The Schuberth C5 is a premium modular helmet aimed at the touring rider.
The C5 has excellent build quality, ventilation, and noise levels.
The C5 has speakers and antenna pre-installed for use with the optional SC2 communicator. The SC2 is similar in functionality to Sena’s premium 50S and 50R models.
With few negatives, the C5 is the best modular helmet I have ever used.
It is pricey at $869 plus $349 for the SC2 system.
In 2019, I reviewed the Schuberth M1 Pro with the SC1M (Sena) communicator built in. I very much enjoyed the helmet and have used it often since. In addition, I am a big fan of modular helmets. I jumped at the chance when I was offered this spring to review another Schuberth.
I have been lucky to ride over 4000 kilometers with the Schuberth C5 with SC2.
Schuberth has been around for more than 70 years. Producing protective helmets since the 1940s. In 1954 SCHUBERTH developed its first motorcyclist helmet. This was the beginning of a success story that continues today. Today, SCHUBERTH develops and produces helmets for industrial safety, police, fire, Formula 1 sports, and motorcycling.
2010 SCHUBERTH formed the North American office, returning to the US and Canada. This brings a local office for sales, service, and warranty to better service loyal customers in the region.
Schuberth C5 Helmet Features
As you would expect from a leader in motorcycle boots, and with Gore-Tex in the model name, the Alpinestars boots are loaded with features:
From RevZilla and Schuberth (North America) Websites:
Fiber Glass shell reinforced with carbon fiber for improved shock absorption strength and lighter weight.
New chin strap positioning to improve comfort in the throat area featuring Anti Roll Off System ( A.R.O.S)
Double chin air intake to improve ventilation, featuring exchangeable chin part filter. New back spoiler featuring new air extractor
Plug and Play communication system based on Sena 50S system with speakers, Mesh Antenna, FM Radio Antenna, and Bluetooth Antenna preinstalled in the helmet shell.
Claimed 85 DbA at 100 km/h on a naked bike.
DOT and ECE-R 22.06 Certified, depending on location.
Visit the Schuberth C5 product page for a complete list of features.
Back in the spring, when I was offered to review the C5, I was asked what graphics/color I would prefer. I wasn’t too particular, so I provided some options, including Master Grey and Yellow, as you see here.
Before delivering the helmet, I purchased a 2023 Husqvarna Norden 901 in Black/Grey/Yellow. So, my first impression when I opened the box, was wow, this is a perfect match.
The Schuberth C5 modular helmet is aimed at the touring and adventure touring crowd. At first glance, I loved the color (obviously) and overall design. The first look at the helmet exudes high-quality materials, fit, and finish.
In the box, included:
The C5 with attached visor
After several months of riding, these are my thoughts on the Schuberth C5.
Schuberth C5 Helmet Construction
The outer shell of the Schuberth C5 is constructed using a proprietary method called Direct Fiber Processing (DFP). A continuous strand of glass yarn is robotically precision cut and blown outward into position in the mold. An exacting amount of resin and heat are added under high pressure, yielding a shell of superior strength that is no thicker in any one area than it needs to be.
Schuberth claimed weight is Size 59 (L): 1660g +/- 50g and Size 61 (XL): 1810g +/-50g.
My 2XL(63) with the visor attached with Pinlock and the SC2 installed weighed 1987g (4.38 lbs) on my inexpensive kitchen scale. By comparison, my HJC RPHA 90S Carbon with visor and Pinlock and a Sena 50S installed weighed 1830g (4.03 lbs).
The C5 comes in 2 shell sizes XS to L and XL to 3XL.
The shell has three air intake ports, two on the chin and the other on the top. There is a single exhaust port at the rear. More on ventilation later.
The modular chin bar moves smoothly with a solid connection in both the fully open and fully closed positions. Push the red button to open the chin bar until it clicks into the fully open position. Pull the chin bar down to close until it clicks into the fully closed position.
A small red switch is also exposed when the chin bar is open. This switch allows you to lock the chin bar in the raised position. Depending on the jurisdiction, this locking switch allows the rider to ride with the chin bar in the raised position legally.
The C5 meets or exceeds DOT FMVSS 218 approval. It also meets or exceeds ECE 22.06 approval. Please ensure you have the correct approval for your location.
A combination of the above items should allow you to get the fit you want, or freshen up the interior when needed. It seems to me that combining the Liner Set and Cheek Pad would be cheaper than buying the complete liner kit. But I am not a math major.
Visors & Vision
The main shield has a solid feel and seals tightly to the seals around the eye-port. The lens is Pinlock ready and includes a Pinlock (pre-installed) lens.
The top of the visor has a row of notches. According to Schuburth, “patented turbulators on the top of the visor also optimize the aeroacoustic properties when riding and prevent acoustic disturbances in the form of whistling sounds that smooth and straight edges can create.” I didn’t get much sound around the visor, so they worked. Plus, I have never used the word turbolator, so there’s that.
The visor has several detents, with the bottom position locking in place with a click. Between these positions, the visor moves with a smooth and solid feel. I found the first ‘City’ position helpful in providing additional ventilation at any speed. The remainder of the detents would only hold at low speeds. If the speed increased, the visor closed on its own. I found this to be annoying at times.
One more feature is the Visor Memory System. This feature maintains the last visor position when you open the chin bar. If you ride with an open visor and decide to open the chin bar, the visor will remain open when you close the chin bar again. If the visor is closed, it will automatically close when you close the chin bar.
I am unsure how useful this feature is, but it is a great party trick to show your friends.
The visor can be removed and reinstalled without tools. Simply open the visor to the upper position and push the locking tabs to the open position. Continue pushing the visor back, releasing it from the ratchet mechanism.
To reinstall, just reverse the steps. Align the shield and ratchet mechanism, press the shield into the mechanism, and the locking tab pops into position, locking the shield in place.
The C5 also includes a smoke-tint integrated sun visor. Deploy the visor using a slide mechanism on the lower left side of the helmet. The slide allows the visor to be set in any position. This is a great feature, as many spring-operated visors force you to ride in the fully down position. In the down position, the coverage is great.
If you find the visor hits your nose or you don’t want it to go down all the way. A small lever on the bottom of the slide acts as a stop, preventing the visor from going to the full down position.
The visor on the Schuberth C5 is very clear. The eye port is large. The vision is excellent.
Multiple vents, exhaust ports, and visor settings provide Air Management Ventilation.
This system comprises the following elements:
Chin Ventilation – The chin ventilation provides a centered air supply. The incoming air is cleaned with a dust filter as well. The chin ventilation can be opened and closed by moving the slider up or down. The dust filter can be cleaned or replaced if necessary.
Visor Ventilation – The C5 features a second air inlet in the chin bar for visor ventilation, located above the chin vent. A deflector pushes airflow across the visor. Press on the ventilation unit to open or close the air inlet.
Head Ventilation – There is a large air inlet on the top of the helmet shell for ventilating the top of your head. Air entering the helmet through this inlet is directed through channels to the top of the head. The intake flow can be adjusted by moving the slide backward to the first position for partial ventilation and moving it further back for full flow. During cold season riding, two flaps can be used to close off the ventilation channels. To do so, raise the head pad and fold out the fabric flaps located behind the front section.
Visor Setting – The C5 has a visor that adjusts to several positions. The ‘City’ position is the first open locking position. Air entering through the bottom gap flows over the inside of the visor and escapes through the opening at the top.
Exhaust Port – The C5 is equipped with a rear-facing exhaust port. Fresh air flowing in through the head vent is directed via the air channels in the inner shell to the back of the helmet.
When riding at slow speeds, I found that opening the visor to the City position allowed me to control the air around my face. With the visor closed at higher speeds, the chin vents and top vent allowed excellent airflow in warm weather. The hottest temperature I rode in was 35 Celsius (95 F). At speed, the airflow was excellent. As with all helmets, at slow speeds in traffic, I end up with the visor wide open or the chin bar locked in the open position.,
The Schuberth C5 helmet will make for an excellent all-weather helmet.
The C5 uses a quick-release micro ratchet chin strap buckle. The straps are well-padded and are adjustable for length. I found it quick and easy to use and did a great job securing the helmet.
The C5 also benefits from Schuberth’s Anti-Roll-Off-System. Additional straps connect the rear of the helmet to the chin strap to prevent that helmet from rolling off in an incident.
One of the features listed by Schuberth is a “chin strap in a new advanced position for improved comfort on the throat area.” I assume there were consumer complaints about the position of the strap on the C4.
Good to know Schuberth is listening.
The branding on the C5 varies depending on the graphics package. On the model tested, the branding is quite bold, with the Schuberth name, logo, and model in bright yellow. The bright color on this model is excellent for branding and visibility.
Overall Build Quality, Fit & Feel
Schuberth has a reputation for premium products. The C5 did not disappoint. The quality, fit and finish, and materials used are excellent.
The helmet comes in 7 sizes across two shell sizes (XS to Large and XLarge to 3XLarge).
Schuberth Helmet Sizing
Sizing information is provided by the manufacturer and does not guarantee a perfect fit.
Based on the sizing chart, my 61.5 cm head was between an XL and 2XL, so I moved to the 2XL. I found the 2XL to fit perfectly.
The Schuberth C5 comes in an intermediate oval head shape. This is the shape that I find most comfortable.
With this helmet, I never had any issues with pressure points or hot spots on all my rides. After several all-day rides with the helmet, I am confident this is the most comfortable helmet I have ever used.
Schuberth has introduced the “Individual program.” The program allows customization of the internal padding with more thickness options for sides, back, and cheek pads. This customization is available for sizes M/L/XL.
I did all of my riding behind (or above) the windshield of my new Norden 901. The helmet was extremely stable, from riding around town to 130 km/h runs down the freeway. This can be attributed to Schuberth’s use of their wind tunnels.
Although I don’t require glasses while riding, I tried a pair to gauge comfort. I had no discomfort or issue putting the glasses on or taking them off. Results may vary depending on the size and shape of the arms on your glasses.
Noise Assessment & Management
Noise assessment is subjective without the tools and skills to measure decibel levels under many test conditions. So, as I do not have any highly calibrated tools or the skills to use them, I will attempt to assess the noise levels I experienced using the Schuberth C5.
In terms of noise management, this helmet has several intake and exhaust ports, all of which can be closed. Also, the visor has a tight-fitting seal in a closed position. The bottom side of the helmet has a tight-fitting neck curtain. You can add the chin curtain for a tighter fit.
With earplugs, the helmet was very quiet. Without earplugs, the noise levels step up considerably. On the Norden 901, the helmet is in total airflow.
Given my conditions for testing, I would assess the noise management as excellent.
To clean the helmet shell, you can use water, soap, or one of the commonly available motorcycle shampoos, cleaners, polishes, plastic cleaners, or cleaning fluids. Using water and soap is usually sufficient. When using the other cleaning materials, ensure these do not come into contact with the visor since they can cause damage to the visor and its coating.
Use a soft cloth and a mild soap solution (< 20 °C) to remove dirt from the outside of the visor. To dry the visor, use a lint-free cloth and apply gentle pressure.
Developed in collaboration with Sena, the Schuberth communication system SC2 is small, lightweight, and fully integrated into the outer shell of the Schuberth C5 helmet.
The SC2 offers a step up in features and performance over the SC1 I tested previously.
When a helmet comes with the speakers and antennas preinstalled, you expect the installation of the communications device to be easy. You would be correct.
No tools are needed here!
The SC2 is extremely simple to install: Plug in the microphone, remove the covers at the side and back of the helmet, plug the controller and main unit in, turn them on, and you are ready to ride! The controller and main unit are paired in advance.
The controller is battery-operated, and an extra battery is included. The main unit at the back of the helmet requires two wires to be connected. The main unit contains a rechargeable battery and a power button. The unit is charged via a USB-C connection.
What you are left with is a sleek, compact install.
In-Helmet Mesh and BT
I have owned several Sena products, most recently the 50S, so I am aware of the functions of Sena products. As the SC2 Controller does not include the jog dial that I am accustomed to, I quickly reviewed the quick start guide to understand the functions of the buttons. The guide outlines the primary tasks for intercom pairing, mobile phone pairing, music, and FM radio.
For my first ride, the other riders both had the Sena 50S. It was as easy as pressing the mesh button, and we were all connected. We typically use open mesh, but group mesh is also available.
My next long ride included two riders with older Sena models that did not have mesh. We quickly paired up with each other and had a group chat going in no time.
The Schuberth SC1M I reviewed previously had a significant flaw with the microphone volume. I am happy to say that this is not the case with SC2. The other riders could hear me loud and clear. They may have wished I still had the SC1M.
I typically only use my device for talking with other riders.
The SC2 also offers all the communications you expect from Sena, including FM radio, Bluetooth to your phone and GPS, music sharing, etc.
Although the SC2 does not have the jog dial found on the Sena 50S (similar to the 50R) that I am accustomed to. The buttons on the remote are large pronounced buttons. Once I was acquainted with the controller’s location, I had no problems operating the controller with gloved hands.
SC2 is equivalent to Sena 50R functionality.
Our resident communications guru Bruce Cole thoroughly reviewed the Sena 50R and 50S.
Some of the key features included on the SC1M:
MESH 2.0 intercom up to 2 KM in open field
Multi-channel protocol in Open Mesh allows users to switch between 9 communication channels
HD speakers and Boom microphone
Multi-language voice command
Support Siri and Google Assistant
Talk time up to 12 hours
RC4 remote control compatible
SCHUBERTH SC2 also provides an app for Android and Apple that allows you to update firmware, modify settings, and view the quick guide and manual.
The short conclusion, this is the best modular helmet I have ever used!
I have ridden my new Norden 901 just over 4000 km, and every kilometer has been with the C5 on my head.
I have ridden in cold, heat, and rain on gravel roads and highways, and the C5 continues to impress.
I just returned from a three-day trip riding in the Ottawa Valley Region of Ontario and the southern sections of the Outaouais Region of Quebec. We didn’t do huge mileage, but sometimes I wore the C5 for 3 to 4 hours straight. At no time did I get off my bike and feel a need to quickly remove my helmet due to discomfort. For a touring helmet, that means a lot.
It is my understanding that the Schuberth C4 had its flaws. So many eyes were on Schuberth to see how they would respond with the C5. The C5 has tough competition from the Shoei Neotec II as its main competitor.
I found very few flaws with the C5. The only thing that bothered me regularly was the weak detents on the visor. That was not a big issue. Oh, and the price.
When reviewing an expensive piece of gear, I always ask myself if I buy it for myself. I would likely have said no before using the C5 for three months. But, knowing the comfort that it provides during long days on the bike, I now say yes. I am cheap, so not an overwhelming yes, but yes.
The Schuberth C5 has replaced the RPHA 90S Carbon as my go-to helmet for most riding. It doesn’t hurt that it matches my new bike.