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Motorcycle Helmet Reviews: Schuberth vs. Shark

Schuberth vs. Shark

Schuberth S1 vs. Shark RSR

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Schuberth S1 Review  |  Shark RSR Review

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Summary

The Battle of the Big Ones!

You're looking at about $1,400.00 worth of motorcycle helmets. These are two of the most expensive helmets on the planet.

But decent helmets can easily be found for $200.00 or less, so are these really 3-4 times better? Is the Schuberth S1 the "ultimate motorcycle helmet"?  Would you pay $700.00 (list price) for a motorcycle helmet?

Helmet Comments

The Schuberth S1 is loaded with features and constitutes almost a total re-think of the motorcycle helmet. With a beautiful finish and modern graphics, including highly reflective panels incorporated into the design, the S1 definitely stands out from the crowd. Its visor is the easiest to remove of any helmet we've tried.

And the attention to detail in the neck area of the helmet prevents most low frequency "booming" noises, the most common type of motorcycle helmet noise.

But in our opinion, the S1 has some problems. It has been touted as the "ultimate helmet" and "the world's quietest helmet", albeit by a few over-exuberant retailers and not necessarily by Schuberth. But the hype doesn't meet reality, and $700.00 deserves a more critical evaluation than is the case for, say, a $100.00 helmet.

The S1 is heavy - the heaviest helmet we've ever reviewed, including flip-up helmets, which are typically heavier due to their operating mechanism.

It also has a massive size, so it feels every ounce of its nearly 4-pound weight. It has a slightly strange fit, sort of a "reverse egg" shape that's narrower on top. And, despite all the hard work that Schuberth has done to keep the helmet quiet, it has a basic flaw.

The rearward-facing exhaust vents create a high-pitched whistle that starts around 30 mph and is very annoying. And the S1's complicated "quick release" attachment is not as easy to use as a the simple D-ring system on the Shark RSR.

The Shark RSR also has a beautiful finish and is available in a wide variety of colors and race replica graphic patterns. It flows lots of air through its easy-to-use vents. It has a unique visor raising and lowering system that allows the visor to be opened with an infinite adjustment within its range.

The visor is 3 mm thick, which prevents twisting as it's opened or closed. The RSR's liner is extremely comfortable, with a very soft material and very cushy padding. Even with its large volume of air flow, the RSR is relatively quiet. Shark includes both winter and summer breath guards, an under-chin wind blocker and a couple of tear-offs.

It's not without a few faults though. The gaps in the plastic trim pieces tend to collect bugs and make the helmet more difficult to clean than it should be. The standard cheek pads make for a very tight fit around the temporomandibular joint (jaw joint).

The Bottom Line (totally subjective, of course!):

Category Schuberth S1 Shark RSR
Finish Tie
Paint Tie Tie
Graphics Tie Tie
Weight  
Liner Comfort  
Fit  
Visor (Raise/Lower)  
Visor (Removal)  
Noise Control
(Low Freq.)
 
Noise Control
(High Freq.)
 
Chin Strap  
Head Fit Type (More) "Reverse Egg" "Round"
Conclusion

In our opinion, the Shark RSR edges out the Schuberth S1. The RSR doesn't have any radical features, but it puts it all together in a lightweight, very comfortable package. Both are nice helmets, but the Schuberth's weight and mass is, in our opinion, a fault that can't be ignored.

Publication Date: Spring 2005

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