by Rick K. for webBikeWorld.com
Here is a first look at the new Schuberth C3 flip-up motorcycle helmet. We have one on the way and it will go through the full webBikeWorld evaluation process as soon as possible!
No doubt about it, the Schuberth Concept was the "It" helmet of the 1990's.
It was sold only in Europe and motorcyclists in the know would plan their route with a stop in Deutschland to pick one up.
Riding your Beemer back in the States whilst wearing a Concept and a Darien jacket meant you were part of the elite "in" group, possessing wisdom and knowledge that lesser riders lacked.
People are prone to thinking like that, sometimes for logical reasons but too often for ego assuaging.
It's sort of analogous to wearing Earth Shoes in the '70's or a Pendleton jacket in the '60's.
Not trying to put anyone down here, but the fascination with the Schuberth Concept was puzzling.
And I wasn't immune to it either; during a trip to London, I went way off-route one day, taking a train up north to knock up the guy who was the UK gray-market Schuberth importer.
He and his wife were sitting in the kitchen eating lunch, and here's this Yank pounding on the door, demanding to try on a Concept.
The problem was that the thing felt as comfortable as a C-clamp.
He was pulling out brand-new Concepts left and right in every size you can think of, and they all fit so poorly that after bothering him to no end, I ended up leaving helmetless.
I was really desperate to own one, yet it fit so poorly that even I couldn't justify buying it. How they ever sold any of those things was beyond me...
Fast forward to 2005, when we reviewed the Schuberth C2, the successor to the Concept.
It was (and is) still a bit out of the mainstream for a flip-up helmet, but it remains popular to this day. Unfortunately, mine is collecting more dust than bugs, because I can't fit it over my "Earth" shaped head.
Now it's 2008 and we have the Schuberth C3, the latest iteration of the classic Schuberth helmet.
The company claims that Michael Schumacher helped with the design; Schuey is, of course, the seven-time Formula 1 World Champion driver who has recently taken up motorcycle racing, and he's pretty good at it, we're told.
Schumacher has a long relationship with Schuberth; he wore a specially designed Schuberth helmet while tootling around in his Ferrari.
So we assume that he was the guy who helped to make the Schuberth C3 "The world's first flip-front race helmet".
Schuberth claims that Schumacher "believes being able to keep the front (of the helmet) open right up until the lights keeps him fresher and gives him an advantage".
Hmmm.... Don't know about that, and most of the photos I've seen of Schumacher on his motorcycle show a helmet that does not look like the C3, although some photos do indicate that it is a flip-up.
In any case, perhaps the new C3 will be the ultimate flip-up motorcycle helmet -- but we'll know for sure when we put it through the wringer.
Schuberth makes some other very impressive claims for the new C3.
They said it's also "The world's quietest flip-front helmet" at a claimed 84 dB at 60 MPH, which, if true, would make it even quieter than the Schuberth S1 Pro (see our review of the Schuberth S1 and the Schuberth R1 and, while you're at it, the Schuberth J1), which has a claimed 85 dB at the same speed.
This would also make it 2.5 dB quieter than the C2. If true -- and I have no reason to doubt them -- this will be impressive indeed!
And Schuberth doesn't stop there. They also claim that the C3 is "The world's lightest flip-front helmet", at 1,550 grams (but they don't say in which size), which would make it 160 grams lighter than the claimed weight for the C2.
The Schuberth C3 comes in two shell sizes ("Sized like a race helmet", according to Schuberth), but it's unknown at this time which inner sizes go with which shell size.
The C2 came in only one shell size, making some of the smaller internal sizes feel "like a fishbowl", according to owners.
The C3 will apparently be available in sizes ranging from XS to XXXL, which is an fairly wide range.
So I'd have to assume the small shell might fit sizes XS to M and the large shell might fit L to XXXL, with the only question being whether or not the size L will fall on one side or the other.
The C3 will also be fitted with a Pinlock system rather than an anti-fog visor, which is curious, and perhaps an admission that factory anti-fog treatments aren't very effective.
It will also come with a new type of "quick release" anatomically designed chin strap and an internal sun shade that opens via a switch on the chin bar, rather than on the side of the helmet
The C2 will have a fully removable lining and Schuberth's anti-roll-off safety feature. It's said to be 30 mm shorter than the C2 and 10 mm narrower, which is significant, and probably has a lot to do with the weight reduction.
Whether this will affect it's SHARP helmet safety ratings is unknown.
Schuberth claims also that the C3 has a visor with "100% Grade A optics" (personally, I hate it when a visor has only 80% Grade A optics!) and it had some wind tunnel work during development, giving it good air flow with low noise.
The Schuberth C3 will be available in the following colors and prices:
Here's a comparison of the Schuberth C2 and Schuberth C3:
The new Schuberth C3 sounds like a very interesting new helmet, and we can't wait until ours arrives! We're not sure when that will be, so stay tuned...
In the meantime, remember that correct helmet fit is crucial for comfort, safety and noise reduction, so be sure to visit the the wBW Motorcycle Helmet FAQ page for more information on finding the right fit for your particular head shape.
Also, please visit the wBW Motorcycle Helmet Weights page for our helmet weight comparison table and chart to get a better idea at how the Schuberth C3 might compare to the 99 other helmets in our database of reviews.
And finally, remember that motorcycle riding is a dangerously noisy endeavor.
Our advice? Always wear high-quality, correctly fitted ear plugs. See the wBW Ear Plugs and Hearing Protection page for more information on choosing and wearing ear plugs.
|wBW Preview: Schuberth C3|
|Manufacturer: Schuberth Helme GmbH.||List Price (2008): £429.99-499.99|
|Colors: Graphic Black; Metallic Silver; Metallic Anthracite; Plain White; Plain Deep Black; Plain Matte Black.||Made In: Germany|
|Sizes: XS-3XL Shell Sizes: 2||Certifications: ECE 22-05|
|Review Date: November 2008|