Schuberth’s new C5 is big news for the German company after their C4 and C4 Pro were a bit of a flop.
It’s also the first flipfront helmet to hit the market that meets the latest ECE 22.06 safety standard, which is tougher than the current ECE 22.05 regulation.
I’ve worn a C5 for just over 600 miles now and have found it to be a very impressive helmet, though I do have one reservation that will apply for riders who want a helmet for all-year, all-weather riding.
The most stand-out feature for me is the ventilation set-up, which is the most impressive I can remember of all the helmets I have worn over the last 21 years.
Seeing as I’ve worn and reviewed 50 helmets in the last two years alone, I think that says Schuberth have got it right with the vents.
There are two vents on the chin. The upper of those two is the visor vent, which draws air onto the inner surface of the visor to help it stay mist-free.
The lower is a slider that allows air to flow through to the area around the mouth. The effect of this one was very noticeable for me when riding my Yamaha FZ-1 Fazer with its regular-height screen.
When I switched to the Suzuki V-Strom 1050 and its taller adventure-style screen there was less air reaching that area so the effect was reduced, but it still allowed a flow of air.
Photography: Joel Blevins
The best vent of all, however, is the one on top of the helmet. On either of the bikes I rode it flowed air at a very noticeable rate.
The interior also meant that air was able to circulate down either side of my head, giving a real cooling effect.
I carried out this review in December and January, in some very cold conditions, and that’s ideal for testing whether vents work well, as the colder air is more noticeable.
The chinbar lifting mechanism is revamped heavily from previous Schuberths and unlike its predecessors this one is dual-homologated, so you can legally ride with the chinbar locked into the open position.
The locking switch is on the left-hand side of the helmet. It’s a bit fiddly to locate while riding along, but it’s possible.
The C5 also does some clever magic with the visor when you lift the chinbar. It remembers where the visor was when you lifted the chinbar, and it restores it to the same amount of opening when you lower the chinbar again. It’s impressive stuff.
The visor itself is all new and it’s impressive in the amount of peripheral vision it offers. Both vertically and laterally it offers a great view of the surroundings.
It’s easy to change, using the same simple and quick method employed on the firm’s C3 Pro.
The rain seal is very effective, which addresses one of the criticisms of the preceding Schuberths, and there’s a Pinlock 120 insert, the highest grade available. This latter point also corrects one of the issues with previous Schuberths - use of lower-grade anti-mist inserts.
Here comes that reservation I mentioned earlier… in my experience, in cold and wet conditions I suffered a high degree of moisture build-up on the inside of the visor.
After an hour or so of riding this moisture build-up overpowered the Pinlock and crept over the seal to hinder my vision.
I don’t believe it’s water getting in from the outside - I tested the seal by pouring water over the lid and it held firm. Instead, I think the seal is so effective that’s it’s preventing moisture in my breath from escaping, which creates a lot of condensation.
If you don’t ride through winter or in stinky weather then you’re unlikely to have a problem - but for those who use their lid daily in all weathers then you may suffer a similar issue.
The sun visor behind the main one is very effective - well tinted and with plenty of depth of coverage. If you don’t want that depth of coverage then there’s a small tab on the operating switch that can be used to limit the sun visor’s range of travel.
Schuberth don’t treat their sun visors with anti-fog coating, saying it interferes with the optical clarity offered by the visors.
Again, I think it’ll be a matter of your usage that decides whether that’s an issue. I spent quite a lot of time with the main visor slightly open to try and clear a misted sun visor. If you ride mostly in good weather and not much in damp air then it won’t be an issue for you.
On the inside you’ll see the evidence of a lot of work by Schuberth to make the fit as versatile as possible.
Most of us are used to the idea with high-end helmets that fitting different thicknesses of comfort liner can tweak the fit to suit the rider’s head.
It’s similar with the C5, but it’s been moved on a stage as the comfort liner is made up of seven parts. As well as two cheekpads, the headliner is made up of five pieces - top, front, back and two sides.
Schuberth say that by fitting different thicknesses in these areas, it’s not just possible to alter the size of the helmet slightly but to tweak the internal shape to suit people who would otherwise find the C5 uncomfortable.
I was lucky and the size medium C5 fitted me perfectly well straight out of its navy blue drawstring bag, so there was no need to swap out any pads in the hunt for a good fit. If you do need to go down this route, there’s an extra cost associated with the replacement pads.
Comfort-wise, the interior is very pleasant. It doesn’t have the brushed fabric that makes the C3 Pro feel so luxurious, but it feels comfortable against the skin.
Schuberth have kept the anti-roll-off strap system they’ve employed for years, which improves safety.
Two straps attach inside the rear of the helmet and extend forward to the chinstrap, which is fastened with a micrometric buckle. This makes the helmet far less likely to roll forward and come off your head in an accident.
All of this makes the C5 lining harder to remove and/or refit, but that is one of the prices you pay for an innovative design like this.
On the subject of safety, I’d argue this is the most protective Schuberth yet. Their record in the UK Government’s SHARP tests is best described as average and SHARP includes many of the tests that are now in ECE 22.06, which this lid meets.
It’s bigger and at 1682 grams for our size medium it’s 11% heavier than the C3 Pro (1509 grams).
There’s more meat on the C5 and if SHARP ever gets around to testing one then I’ll be staggered if it doesn’t beat the C3 Pro’s three-star rating.
That weight isn’t all down to the extra material around the helmet, though - the C5 comes with half of an intercom in it already.
The speakers and antennae are pre-installed, and Schuberth have thought hard about how the official comms system will integrate.
Hatches at the rear and left side pop open to house the battery and control unit respectively and the microphone plugs into a socket tucked into the leading edge of the helmet portion, by the left cheek.
This is good news for those happy to stump for the high-grade official intercom (£350 at the time of launch) as everything should work very neatly and seamlessly.
It’s less good, however, for people who are happy with their current comms system and would like to transfer it to the C5.
I’ve seen some people manage to fit universal intercoms and it’ll be easier to fit Sena than Cardo (the plugs on the pre-installed speakers will fit Sena units), but either way you’ve got to stick the external module over a mounting hatch designed for another unit.
So, overall Schuberth have got a lot right with the new C5.
If you ride in mostly favourable weather conditions and don’t have a comms system you want to transfer over, the C5 answers all the questions that were asked of them.
It’s well constructed, gives great vision and ventilation and has the confidence-inspiring ECE 22.06 safety pass.
In perfect conditions it’s great - peripheral vision is excellent. When it got damp the sun visor misted up for me, and I had a problem with condensation on the main visor (see review, above)
I can’t criticise this at all as the air intakes do an excellent job of drawing in cooling air.
Fit & Comfort
It suited my round head shape very well, and there’s the option to alter the padding and make more significant alterations to the fit than on any other current helmet.
This is excellent, with a high standard of materials and workmanship throughout. The safety pass for ECE 22.06 is a real plus point too.
Another area where there’s little room for complaint. I would like an anti-fog coating on the sun visor, but that’s a personal thing.