The Kabuto Ibuki: a composite fiber flip-up helmet designed for sports tourers
The Kabuto Ibuki (formerly OGK helmets) is a fiberglass-based composite flip-front crash helmet aimed at the sports touring market. Most modular helmets are worn by folks who ride a more upright sort of bike, so the Ibuki has been designed to work best in that position and offer the type of features you need when you’re riding lots of miles in a day. That’s decent build quality, low noise, good comfort, decent ventilation, effective anti-fog – and probably a helmet that works with your bluetooth set.
So let’s check out what owners think of the Kabuto Ibuki:
- Composite fiber modular/flip up helmet
- Sports/touring focused
- Not SHARP/Snell tested
- Built in sun visor
- Pinlock Max Vision antifog included
- 3.55Lbs (1.6Kg) in weight (lighter than average)
- Sizes XS-XXL
- Expect to pay around $400
The only hint at how well it’ll do in an accident is if we look at the Kabuto RT-33 which uses the same helmet shell technology (what Kabuto calls ACT Evo – standing for Advanced Composite Technology). The RT-33 scored an impressive 4/5 stars for safety when SHARP tested it – which is a very decent score – so we might expect the Ibuki to score similarly well, although of course the Ibuki is a flip-up helmet so not directly comparable.
Note: our safety rating at the bottom reflects the fact it hasn’t been SHARP tested. If/when it gets rated, we’ll publish it here and update our rating too.
It’s not totally clear what Kabuto’s ACT composite actually contains but it looks like it’s a multi-layer fiberglass composite. It’s made in 2 shell sizes which is OK (some more premium helmets these days are made in four!) and it’s lined with a dual-density shock absorbing liner which is a feature worth looking for in any helmet.
Other stuff that contributes to safety that you’ll find on the Ibuki are the double-action micrometric strap – it’s double action to prevent accidental opening – and the drop down sun visor, which is great for general use but also to be able to quickly drop down if you’re caught out by lowering sun come autumn.
Similarly, the inclusion of a Pinlock Max Vision antifog is really useful to keep your shield clear at all times of year.
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Modular helmets are generally noisier than full face helmets – and your perception of how loud a helmet is can be dependent on lots of factors (type of bike, riding style, speed etc. etc.).
That said, most folks rate the Kabuto Ibuki as quieter than average. They reckon that if you leave the chin curtain on and vents closed, it’s pretty good – until you pick up the pace. But if you open things up, it still gets noisy and you’ll need ear plugs.
The Kabuto Ibuki’s ventilation is a story of two halves.
The top front vent is opened/closed by a big slider that’s really easy to find and use. The rear exhaust vent is also closeable – again using a large slider. Most owners agree this combo is great – pulling in lots of air that you can really feel circulating around the helmet and keeping you pretty cool even in really high temperatures.
The chin vent is a different matter. The whole lower vent panel is a large toggle switch – press the bottom part and the top opens up to let air in. Problem is, the opening’s too small – letting just a tiny amount of air in and venting it only onto the back of the shield.
Having said that, you can get a decent amount of air into the front of the helmet from below – esp if you remove the chin curtain – and most owners focus on the fact that the top vents are great. So that doesn’t seem to be too much of a problem.
And with the included Pinlock Max Vision, shield fogging shouldn’t be an issue anyhow (I suspect the poor face ventilation is exactly why the Ibuki comes with a Pinlock!).
The main shield works on a ratchet that seems to work well and has a convenient ‘cracked open’ position that’s useful for when you’re ambling around town and riding slowly, to get a bit of air in. As mentioned, it’s a Pinlock-ready shield and the Ibuki comes with a Pinlock Max Vision in the box (the Max Vision being a slightly larger insert that keeps more of the shield fog-free and tries to keep the edge of the insert out of your field of vision).
The main shield does have a quick release shield mechanism, but it seems to be a little trickier to use than most.
Other than that, all works well and no major problems reported.
Click this link if you’re looking for a new helmet that comes with a Pinlock in the box or has a Pinlock-ready shield.
The sun visor works on a slider on the left hand side of the helmet. It’s an analogue operation – meaning you can slide it down and leave it at any setting you like, rather than a fully-up or fully-down visor you see on some models.
Owners seem to like it, though there are a few saying they wish it dropped a bit lower down.
The chin guard on the Kabuto Ibuki is unlocked, unusually, by a small red switch to the left bottom of the chin guard.
You don’t often see the switch there but pretty well all owners we came across said they actually like it there – and that it’s really easy to find and use.
Once opened, the chin guard stays firmly open in its fully opened position, but there’s no option to lock it there.
Interestingly, one owner said he’d tried lots of modulars and found that when the chin guard’s down, the Ibuki gave the most room for his chin he’d come across.
Obviously, one potential issue for any modular helmet is whether it might unlock and open during an impact. When a helmet is SHARP tested, they note how many times this happens – and we include the figure in our reviews. So if you’re looking around for a modular but want to be sure you’re buying one that won’t spring open, we suggest you check out either Nolan Group helmet (which includes X-Lite too) or an AGV – the top three for chin guard performance.
Comfort & Sizing
Most owners feel that the interior of the Ibuki is good quality and makes for a really comfortable helmet.
The comfort lining is removable and washable and uses Invista’s Coolmax fabric – that’s designed to quickly wick sweat away from the head and keep you cool at the same time, probably because your sweat carries heat away from your head. Coolmax is usually only found on more premium/expensive helmets and together with the good ventilation found in the Ibuki, it seems to do a good job.
The Ibuki comes with an detachable ear piece within the liner to help provide more space for the ears if necessary, and there’s a glasses groove to accommodate the stems of glasses more easily and stop them pressing into the side of the head.
Interestingly, the chin strap is made of a MOFF fabric. That’s a fabric designed to reduce odors. I’m not sure how much a problem sweaty chin straps are – but I guess having a deodorized strap can’t hurt!
Finally, the sizing of the Kabuto Ibuki seems to run pretty true – so if you’re interested in ordering one, check our fitting guide and that should show the size to order – preferably from one of our recommended retailers (see below).
Looks & Graphics
The Kabuto Ibuki is only available in plain, solid designs at the moment – including a hi viz version and a fetching gunmetal and aluminium silver versions. For the latest colors and designs, click through the links to our recommended retailer below – they’ll drop you on the Kabuto helmet page.
Best places to buy a Kabuto crash helmet?
They're our recommended retailer for quality of service and if you buy from them, 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 here for more info on our recommended retailers.
Kabuto Ibuki Video
Take a few minutes to have a look around the Ibuki…
Other stuff – audio, weight, buffeting, build quality, warranty
The Ibuki has recesses in the EPS lining to accommodate speakers for communicators and word is that there’s plenty of space for those and a mic. Systems we’ve heard that fitted OK include the Sena 20S and the SMH10 – with the 20S working using a clamp rather than stick on.
Quite a few owners reckon that the Ibuki feels light – and the figures bear this out. A medium size helmet is just over 3.5lbs (about 1.6Kg) which is slightly lighter than the average flip-up helmet.
It’s good for buffeting too. The ridges on the surface of the Ibuki are there to try and smooth out the flow of air across the surface to reduce buffeting and noise. It’s what Kabuto call ‘wake stabilising’ technology. And a few owners commented that it feels better than their previous helmets and seems to work.
Similarly, a few owners said they were surprised by how well made the Kabuto felt – inside and outside. Kabuto back up the quality with a reasonable 3 year warranty.
Crash Helmet Buying Guides
For (hopefully!) other useful information to help you when buying your next helmet, check our various guides - or have a look at our top helmet lists where we've got the top 10 rated helmets overall and best budget/safest/full face/flip-up helmets.
Alternatives to the Kabuto Ibuki
There’s lots of competition in the flip-up helmet market these days with decent offerings whatever your budget.
We’ve gotta mention the Scuberth C3 Pro because it’s a well made helmet that can be found for about the same price as the Kabuto – though it’s only SHARP 3 star rated. Also, there’s the popular Shoei Neotech – a SHARP 4 star rated, well built helmet which again can be found starting at around the same price as the Kabuto.
But there’s some great helmets to be had for much less than the price of these or the Ibuki.
Others worth a mention – and offering considerably better value – are the 4 star rated AGV Numo Evo, the 4 star Lazer Monaco with it’s photochromic shield as standard and claim to be the world’s lightest modular, and the 4 star rated, dual homologated Nolan N91 Evo.
Phew! There’s a few to keep you going!
More Kabuto crash helmet reviews/info?Visit our Kabuto page to quickly browse all our Kabuto helmet reviews.
The Kabuto Ibuki seems to surprise many owners by its build quality and how well it performs. We can’t really tell how well it’ll protect you in an accident as it’s not been SHARP or Snell certified, but what we do know is that it has good ventilation, is comfortable, pretty light and its shield system with included Pinlock and useful drop down sun visor perform well. Overall, owners seem to really like their Ibukis and if you’re in the market for a modular helmet, you could do far worse than trying one out – you never know, you might become a Kabuto convert!