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Schuberth Concept helmet

When I bought my GSX1400, I also purchased a new helmet. I had already decided what brand I should have. A friendly biker fellow I met on a parking lot in Uppsala let me try on his Schuberth Concept helmet. It fit perfectly! I had been looking for a comfortable flip design helmet and this for me unknown brand - Schuberth - seemed to have a nice model to offer. "Look at this!" the man said and pushed o button on the side of the helmet. A little tainted sun visor popped down inside the regular visor. "Wow!" I said. "Are you happy with your helmet?" I asked the man. "Oh yes. I think it's wonderful. And it wasn't that expensive either" he replied. I liked that.

There were other helmets I tried on as well before I bought a new helmet. There was no hurry, I had my old Gaberg Racer that I got along my old GSX750. But I wasn't quite happy with it. It was light and comfortable but I wanted a helmet that was more quiet and that fitted better. At higher speeds my old helmet moved upwards (and backwards) and I had to hold my mouth wide open to be able hold the helmet on place. I must have looked silly.

I didn't find a quality flip design helmet that I liked and wasn't too expensive. I didn't even want to try on the most expensive helmets. But the cheaper models (like Nolan) felt uncomfortable right away. Oh yes, I found one helmet that felt really comfortable - and it wasn't too expensive either: Roof's Boxer felt really nice but it was quite heavy and it made me look like a Martian. The helmet is round and very large! I considered it a while but decided that I didn't like that.

It took me some time to find a dealer that was selling Schuberth products in Sweden. The shops I visited didn't seem to have heard of the brand. On the Internet I could read that Schuberth had made helmets since the 50's and they made helmets for Formula One drivers and BMW. Many people who had bought a Concept helmet praised the high quality of the product.

When I bought my Suzuki GSX1400 I decided that I would have a new helmet when I fetch my new bike. The Suzuki dealer in Jönköping ordered a jet black Concept helmet for me from the Swedish Schuberth general agent in Gothenburg. They gave me a 10 percent discount from the ordinary price 2998 SEK (about 300 dollars) so I paid about 2700 SEK (270 $) for it. I had spoken with the general agent by the phone to be sure I got the size that fit my head. Size 56-57 (cm) it was, as I had measured the circumference of my head (forehead). I bought my bike without trying it first, at least I had tried the helmet on a parking lot in Uppsala...

I found out that the helmet fit me perfectly. The aerodynamics of the Concept helmet is very good, too. Regardless speed, the helmet stays where it should and I could forget driving with an wide open mouth to keep the helmet on my head.

The visor opening is very large. It felt almost that I didn't use a helmet at all. I could see at all directions. Excellent. And the tinted extra visor in the inside of the transparent visor worked very well, too. There was plenty of room for glasses even behind the sun visor.

The fact that I use glasses when I ride a bike was one of the reasons I wanted to buy a flip design helmet. With my old integral helmet I had to take my glasses off first before I put on (or take off) the helmet. Sometimes I forgot it and the glasses ended up somewhere on the ground - or it was simply painful. I'm also a smoker. You can't smoke with your helmet on - unless it's a flip design. You just open the jaw section and light a cigarette. In red lights if you wish...

The ventilation is great. There's two different ventilation holes, on the front of the chin section and on the top of the head. You can choose if you want the fresh air come to your chins, directly on your mouth or/and from the sides of your eyes. The visor is also adjustable (it took me a while to find out) - normally there's a small slit between the visor and the helmet, it lets some additional air to flow inside the visor. When you push the visor towards your head, the slit will be closed. There's a rubber sealing that makes the visor more or less airtight.

Although I bought my helmet so late in the autumn I haven't tried it on very warm days. I don't think there will be any troubles though. The ventilation is good enough for the Swedish climate anyway. But I have used it on cold days and nights. No problems. When you shut off the ventilation and the visor the helmet is quite warm. There's no air leaks from underneath either. There's foam sealings around the whole head. Great!

I told you that the helmet was almost airtight. But not quite. I have to say that the helmet is quite noisy. It would be very quiet if there weren't a "leak" somewhere on the left side, around the jaw section lock somewhere - perhaps the small gap between the upper and lower rubber sealing under the visor makes the noise. The noise starts at quite low speeds - 40 km/h (20 mph) and is getting louder when increasing the speed. It's quite irritating. I don't know if there is any really quiet helmets on the market, I haven't owned any. The Schuberth Concept is much more quiet than my previous helmet.

I sent an e-mail to the manufacturer in Germany to find out if there's any way of making the "leaking" noise to go away.

...and the manufacturer replied my e-mail:

"We are very sorry to hear about your problems with the Concept, creating wind noise. We suggest that you send the helmet to our service and repair department and we will check the closing mechanism, maybe there is a little too much space on the left side. Also we will check the visor adjustment device. We hope that this will solve your problem."

"Unluckily there is no repair service shop in Sweden, this kind of check and repair can only be done here. Of course we will cover the freight costs for the Post."

So there's maybe hope for me to get a silent helmet after all. The Schuberth Helme GmbH in Germany thinks there might be a problem with my example. Still I'm not sure if I want to send the helmet all the way to Germany. I will tell you if I manage to get rid of the wind noise somehow.

In my opinion the Schuberth Concept helmet is a wonderful product in every way, except for the noise. I think is beautiful, practical and very comfortable - although my brother didn't like it all. He liked his cheap AGF helmet better. Well, you have to try it before you buy it. Buying a helmet is like buying shoes. Thousands of people may think one particular model is wonderful - but you may hate it. The important thing is that you find a pair that you are comfortable with.

I'm comfortable with my helmet. Regardless the noise (I could always buy earplugs...).

Jarmo Haapamäki 2001-10-09

Second opinion: I found a great page on the Internet where several reviews of the Schuberth Concept helmet can be found at http://www.bikergirl.net/products/schuberth.html

The image: A blue Schuberth Concept helmet. Click the image for larger format.

More: Carrying luggage with Suzuki GSX1400

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