The Schuberth C3 flip-up helmet has been chosen as 2010’s Product of the Year by On The Level magazine, a publication of the BMW Rider’s Association. The new street lid was chosen after an entire year was dedicated to testing a large selection of new gear in some of the most severe riding conditions imaginable.
Schuberth’s C3 is the quietest, most aerodynamic, and among the lightest flip-up helmets available on the market today, and it has won numerous honors in the worldwide press for how well it achieves those attributes.
Schuberth set out some rather tough goals when they announced this ground-breaking helmet – noise level of 84 dB at 60 mph and a weight of only 1,550 grams. The overall weight (US version here) is 1700 grams, about 150 grams more than originally targeted, but most manufacturers are optimistic here anyway.
That still manages to make the C3 one of top two lightest flip-up helmets available today, thus achieving their goal, if only barely. As for the noise levels, let’s just say that the C3 is easily the quietest flip-up ever made, and will easily outrank even high-end full-face models in this category – it is that quiet.
The outer shell of the C3 is constructed of fiberglass using a proprietary process and resin which produces exceptional strength and a light weight. The interior uses an unusual dual-layer EPS foam created using a Schuberth-only process which is said to give it a complex modular structure for better impact absorption.
The interior lining in contact with your head is a very high-tech system rather than just a simple fabric. It is composed of removable and washable Coolmax® padding, Techskin material for where it touches the skin, a variable pad sizing system to improve venting and everything is hypoallergenic and antibacterial. This whole system gives an excellent fit, and it designed to be very comfortable on long excursions.
The C3 uses a European-style ratcheting fastener, which can take some getting used to if you have been wearing helmets without it. Venting of this helmet is helped with an innovative chin and neck curtain; this takes away the normal flow of air up into the helmet from under the chin bar causing positive pressure, thus allowing the chin and top vents to flow more air. The included faceshield is almost optically perfect and comes with a pinlock anti-fog insert which works wonderfully well in all conditions (why hasn’t the entire industry adopted this?).
The flip-up visor system is built to last a very long time and allows the front of the helmet to be pushed up 180 degrees for the ultimate in openness. The C3 also contains an internal sliding sun visor eliminating the need for a second, tinted shield. It is DOT (US only) and ECE-R 22.05 certified and has numerous other safety features not listed here. The manual for this helmet is worth a read if just to learn the many, almost secret, novel innovations included with the C3.
One of the major problems – perhaps the only one - with the Schuberth C3, though, is its price. The suggested retail is US$699 (£499 in the U.K. or €590 for Europe), so it does cost more than many of the models in its class. However, you do get what you pay for and more. With the Schubert C3 motorcycle lid, you have a top of class – and award-winning - helmet with the versatility of a flip-up and the quiet and safety of a full-face model. If the BMW Riders Association gives it its best marks, you can bet that you will love it.