Schuberth S2 Motorcycle Helmet Test
There are many overlooked facts about Schuberth. The German helmet company not only produced the world’s first integral helmet, but also the first helmet with an internal visor and the first flip-up helmet.
Due to Schuberth’s patents running out, though, many other companies have built helmets of similar design. But it’s easy to see that the others simply copied the designs of the Germans at Schuberth. This is now surprise, considering the Germans have been ahead of the curve since the early 1960s when East German motorcycle manufacturer MZ was using World War II rocket technology to win Grand Prix races.
Fast forward to 2012 and we see Schuberth unveiling its newest full-face lid – the S2. This helmet was in development for over two years, and more than 8,000 man-hours were spent on its design and unique features.
I bought this helmet’s predecessor – the S1 – years ago, and have ridden thousands of miles with it protecting my head. This allows me to have a unique perspective to the changes Schuberth made with their newest full-face helmet. The difference I noticed immediately was the lighter weight. My S1 was a fantastic helmet, but damn was it heavy. Plus, S1 distribution was halted in 2006. These faults were the only problems with the S1, but thankfully with the arrival of the S2 these are no longer issues.
Not unlike the razor sharp and seemingly effortless smooth riding that Germany’s own Stefan Bradl exhibited to win the 2011 Moto2 World Championship, the precise measurements of every detail are spot on with the S2. When going through the production process, anything that cannot pass any one stage of the build gets trashed and 150 helmets from each run actually go on to get destroyed through testing. Impressive.
The level of hands-on (literally) attention that each S2 gets is also remarkable. Supposedly it takes one full week to complete a single helmet from start to finish. The only parts of the build process that are run by automation are the waterjet-cutting machine that gives helmets their final shape and the paint shop. The rest is done completely by hand. Very impressive.
One aspect of the S2 that thankfully stayed the same as my old S1 is the clarity of the shield. Being made in its rounded shape rather than manufactured and then shaped, it offers zero distortion – a great thing when it comes to safety. When you have a better view through a wider undistorted field of vision you are going to be able to see better and see more. That is important when it comes to staying safe while riding.
When you put an S2 on your head, I assure you the amazing view will be one of the first things you notice. You’ll also note that the fit of the S2 is nice and snug (provided you sized it correctly to your noggin!) and it is absolutely plush inside thanks to its removable and washable Thermo Cool liner which also helps wick away moisture.
Other improvements to the S2 include more reflective materials, a more overall compact design, and an Air Extraction System that flows air to the base of your head and back up and out, creating a siphon effect. The S2 comes with an integrated sun visor, which is removable and better positioned than the one on the S1. The S1 had a tendency to annoyingly touch the bridge of my nose. The S2′s is notched and that simple fix eliminated that issue. The S2 version is also actually bigger, providing more coverage.
The S2 is also the world’s first moto lid with an internal Dual Band Antenna. This enhances the reception of the Bluetooth Schuberth Rider Communication System and FM radio. When it comes to sound within a helmet, Schuberth is again ahead of the competition.
Schuberth has its own wind tunnel, which allows for extensive testing to find ways to minimize wind buffeting and helmet drag. Such testing resulted in the S2 getting a backspoiler, which is molded into the shell to reduce drag and a full-circumference downforce “trim spoiler” around the helmet base. This also reduces drag and keeps air from flowing under the helmet, which creates noise. I found there to be a bit of wind noise (especially when at speed) coming in from the chin area but the S2 comes with a triangular wind chin cuff that velcros to the bottom of the helmet beneath your chin and effectively kills that problem immediately. Also present on the face shield are their patented”turbulators” that do a great job of eliminating wind noise as well.
Not surprisingly, the S2 includes Schuberth’s patented Anti Roll Off System (AROS), which is a combination of straps in the interior of the helmet that are designed to help keep it from rolling forward on the rider’s head in the event of a crash. The S2 shell is made from Schuberth’s proprietary light-weight S.T.R.O.N.G. woven glass fiber material. (Schuberth produces the S2 using 2 different shell sizes to offer the best fit throughout the size range).
Brand new for S2 helmet owners is something that is simply brilliant. They call it their Mobility Program, and it essentially is a kind of “helmet insurance” program that allows customers to replace an accident-damaged helmet with a new one for 1/3 of the retail price.
The program is free and valid for the first three years of helmet ownership. For a helmet that retails for $699, this program alone is a wonderful incentive to buy an S2. “Through the ECE safety compliance testing, each of our helmets has a unique serial number and customers can use this number to register it for the Mobility Program,” describes Randy Northrup, Schuberth North America’s Vice President. “No other helmet company offers a replacement program like this.” Northrop continues, “We value our customers and want to ensure they are always wearing the best protection available – through the Mobility Program registered customers won’t have to replace a damaged Schuberth helmet with a cheap substitute.”
C’mon, it’s your head we’re talking about here people. Do you really think that protecting it is something you should be frugal about. Me’thinks not.
To learn more about the S2 and other Schuberth helmets, log onto schuberthnorthamerica.com.
Mobility Program details and registration can be found at
Alan Tecchio is a freelance writer based in the NY metro area who has interviewed hundreds of celebrities. He is an avid motorcyclist and active Motorcycle Safety Foundation RiderCoach. Alan once wrote a weekly motorcycle column for twelve years in a local NJ magazine and now has a monthly column in MC Times called MotorMouth. He is the lead singer of the rock band Autumn Hour (autumnhour.com) and also sings for the heavy metal band Seven Witches.Google+