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Schuberth S2 DOT Review

Schuberth S2 DOT Review
Schuberth S2 DOT Helmet Review
by Rick K. and "Burn" for webBikeWorld.com

More: wBW Reviews Home  |  wBW Motorcycle Helmet Reviews  |  Owner Comments (Below)


See Also: Schuberth S2 ECE Review

Summary

The Schuberth S2 is now available in North America with DOT homologation.

The helmet is nearly identical to the ECE version of the Schuberth S2 (review) we reviewed in May 2012.

The weight has gone up slightly for the DOT version but otherwise, it's the same outstanding helmet, with many very usable features and superior Schuberth build quality.

Background

I thought we'd do something a bit different here, since we described the Schuberth S2 not long ago with a fully detailed webBikeWorld review.

And since the DOT version of the S2 is about 99.99% identical to the ECE versions we used for that review, there's not much more to say.

So Burn and I made a "No Narrative" version of a video illustrating some of the details of the DOT version of the Schuberth S2, backed by Kevin MacLeod's always-interesting music. I'm sure you'll enjoy the video --- and the break from my voice!

And rather than a full review, repeating what we said for the ECE version of the S2, in this review we'll simply comment on the similarities and differences.

If you recall, we broke the news on the Schuberth S2 during the 2011 EICMA show (report) in Milan, Italy in November of last year. The S2 was then introduced to the world during the 2012 Dealer Expo in Indianapolis, Indiana (report) and the S2 was described in this Schuberth S2 preview.

The Indianapolis even was a first for Schuberth, as the new helmets are usually introduced in Europe. The introduction of the S2 in the U.S. is an indication of the importance of the North American market to the German helmet manufacturers.

It has been rumored that Schuberth spent something like $6.5 million developing the S2. It took nearly two years; over 10,000 hours of development time and, it is said, 280 S2 helmets were destroyed during the various testing procedures!

The Schuberth S2 is a direct descendant of the Schuberth S1 (review) sport/touring helmet, first reviewed on webBikeWorld back in 2004 and not to be confused with the other sport/touring helmet, the short-lived Schuberth R1 (review) from 2007.

And don't forget the Schuberth SR1 (review) race helmet, the 2011 webBikeWorld Motorcycle Helmet of the Year -- which is still my favorite Schuberth. A DOT version is still on schedule for a U.S. introduction in August and we'll have a review of it as soon as possible.

wBW Video: Schuberth S2 DOT Helmet
The Schuberth S2 DOT

The DOT version of the S2 is currently available in black, matte black, silver and gloss white. Schuberth told us that the DOT version of the S2 will also be offered in the "Lines" graphic in Black/White, White/Blue/Red/ and an Italian theme White/Green/Red) that are available in Europe. No high-visibility yellow or orange for some reason and no BMW Motorsport colors yet either.

I'm not sure who's buying all these matte black helmets (or gloss black, for that matter), but silver is one of my all-time favorite colors for a motorcycle helmet, probably because it goes with any color bike or clothing! The paint and finish on this one is outstanding, without a single flaw that I can notice in either the paint or the moving parts.

This is to be expected on a $700.00 helmet and Schuberth delivered, no doubt about that.

The design, functionality and operation of the moving parts and liner is also first rate, with no issues to report. Of course, this is no different from the ECE version of the S2 and again, expected from Schuberth, who makes what have to be some of the most well-thought-out designs available today.

Schuberth S2 DOT Top Vent
The Schuberth S2 top vent.
Schuberth S2 DOT Cheek Pads
The Schuberth S2 liner is comfortable and it has an extra-large neck roll to help reduce noise.
Schuberth S2 DOT Chin Vent
The Schuberth S2 chin vent.
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Ventilation Comments

The only small nit we can pick on the S2 DOT is with the top vent, which, like the ECE versions of the S2 we reviewed, doesn't quite have that "snap" when it's opened or closed. It is more of a friction type of a fit and the friction makes it a bit more difficult to move than it should be. Also, the friction fit gives it a less precise feel.

The air flow through the chin vent is excellent, although like the ECE version, the chin vent "scoop" on the DOT S2 can allow small bugs and debris to enter the helmet. It could use a replaceable type of screen or filter to prevent this from happening.

Liner Comments

Like the ECE version of the S2, the helmet liner on this one also blocks the large upper intake vent openings. It does the same on both of the ECE versions of the S2 we reviewed.

There are two triangular-shaped fold-down covers that can be used in winter to block the vent holes, but these don't quite stay folded back when not needed, which means a bit of extra fussing each time the helmet is put on to make sure the wind blocks aren't in the way (see the three photos below).

The center strip of the liner mostly blocks the vent holes anyway; a rare design oversight I think by the Schuberth engineers. If you notice in the center photo below, the angled cuts in the strip should be larger, which would uncover the holes. It's possible this would increase the noise levels, but we think it would also improve upper ventilation, which doesn't seem as good as it should be for the design.

This part of the liner simply needs to be cut back a few more millimeters, which would ensure that the vent holes allow the free passage of air into the helmet.

I have half-a-notion to break out the scissors myself and do some trimming...

Schuberth S2 Intake Vents
(Top) Large air vent passages hidden under the center liner strip. (Center) The center strip of helmet liner blocks the large intake vent holes. (Bottom) The triangular-shaped sections cover the vent holes for winter riding, but the could use a touch of hook-and-loop or something to secure them when they're not needed, as they tend to spring back into position, covering the holes, each time the helmet is removed.
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Noise Level Comments

Schuberth has access to a wind tunnel and they use it. The company is known for designing motorcycle helmets that are generally quieter than the average and, in fact, they advertise an 85 dBA rating for the S2 (when riding an unfaired bike).

We found the ECE version of the S2 to be relatively quiet, but not as quiet as expected and probably not as quiet as a Schuberth C3 (review) or the original Schuberth S1 (review) or Schuberth R1 (review). The sound level issue has been noted by several owner comments from webBikeWorld readers who purchased their S2 at RevZilla.

Overall though, both the ECE and DOT versions of the S2 are quieter than average and the DOT version does not have the "moaning" sound we noticed on the ECE version of the S2, which was caused by air spilling off the back of the exhaust spoiler. The sound may be more muted on the DOT version of the S2.

But there's a different noise issue with this DOT version: the top vent is doing the "moaning" this time, with a slight wind noise that isn't really bothersome, it's just there.

However, certain combinations of wind and/or turbulence hitting the top vent at certain angles of attack can increase the wind rushing noise quite a bit. This was noticed on Burn's old BMW K1100LT, which has a windscreen that directs the air (unfortunately) right at the top of the helmet.

Again, this is a matter of degrees -- the S2 is definitely quieter than average (as always, we evaluate the helmets wearing high-quality, correctly fitted ear plugs), but it's not as chapel-quiet as the C3 or others.

Schuberth S2 DOT Lower Rear Vent
Small exhaust vents at the lower rear of the helmet are beautifully detailed.
Schuberth S2 DOT Rear Exhaust Vent
Close-up of the rear exhaust array on the Schuberth S2.
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Schuberth S2 DOT Helmet Fit, Internal Shape and Liner

The DOT version of the Schuberth S2 in size XL feels outwardly identical to the ECE version. As I mentioned in the previous section, the padding in the DOT version feels slightly more plush and less "lumpy" than the ECE version.

The padding in the DOT version does seem to be just a touch more cushy than the ECE version of the helmet, without that slightly "lumpy" feeling we noted. I'm not sure if the liner, fabric and/or padding is different in the DOT version; it's possible, due to the slight differences in homologation and testing requirements. But the DOT version of the S2 feels more comfortable to me in back-to-back, on-the-road trials when compared with the ECE version of the helmet.

And the DOT version of the S2 has a slightly better fit around the bottom for my head and neck shape. Then again, this could just be the typical variations that are to be expected in motorcycle helmet manufacture. We rarely get a chance to compare more than one helmet of the same type, and this time we have three Schuberth S2's in the inventory.

The size XL fits my 60.5 cm "Round" head just about perfectly; perhaps it could be a half-size more snug, but then I'm used to wearing the size L Arai RX-Q (review), which fits very snug and may actually be a quarter- or half-size too small for me.

All of the padding and liner in the S2 touches my head in all points on the compass but if I hold the front of the helmet and move my head back and forth, I can feel a touch of air space at the front or back, which probably isn't optimal. I had tried the S2 in size L, but it felt too small.

As noted in our original Schuberth S2 review, the S2 is made in only two shell sizes, and the Schuberth size large is 58/59 cm instead of the typical 59/60, while the Schuberth size XL is 60/61, not the more common 61/62 cm for XL.

While there is usually some overlap in helmet sizes (I can usually fit in a standard size large), the S2 in size large (either the ECE or DOT versions) should fit a 59 cm head at the maximum, in my opinion. The shell is tapered towards the bottom, which meant that I could barely stretch it enough to pull it over my round head...and then I was afraid I wouldn't be able to pry it off.

The DOT version of the S2 confirms our opinion that the S2 has a "Neutral" fit. The DOT version definitely seems "Neutral", while the ECE version had a very slightly narrow profile bias. Either helmet should fit a wide variety of head shapes and types and Schuberth also has cheek pads and liner padding available for extra shape tweaking if so desired.

The large size shell used on the XL and above versions does seem pretty big, so if you're self-conscious about having that "astronaut" or "fish bowl" helmet look (a too-large helmet shell on a smaller head), then the S2 may not be your cuppa.

The padding in the S2 DOT has that same nice, firm, quality and plush feel. The liner fabric is also very comfortable. Schuberth uses Coolmax and Thermocool fabrics, along with something called "Interpower" coating on the fabric for optimal moisture wicking and cooling effects. The material is also anti-allergic and anti-bacterial treated. Also, the ear pockets are large and the EPS is recessed to fit (Schuberth) speakers.

webBikeWorld Internal Shape Estimator: Schuberth S2 DOT
Narrow Med. Narrow Slight Narrow Neutral Slight Round Med. Round Round
Helmet Internal Shape Examples (see more Motorcycle Helmet Shapes)
Arai
Profile
Scorpion EXO-700 Neon KBC
Tarmac
AGV
Stealth
Arai
RX-Q
Bell
Arrow
Arai
Quantum II

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.

Schuberth S2 DOT Sun Visor
Internal rotating sun visor.
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Schuberth S2 Eye Port, Visibility and Internal Sun Visor

No changes here; both the DOT version of the S2 has the identical face shield and internal sun visor as the ECE version. Both have the same outstanding visibility and both helmets come with a Pinlock anti-fog insert (review). The face shield and the internal sun visor is interchangeable with the Schuberth C3.

The face shield also has the double seal along the top and the black reflective material (for extra visibility to oncoming traffic at night) at the brow. The face shield has dual lift tabs, one on either side, which come in very handy in different situations.

The system includes a friction click-lock when the face shield is closed. This includes the Schuberth "city position" arrangement, which allows the face shield to be opened very slightly, where it rests on the friction tab for the lock, allowing some fresh air into the helmet for slow-speed riding. It works well and is a very welcome feature. This is illustrated in our video (above).

The outward visibility when wearing the S2 is excellent, with better-than-average vertical and horizontal sight planes. The S2 visibility is much better than average, a definite safety factor.

The internal sun visor works well and can be stopped in an intermediate position. But, like the ECE version (and other helmets with this feature), it would be better with about another 10 mm of travel, as it doesn't quite lower far enough to remain completely out of the line of sight and it's slightly tapered up on either side.

Schuberth S2 DOT Helmet Liner
Nicely detailed helmet liner with "microlock" chin strap retainer.
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Helmet Weight

The only significant difference that we can notice between the ECE version of the S2 and the DOT version is the slight increase in weight for the latter. This probably has something to do with either a shell thickness difference or perhaps an EPS or liner difference. There could also be come variances in manufacturing tolerances at play here.

The size XL versions of the ECE S2 weighed 1590 grams (3 lbs., 8-1/8 oz.) on our calibrated scale; a very good result for a size XL helmet with an internal sun visor.

The DOT version of the S2 in size XL weighs 1712 grams (3 lbs., 12-3/8 oz.), which is a gain of 122 grams (4.3 oz.). The weight difference really isn't noticeable and considering all of the features included in the S2, 1712 grams is still a respectably light weight, relatively speaking.

Randomly selected helmets from the webBikeWorld Motorcycle Helmet Weights page include the Schuberth C3 (XL) at 1709 grams; the Bell Star 2010 (review) in size XL at 1696 grams; the Schuberth S1 (review) in size XL at 1789 grams; the Shoei RF-1100 (review), size XL at 1746 grams; and the Shoei X-12 (review), also in size XL at 1766 grams.

The size XL, DOT version of the S2 feels identical to the ECE version of the same size when riding. Both are very comfortable, with no noticeable lift.

Note that all of the helmets reviewed on webBikeWorld have been weighed and the 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.

Schuberth S2 DOT Slide Show
Schuberth S2 DOT Front View Schuberth S2 DOT Front Quarter View Schuberth S2 DOT Side View Schuberth S2 DOT Rear View Schuberth S2 DOT Top View Schuberth S2 DOT Sun Visor Schuberth S2 DOT Liner Reflectivity
  • Schuberth S2 DOT Front View
  • Schuberth S2 DOT Front Quarter View
  • Schuberth S2 DOT Side View
  • Schuberth S2 DOT Rear View
  • Schuberth S2 DOT Top View
  • Schuberth S2 DOT Sun Visor
  • Schuberth S2 DOT Liner Reflectivity
Miscellaneous

The DOT version of the S2 also has the built-in antenna system that will be compatible with the upcoming Schuberth SRC System S2 intercom.

The original Schuberth SRC (review) system was reviewed on webBikeWorld.com on a Schuberth C3 flip-up. The intercom is built into a replacement neck roll/collar that replaces the helmet neck roll.

The S2 DOT also has the same "microlock" chin strap retaining system found on other Schuberth helmets. We found this one to also feel too big and too confining. The padding underneath could be wider and definitely longer, as it doesn't meet in the center and the large microlock clasp is placed back farther than is optimal.

The DOT version of the S2 comes with the "wind deflector" in the box (not pre-installed). We inserted under the chin portion of the acoustic collar but we don't really notice a difference. Once it's installed (it sticks via hook-and-loop), you have to be careful when putting the helmet on to make sure the deflector is correctly positioned.

webBikeWorld Overall Opinionator: Schuberth S2 DOT
Picks...
...and Pans
  • Excellent overall quality.
  • Comfortable "Neutral" internal fit.
  • Relatively light weight.
  • Excellent outward visibility.
  • Expensive.
  • Not as quiet as expected.
  • Internal sun visor needs more travel.
  • Top venting blocked by liner.
  • Chin strap retainer is uncomfortable.
  • Too bad there weren't 3 shell sizes...
Conclusion

Both versions of the new Schuberth S2 are worthy additions to the company's product lineup and both have outstanding build quality with "real world" usable features that are second to none.

North American customers should have no qualms about the DOT version of the S2, because it's nearly identical in every way and it is nearly impossible to distinguish a difference, even with both versions of the helmet on hand.

The S2 is an excellent helmet and both versions are among the highest quality sport/touring helmets available today. The price is a bit breathtaking, but there is a noticeable difference between the S2 and "lesser" helmets. Schuberth fans will rejoice and if you're new to the brand, we highly recommend a visit to a Schuberth dealer for a closer look.

See Also: Schuberth S2 ECE Review

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wBW Review: Schuberth S2 DOT Helmet
Manufacturer: Schuberth GmbH (Germany). List Price: $699.00 (DOT version). ECE version is £449.99 for Solids to £499.99 for the "Lines" graphic.
DOT Colors: White, Black, Silver, Matte Black, High Visibility Yellow (late 2012).
Additional ECE Colors: Matte White, Lines Black White, Lines White Grey, Lines White Blue.
Made In: Germany
Sizes: XS to XXXL. Shell Sizes: Two (XS-L; XL-3XL). Star Rating (1-5): Four Star Rated
Review Date: July 2012
Ratings Scale: For reference, our ratings scale is subjective and ranges from Unacceptable to Poor, Neutral, Very Good, Excellent and Outstanding.
Note: Item was provided by a retailer, distributor or manufacturer with these Terms and Conditions.

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!

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