits snugly in a rubber gasket, sealing things tight and keeping water out. There’s a tab at the top of the visor that you push up to open the visor (I found this a little odd at first but got used to it pretty quickly).
The visor doesn’t have any ratchets, instead it slides up smoothly and stops in place wherever you put it. With the chin bar backwards and using the helmet as an open face, the visor pulls down to act as an eye-shield. If you’ve got a rather large hooter, like me, then having the visor fully down does push upon your nose and give you a really effective ‘Tubs from League of Gentlemen’ local nose as it presses against the inside of the visor! However, I find that if I don’t pull it down fully, it’s still effective and leaves my honker to stick out in the small v at the bottom of the visor.
Worth mentioning is the really clever ‘desmodronic’ visor mechanism that moves the visor out of the way of the chin guard when you push it back round the back of your head and brings it forward again when you pull it down. It’s really nicely done and works well.
So far so good. I’m usually a 60cm Large and that’s what I bought the Desmo in. It’s a totally perfect fit and very comfortable with no pressure spots for me. The inner fabric is good quality and fully removable. As mentioned before, the visor can press against larger noses and the chin guard can press against the chin. So it’s fair to say if you’re over-endowed in either the nose or chin department, it’s probably worth trying before you buy.
The Roof Desmo has a micrometric fastener which is still relatively unusual but works well. Push a plastic ratchet-strip into its retainer and it clicks firmly into place. To release, you just pull a material tab and the ratchet releases and the chinstrap opens. It’s very simple to operate and works well. If you’re looking to take your helmet onto the track, the Desmo doesn’t have an ACU Gold Star sticker so you’ll not be able to use it on a track day (if they check!). The chin guard mechanism seems pretty durable and it looks like some solid metal bits and bobs are used so hopefully it’ll be solid. However, it does rely on friction to keep the visor open and that means parts rubbing against each other; meaning I’d expect some wear and tear to take place. Roof does include a spare set of nylon fitments though together with a key-fob allen key that fits the nuts on each side of the helmet, so that’s a welcome inclusion. There’s also a pretty nifty helmet bag in the box too. To see the full range of paint jobs Roof Desmo helmets follow this link.
For other helmet reviews check out either our Crash Helmet Reviews or SHARP 4 & 5 Star Crash Helmet reviews sections! And if you‘ve got a Roof Helmet – including the Desmo – we’d love you to let us know what you think. Please comment below – thanks!
Slightly Dodgy Roof Desmo Video
But it gives you a good idea of what the Desmo’s like and how the visor works
Here’s another with a bit more info…
Best place to buy this Roof crash helmet?
Please click below to visit the Roof helmets pages at our recommended stores - all highly rated for excellent service and keen prices. And if you buy from either, we get a small sum from the sale at no extra cost to you - a massive THANKS! (it's how we finance the site).
Click above to drop onto their Roof helmets pages or *quick view retailer T&Cs here.
Definitely want a Roof?
Here you'll find all our Roof crash helmet reviews and previews including full face, flip-up and open face helmets.