Schuberth C2 Flip-up Motorcycle
by Bill C. for webBikeWorld
| Owner Comments (Below)
I'm not sure if anyone has actually charted the
evolution of flip-up helmets, but if they did, Schuberth
would certainly be right there at the root of the
flip-up family tree.
The Schuberth C2 is the direct
descendant of the Concept, which was the lid that
probably did more than any other to popularize flip-up,
or "modular", helmets.
Schuberth is relatively new to the U.S.A., so many
motorcyclists probably don't know the story of how the
brand became popular with American motorcyclists.
BMW owners used to lust after a Schuberth, going to
extreme lengths to obtain one.
They'd hound their
traveling friends to bring one back from Europe.
They'd buy a half-dozen and ship them back to the U.S.A.
and sell five of them to friends.
A whole Euro-US
mail order business sprung up, with UK dealers charging
outrageous premiums to ship them to desperate U.S.
Schuberth sort of turned a blind eye to the gray
market, but the lure of the almighty dollar eventually
became too much to bear, and so they started a formal
U.S. distribution system not too long ago.
I was one of the Concept lustees back then, and
during a trip to Blighty I took a day-long trek from
London up to see a Schuberth dealer. It was quite
a letdown -- the Concept was known for a very strange
fit, and as much as I wanted one, I couldn't find one
that worked on my earth-shaped head. Needless to
say, I was very disappointed.
This was before flip-ups were popular, back when the
type was so rare that people would come over to see the
helmet after you flipped up the visor at the gas pump.
Although flip-up helmets still don't seem to be as
popular as I thought they would be by now (and for a
number of good reasons, as it happens), there are many
more choice available today, and nobody takes a second
look when they see one.
We've reviewed a few -- everything from the
ROOF Boxer to our current favorite, the
Summit XPV. As far as we're concerned, the
perfect flip-up hasn't been invented.
Is the C2 an exception?
Let's start with the C2's weight. Modular
helmets are, by nature, heavier than their full-face
counterparts. Our guess is that the added weight
is a result of the extra hardware necessary to rotate
the visor upwards. Most of the modular (or
flip-up) helmets we've reviewed start at about 3.5 lbs.
(1587 grams) and go up from there. The real
heavyweights weigh in at 3 lbs., 15 oz. (1814 grams) and
I'm here to tell you that once a motorcycle
helmet gets over 4.0 lbs., it's no longer a helmet --
it's a burden. Unless it's perfectly balanced,
you'll feel all that mass every time you rotate your
Remember "an object in motion tends to stay in
motion"? The mass makes itself known when you whip
your head back and forth and the helmet (and your head)
wants to keep going. Some of the real bruisers
actually give me a neck and back ache. And I can't
believe that my head will be fine after all that mass
gets pounded into the blacktop.
So what about the C2? It's borderline at 4
lbs., 0-3/8 oz. (1827 grams) in size XL. That's
pretty hefty, but the C2 balances way better than
Schuberth's own S1, which we also reviewed and found
to be too heavy for comfort. The C2 is one of
those helmets that surprised us when we put it on the
webBikeWorld scales -- it didn't feel like it would be
as heavy as it actually is. That's the good news.
The bad news, at least for me, is that the C2 has the same internal head
as the S1. That is, our opinion is that the helmet
fits "oval" to "egg" shaped heads best, not "earth" shaped heads, which are
widest at the temples. See the
Motorcycle Helmet FAQ page for a much longer
dissertation on head shape and a chart comparing the
weight of every helmet we've reviewed.
The size XL fits very nicely on top, but the sides
are narrower than most other XL helmets, and the
pressure on my temporomandibular joint
(jaw joint) becomes painful. After only about 20
minutes of riding, it puts me in agony. The size
XL runs normal for that size at the top but slightly
small at the sides, in our opinion.
Our C2 also has a shorter front-to-back dimension
than the roomiest flip-ups, like the
Summit XPV and the
Zeus 508. It's not as short as the
Justissimo, and I can live with the C2's minimal
space, but I can just feel my chin touching the back of
the rotating visor. Jay Leno types need not apply,
so be warned that if you're large of chin, the C2 may
not work for you.
While we're on the subject of fit (we'll get it out
of the way so we can move on to the other nice features
of the C2), the C2 has another feature that apparently
is becoming the norm for Schuberth.
On one hand, we give them lots of credit for finally
addressing the problem of noise created by helmet
buffeting. This is typically noticed as a
low-frequency "booming" noise that comes up around the
helmet's neck area.
Schuberth created a virtual head womb (tomb?) with the S1,
using various sections of padding and wind blocking
fabrics around the S1's neck (see photo).
done the same with the C2 -- put this helmet on (if
those with wide heads can fit the very tight sides over
their noggin) and close the visor and you'll notice it's
different than any other flip-up.
The padding underneath the visor is very wide, and it
takes some practice to get the visor down around my chin
and secured in place.
Once I'm inside, it feels
like my head is locked inside a box. If you're
like my neighbor, who claims that full-face helmets give
him claustrophobia, you'll freak inside the C2.
In fact, it creates such a good seal around the neck
that Schuberth actually has a web page advising people
not to worry about CO2 poisoning: ("No negative effects
on health need be feared as long as the CO2
concentration remains below 0.5%...")!!
A tight seal serves a couple of purposes.
First, it helps the air intakes and exhaust vents to
work efficiently, because of the correct amount of
vacuum. A good neck seal also goes a long way to
preventing the low-frequency booming noises.
The C2 does a great job with the former, and not so
great with the latter. The top air vent is a
simple on/off sliding bar and it works very well,
forcing lots of cool air on to the top of the rider's
head. The chin vent also works, albeit not quite
This is helped by the "skeletonized" (and removable)
inner liner - just a couple of strips of padding run
across the top, and the foam liner is visible up top,
but it doesn't seem to affect the comfort (much) and
does allow the air to flow down inside (see photo).
The C2 is quiet -- but only when used on a "naked"
bike, sans windscreen. In fact, we'd go as far as
saying that the C2 is probably one of the quietest
helmets we've ever experienced -- again, on a naked
But get behind a small windscreen, especially one
that dumps the air right at the middle of the helmet,
and a low frequency rumble really takes over.
Certain combinations of speed and airflow spilling over
the top of a fairing and hitting the C2 seem to make the
helmet vibrate in tune with the rumble, something that
we can't stomach for very long.
Most riders don't realize that helmets are usually
quieter on an unfaired bike, but it's true. Unless
you're sitting completely behind a big, honkin'
windshield, chances are you're going to have your
eardrums bombarded by wind noise and turbulence.
By the way, we always wear earplugs when riding.
Earplugs and Hearing Protection page for more
information on choosing and fitting earplugs. Don't ride
without them - ever - or you'll regret it!
Remember that hearing is precious and hearing loss is
The latch that opens the C2's rotating visor is
located on the left side of the helmet. It's not
easy to open the helmet when it's not on the head.
It's unfortunate that modular helmet manufacturers seem
to be moving away from what ought to be a standard
position for the latch -- right in the middle of the
chin, with a squeeze button to make it easy to open or
The C2 does have an interesting safety device built
in to the bottom of the eye port: two little red buttons
pop up when the helmet is opened, and if they're
visible, then the helmet is not latched. When the
helmet is properly latched and securely closed, the
buttons will disappear.
Speaking of the eye port, it's probably about the
largest we've ever used. It comes way, way down,
almost out of the bottom of my vision, seemingly down by
my mouth. This actually takes some getting used to
-- it almost felt like I had an open face helmet on at
first -- but it's very nice. It gives a huge
amount of downward vision and helps make it easy to see
Peripheral vision is excellent also, making it easy
to see cars coming down angled side streets. The
clear visor on our helmet doesn't fit very tightly
against the seal. There's no final "snap" to
tighten it against the seal when it's lowered, but
although this is disconcerting, it doesn't seem to
affect the noise levels.
The clear visor is treated with an anti-fog and
anti-scratch coating. It's relatively easy to
remove by rotating two flat, circular side knobs.
But hang on to those knobs -- they come off and can go
flying away and disappear in a jiffy, so this is not
something you want to be doing on the side of the road
We've railed about the gimmickry of internally
rotating sun shades in the past, mostly because they
just don't seem very usable and the quality of the
tinted plastic that many of the use can leave a lot to
NOTE: It has been brought to our attention that
Schuberth helmets with the drop-down dark visor can be
modified to a straight bottom edge rather than the
sculpted edge. Simply remove the visor and turn it
upside-down and refit it with the straight edge at the
Schuberth has finally won us over on the C2 -- the
internal rotating tinted visor must use a higher quality
plastic, because we haven't noticed any distortion at
all. Schuberth also offers a couple of different
tints, but we haven't tried them and don't know how hard
(or easy) it is to remove and replace the original
Which brings us to the last feature that seems to be
a Schuberth standard, the "quick release" buckle.
We've said it before and we'll say it again (although
not everyone agrees with us!): there's nothing wrong
with good old-fashioned D-rings.
They're simple, infinitely adjustable, have no moving
parts, take up a minimal amount of space, and they work.
The so-called "quick release" buckles are fussy, have
moving parts that can break, and have a very limited
range of adjustment. The combination of the neck
padding, the asymmetrical neck strap padding and the
thick buckle means that anyone with a slightly large
neck will probably be suffering.
I haven't been able to get used to it yet, I feel
like I'm choking, with the buckle and the chin padding
pushing up above my Adam's apple. I'm honestly
afraid that if I do crash that I'll choke to death
before I finish sliding.
The perfect flip-up? Not yet, unfortunately.
Our opinion is that the C2 isn't for everyone.
Like the Schuberth Concept, you'll have to try on a C2
before you buy to make sure it fits. It seems best
suited for "classic" head shapes, round on top, slightly
flat on the sides, with a normal chin profile. It
fits so tight against the side of my head that I have
trouble fitting it over my eyeglasses, which is one of
the primary reasons for wearing a flip-up to begin with.
It flows lots of air, but seals so tightly that the
clear visor must be flipped up at slower speeds and
especially at stop lights and even stop signs, or it can
get very hot and humid inside the "fish bowl", even on
cool days. This is probably not a helmet for
someone coming from an open-face or half-helmet.
If it fits and if you can live with its
idiosyncrasies, the C2 is a quiet helmet that is very
well made and may be perfect for you. But at
$450.00 to $500.00, it's very expensive. We still
think the $130.00
Summit XPV is the Deal of the Century in flip-up
helmets. It's certainly not perfect, but a lot can
be overlooked at that price...
Review: Schuberth C2 Modular
Retail Price: $549.95
|Colors: Black, White, Silver
Comments: Heavy but well made. Narrow middle and
stiff sides means it may only fit certain sized heads. Rotating
internal sun shade. Single latch only to lift visor can be fussy.
Tight fit of neck padding can be claustrophobic. Quiet when out in
the open but can be noisy when buffeted by air spilling off a fairing.
DOT and ECE 22.05 approved. XL weight: 4 lbs., 0-3/8 oz. (1827
grams). Review Date: May 2005
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►Your Comments and
Please send comments to
Comments are ordered from most recent to oldest.
Not all comments will be published (details
). Comments may be edited for
clarity prior to publication.
From "K" (10/08): "I've been using a
Schuberth C2 helmet for about 18 months now. I use
it less and less because of its size and weight. I
have a small head and neck. The C2 gets tiresome
to me in about an hour of riding my Ultra Classic.
The C2 also seems to vibrate my vision more than a
3/4 helmet. This may be common for full fact
helmets, I don't know. But if I put my hand on the
helmet while riding, the vision clears.
The tinted sunshade rattles when it's up . . . a lot.
That is quite annoying for my nighttime riding or any
time I have the sunshade retracted.
Finally, the clear visor won't stay in the up
position. A passing truck or crosswind rides seem
to always slam it shut while I'm riding. I can't
hear the radio with it shut, so I ride with it cracked
or fully open most of the time.
One big detriment is the inability to have a radio
headset with this helmet. The construction totally
eliminates the possibility of installing one. I've
tried and have asked many headset vendors. No
Having said that, the helmet is quiet. It's
well padded. It gives me a better feeling of safety from
face-plants should something nasty happen."
From "M.J.": "I have been using a Schuberth C2 helmet for a year of all-season biking and
would like to offer some comments that might compliment your review.
I have been a bit of a helmet tart, buying and discarding an
increasingly expensive collection of helmets; getting closer to the right one
each time but never quite reaching nirvana. The main problem is that I wear
glasses which this is a real limiting factor on choice.
Having tried and bought a range of different helmets of varying
styles I hit on the idea of a flip-up helmet which by its nature creates enough
space to don with your glasses on or to fit after the body of the helmet is on
your head. I shopped around, tried several bike shows and settled on the C2.
Strengths include its quietness: I ride a half faired bike and
no longer suffer wind booming on anything other than high speed motorways. If
anything, in traffic, you can sometimes not hear the engine as well as you would
Another strength is the drift-forward visor which allows you to
pull the visor forward just less than a quarter of an inch from the helmet. This
is great as the trade-off for noise reduction is a tight seal around your neck
and chin that can lead to misting. The visor is coated with an anti misting
surface that works. A combination of the visor coating, Schuberth breath guard,
generous chin venting and the drift-forward visor means that I have never fully
misted up whatever the weather.
It also comfortably fits the earphones from my intercom set into
Weaknesses are a humming noise at some angles of attack from the
top vent; the fastener which is safe but fiddly, and the flip unlocking latch
which is easy with summer gloves but a different story with my Held Minsk winter
It's heavier than my other helmets although this seems to be
less of an issue at high speed as it seems to have a really slippery aerodynamic
profile, allowing lane change high speed 'lifesavers' with ease. It is heavy to
carry round though.
No, it's not nirvana. If it weighed half as much and didn't
occasionally hum inexplicably it might get close. However, I've worn the helmet
for a whole year with no thought of going back to that helmet store of digging
out an old lid."
From "R.A.": "I believe in your review you missed the most
brilliant thing about the helmet: you can push the visor forward. That
creates an air inflow that clears any fog but it's not disturbing on the eye or
face. Whenever I'm doing in-town commuting I always have it open.
On any other helmet I've tried, you need to open it a crack and
the air flow is not natural. Some will open too much or too little.
Regarding sealing, my unit is perfect. It does not may any
special noise when closing completely but the rubber bands seal very well and it
turns just so silent...
The sun visor is great as well. I've had it for a year an a half
and I just love it.
On the cons, I'd say the price is just way too expensive.
I managed to buy mine from Germany and save a few quid, but the helmet is not
the latest thing out and they still retail for 300-350 GBP in the UK. The
latch to flip it up is also a minus, for it's a bit awkward to use.
I contacted Schuberth about a breath guard and they replied to
me within a week."
Editor's Note: I wasn't aware of this
feature; perhaps it is something new and was not available on the helmet we
reviewed, which was one of the first C2's available back in 2005?
From "G.P.": "Hi, Like the site and always checking it
before purchasing anything. Brief report on my Schuberth C2. I commute 100
miles a day from Cambridge to London. I have had my C2 for one month and it is
much quieter than my Nolan flip helmet. It feels snug, at first a little
claustrophobic but I got used to that after a while, keeps the cold out very
In traffic the fact that you can pull the visor forward a few
millimeters (either one side or both together) ideals with any misting at all,
also the chin vent is very effective as is the vent on the top of the helmet.
The Internal sun visor is excellent - there just when you want it, easy to bring
it down and take it up again.
That's all the good news, now the bad is that I do find it a bit
of a struggle to pull down over my ears and taking it off I have to check if any
of my ears have been left inside! Now the worst news - I have had to send
it back to be inspected as the vent slider does not seal the vent properly and
depending on the position of my head there is a continuous drone rather like a
really loud fly buzzing.
The shop I bought it from have sent it back to Oxford Products
the UK importers and I understand they will send it back to Schuberth in Germany
- my shop tells me don't expect a reply for one month - we will see - I will
report back on Schuberth's findings. Oh incidentally I did email Schuberth
direct but did not even get an acknowledgment. Ho hum."
G.P.'s Follow-up: "Earlier this year you
added my comments (above) about the problem I had with my Schuberth C2 flip up
helmet. The vent on the top of the helmet had developed a wine just like a
noisy buzzing fly ! The helmet was sent back to Germany by the shop that I
bought it from. 6 weeks later it was returned supposedly fixed.
However the internal sun visor mechanism had not been
re-assembled correctly and meant the sun visor was hanging down lopsidedly and
could not be retracted. I rejected the helmet as not fit for purpose and
got my money back.
I emailed Schuberth in Germany 3 times expressing my concern
about the initial problem and the lack of quality control. Schiuberth have
ignored all my emails."