Flip-up, modular helmets are a great versatile option for riders, offering the choice of close faced protection or the experience of open-faced freedom.
They are also a great choice for those riders continually hopping on and off their ride (try and spot a Deliveroo rider without one).
The Caberg Duke II is a ‘Dual Homologated’ modular helmet allowing you to legally ride with the flip face in both open and closed positions.
It sits squarely in the middle of Caberg’s extensive range of well-priced lids and is closely related to its brother the Caberg Tourmax, which is an identical helmet with an added external adventure visor.
Prices vary between colour schemes, with the lowest mono colours starting at around the £120 mark and the newer Super Legend models starting at around the £175 mark.
It really pays to shop around, but you will generally find the best prices on SportsBikeShop, where you can see the full colour range.
The Duke II comes in a great range of colours.
The mono range offers five colours in a mix of matt and gloss finishes, one of which is a seriously bright Fluro Yellow which wouldn’t look out of place at a 90’s rave.
There are also two multi coloured ranges, one called Impact and the newest range, called ‘Super Legend’. The latter being a personal favourite, with standouts in the ‘Super Legend Italia’, and our review model the ‘Super Legend Red and White’, which is a gorgeous cherry red gloss helmet.
Safety and Construction
Made with a Thermo-Resin shell, the Duke II scored a super-impressive 5-star Sharp rating a rating normally reserved for higher end helmets.
The modular design is also well thought out, with a large push button switch to unlock the flip face, which is located in the middle of the chin guard.
Initially I found this tricky to operate with gloves on as the large push button is fairly flush on the helmet and difficult to locate by feel. But over time muscle memory will take care of this.
The opening and closing process is smooth and reliable. However, it gets tricky when it comes to operating the small catch that unlocks the flip up section. This is located on one side of the visor and is fiddly to operate with gloves off, let alone with fat chubby leather clad digits.
Some users have also complained that the flip face can be slightly trickier to close if wearing any kind of balaclava or head wear in the winter months.
The internal material is fully removable, washable microfibre that consists of two cheek pieces and a skull cap.
They are not the easiest helmet guts to remove, but they go back in relatively easy and feel well made.
To reduce turbulence there is also a nice nape protector, made from a PU type material located under the chin area.
Another nice touch is a reflective square located at the back of the neck roll, offering an extra safety feature at night when your head is tipped forward.
Sizing is very consistent, with my model fitting perfectly on my usual ‘L’ size swede.
There are very few user complaints in this area with most people finding the stated sizes conform to expected fit. The skull cap is a very comfortable and feels luxurious.
However, there is a problem in the chin zone. When closing the flip, the rubber nape guard pops over the chin, giving a small clue on the upcoming snug fit.
After a few minutes it became apparent that there is not much space in this void and my chin was continually in contact with the helmet, something that became mildly irritating over time.
To be fair, I do have a bit of a ‘Jimmy Hill’ chin, so other less well endowed riders may not find this such a problem, but it is something other users have also complained about.
At 1.55kg it’s not a heavy helmet, particularly as modular mechanisms normally add weight. It’s thermo resin shell ensures it certainly doesn’t feel heavy in the hand or when placed on the head, whilst retaining the feeling of being reassuringly solid.
Unfortunately, this wasn’t an area where the Duke II excelled. Noise levels became pronounced at the 35 to 40mph mark, but they remained at a consistent level as speed increased, even at motorway speed.
Opening and closing the temple vent made very little difference, other than to demonstrate how well the ventilation system works.
There are mixed reviews about wind noise, and this may be a personal preference. I found the noise just about tolerable but would consider wearing ear plugs for longer high-speed journeys.
If noise is a concern read our guide to the quietest motorcycle helmets.
The main visor has an anti-scratch coating and is really easy to remove if you want to change it. It’s pin lock ready and an insert is included in the box. Pinlock really is a necessity and pretty much guarantees a fog free ride.
A small niggle; the visor has a number of pre-set open positions. I like to crack my visor a smidge to demist. However, the first setting is a fraction wider than I would like and I can imagine this could irritate during cold rainy days.
Internal sun visor
The internal sun visor is a great feature, and Caberg has got the shading level just right. The visor is operated by a slider located at the top/rear of the helmet. It’s a nice chunky switch and is easy to operate, but it does feel a tad flimsy and cheap.
I also found it hard to operate whilst riding as you have to reach quite far back to operate it. Once closed the visor sits in a great position allowing a perfect gap to see instrumentation.
Caberg call their ratchet strap a ‘Micrometric quick release system, which allows further minute adjustments to the strap once set. It works with all the simplicity you would expect, and once set you’re done.
Some users state that the strap sits slightly back under the chin, which was slightly noticeable on our model. However, the padding on the strap is a decent thickness and felt comfortable.
There are five vents around the mouth guard, and the attractive metallic mesh inserts are a really nice touch. In fact, they are one of the most attractive features of this helmet.
This cool ‘android’ look is synonymous throughout Caberg’s range.
There is also another dual vent located in the temple. This appears to do a lot of the Duke’s ventilation and has an open and close switch.
Sliding the switch back actually opens the vent, which feels counter intuitive, but Caberg have added the words ‘Open’ and ‘Closed’ which is a nice touch.
Notably there are no exhaust vents at the rear of the lid, which is a shame as it would significantly improve air flow (maybe a feature for the Duke III?).
Overall the Duke II is very well ventilated, and you can tell how efficient the brow vents are, as when closed the lid quickly heats up.
There are cut outs for comms and Caberg state that the Duke II is ‘ready for Caberg Evo Comms’ their own proprietary system. A number of users have reported successfully adding bespoke systems such as the Interphone Tour.
The insert areas also seem to offer an adequate depth for headphones and other tech.
Read more about motorcycle intercoms.
There are a few minor niggles with this helmet, but at this price point it comes down to personal preference and what you are willing to put up with (and how big your chin is)!
Medium noise levels and a few fiddly controls are things I could personally live with, especially as this is a very light and comfortable helmet with a nicely shaded internal visor.
It’s also a great option for people regularly hopping on and off their bikes, as the modular feature really makes taking it on and off a breeze.
Truth be told, I wasn’t sure if the Caberg’s Italian good looks would be enough to convince me to buy this helmet, until I saw my reflection in a shop window.
Then I immediately decided I could live with some of its small niggles and that its price was actually very good value, but get a ‘Super Legend’ if budget permits.