Schuberth R2 helmet review

Review
Schuberth R2 helmet review

Overall SBS Rating 76 /100
Reviewed by: Tony Hoare
 WILL BRODIE
Review Conditions
Mileage
2500
Seasons
Summer
Motorcycle
Suzuki V-Strom 1000

The Schuberth R2 is a slight muddle of a lid. After 2500 miles with it I couldn’t quite work out what it was for – other than the obvious purpose of protecting my head.

Is it a sports helmet? The fact much of the technology required for Schuberth’s SC1 communications system is pre-installed suggests it’s not really for the sports brigade, who are catered for by the firm’s SR-2.

So is it a touring helmet? The D-ring strap fastener and thin comfort padding suggest not, and Schuberth have a wealth of touring options elsewhere in their range.

Maybe it’s a sports-touring helmet? That’s probably the closest to the truth, although the absence of a dropdown sun visor is a major lack for those who want a bit of everything from a lid.

The R2 is the first helmet I’ve tested in a while that doesn’t have an internal sun visor, and it made me return to the days of swapping visors depending on the conditions.

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In many ways I’d call those the good old days, as switching between clear and dark tinted visors is superior in every way to running a sun visor, except one… convenience.

The clarity of vision when looking though just one visor that has every millimeter of its surface area tinted is much better than peering through two visors at the same time. That’s especially so with the quality of visor on the R2, which delivers superb optical quality.

The downside is the amount of switching required, however easy the Schuberth visor mounting system makes it to swap. It also takes away the flexibility to flip the tinted visor up or down while on the move, which is especially handy when touring. On top of that, there’s the extra cost of a dark visor (£70.99 at the time of this review, though it does come in a classy pouch to protect it while lurking in a rucksack).

If you want to save the extra hassle of swapping the anti-mist insert each time then there’s even more cost associated with buying a second one of those (£29.99 at the time of writing).

While we’re on that subject the R2 I tested came with a Skipfog anti-mist insert, an inferior alternative to Pinlock.

Where Pinlock uses a silicone bead to seal against the visor’s inner surface, Skipfog relies on a raised ‘ledge’ of plastic. In my experience it’s not as effective as Pinlock and I feel Schuberth would make the right call by reverting to Pinlock.

If the R2 has sports-touring pretensions than the other element where it falls down is its internal lining.

In the size large I tested, the thin lining was more akin to the chair in a doctor’s waiting room than your favourite armchair. While that’ll present no problem if the shape of the EPS liner is well matched to your head, it makes the R2 less accommodating for different shapes of skull.

It didn’t suit my long, square head all that well, and the lack of soft padding to envelope my bonce meant comfort was compromised, though still acceptable.

Perhaps the clue to the R2’s purpose is in the first initial of its name – it’s a road helmet. A sportyish road helmet for people who don’t spend much time on tracks or tours.

For those who are happy to change a visor, or spend all their time riding in daylight and good weather, and have the right head shape, the Schuberth R2 is a classy option that’s well specced.

But I can’t help feeling that many riders will want a greater degree of flexibility from their helmet than that.

76/100
Road helmet scores
  1. Vision
  2. Ventilation
  3. Fit & Comfort
  4. Build Quality
  5. Features

Features

    1. Composite-fibre shell
    2. Skipfog insert
    3. Removable lining
    4. Emergency cheekpads
    5. Speakers incorporated
    6. Quick-release visor
    7. Chin curtain
    1. Dropdown sun visor
    2. Pinlock insert
    3. Visor locking/holding tab
    4. Breathguard

Vision

15/ 20
The peripheral vision and optical quality are tip-top. The Skipfog anti-mist insert is inferior to Pinlock, though – and the lack of internal sun visor is a miss when riding on longer trips where flexibility comes in handy.

Ventilation

17/ 20
I spent most of my time in the R helmet cocooned behind the screen of a Suzuki V-Strom 1000, which denied it the chance of dragging in cooling air. But when worn on my old Yamaha XJ600S Diversion, the lid was good at bringing in airflow. Both top and chin vents are effective and easy to operate.

Fit & Comfort

14/ 20
I’d describe the fit as narrow and short, which is halfway to suiting my long, narrow head. My size L helmet came with thin padding that didn’t exactly cosset my head and makes it less likely to suit a variety of head shapes. I wear a medium in most brands, but had to go up a size for this helmet.

Build quality

18/ 20
The construction standard is high on the Schuberth, which has a high level of attention to detail. The austere nature of the comfort lining loses it marks, though.

Features

13/ 20
It has luxuries like integrated speakers and antenna for a comms system, but basics like a dropdown sun visor and breathguard are missing, hence the low score.