See Also: Schuberth SRC Bluetooth Intercom Review
Schuberth has made a big commitment to the North American market and the big news here is that there isn't much news.
That's because the DOT version of the C3 is nearly identical to the popular ECE version of the helmet in every way -- and that's a definite good thing.
Besides the fit and finish, each successive C3 we wear seems to be built with higher quality and feels even more solid than the one before.
This DOT version of the C3 is the latest example of the breed and it's as solid as it gets for a flip-up helmet.
The C3 -- in either ECE or DOT format -- is not without a quirk or two. And there's no getting around the fact that this is an expensive helmet.
And by the way, where's the high-viz yellow DOT version? (Update: Schuberth says they're on order and should be available in the Spring of 2011!)
But in the end, this is the flip-up helmet taken to its highest state of current evolution, especially for a helmet meeting DOT specs.
We're setting a precedent with this review, because it's the third look at what is basically the same helmet. So you'll be reading a repeating narrative about the C3. But, in a twist of logic, that's actually good news.
Why? Well, many webBikeWorld readers were expecting the DOT version of the Schuberth C3 to be, well, different. Heavier, certainly; after all, DOT helmets are heavier than their ECE counterparts, right? Or perhaps missing some features. Or without goodies the Pinlock anti-fog insert.
All wrong, I'm happy to report. Not to jump to conclusions, but this C3 is nearly as light as the ECE version, gaining only 53 grams (1.8 oz.) in the conversion process. The ear pockets seem slightly different, perhaps to account for a revised EPS shape in the DOT version. But otherwise, everything same-same. Same fit, same features, same functionality. And same price.
That good news means it's nearly impossible to write anything about the DOT version of the C3 that hasn't been published before in a webBikeWorld C3 review. So by necessity, much of the narrative from previous reviews will be repeated here.
Just for the record, and for those new to Schuberth and/or the C3, we published a Schuberth C3 "First Look" in August of 2008 when the C3 was first released. Next came our review of the Schuberth C3 in November of that year.
The ECE version of the C3 was also named the webBikeWorld 2008 Flip-up Motorcycle Helmet of the Year.
Not too long ago, in September of 2010, we reviewed a pair of ECE C3 helmets with the Schuberth SRC Bluetooth intercom communications system. Both of those helmets were in the new Schuberth high-visibility yellow color that is unfortunately missing from the U.S. lineup. This is something you'll hear us crying about frequently, only because we're getting hammered by webBikeWorld visitors asking the same question -- where's the high-viz?
So now that you know the landscape, let's take a look at the Schuberth C3 DOT helmet and see what's new...
The C3 in its DOT guise looks and feels identical to the ECE C3's we've reviewed...only this one seems even better.
You may recall that the first C3 we obtained in 2008 was one of the first off the assembly line and it had a minor issue with the fit of the special Schuberth neck roll. But the problem was resolved and the 2010 versions of the C3 with SRC (Schuberth Rider Communications) system both exhibited outstanding quality. In fact, I remember contacting the UK retailer at that time to ask whether this was a new version of the C3; both helmets seemed better than the original in terms of build quality.
This DOT version of the C3 seems to raise the bar once again. I may be imagining things, but right out of the box, this helmet seems to be more solidly built than the previous C3's I've handled.
The silver paint on this example is flawless, with a clear coat that seems a bit thicker than the last C3 I reviewed -- and which, by the way, I still have for comparison. I say "seems" because it's impossible to objectively evaluate features like clear coat type or thickness, or how "solid" one helmet really is when compared to another.
The operation of the C3 DOT face shield, rotating flip-up visor, internal sun visor, chin vent, top vent and the rest all have a precise feel. The only thing I can fault the C3 on -- both the ECE and DOT versions -- is the thin padding used in this helmet.
The liner also has a very slightly different shape in the DOT version of the C3. On the C3, the liner above the forehead has an added piece of material that can be folded down to cover the vent passageways that enter through the EPS liner. The configuration of this piece is slightly different in the DOT version of the C3 -- better, actually, because it's easier to use.
It could be that this is simply a running change to both the ECE and DOT versions of the C3, but since the differences between the two helmets are so slight, I thought I'd mention it.
Besides the thin liner padding, the C3 DOT has no liner material on either side of a narrow strip at the top of the head, just like the ECE version. The EPS foam is covered with a type of gray flocking, which can get scratched, exposing the foam underneath, so as I mentioned in the last C3 review, I advise that you avoid carrying a set of keys or anything else inside the helmet when you're walking to and from the bike, because it can damage the flocking and the EPS.
Score: Like I said, no news is good news here -- the Schuberth C3 in DOT format is just as well made as all of the other C3 helmets we've tried, so I'll give it an "Outstanding" rating for overall quality. See the Summary Table at the end of this review for a description of the rating system.
As far as we can tell, the internal shape of the DOT version of the C3 hasn't changed when compared to the ECE versions. The helmet has a neutral internal shape with just a hint of roundness that should fit the majority of riders.
I say "a hint of roundness" because the upper part of the helmet does not have that slightly oval feel I get when I wear a helmet with a narrower fit, such as the fit provided by the Scorpion EXO-700, for example.
But those with very round "Earth" shaped heads like me that are widest at the temples may have a problem (see our listing of helmets sorted by shape).
As noted in previous C3 reviews, one of the quirks of the C3 is that Schuberth uses a different head sizing scheme than most of the other helmet manufacturers. A size large C3 (both DOT and ECE versions) is listed as fitting a 58/59 centimeter head, rather than the more common 59/60 for a size L. The size XL C3 in both the DOT and ECE versions is listed as fitting a 60/61 cm head, compared to the usual 61/62 for most other brands (Shoei, Arai, Shark, HJC, etc.).
Since I have a head that measures 60.5 cm, I'm right in between Schuberth sizes. The DOT (and ECE) C3 in size L is definitely the 58/59 that Schuberth claims and not a millimeter more. But the XL uses the larger shell size, and the fit is also exactly as Schuberth claims at 61-62 cm, which makes it about a half- to one-size too big for me.
The C3 has only two shell sizes across the range, with the small shell fitting what is probably too large of a range, from XXS all the way up to L. The second shell size fits XL to XXXL and the XXXL will be available in the Spring of 2011.
The combination of the larger shell and slightly larger internal fit of the XL makes that C3 feel too big for me, while the size L is a bit too tight, especially at the sides, and it feels short from top to bottom, requiring me to work at stuffing my chin behind the extended neck roll attached to the chin bar.
A reviewer with a slightly smaller and/or more neutral-shaped head than I might not notice these differences, but it is enough to prevent me from wearing a Schuberth C3 as my every-day helmet.
I'm not sure the problem could be easily solved either; it would probably require a redesign of the size L shell to make it slightly larger to work with a 59/60 size large.
One way to do it would be to drop the requirement to fit all the way down to an XXS; most other helmet manufacturers use XS as the smallest size and I think it's too much to ask one shell size to fit everything from an XXS to a size L.
Perhaps it's time for Schuberth to consider a third shell size for the C3? Then we could have an XXS to M in the small shell; L to XL in the medium; and XXL to XXXL in the largest shell -- a more common approach.
My personal fit issues aside, if your head matches the precise internal shape of the C3, you'll find one of the most secure flip-ups available and with very low noise levels as the bonus, due to the fit, shape and special neck roll design.
Besides the thin padding in each of the C3's we've tried, the depth of the ear pockets seems a bit shallow. Again, I wonder if this would change if there were more shell sizes, because perhaps the EPS liner could be tweaked to allow a thicker liner with better padding.
|webBikeWorld Internal Shape Estimator - Schuberth C3 DOT|
|Narrow||Med. Narrow||Slight Narrow||Neutral||Slight Round||Med. Round||Round|
|Helmet Internal Shape Examples (see more Motorcycle Helmet Shapes)|
More information on helmet fit can be found in the webBikeWorld Motorcycle Helmet FAQ page, along with the chart that lists the helmet weights of webBikeWorld reviewed helmets and also by shape on the webBikeWorld Motorcycle Helmet Shapes page.
Score: I'll give the DOT version of the C3 an "Excellent" rating for fit but the thin liner padding keeps it from an Outstanding rating.
The C3 has a very secure-feeling rotating flip-up visor and the visor on the DOT version operates just as smoothly as the ECE versions. It locks securely in place on metal posts attached to the shell, with metal clips or fingers on the visor that do the clamping. The shell tightens up considerably when the visor is secured.
The special oversized Schuberth chin curtain makes it a bit difficult to close the flip-up visor over my chin. This is mostly due to the mismatch between the helmet size and my head size/shape as described above. I have to use both hands to work the chin curtain over my chin to get it to fit and pushing down on the top of the helmet can help also. When the visor is closed, it's a tight fit for me in the size large, but fine in the XL.
The button that releases the flip-up visor is located under the center of the chin bar, just as it is on the ECE versions of the C3. It's nearly flush and it is pushed upwards to release the flip-up visor.
The clear face shield is the same as that used on the ECE versions of the C3, with the same excellent optical qualities. Both of the face shields on the ECE version of the C3 measured 2.22 mm thick; the DOT version face shield is slightly thicker at 2.25 mm, certainly well within manufacturing tolerances. It provides about average vertical visibility and slightly above average in the horizontal plane.
The face shield is very easy to remove by pushing the levers forward on both sides of the helmet simultaneously, which then allow the visor to be rotated all the way back, where it pops out of the side holders. To replace it, simply push both sides back in and rotate forward. This is illustrated in the video below.
The face shield has 6 detents, with the first two or three feeling weak but the remainder feel stiff. The visor has lifting tabs on both the right and left side, which is very handy.
Schuberth says the first opening is a city setting for defogging, but as on the ECE versions, I wish it was a narrower first setting but the face shield can be popped open and left to rest on the on top of the click lock on the chin bar for low speed defogging. The weather is very cold here and the Pinlock anti-fog insert (review) works perfectly at keeping the face shield clear.
The eye port gasket on this helmet aligns perfectly compared to the XL ECE version of the C3 I have on hand, and this prevents water from leaking past the gasket.
webBikeWorld Eye Port Visibility Estimator: Schuberth C3 DOT
|Visibility||Poor||Below Average||Average||Above Average||Outstanding|
Score: I'll give the Schuberth C3 DOT an "Outstanding" rating for the overall quality and operation of the face shield and eye port and outward visibility.
The DOT version of the C3 has the same internally rotating sun visor system found on the ECE versions of the helmet. It is operated by a slider on the lower left edge of the helmet, at the bottom of the helmet shell.
The sun visor rotates very smoothly and this is one of the nicest sun visors I've tried, because it can be stopped at any position; the lower edge is nearly straight so it isn't distracting and it can be rotated down out of the line of sight.It blocks 80% of light transmission, according to the owner's manual, the maximum allowed.
Everything the same here again; the DOT version of the C3 includes the special double neck roll that helps the venting system to function more effectively, even without a rear exhaust vent to create negative pressure to pull air through the helmet.
The air vent passageways from the top vent through the EPS allow a good amount of air to flow through the grooves molded into the EPS liner and right over the rider's head and the flap mentioned above can be folded over to cover the vent holes if necessary in cold weather. The venting system is supposed to prevent water from entering the helmet also.
Otherwise, the liner in the DOT version of the C3 appears to be identical to the ECE versions, with no fabric on either side at the top, which looks a bit strange but allows more air to flow directly into and through the helmet. Thus, this C3 gets good marks for upper ventilation.
The owner's manual for the DOT version still warns that the chin vent will provide a low level of ventilation even when it's closed, which is supposed to prevent CO2 from building up inside the helmet. The chin vent snaps open and closed with a precise feel and it works very well.
webBikeWorld Opinionator: Schuberth C3 DOT Ventilation
|Location||Poor||Below Average||Average||Above Average||Outstanding|
Score: I'll give the Schuberth C3 DOT an "Excellent" rating for air flow.
The bottom line here is that there is no difference in sound levels between the C3 DOT and C3 ECE helmets. Schuberth made some dramatic claims for the C3 about low noise levels when the helmet was announced, and the C3 is still one of the quietest helmets I've ever worn, flip-up or full-face.
Schuberth has done an outstanding job in both the aerodynamics and noise control with the dual chin curtains and neck curtain; the fit and construction of the liner; and the smooth, narrow and tight-fitting gaps between the rotating visor and the helmet shell.
As I reported in previous reviews, one of the best features of a C3 and other Schuberth helmets is the nicely designed neck roll or collar used at the bottom of the helmet. This area is probably the number one cause of most helmet noise because it gets a lot of turbulence and the air stream gets funneled between the bottom of the helmet and the rider's shoulders.
The neck roll on the C3 is one of the major contributing factors to the low noise levels of the C3. It is a special design, with a very large chin curtain that blends with the wide wind block around the bottom of the helmet to seal most of the space between the rider's neck and the helmet. Why other helmet manufacturers don't pay more attention to this critical area is a mystery.
The C3 DOT is also available with the Schuberth SRC intercom system, designed by Cardo for Schuberth, so I'll refer you to our Schuberth C3 SRC review for all the details. The SRC is a unique system, built into a replacement collar that fits into the bottom of the helmet. The material and construction of the SRC collar is slightly less flexible than the collar that comes with the helmet, and I noticed a slight difference in noise levels with the SRC collar in place, but only because I tried both back-to-back.
webBikeWorld Opinionator: Schuberth C3 DOT Noise Levels
|Location||Very Quiet||Quiet||Average||Loud||Very Loud|
Note that our helmet evaluations are normally a combined effort of several riders over time, on different types of motorcycles with and without windscreens. Evaluators wear correctly fitted, high quality earplugs (even when evaluating motorcycle intercom systems) and (usually) a helmet liner. It is strongly recommended that hearing protection is used when riding a motorcycle. See the wBW Earplugs and Hearing Protection page for more information on choosing and wearing earplugs.
Note also that perceived noise levels will vary, depending on the individual. Noise can be caused by many factors, including helmet fit; the type of motorcycle and windscreen; wind speed and direction and even the type of clothing that is being worn. For more information on helmet noise, visit the wBW Motorcycle Helmet Noise page.
Score: I'll give the Schuberth C3 DOT an "Outstanding" rating for noise control.
The big surprise here is that converting the Schuberth C3 to pass the DOT standard added a minimal amount of weight -- only 53 grams by our scale. The ECE version of the Schuberth C3 we reviewed in September 2010 weighs 1550 grams, very light for a flip-up. Replacing the standard collar with the SRC adds 142 grams for a total of 1692 grams.
The DOT version of the C3 in size large with the standard collar weighs just 1603 grams, making it one of the lightest flip-up helmets we've reviewed. The only other flip-up helmets in this range include the Schuberth C3 (ECE Version) in size L which takes the honors as the lightest flip-up at 1550 grams.
Next is the ROOF Boxer (review) in size L at 1558 grams; the somewhat strange HJC IS-Multi Modular (review) in size L at 1560 grams; the Caberg Trip (review), size XL at 1614 grams; the Vega Summit II (review) (XL) at 1615 grams; the CMS SUV Apribile (review) flip-up in size L at 1625 grams and the ROOF Boxer V (review), size L at 1638 grams.
This is an outstanding result for a non-carbon-fiber flip-up. All of these weights are available on the wBW Motorcycle Helmet Weights page, along with a chart that lists the helmets by weight and shape on the wBW Motorcycle Helmet Shapes page.
Score: The Schuberth C3 DOT get an "Outstanding" rating for its low weight and excellent balance.
The DOT version of the C3 uses a "quick release" micro-adjust style chin strap buckle. This one is thicker than most and we have received feedback from C3 owners with complaints that it is too thick. I'm not a big fan of these types of chin straps anyway and the combination of the large chin curtain, special collar and the thick buckle on the chin strap can be an issue.
Good news for previous owners of current and previous Schuberth DOT helmets in the U.S.A: the company will support the DOT versions (only) of the C3 along with the DOT versions of the C2 and S1 helmets (both now out of warranty) with parts and service. The C2 and S1 were imported for a brief time and there are still some DOT versions owned by motorcyclists in the U.S.A. ECE versions of Schuberth helmets will not be supported by the U.S. service office.
The owner's manual for the DOT version of the C3 states that the C3 "has been tested and approved specifically to the United States DOT 218 Standard and the European ECE-R 22.05 Standard. Therefore, you are allowed to use this helmet as head protection for motorcycling purposes in the United States and the European Union".
This is a bit puzzling, because it was my understanding that helmets can not have both certifications when used in the EC. In fact, at least one other helmet manufacturer I know of specifically states that only ECE approved helmets purchased from European importers can be used in Europe.
The C3 warranty is 5 years from date of purchase or 7 years from the date of manufacture.
webBikeWorld Overall Opinionator - Schuberth C3 DOT
The Schuberth C3 in its DOT guise hasn't lost any of the goodness that has made the ECE version a favorite flip-up with motorcyclists around the world. Actually, I'm both amazed and surprised that Schuberth could bring the helmet to the U.S.A. with so few changes.
This speaks well for the original design, which must have been fairly sturdy to begin with and the helmet apparently didn't have much of a problem passing the DOT penetration test (see our Special Report comparing DOT and ECE helmet safety standards and tests).
This makes one wonder, what took them so long? But at least it's here and hopefully we'll see all of the new Schuberth helmets in DOT form as they are released.
The Schuberth C3 USA DOT version is a lightweight, quiet and very well made flip-up motorcycle helmet with few flaws. One feature that unfortunately hasn't changed is the price -- the DOT version of the C3 has a list price of $699.00. Ouch! I guess that's what "Made in Germany" translates to in greenbacks.
Add an SRC module for $399.00 and you're up to $1,100.00 for the helmet and the Bluetooth system. Perhaps this is why Schuberth didn't want to add the high-visibility version, which may have increased the price even further.
How this will play out in the U.S. marketplace, where only 20 states and D.C. require helmets and where many riders are extremely price sensitive when it comes to motorcycle helmets...well, we'll see. In the meantime, there are many Schuberth fans out there and hopefully the increased sales worldwide will result in economies of scale and lower costs.
wBW Product Review: Schuberth C3 USA DOT Helmet
|Manufacturer: Schuberth USA||List Price: $699.00|
|Colors: Silver, Black, Matte Black, White, High Visibility Yellow and Anthracite. 2012: High Viz Orange added.||Made In: Germany|
|Sizes: XXS to XXL.||Review Date: January 2011|
|Shell Sizes: 2.||Rating:|
Note: Item was provided by a retailer, distributor or manufacturer with these Terms and Conditions.
Ratings Scale: For reference, our ratings scale is subjective and ranges from Unacceptable to Poor, Neutral, Very Good, Excellent and Outstanding.
Note: For informational use only. All material and photographs are Copyright © webWorld International, LLC since 2000. All rights reserved. See the webBikeWorld© Site Info page. Product specifications, features and details may change or differ from our descriptions. Always check before purchasing. Read the Terms and Conditions!
From "P.C." (December 2012): "I bought a new Schuberth C3W helmet (the W is the women's version) in size S. The small size fits 54-55 cm head size and my head measures 54.5 cm.
Upon trying the helmet on in the store, it felt tight but was assured that it needed to be broken in. I have about 100 hours of riding with this helmet.
What I like:
1) The tinted visor - it doesn't rattle, feels tight, holds in any position as I don't always move it all the way down, maybe just one-third down to block the sun from my eyes. I can still look under it to see bike instruments and GPS. The tint is dark enough that its effective in sunlight, but is too dark for me to see the GPS well.
2) Modular aspects are very nice. It is easy to open and convenient when at the gas station or talking with someone with helmet on, but while not on the bike.
3) I like that it is quiet, though I still use ear protection. The inside padding is tight against the head. This has created a little problem as it pins my ears against the arms of my glasses, which hurts after a while.
What I don't like:
After 100 hours, I too get that sore spot in the middle of my head above the forehead. While the situation has improved with time, I feel that 100 hrs. should be enough break in time. I can wear it about 1.5 to 2 hours until I have to stop and get it off my head for a while. By the end of a 6 hour ride my forehead continues to feel sore or irritated for a couple hours.
The chin strap is easy to connect and release, but it presses against my throat which is uncomfortable.
Overall, I like this helmet and I hate that it continues to hurt my head. I am shopping for another helmet for longer rides, but may keep this one for shorter rides around town."
From "M.W." (April 2012): "I just picked up my hi-viz C3 this weekend to replace my Shoei X-11 and I can't say enough about the helmet.
Yes, it's an expensive step up (I got mine at an annual open house 20% off), but as many others have said you get what you pay for.
Quiet - comparing a racing helmet with the C3 isn't completely fair, but after using the X-11 the C3 is eerily quiet on my bike a K1200S. I always wear ear plugs, and with them in all you here is the rush of wind and a small hissing noise as the air splits the top vent. No whistling, no buffeting (though you need to keep the helmet in clean air and not turbulent air generated by a wind screen).
The helmet is stable when doing head checks and I detected no lift when I took the bike up to triple digits.
Function - OK so the Pinlock works great, though on the K1200S my eyes tend to focus just on the top line of the Pinlock, this was not a problem when I rode a more up right bike and with the pin-lock out the view is awesome. Don't get me wrong, the Pinlock is awesome on a cold evening ride with absolutely no fogging.
In the rain the helmet is not only complete water tight, it was also very warm. The vents do move more air than you would expect at speed, but if you're just tooling around then the helmet does get a bit warm.
As many have stated, the shield will not stay up at speed (darn those Germans and their safety concerns) and they don't like you riding with the flip up. Something to keep in mind, but not a deal-breaker for me.
I'm looking forward to getting an SRC soon, the quiet of the helmet will make a great Bluetooth platform.
Oh yeah, the ability to not have to carry a dark and clear shield any longer is awesome!
Value - so far I can say the money paid is very much worth it, I love the helmet and tend to find reasons to get out and ride just because its so nice a quiet not to mention the convenience of finally walking into a store and not having to take off my helmet.
I would agree the Shoei Neotec is a close second and a helmet that should be considered when looking - I just believe the quality of the Schuberth is a bit better and I love the Mobility Program which covers the helmet for 3 years, allowing you to get a new helmet for 1/3 the price if a crash occurs and damages the helmet. I love the helmet and I'm glad I finally pulled the trigger, its my favorite piece of equipment!"
From "B.W." (January 2012): " I purchased a size L C3 for myself and a Small for my girlfriend for Christmas. I ride a K1600GTL and liked how the audio system integrated with the bike. Previously, I had a Schuberth C2.
I find it to be light and well-made. However, I am having similar issues to others here. It is leaving a bright red mark on my forehead after only a short period of time. I finish each ride with a headache.
Also, the chin strap felt like it was choking me. I removed the additional sound curtain and that has helped as a few miles have loosened things up as well.
I placed a call to customer service and they were very understanding and encouraged me to keep riding as this helmet has a long break-in period. My girlfriend has a similar complaint about her forehead.
I also have a Shoei RF-1000 full face and a Nolan N-41 3/4, both in size L. I'm going to give the Schuberth a few more miles and I'll call customer service again if I have to. It seems like several people have complained about the same issue. It's a great helmet with the oddest interior design."
From "M.F." (November 2011): "I have now ridden with my new Schuberth C3 some 3,000 miles in the past 30 days, mostly on a BMW R1200GSA, but also on a BMW R1200ST and a BMW S1000RR.
Positives: Quiet! Quieter than an Arai Corsair V. All mechanisms work well - releasing chin bar, releasing shield, using latch.
I think the helmet would act as a neck brace more than other helmets - almost approaching a Leatt brace. Anti-fogging Pinlock works. Decent air flow (In fact, little flap in liner not enough to stop air flow. I inserted used EAR Max earplugs into the 2 holes for cold weather).
Overall, a very convenient helmet - convenient in not having to carry a smoke shield, working in cold & warm weather, quick to put on or take off. Quiet for a long day's comfortable ride.
Negatives: This is the 1st helmet in a long time that has actually left a welt and now a minor scab on my forehead. The helmet relies on the single pad running over the crown to the forehead.
The constant pressure, while not painful during the first few hours, acts like a Chinese water torture. On a 10 hour ride, it became uncomfortable. With a lot of riding the last 2 weeks, I now have a sore spot on my forehead.
Sunshield is delicate to scratching. I have always been fairly anal about using clean microfiber cloths & Plexus. Even so, looking into the sun is a series of very fine longitudinal streaks in the plastic or in the anti-fog. I think the sunshield will require cleaning with lots of water and mild soap only. A problem while out on the road."
From "K" (July 2011): "Deciding on the desire for more facial protection, I bought a Schuberth C2 several years ago. Really tried to like it. But it's too big, too heavy, face shield won't stay set, and it doesn't allow the installation of a communications boom mic and headset.
So after a year of wearing it religiously, I put it back in the box, stored it in the closet, and bought a new Shoei X-11 (review).
I liked the Shoei X-11 just fine, but in addition to not having the convenience of a flip-up front, it rubbed my small behind-the-dear hearing aids out of my ears each time I put it on or took it off. I almost lost hearing aids several times, but found 'em either in my jacket collar or on the pavement.
With the X-11, when everyone is ready to go, I'd be fumbling with my hearing aids. Removing them before putting the helmet on would also include dealing with ear plugs. Otherwise, the hearing aids, when turned off, worked great as ear plugs to keep the noise down. There was no easy answer.
Then, I read the webBikeWorld Schuberth C3 reviews. Wow, they sounded really good. Maybe this is that perfect helmet for which I've been looking. A local dealer here in Dallas has them in stock. I visited the store with money in pocket, just in case.
My first impression was very, very good. With the front flipped up, spreading the helmet to put it on was a breeze. There was no tendency for the helmet to unseat my hearing aids. Problem solved.
Walking around in the store convinced me of the light weight. They had scales there so we did a comparison. The C3 was within an ounce in weight of my Shoei X-11! With A:B comparison in the store, I could not tell the difference.
The price was a little staggering . . . especially after wasting big bucks on the Schuberth C2, but I bought it, anyway. I bought the High Visibility. Boy, it's bright! Might look dorky, but one never knows when Hi-Vis might prevent an accident.
That evening, I took a 20-mile ride on the Interstate to test the helmet. They're right! This helmet is very quiet. It does not create the buffeting sound that my Shoei X-11 made. At 70+ mph behind my Harley Ultra Limited windshield, the buffeting sound and feel were totally absent! This made me very happy.
The tinted integral visor does not have the very annoying rattle like my C2. The C2 sun visor rattled horribly, especially with the face shield raised. This is definitely another plus for the Schuberth C3.
The C2 and C3 to have a common fault with the face shield. The detents are simply not strong enough. The face shield slams shut with gusts of wind from other vehicles or if I raise my face into the wind stream. The Shoei X-11 has nice deep, secure detents. If you put the shield in detent #3, it stays there until physically moved. I don't know why Schuberth doesn't make their detents hold the face shield more securely. O.K., so the helmet isn't perfect. I'll deal with the face shield.
Finally, I decided to remove the stickers and keep the helmet (instead of taking it back for a refund). Time to mount my communications headset. Uh-oh . . . . problem.
The C3 apparently accommodates their Bluetooth collar headset, but none others. I'd buy the Schuberth communications, but it won't communicate with my Harley's communications system. This is not a problem with the Schuberth product, but instead with the HD radio system not being Bluetooth compatible. One cannot even purchase a Bluetooth dongle for a Harley communication system! So mounting my headset is a must.
I investigated several possibilities. Communications headsets are usually made to mount on the left of the helmet, but the helmet's visor retraction slide occupies the left side. That almost nixed it. The headset mounting tab requires left side mounting. Had I wasted $700? Well, almost.
I had to modify the headset (remove the mounting tab) and use a hot wire to remove some of the helmet's Styrofoam in the area below and in front of the right ear piece. Doing so probably voids the DOT certification, but probably not its ability to function to specification. The Styrofoam is not in the skull area, but instead down by my jaw.
These modifications allowed me to mount the headset upside down on the right side of the helmet, with the boom mic totally within the helmet so it's by my mouth when the flip front it in the down and locked position.
Since this modification, I've ridden several hundred miles with the new C3. Except for the loose face shield detents, I consider the C3 to be that perfect helmet. Maybe future replacement face shields from Schuberth could have better detents molded into the hinges."
From "P.B." (05/11): "I bought my C3 in 10/10 to replace a C2. The C3 is quieter and lighter. Itís very stable in all wind conditions.
I never have felt certain that the chin bar was locked; itís definitely a two-hand operation to close it. I like the tell-tale pins on the C2 so you knew the chin bar was locked.
My helmet is an XL and it feels quite large. The optical quality of the sun visor is less than ideal. I gave up on the Pinlock insert because it really blocked outward vision.
As far as emergency people being able to handle opening the helmet, that was not a problem for me. I was hit by someone who failed to stop for a stop sign. The helmet took a pretty good hit when I hit the road. Although I did not suffer any injuries, I did not feel that the helmet did a good job of absorbing the impact.
Subsequently I looked at the Sharp ratings and could see why. Side impact protection is poor and my two-day headache seemed to bear this out. Schuberth offers a replacement after a crash for 1/3 of list, but I donít think Iíll take the offer."
From "D.J.W." (04/11): "I received, after being on order forever, and weighed the largest size (XXXL) Schuberth C3 DOT. It weights 1842 grams (4 lbs., 1 oz.), which is slightly heavier my Shoei Multitec in XXL (same physical size on the head, by the way).
Both have Pinlock (anti-fog inserts) installed (adds about 1 oz. / 20 g). I think it is pretty funny that the Schuberth is not all that light in the extra grande large sizes. Yikes!
The same size (XXXL) lid in Schuberth's Carbon C3 ECE is (claimed) 1595 grams (3 lbs., 8 oz.). That's about $100 per ounce savings :) Apparently in the largest size helmets, regardless of shell size, there is a weight penalty."
From "D.B." (03/11): "I have to say that I agree with that the Schuberth Large versus Extra Large issue being quite a problem.
I'm a solid size 59 cm, which one would think would mean a Large would fit me well. Unfortunately, that's not the case.
The Large puts a lot of pressure on my temporomandibular joints. It also looks oddly small on my head and my nose touches the sun visor when it rotated all the way down. The Extra Large feels much more comfortable but looks a bit like a space helmet.
I've ordered both a Large and an Extra Large and have for days been trying them on wearing them for several minutes and taking photos trying to decide which to return for credit.
Compared to my old Shoei X-11 Extra Large the Schuberth Large is slightly smaller. Just enough that in my opinion would make the Large a perfect fit if Schuberth were to use three shell sizes to cover their range of helmet sizes with a slightly larger size shell for medium to large ranges."
From "B.L." (02/11): "I purchased my C-3 at the Long Beach motorcycle show in early December 2010. Prior to that I had read the webBikeWorld reviews on flip up - modular helmets (thank you very much) and created a try-on list for the show.
The C-3 was the last one I tried on, as it was roughly twice my expected price point. After trying it on and wearing it for a bit, I bought it on the spot. It is very quite, the ventilation system really does work (I can actually FEEL the air moving across my head), it has great visibility and the optics are simply outstanding.
I had had no idea what wearing a high quality helmet meant until I put on the C-3. Well worth the $700.00. As for the negative, I find the chinstrap unit somewhat uncomfortable and a bit cumbersome, and I have to use two hands to close the visor."
From "H.H." (02/11): "I bought a US DOT model C3 this January. Really comfy in the showroom but after wearing it for about 30 minutes I found the chin strap unbearable. The hard plastic just bruised my Adam's apple. The helmet fit was correct as there were no other issues.
Really strange that Schuberth would use that kind of strap, all my other helmets (Arai, Shoei, Caberg, AGV, HJC, Gmax, Fulmer, Z1) have a regular 'cloth' strap and I have never experienced such an issue with them. A real shame as this helmet is the quietest one I've ever tried. Anyway, as only store credit was offered (I already have too much gear!), I sold this in the classifieds."