We here at MD have tested a couple of Schuberth helmets, both touring-oriented. The flip-up C3 Pro we found to be good-looking, quiet, practical and laden with useful features. I liked my S2 enough to declare it “deserving of its high-end reputation, a solid and well-made helmet …” good helmets, but not exactly sexy. But that’s not surprising—Germans don’t really do sexy. Or at least they’re not known for that.
So I was excited to see how Schuberth would do with a sport helmet when Schuberth North America invited me to try its new race helmet. Race and sport helmets need to offer a little sexiness, at least a dash of style, in addition to being light, aerodynamic and well-vented. You may not expect to find that from a company that’s focused on the touring market, but Schuberth isn’t staffed by slackers—the company has a huge, advanced R&D facility, complete with wind tunnel, as well a stable of European racers (including none other than Michael Schumacher) to aid the development process.
The result is the all-new SR1. Schuberth started with its STRONG composite shell construction—it uses an automated process to produce a shell that is thinner and lighter than a hand-laid one—with ‘multizone’ EPS foam for “optimal impact absorption.” The hypo-allergenic, moisture-wicking liner is removable for washing, and the bottom of the cheek pads get reflective material. The retention strap uses a light, simple double D-ring fastener, and the face shield has a push-button quick-release mechanism and is set up for our friend the Pinlock anti-fog shield.
Germans are a safety-conscious folk, we all know. The SR1, like other Schuberth helmets, is equipped with the “Anti-Roll-Off System,” a pair of straps attached to the chinstrap that (if the chinstrap is fastened securely) will keep the helmet from pivoting forwards off the rider’s head. The SR1 also has a large amount of reflective graphics and panels on it and generally, I find German-made products to be better-made and I trust them to be safer than products from…well, let’s just say “some other places” to keep the angry emails at bay.
Then where’s the Snell sticker, you ask? Good question, and you can bet I’m not going to jump into that particular piranha-filled pond, so I kicked the ball over to Schuberth. It turns out that the SR1 not only meets, it exceeds the ECE rating (according to Schuberth), which is rigorous and respected, so there’s no reason to design an USA-only model to get a Snell sticker. “The ECE rating is a global standard recognized by AMA and FIM” said Schuberth Marketing and PR Manager Sarah Schilke, “ECE is significant and stands on its own credibility.” Many other race organizations accept the ECE as well.
My first impression of the SR1 was favorable. It looks, works and feels like a top-of-the-line luxury helmet. Finish, build quality and construction are all world class, as you’d expect. It’s light—3 pounds, 5 ounces on my scale (size small—there are 3 shell sizes, and the SR1 is sized between XS and XXL)—and it was hard to pull on at first, with a snug fit. It has since broken in and is one of the most comfortable helmets I’ve owned. I also have to mention how impressed people are when they see it. For a matte-black lid, it’s eye-catching and stylish and gets me lots of compliments, like I pulled up on a Desmosedici or something.
Its performance is impressive, too. It’s balanced, almost draft free (unless you open the very effective vents) and as quiet as any helmet (especially race helmets) I’ve tested. In fact, it’s so quiet you can open up little doors over your ears so you can hear better. This is probably the only helmet you can make noisier if you so choose. A caveat—I always wear earplugs, so for me, when I ride without them, every helmet seems noisy, and with them, every helmet is similarly quiet, so I’m splitting hairs. I found the optical quality of both the clear and mirror-finish faceshields predictably outstanding—Schuberth is obsessive about its optics and it shows.
Aerodynamics are good—I’ve had it up to about 115 mph on an unfaired motorcycle and was able to move and turn my head easily. There’s an adjustable spoiler on the back, but you can ask Michael Schumacher how effective it is at speeds over 115, as I have no intention of finding out. I’m done with my racing career, but I can tell you that this helmet would be my go-to pick for prolonged high-speed, long-distance travel. Its combination of comfort and quiet will keep it in my helmet stable for a long time.
I do have some complaints, though. It has features I think are gimmicky and hard to use—complicated for no good reason I can see, like the push-button shield releases or the difficult-to-use sliding latch that seals the shield shut. And that spoiler is (pardon me) spoiling to be busted off the first time the helmet bounces off your seat at a rest stop. And if your helmet’s owner’s manual is thicker than your motorcycle’s, you need either a more complicated motorcycle or a less complicated helmet.
This is the part of the review where I lay the MSRP on you—$899 to $969. That’s(roughly) in line with the Arai Corsair V, and the SR1 is a very comparable product. This kind of quality and performance isn’t cheap, and Schuberth doesn’t compromise to get down to a price. I’m impressed by this helmet, a solid product that needs no excuses—Schuberth got it right on the first try. And that’s sexy.
The SR1 is available in gloss black, gloss white, matte black, “Technology” matte black, or the “Technology” glossy white in the picture above. Check out Schuberth’s website for more info and specs, or call your local Schuberth dealer.
Gabe Ets-Hokin is the Editor of City Bike magazine, and a frequent freelance contributor to MotorcycleDaily.com.
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Schuberth provided a helmet to freelance writer Gabe Ets-Hokin for editorial review. Schuberth is not an advertiser or supporter of Motorcycle Daily.com.