Schuberth S2 Motorcycle Helmet Review
After a hiatus from the North American market for several years, German helmet maker Schuberth introduced its C3 flip-up helmet last year (Rider, April 2011) and has just added a full-face helmet, the S2.
Like the C3, the S2’s shell is made of a proprietary mix of resin, composite and fiberglass that Schuberth calls S.T.R.O.N.G. fiber, compressed in a high pressure, heated vacuum mold. The S2’s sleek shape with integrated rear spoiler was designed in Schuberth’s own wind tunnel, where the company also measures wind noise. A full circumference spoiler around the bottom edge of the helmet adds downforce, and stability of the S2 at high speed is impressive. With the removable chin skirt in place, Schuberth claims just 85 dBA of interior noise at 60 mph on a naked bike. Since the chin skirt made it harder to pull the helmet on and off, pressed against my throat and reduced the amount of fresh air entering under the chinbar, I preferred wearing the helmet without it, especially since I wear earplugs religiously.
Inside the shell is an EPS foam liner that’s injection molded into a single, multi-density piece for optimal shock absorption and distribution. Ensuring a snug, cozy fit is a removable, washable, hypoallergenic comfort liner made of Coolmax and Thermocool materials, with an antibacterial coating of Interpower. Although the interior of the S2 is very plush, the thickly padded neck collar made it a tight squeeze getting the helmet on and off.
Chin and crown intake vents and multiple rear exhaust vents channel a copious amount of air through the helmet. On extremely cold days, the crown vent can be closed outside as well as inside the comfort liner, ensuring an airtight seal. Since the chin vent pivots open, occasionally I’d bump it closed when opening the face shield.
Other features of the S2 include a Pinlock-ready face shield (Pinlock anti-fog insert is provided) with a prominent lip on either side that makes the shield easy to open and close. It ratchets with positive action and stays in place at various opening heights. The face shield, which includes unique triangular “turbulators” along the top edge to reduce wind noise, can be easily removed without tools, and a retractable sun visor eliminates the need for a dark shield. The length of the chinstrap can be adjusted on both ends and it connects using a micro-lock ratchet system. The location of the chinstrap seems farther back than on most helmets, since it often dug into my throat. Connected to the chinstrap are two hidden straps that connect to the back of the helmet, part of Schuberth’s patented Anti-Roll-Off System that’s designed to prevent the helmet from pivoting too far forward.
Aside from a few gripes described above, living inside the S2 for a long week of riding in hot and cold conditions up and down the coast and valleys of California was enjoyable. At 55.2 ounces, it’s light. Ventilation was good, noise and buffeting were minimal and the sun visor came in handy.
The Schuberth S2 helmet meets DOT and ECE safety standards, and two shell sizes cover interior sizes XS-3XL. Available in solid colors (gloss black, matte black, gloss silver, gloss white) for $699, it also comes with a five-year warranty. Customers can register free for Schuberth’s Mobility Program, which replaces a crash-damaged helmet for one-third of the retail price, and three-year service plan. Built into the S2 are two integrated antennas to boost reception and Bluetooth connection for Schuberth’s optional Cardo-made SRC communication system.
For more information, see your dealer or visit schuberthnorthamerica.com
(This Gearlab article was published in the October 2012 issue of Rider magazine.)