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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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).
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 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.
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 aPinlock 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.
Nicely detailed helmet liner with “microlock” chin strap retainer.
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.
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.