The Schuberth SR1 is amazing. No, really. The first time you try it on, you’ll stop dead in your tracks and reevaluate what you previously considered acceptable in terms of fit and construction. Every line, every pad, every panel and every piece on this helmet has a purpose and every part is perfectly fitted to the next, like the aluminum body panels of an Acura NSX.
In the past, Schuberths were primarily found on the heads of very serious long-distance riders, typically accompanied by a BMW and an Aerostich. Or maybe a mustachioed European traffic cop. While the German company is certainly most well-known for it’s flip-face helmets, it has a long history in auto racing too. Some guy named Michael Schumacher apparently did some F1 racing in one of their helmets. And, when he decided cars were boring, Schuberth worked with him to bring Formula One helmet technology to the bike-buying masses. The result is the SR1.
The shell is a carbon/fiberglass affair that meets both DOT and ECE 22.05 regulations, sidestepping the whole Snell thing. It’s a very light helmet as a result. Not Nexx XR1R Carbon so-light-it’s-frightening light, but still certainly one of the lightest helmets I’ve ever worn.
Vents look fairly standard, but employ some of the largest ports through the shell and EPS I’ve encountered. A robust slider (easily operated in gloves) locks the face shield in place, race-style. An internal toggle allows you to control airflow to your face. The shield uses a minimalist mounting system and is easier to swap than most brands, but still not quite up their with the Shoei system’s easy of use.
Moving to the back of the helmet, you’ll see a rear spoiler that adjusts between two angles of attack, allowing you to tailor aerodynamic stability to your bike’s riding position. Paired rivets affix the patented Anti-Roll-Off straps to the chinstrap, which uses a traditional D-Ring buckle rather than the Schuberth C3’s annoying ratchet. Then there’s the Noise Reduction System, a pair of slots by the ears that can be opened or closed to optimize noise levels. The rear of the shell is also dramatically cut away to ensure the helmet doesn’t interfere with a speed hump in a full tuck. That cutaway is still well below the potential impact line, but visually highlights the racing-specific focus of the SR1.
My favorite feature is the fit. Many helmets claim they’re designed for racing or from track experience, but still make concessions to road comfort and convenience when it comes to fit and shape. Not the SR1. The bottom of the helmet bell is extremely narrow, making it feel like it wants to rip your ears off the first time you try and shove it on your head. The payoff? Once inside, your braincase is held incredibly snugly; it feels like the helmet is bolted to your skull and jaw. There’s zero potential for the thing to move around at high speed. The snug neck roll also helps keep noise down.
For the sake of comparison, when Arai updated its flagship RX-7 to the latest Corsair V, they widened the lower bell of the helmet specifically to make it more convenient to get on and off. A bit odd for a range-topping race helmet. If every racer had to pick a helmet purely on the basis of fit, my guess is every grid in the world would be dominated by Schuberths.
The Schuberth also sits much lower on your head than other helmets, again contributing to the secure feel and balance. That’s because the SR1’s internal shape is very unusual. It’s very tall internally, with a very deep area for the top of your head. The crown shape is neutral, slightly more narrow than round, but the helmet’s depth means that it may rest its edges around your head rather than fully envelope the noggin. This is one helmet that needs to fit you exactly right, try before you buy or order from a retailer with a no-hassle return policy like RevZilla.
Once you get rolling, all the above really pays off. The SR1 is well-balanced and the ventilation very effective. A brow vent would help flow air at low speeds, but again, this is a helmet specifically designed for high speed. It would also detract from the SR1’s other big advantage: noise. Or rather, the lack thereof. With the afformentioned Noise Reduction System slots closed, this is the quietest racing helmet you could ever wear, quieter in fact than most touring lids. As a test, I rode to work without earplugs. I’d still prefer to wear them, but the SR1 was so quiet that I didn’t suffer any noticeable ill effects from 30 minutes at freeway speeds. If I tried that in my Bell Star, I’d be hearing bells for weeks. With the slots open, you have a lot more noise, but you’re also able to hear what’s around you. I suspect this would be great on track, allowing you to keep tabs on anyone that’s trying to pass. The option to chose between the two is clever and unique.
Compared to traditional Japanese benchmarks like the Shoei X-12 and Arai RX-7 Corsair V, the SR1 is right there with them in terms of ventilation and build quality, but surpasses them with race-specific features and that awesome fit. It does, however, lack emergency-release cheek pads. Schuberth remains peerless at noise control.
In fact, my only caveat with the helmet is with fit. That deep interior combined with the very snug neck roll means you need to spend some significant time in a couple different sizes before determining which is right for you. I’ve been working with helmets for over a decade now and I still managed to buy the wrong size on my first attempt. I initially thought a medium was too small and ended up with a large, only to have the helmet resting on the front of my forehead instead of snugly around the crown. The resulting pressure point was unbearable. Once I moved down to a medium, things were much improved. The SR1 is still a tiny bit short front-to-back to be 100 percent ideal for my head shape, but is now comfortable enough to truly enjoy. If you wear an Arai Quantum or Icon Airframe, you are going to love this SR1.
It’s worth calling out Schuberth’s Mobility Program, which offers a 66 percent discount when it comes to replacing a crashed helmet. There’s some hoops to jump through, but it’s a legit program nonetheless.
I won’t pretend $900 is an easy check to write. Even though I exist in the 28 percent tax bracket, I still shell out for top-spec helmets. Like most other HFL contributors, motorcycles are my primary means of transportation, so a truly excellent helmet quickly pays for itself. The SR1 is at least $200 to $250 more than competition from Bell, Arai, AGV and Shoei, offering equivalent ventilation. The Corsair V and Star are probably more comfortable for casual use, but the SR1 earns back its premium thanks to aerodynamic stability, noise control and weight. Yes, the Schuberth SR1 really is worth the $900.