I ‘ve only had the helmet a few months, but in that time I’ve ridden across the width of the UK, enjoyed an off road weekend in Wales, competed in a sprint race, and spent two weeks riding Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way. Here are my thoughts.
Fit and build
The first thing that struck me out of the box on the E1 was it’s shape. I’d previously owned a HJC RPHA Max, compared to that the Schuberth wider and rounder with softer less aggressive styling.
The helmet is basically a C3 pro with some tweaks for adventure riding. The fit is identical i.e. an intermediate oval. Note, this is very different from the fit of the regular C3. Having already tried the C3 pro on in store there no surprises in this department.
I wear a small, which I believe shares the same shell as the medium. This means that the padding is nice and plush since there is more of it, but with just two shell sizes to cover the entire range the E1 is probably a little bulkier than it needs to be for my size. It’s certainly larger externally than my old Arai Condor.
Visor and peak
What sets the E1 apart from the C3 pro is the removable peak. Something adventure riders have been asking for a while now. While the peak on the E1 might not extend as far forward as more dedicated off road motorcycle helmets, it makes up for that in it’s adjustability. There are three distinct positions to cover all angles of sun, each position locks in place using two levers on the side of the helmet. Its party trick though is that the visor returns to it’s locked position even after the helmet is flipped.
With the helmet on I was immediately impressed with the optical clarity of the visor. It far surpasses anything I’ve encountered before. Of course this is to be expect when a new visor costs close to £100. Unfortunately this clarity doesn’t necessarily mean great vision. The vision is good, don’t get me wrong, but I found that the placement of the included pinlock insert was less than ideal. I’m used to it now, but it did distract me at first.
Wilst on the subject of the visor, let me tell you, this thing is tough. During an off road ride I had the (mis)pleasure of having 3-4cm stones thrown up at my face from the 690 Enduro in front of me. A few of these caught me square in the visor. Of course I never expected it fail, but I was thinking “oh shit, that’s £100 down the drain.” To my surprise, I was unable to find a single mark, or hint of a scratch.
One of the big selling points of the C3/E1 range is the noise, or lack of it. Unless doing short hops about town, I always ride with ear protection, and welcome anything that reduces wind noise further. The C3 pro is rated at 82dB(A) at 100 km per hour. With the new grill style front vent and the visor I was concerned that the E1 wouldn’t be anywhere near as quiet. The lack of any published dB(A) ratings for this helmet only served to deepen that suspicion. In the end I took to the internet to ask Schuberth directly.
Thank you for your e-mail and interest in our products.
Please apologize the late reply.
The noise level of the C3 Pro and E1 are similar about 85 dB, depending on the motorcycle etc.
On the strength of that reply I bought the helmet, and immediately found that it is pretty damn quite, unfortunately I haven’t been able to enjoy its acoustics, due to buffeting from the windscreen of my 950 Adventure. That’s not a helmet problem, that’s a bike problem, and was worse with both my previous helmets. To make a fair comparison against my Aria Condor (with neck curtain), the HJC CL-ST, and HJC RPHA Max Evo, I rode standing up in clean air. The E1 was indeed quieter than the others.
To get the best from the helmet’s design Schuberth recommends adjusting your motorcycle windscreen to direct air to the lower neck area. That should produce the quietest and most comfortable ride, but may not be possible on some bikes.
I wore the helmet for a couple days of off-road riding at the Sweet Lamb rally complex in North Wales, culminating in a big adventure bike sprint race. The removable peak is a big selling point of this helmet, so too the ability to remove the visor and use a set a goggles, but due to the narrow opening, the goggles that are known to fit well are the Scott Hustle goggles. Even then, you’ll find that there’s no goggle strap at the rear to hold them place. That being said, this is an adventure helmet, and not too many are going wear goggles with a flip-up lid in anyhow.
Being a flip style helmet, it’s heavier than a dedicated off road helmet, and the visor is not quite as wide. Again for adventure use (which is what this is designed for) it matters not a jot. I found it comfortable on the trails, and in the race I was limited far more by my ability than I was the helmet, that I didn’t even think about.
Sure, it’s not an off road competition helmet it’s not trying to be, instead it’s a helmet that you can comfortably wear day in day out on tour, and still enjoy on the trails of Wales, Morocco, South America, or wherever else you fancy.
The E1 has a filtered grill vent on the chin, another just below the visor, and yet another on top of the helmet. Unlike Touratech’s version, there are no exhaust vents. On the street, these vents do a good job, but when working hard off road things can get a bit stuffy.
Update: 2023: It’s interesting to see that with the launch of E2 Schuberth have now added exhaust vents.
This stuffiness is due in part to the way to the helmet seals up around the rider’s neck, which is what helps make it so quiet, though there is always some airflow into the helmet even with all vents closed. The manual claims this is prevent carbon dioxide buildup, which makes sense, but at high speed in windy conditions on the road I sometimes find it a little annoying. In fact on cold gusty days I ended up sticking some electrical tape over the permanent vents.
The Schuberth E1 is a new bread of helmet, aimed primarily at ‘adventure’ touring. It’s not quite the first helmet to market in this sector, the Caberg Tourmax wins that race, but the Tourmax is budget-mid price helmet. The E1 takes things to the next level with its premium feel, well thought out design features, and overall quality.
Is it the perfect? Not quite. Three shell sizes would have helped reduce the bulkiness (and weight), the addition of exhaust vents would provide better airflow, and a bigger eye port would be better for goggles. Is it perfect for adventure? It’s not far off, and after a few thousand miles of testing, I can definitely recommend this helmet to for touring on/off road, or for day to day use. I’d give it a 4.5/5.