Schuberth S2 Review
There is something about German products and their design, engineering and manufacturing methods that appeals to me. I admire the intelligent and thoughtful approach and nowhere is that more evident than in German motor vehicles and related products, such as Schuberth helmets.
The Schuberth lids feature quality construction and safety is always at the forefront of design and implementation. It’s no surprise that when I open my closet full of top-quality helmets of various makes I often choose one made by Schuberth GmbH of Magdeburg.
After all, Schuberth produced its first motorcycle helmet in 1954. It also designed the first helmet with an integrated internal drop-down sun shield in 1984 and the first flip-up helmet in 1999.
Schuberth is also the only helmet manufacturer which has its own wind and acoustic tunnels, and its only business is creating lids for firefighters, military, police, industrial safety, auto racing, and, of course, motorcycle racing and street riding. I trust that I’ll be comfy and well protected no matter how long the ride.
Now, Schuberth’s S2 helmet has been re-released with no technical changes but a few new tasty graphic options. The Sport Tech and Ghost color schemes integrate white, black, red, blue and silver into a lineup that has been previously dominated by mostly solids in black, white and hi-viz. These offerings follow up on the colorful Lines motif that was released some time ago and is reminiscent of cars painted down the center with racing stripes.
As with all its offerings, fit and finish are superb. For example, on the helmets that utilize decals in the design, we can’t feel the edge of the decals because they are so finely laid and clear coated. The same with visor operation and closure, adjustability of the chin strap system and every other detail one might examine.
The S2 is the first helmet to integrate an antenna (31-inches long) within the shell to add range to both FM reception and rider intercom communications. You must buy the Schuberth SRCS Bluetooth system to take advantage of this feature.
To this, add a veritable laundry list of unique and/or top quality features that are available on many Schuberth models: the integrated (cable-driven and infinitely adjustable) sun shade, removable Thermo Cool liner, easiest ever tool-less face shield swap, standard pinlock system with anti-fog inner visor (included), summer/winter flap in the crown liner material, micro-lock chin strap fastener, patented anti-roll-off strap system, advanced aerodynamic shape and unique ventilation options.
The S2’s 2.5 gallons-per-second air extraction system not only exhausts out rear vents, but routes some of the cool exhaust through secondary channels in the liner and down the back of the head and neck through a mesh collar – like the C3 Pro.
Another detail is the down-force trim spoiler around the bottom edge that serves to add downward pressure to help keep a zero uplift rating. I’ve always admired the look and thought it might be a design cue borrowed from some old Knight’s helmet. Who knew they studied aerodynamics in the Middle Ages?
As with most helmets, certainly Schuberth, the correct fitting size will be tight on the head at first, especially around the crown. I expected to have a break-in period and was pleasantly surprised that about four-six hours of wear over a weekend did the job. Now the helmet slides firmly into place yet there are no pressure points or hot spots. Your results may vary. Schuberth uses two shell sizes on the S2 – One for XS through L, and another for XL and XXL.
The Thermo Cool liner wicks away the perspiration generated during a California high desert sortie in August. It feels luxurious against the skin at all temperatures and makes for easy all-day wear as does the interior design related to wearers of prescription and sunglasses.
It may not sound important if you have 20/20 vision but some helmets are glasses-friendly and others, not so much. The unfriendlies tend to move your specs around, often jacking them away from their proper position and requiring the wearer to have to repeatedly adjust the frames through the eye port while in motion. Schuberth’s designs, for me, keeps them just where I place them and they don’t get moved around at all. Bravo!
The face and sun shields are crystal clear, and the detents allow the face shield to be placed in one of six positions (includes fully open and fully closed) – and it will stay put. There is even a nub at the bottom-center of the shield that, when pressed firmly, will snug it down tighter. The S2 shield is also interchangeable with the C3 helmets which gives owners a borrowing option, should that be necessary.
This helmet was not supplied with the SRCS Bluetooth system so I installed a different brand unit and found that it fit nicely and worked well. Unfortunately, only the Cardo-sourced BT unit from Schuberth can take advantage of the built-in antenna, which is useful for better FM and intercom reception.
Schuberth rates the sound level in this helmet 1 decibel higher (85 dBA) than the modular C3 Pro. The company attributes this higher level to the larger opening at the bottom that allows head entry.
With the modular helmet, the closure can be designed tighter around the chin and neck to cause a better seal. In reality, I sometimes wear the C3 Pro without ear plugs and, while not much louder, the S2 is more comfortable when I’m plugged. It’s pretty easy to tell the difference. That doesn’t mean the S2 is loud, but in my experience, compared to the C3 Pro, all helmets are louder.
There are a plethora of manufactures now offering DOT, Snell and other approved helmets for well under $250 – and they are pretty good, especially when you factor in the prices. If that’s all you can afford, you will get a good helmet.
But I believe you get what you pay for. Since I only have one head, and don’t have a testing laboratory at my disposal, I’m going to wear the most expensive one that I can get, enjoy the features, and have faith that it is the best available.
Recently, I was asked if I liked the new helmet. I answered, “Like it? That reminds me of Mozart’s line in the movie Amadeus. He’s trying on wigs and says, ‘They’re all so beautiful. I wish I had three heads.'”
For additional information, visit Schuberth.
Schuberth S2 Price (MSRP):
- Solid – $599
- HiViz – $639
- Lines Graphics – $649
- Sport Tech & Ghost Graphics – $699
- SRCS Bluetooth System – $429