Schuberth R2 Helmet review
Our resident motorbike tester takes the Schuberth R2 helmet out for a spin.
WHEN YOU hear the words ‘German Precision Engineering’, what usually comes to mind? A BMW, Audi or Mercedes, most likely. Maybe a Miele if you’re spending inordinate amounts of time in the kitchen during this self-isolation period. But I’d bet that not many of you thought ‘motorcycle helmets’, right?
Schuberth helmets absolutely fit the German Precision Engineering label based on my experience of having worn one for the past few weeks.
OK, if you’re not familiar with Schuberth, the company’s been around since the 1920s and have been producing helmets since 1954. More than 65 years in the business shows they’re doing something right. They’ve partnered with the Red Bull Rookies Cup and several riders in Moto3 and Moto2, but what I didn’t realise until recently is that Schuberth have also supplied helmets for police, military and even Formula One use.
Despite that long history in Europe, Schuberth is still a relatively new brand in Australia, but I believe that if enough people get the opportunity to try these helmets, they’ll switch from their current lid in a heartbeat.
So what makes the Schuberth so good?
Start with the Shell
Any discussion of a motorcycle helmet’s merits really needs to start with its construction. In the case of Schuberth, and specifically the Schuberth ‘R2’ I’ve been wearing, the outer shell is made using Direct Fiber Processing. Unique to Schuberth, this process uses sections of glass fibre that are combined with a special resin then vacuum-formed at high pressure. I’m sure the Germans can explain it much better than I can, but the end result is a shell that’s extremely strong and incredibly light – under 1500 grams.
Another feature of the R2 is its slippery aerodynamics. Schuberth say they were the first helmet manufacturer to use a wind tunnel back in the 1980s, with the result being that all Schuberth lids are aerodynamically optimised. Having ridden with many other brands of helmets over the years, I can confirm that the R2 does seem to cut through the air better and exhibits less buffeting. I’m sure the lightness is a factor here, too, as heavier helmets do tend to have a pendulum effect on your head, especially when you try to tilt or turn your head at speed.
The size range covers XS to XXL, while for those of us with unusually-shaped noggins, two different shell shapes are available.
The ventilation system on the R2 is new and very effective, while another plus with the shell is that Schuberth have made the eyeport nice and wide, too.
The R2’s inner shell has what Schuberth calls ‘multi-path channels’ in the EPS foam padding that optimises airflow without compromising shock absorption.
For all its functionality, the R2 is damn comfortable. Sometimes, inners have a pinch point, or you can feel seams rubbing certain parts of your head, but Schuberth have found a way to eliminate that – at least based in my experience.
On the R2, Schuberth uses a ‘ShinyTex’ interior that includes a one-piece, seamless head pad for comfort.
The inner lining is allergen-free and anti-bacterial, as well as being fully removable and washable.
The Standard Stuff
Helmet features like the visor, breath guards and fasteners all seem pretty generic these days, but Schuberth have added their individual touch to these items, too.
The visor has a pre-installed anti-fog lens and there’s an easy-change, tool-less mechanism for visor removal, too. Even the double D-ring strap fastener, with its bright orange finish, is a bit different from what I’m used to!
The Clever Stuff
Granted, not all of us want to talk when riding, but for those of us that do, Schuberth has got you covered. In the case of the R2, all the communication tech – microphone, speakers and antenna – is integrated into the helmet, with a compartment for the battery and wireless comms system (Sena SC1 and SC1 Advanced) in the front lower edge of the shell, so no clip-on devices and no cables are needed. Of course, this can used for music and group chat when riding in convoy, as well as taking and making calls.
Another clever feature, but one that’s much more low-tech, are the channels in the lining that allow you to comfortably wear spectacles when riding.
Lots of Choices
Three different solid colours and thirteen different graphic designs, including a Joe Roberts replica (the star of this year’s Qatar Moto2 round), are available, but with the current special offer pricing (see breakout) some colour choices may be sold out by the time you read this.
And one last thing – the Schuberth R2 helmet is backed by a five-year warranty.
The Schuberth R2 is the most comfortable helmet I’ve worn in a long time. If it’s time to replace your helmet – or even if it isn’t – I’d recommend trying one on. I think you’ll be impressed.
From $699.99 RRP
Currently $399.99 at GEARHEADS