I remember a time when new BMW motorcycle buyers, almost exclusively, left the dealership with a new Schuberth helmet. Times have changed, and competition has gotten keener. Schuberth is far from the only helmet manufacturer with a drop-down internal sunshield, which the company invented and was initially so sought after. It is also far from the only choice for a top-quality lid. However, there is more to it than that.
Larger-volume helmet manufacturers have introduced many new models and refined those best-sellers in their lineups. Schuberth seems slow when it comes to new offerings. Yet, it is the brand that I reach for during much more than half my riding miles, even with all the other major label lids sitting alongside on the shelf. There are reasons for this, including style, comfort, performance, and build/materials quality.
The Schuberth C4 model has been around since 2017, and the C4 Pro arrived in 2019. I reviewed this model in 2019 (with the Sena-developed SC1 Bluetooth option) and, even though the model name is the same, the latest iteration of the helmet is even better.
In this day and age of manufacturers who often pop out new models of whatever they build, I see no problem with a helmet company that refines and perfects an existing product to bring it to the pinnacle of excellence. While I always look for, and like, new products and their expected benefits, I enjoy those that are polished to offer the best possible result. The Schuberth C4 Pro is such an example.
The C4 Pro I received shows no marked differences from the 2019 edition. Except for new colors, I see no other obvious changes. Regardless, I enjoy the experience of sliding it on, engaging the ratchet-strap buckle, and closing the chin bar—it’s just so smooth operating, and the closing click of this modular helmet is satisfying.
Whether on a touring bike with a large windscreen or a fast naked roadster, the Schuberth C4 Pro remains neutral no matter how I hold or rotate my head. There is very little wind influence other than the straight-on force that affects all helmets, and this one minimally. There is a certain moderate and comfortable downforce that helps avoid any lift at any speed.
The earlier model’s tendency for some sharp edges on the helmet to whistle when my head was turned to the side was eliminated in 2019, and remains absent in 2021. Still, plenty of cooling air enters the vents silently and effectively, thanks to the vent changes made in the last iteration.
The field of vision, shield clarity, venting, and other attributes are top-of-the-line. A preinstalled Pinlock visor is standard, and the faceshield can be swapped out without tools.
Happily, the faceshield and its mounting system remain the same. Schuberth’s optical class 1, no-distortion faceshield just might be the easiest I’ve ever changed. My forefinger lightly pulls the release tab at each hinge, and the faceshield flips up and off. Replacement is even more effortless by reversing the procedure and not even needing to pull the tabs. It just pops on.
My perception is that the Schuberth C4 Pro is as quiet or quieter than any other I’ve sampled. This is a purely subjective observation and something that’s not reliably measurable. Different heads’ ears will hear varying sound levels due to changing fit.
This model also includes grooves for eyeglasses, which I appreciate. There are no pressure points on my frames or behind the ears that have, with other helmets, turned into sore areas quickly.
The interior is lined with what Schuberth calls Jazzlight. It is seamless for comfort, and the material feels smooth, soft, and rich. It is complemented with contrasting stitching around the neck area. The snap-in fabric interior pieces are easily removable for washing, after which drying is quick. I throw them in the sink, agitate with shampoo, give them a good rinse, and dry flat on a towel.
The chin straps thread through the cheek pads, which can be a bit of a pain to re-install. I use a short length of coat hanger wire with a small J-bend at the end to fish the straps back through when the pads are dry.
The chin strap is fastened with a ratchet strap that has a small lever for release. While I value D-rings’ foolproof nature, the ratchet closure is fast and easy to use with gloved hands—perfect for road riding.
Schuberth’s once-exclusive internal sunshade, the feature that first attracted me to the brand, remains. It’s actuated by an internal cable from a slide control along the lower-left edge of the helmet. The clarity is as good as the clear faceshield, with no distortion. Operation is smooth and easy, and super-useful to foil our California sun.
As with earlier versions of the helmet, I must still jump up a size in this C4 Pro—from L to XL, in my case. However, it feels a tiny bit wider across than in 2019. Schuberth helmets are known to favor the long-oval head shape. Perhaps this will accommodate more riders who tend toward an intermediate oval head. The only way to determine that a helmet fits your head is to try it on in person, preferably with the help of a professional.
The C4 Pro comes with a microphone and speakers preinstalled. It’s a simple matter to add Schuberth’s SC1 (Standard or Advanced) intercom system, which I discussed in-depth in my earlier review. Schuberth claims this helmet version has optimized acoustic design, and it does sound great to my non-audiophile ears. There is no doubt that I consider Bluetooth to be an essential addition to any helmet.
I recommend the Schuberth C4 Pro for any rider on any street-bike mission. It is priced commensurately with other builder’s top models and offers all-day comfort, long service life, and good looks. Form meets function in a great package.
Photography by Don Williams
Schuberth C4 Pro Fast Facts
- Sizes: XS-XXXL (53-65)
- Colors: 10 options (4 solid; 6 graphics)
Schubert C4 Pro Price: from $699 MSRP