The Sena Cavalry is another in the long and proud tradition of half helmets. Half helmets offer a distinctive, old-school look that has been popular since the dawn of motorcycle riding. Like other half helmets, the Cavalry offers a sleek, minimalistic design that looks cool and comfortable. Unlike many of the half helmets on the market, however, the Sena Cavalry packs a surprising addition that really sets it apart from the rest of the competition -- a bluetooth-connected speaker system that gives the rider multiple options for both entertainment and communication.
We’ll talk more about that feature later on. But first, let us talk about the standard specifications of this helmet.
Outer shell material : Fiberglass composite shell
Liner : padded interior lining
Weight : 3.7 pounds
Strap System : D-ring retention system
DOT : Yes
SHARP : Not tested
Shape and materials
The Sena Cavalry looks similar to your standard half helmet. A sleek black shell (in this case, constructed of a strong and durable fiberglass composite shell) rests over a padded interior liner. The shell comes in several different sizes for the right fit on your head.
The half helmet design means that you are essentially looking at the top half of a dome, with very little in the way of anything else. There is no front visor -- goggles are probably a good idea if you’re going to take this helmet up to high speeds or anywhere where you expect to encounter dust) -- and even though it does come with optional ear pads they are not a required part of the helmet.
The Cavalry comes in multiple shell sizes ranging from SX to 2XL. Most reports states that this helmet sizes big -- in fact, many people say that you should just go up a shell size from whatever helmet you’re currently wearing. If you have the option of trying one on in person before you order that’s probably not a bad idea, as the last thing you want to do is get a helmet that doesn’t fit right!
Assuming you have the right shell size, the interior padded lining does a good job of giving you a snug, comfortable fit that should keep your head feeling fine during your ride. The lightness of this helmet -- weighing less than four pounds -- also helps, as you should experience much less neck fatigue than in other helmets that weight more.
Things I liked
Things I don’t like
No front visor means that you have an unobstructed view of the open road ahead of you. This has always been one of the main appeals of the half helmet design, and in this the Cavalry does not disappoint. In addition to the open face, the Cavalry comes with a removable sun visor to help keep the worst of the glare out of your eyes.
Just like the half helmet design has very definite implications for visibility, it also does for quietness. Because this is an open helmet, the lack of ear covering means that you will most definitely hear all the noises the world has to offer -- from the sound of your tires on the road to the roar of your own engine, there’s really nothing you can do to block those sounds out.
When it comes to wind noise, Sena has done a good job of designing an extremely aerodynamic helmet that keeps wind down to a minimum. Yeah, you’ll hear some wind noise, but it definitely won’t be overpowering.
The Cavalry does come with optional ear pads that can provide a minimal amount of insulation from the worst of the outside noises, but don’t expect them to block out everything.
The Sena Cavalry offers no ventilation options other than what you get from the basi half helmet design. The open face provides plenty of air from the road, but the interior of the helmet gets nothing, so longer rides are going to result with a little bit of heat and sweat.
The Cavalry is DOT-approved, which means you can count on this helmet to offer protection in cases of accidents and other mishaps. Since the DOT standards are pretty rigorous this helmet can definitely be considered safe, but as with other half helmets, the open face provides plenty of other ways to get hurt that this helmet just can’t protect you against.
If you’ve read this far and you’re thinking this is just your standard half helmet, you’d be right … except for one very important difference: this helmet is equipped with a Bluetooth-enabled speaker and microphone system that provides you with communication and entertainment options that don’t come with most helmets.
The helmet connects via Bluetooth to your smartphone. On each side, right near the ears, are tiny speakers. This set up allows you to several options that you can access through the Sena headset app, available for Android or iPhone. You can stream music from your phone or listen to the radio. Set up presets and favorites for easy switching and access. You can listen to navigation directions from Waze, Maps or any other application you choose.
Embedded in the front of the helmet is a microphone. With this you can actually turn your Sena Cavalry into a communication device, speaking directly with up to three other riders like an in-house intercom system. This allows you the ability to stay in touch quickly and conveniently without distraction. You can even share your playlists with other riders.
If you’re just looking for a basic helmet, there are plenty of others out there that offer minimalistic design such as this one for a much smaller pricetag. If you want a helmet that gives you those features but also comes with a state-of-the-art communication system, then the Sena Cavalry is the one to check out. Without that system, it’s just a basic helmet. With that system, however, it’s a technological innovation that is well worth the heftier cost that comes with it.
When we look at everything, we give this helmet an average rating of 88.75/100, which works out to 4.43/5 stars. However, our normal rating system doesn’t take “special features” into account. With the speaker/microphone system in place, it’s a snap to boost that rating closer to 4.75 for those who are looking for those kinds of applications.
Where to buy this helmet :