I’ve been through several cheap helmets, but the Schuberth C3 Pro was my first high-end helmet. I started researching helmets trying to find the perfect one for commuting and adventure riding. A modular helmet (one that flips up) was appealing to me. When I go on long rides, it’s great to be able to flip up the helmet to drink some water, or even just get some air at a traffic light. I purchased this helmet a year and a half ago, so I’ve had plenty of time to figure out its strengths and weaknesses. It was a big investment, so I hope my review can help steer someone in the right direction.
I read about the differences between the previous model (the C3) and the newer model, the C3 Pro. Many people mentioned getting the right fit, particularly in the forehead area of the helmet. Most BMW Motorcycle dealerships sell Schuberth Helmets, so if you’re interested, I highly suggest going and trying one on in person. I’ve been a size large for every helmet I’ve purchased, and this was true with Schuberth as well. It fit snug when I tried it on, but I was told that the padding inside the helmet would break in after time, so I wouldn’t want the helmet to feel loose brand new. After a few weeks, it did break in just fine and is very comfortable.
One of the main reasons I decided to buy a Schuberth was for the technology. You’ll notice that the chin strap is different than most. Schuberth uses a ratcheting system as opposed to the standard loops. It’s easy to cinch up and just as easy to release. There’s a small red fabric tab attached to the ratchet mechanism that you pull and the strap slides right out. This is meant to help if you’re in an accident, in that first responders can easily take off your helmet. The chin strap also has a unique, anti-roll-off design. If you pull back the neck roll and inner padding, you’ll see that on each side, the chin strap heads to the back of the helmet where it is attached to the back of the helmet with rivets. This makes it so the helmet cannot pivot off the head from behind. It also lowers the risk of contact from the chin section of the helmet to the chin or neck of the rider due to the small angle of tilt.
Another great thing about this helmet is how well it protects your head from the elements. There is a small piece of fabric with Velcro that you can add or remove in the chin area. When you close the helmet, you are almost completely sealed in. During the winter this is great, you can control airflow through the helmet with the vents, and almost no air comes up through the chin area. I found that during the summer this helmet can get hot on the inside, but the beauty of the modular design is that you can always open it up to get some fresh air while stopped (you’re not supposed to ride with it open). The neck roll also features reflective material on the back that is easily seen by drivers behind you, especially at night.
There are two vents on the C3 Pro, one in the chin area and one on top. The front vent works well, when opened and at freeway speeds, you can really tell the difference in airflow. For the top vent, there are two flaps inside the helmet. These cover or uncover two holes leading to channels in the foam that run along your head and towards the back and bottom of the helmet. When you allow air into these channels, it helps to cool your head and provides good airflow when the vents are open. The front vent can be noisy when open, but if you’re wearing earplugs, ear fatigue will not be an issue during long rides.
As I explained before, your head is well-isolated inside of this helmet. This helps make it one of the quietest modular helmets available. Having gone from a dual-sport style helmet to this one, I was blown away at how quiet it was on the highway compared to my old helmet. When you remove the small fabric piece at the chin, you will notice more noise (same with having the vents open).
Schuberth has their own communication system available (for separate purchase) for these helmets. The system is built into its own neck roll, which can easily be swapped out. I opted for the Sena Bluetooth communication device because most people I ride with have it, and at the time of my purcahse, the Schuberth communcation system and Sena were not compatible with each-other (not sure if they are now).
There are cutouts in the helmet foam where you can put the Sena speakers; installing the microphone between the cheek pads was also easy. The only difficult step was getting the wires to run properly, due to the neck roll. The neck roll has some tubing that runs around the perimeter of the helmet, so running the wire between the tube and the helmet proved to be a little tricky. As for the mount on the outside of the helmet, I could only get the sticky mount to work, as the neck roll blocked the clamp mount (another included mounting option) from fitting.
Face Shield and Pinlock:
The C3 Pro comes with a clear face shield and one pinlock. The pinlock is a clear plastic lens that clips onto the inside of the face shield. It has rubber that runs the perimeter of the lens and when attached to the face shield, it creates a sealed pocket of air. The idea is that this pocket of air insulates and prevents fogging on the inside of the helmet. It works pretty well, but I still have had some times where it has fogged up (in extreme conditions). The pinlock was tricky to put on; I messed up my first time around and got a bunch of finger prints on the inside. I also bought the Dark Smoke face shield to provide a darker tint for daytime riding. My helmet is white, so with the dark face shield I kind of look like a Storm Trooper – but I’m ok with that.
Internal Sun Visor:
This helmet has an internal sun visor. A small slider on the left side of the helmet can be moved to extend and retract it back into the helmet. If you wear glasses like I do, this is a great feature. If you have the standard clear face shield, then this gives you sun protection during the day, but still allows you to ride at night (without having to change the face shield).
All of the decals on this helmet are made of reflective material. There is a large Schuberth logo on the back of the helmet and I’ve been told by my friends driving behind me that it lights up bright when their headlights hit it. The same material is on both sides of the helmet. Like I mentioned before, the neck roll is made of reflective material as well.
There are now many colors and designs available for this helmet. When I purchased mine, there were basic colors (white, black, silver, orange) plus a few graphic options. I opted for white, as I think it’s the most visible to other drivers, besides the high-viz yellow of course. Schuberth also just released some great-looking graphic designs.
I don’t have many negative things to say about this helmet. Hands down, it’s the best helmet I’ve ever owned.
A piece of the front chin section (which blocks wind) broke off, due to how much I use it. It was secured to the helmet with plastic clasps, which cracked. I suspect that I had been opening and closing the helmet incorrectly the whole time, by grabbing this section instead of grabbing the outside of the helmet to pull it down and lock it shut.
This is a very expensive helmet (costing upwards of $800), but I really do think it’s worth the money. For all of the crappy helmets I went through, I probably could have just bought one of these. Schuberth has great customer support; each helmet comes with a warranty and an assurance that if you’re in an accident, you can purchase a new one at a discount. Safety is of the utmost importance, and with Schuberth I’ve found a helmet that not only looks good but also provides me with all of the safety features I expect in a high-end helmet.
Words and Photos by Nick Johnson // Rider in Photos: Hayley Johnson