Kabuto FF-5V Motorcycle Helmet Review
While the name Kabuto may be new to you as a motorcyclist, the Japanese company has been making helmets for over 30 years, and started as Osaka Grip Manufacturing over 65 years ago.
“Safety meets style” is the company’s motto, and the name comes from the protective headwear worn by ancient Japanese warriors.
At the top of the Kabuto helmet line is the FF-5V, which is described as a racing helmet. To be sure, the FF-5V has racing-focused features, yet it is still fully functional on the street thanks to a generous eyeport.
Kabuto touts its aerodynamic shell as a leading feature. “To design invisible wind,” says Product Development Manager Hiroyuki Minami, “that is Kabuto’s creativity.”
In testing, we found the claims to be true; the FF-5V is slippery at high speeds, allowing us to turn our heads without unexpected buffeting when the speedo is registering triple digits.
As is the case with many race helmets, the FF-5V is not light. In fact, weighing in at 3 pounds, 14 ounces, this is the heaviest helmet of this type we have tested. It tips the scale at three ounces more than the Shoei X-12 (both size medium) and nearly six ounces more than the Arai Corsair V.
￼Kabuto has an interesting way of mitigating the effect of that weight, however. The top of the soft liner is scalloped, like a bicycle helmet, with the helmet’s weight carried primarily by the lower half of your skull, where the fit is pretty tight.
If you don’t like a firm, snug fit that grips your cheek, the FF-5V probably will not suit you. The advantage of that fit on the racetrack is that, in addition to the shell’s aerodynamics, the Kabuto helmet absolutely does not move around on your head.
Getting the FF-5V on is daunting. The entry hole looks small, but the fit is right once your head makes it in. Even harder, though, is getting the helmet off, which is decidedly uncomfortable. If you wear earrings, you will probably not want to wear them with the FF-5V.
Another plus includes excellent air-flow over your scalp when the vents, which are easily operated by your gloved hands at speed, are open, thanks to that scalloped liner design. Also, the two shields we used are exceptionally clear and optically perfect.
While it isn’t a helmet for everyone, the Kabuto FF-5V does have a unique feature set that will satisfy specific track and sport riders.
The Kabuto FF-5V is priced at $429.95 for solids, and $479.95 for graphics. For additional information, visit Kabuto USA.
This review is from Ultimate MotorCycling magazine. For subscription services, click here.