For too many years, I rode with my old Jarow Mono X2.
I truly enjoyed that helmet, but I did keep it too long.
When I finally came to terms with the fact I had to replace it several years ago, I looked at a lot of helmets. I had initially planned to buy a Nolan N104. The Nolan N103 had fit me well, but it was very heavy.
Unfortunately for me, Nolan made the N104 a bit more narrow. I have a rather round head and just couldn’t get comfortable in the N104. I have some mild neck issues, so I also wanted a lighter helmet than the N103, even though I’m wedded to the modular style.
After looking at a variety of other options, I came back around to Caberg (which had also made the Jarow Mono X2) and purchased a Duke Legend in black and hi-viz yellow. Caberg is an Italian company and developed the first modular helmets in Italy.
The Duke is a well-constructed, relatively light (1614 grams), modular helmet introduced in 2012. The paint is very nice. The interior liner is removable and feels comfortable. The chinstrap is a microlock style with generous padding. The face shield can be locked in the up position. The helmet includes an internal sun visor (with friction slider on the top of the helmet) and comes with a pinlock shield ready to install (to prevent fogging). The chin bar is taller at the center point than most others, but I find the look reasonably attractive. The helmet has very good outward visibility. The gasket around the face shield has been effective the few times I’ve ridden while it was raining. The face shield has five detents; while riding in the city, I tend to move it about halfway up toward the first detent. Noise levels are about average; it is much more quiet than my old Jarow.
Note, the Duke is not currently sold in the US; so, although it was built for DOT certification, it is not currently DOT certified. However, it is ECE 22.05 P and J certified and 5-star rated under the SHARP system (one of only a very few modulars to receive 5 stars from SHARP). Regardless of the lack of a DOT sticker on the current model, it is a very safe helmet.
After quite some time of riding with the Duke, here are some further observations:
1. Very comfortable for my bald roundish head.
2. Great optics, and the Pinlock is much appreciated (and easy to install).
3. Not much chin room. By no means do I have a big chin. My chin doesn’t touch while riding, but it will if I jut it out ever so slightly.
4. The ventilation does not impress as much as I had hoped. The top vent is poorly marked and seems to have no real effect whatsoever. The chin vents don’t do enough in heat, although at least they don’t freeze you in winter (but it would still be nice to be able to close them entirely). You can increase ventilation a little with the chin vents by re-positioning your head. Of course, I’m also usually sitting behind a large windshield.
5. Great construction. I love the feel of this helmet.
6. Stellar looks. Especially for the Legend in hi-viz; I love the contrast. And the color exactly matches my Olympia AirGlide 3 hi-viz jacket.
7. The sun visor, when fully down, actually sits on the bridge of my nose unless I pull the helmet back a bit; glad it’s a friction slider! Note, the sun visor will fog up quickly, even though the outer shield stays clear.
8. Overall, the helmet feels light and very well balanced. It also does not sail when I turn my head or bobble in cross-winds. I have not had any neck fatigue wearing it.
9. Easily fit my UClear HBC200 Force HD BT unit in the ear pockets. The helmet has convenient elastic straps in the ear pocket to hold speakers, so installation was about 10 seconds per ear. And the shell was easy to install the side clamp for the unit itself.
10. Noise levels are great in my riding configuration (For reference, I ride my trusty Honda VTX 1800C with windshield and bags, but no lower faring).
11. The chin strap is easy to use and comfortably padded. Mine does not have an actual d-ring for locking, but it does have a thinner black metal tab that can be used to lock it to the bike.
12. The interior padding feels very nice and does a decent job of wicking away moisture.
13. I mentioned it above but wanted to reiterate that the Duke is one of only five lines of modular helmets to earn 5-star ratings in all SHARP tests. That’s a nice safety plus.
14. The chin bar works well, but I do wish there was a better way to grip it when opening and closing. It’d be nice to have thumb-grip at the bottom of the chin bar. And I’d really prefer a two-button system like Nolan uses.
15. The chin curtain does not impress me all that much. It’s a rather stiff plastic, although it does get better over time. I would think there are better materials for this function.
Would I buy the Duke again? Absolutely, even though I wish the ventilation were better. That’s really my only significant gripe. I can adjust the sun visor to a position with which I’m very happy.
The chin bar sitting so close is not a real issue for me. The other little issues are just nits to pick. But the ventilation is disappointing, especially in the heat of summer. Still, though, I like this helmet a lot.
I got my first motorcycle when I was 6. As of this writing, I’m 50. I’ve ridden many bikes and worn many helmets. I’m still searching for the “perfect” helmet, but the Duke comes closer than any other I’ve had.
Riding with the Duke was such a dramatic improvement over my old X2, that it felt like I’d gotten a new bike (again, I really kept that helmet way past its prime). Thanks, Caberg, for continuing to make great helmets; please get them back to the States again.