Gear Review: Schuberth C5 Modular Motorcycle Helmet

Premium flip-up helmet with integrated communication system

By Tricia Szulewski, Editor

Protecting Your Most Valuable Asset

As a Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) RiderCoach, I talk extensively to new riders about the importance of wearing a quality motorcycle helmet like the Schuberth C5. The leading cause of motorcycle crash deaths is a head injury. So, obviously the best way to protect yourself is by investing in and wearing a quality motorcycle helmet every time you ride. Schuberth is a German brand that has been making premium motorcycle helmets for years, and the first to make a women-specific helmet. It's one of the reasons why we love Schuberth helmets!

schuberth c5
The latest incarnation of Schuberth’s modular line, the C5 is a feature-rich flip-up helmet that offers a host of improvements over the C4.
Schuberth C5 WRN
The C5 is my fourth Schuberth helmet and my new favorite. Its internal sun visor, wind-tunnel-tested aerodynamics, light weight, and low-profile communication system are best in class.
Women Riders Now Editor Tricia Szulewski Klim artemis jacket
Being able to flip up the chin bar on a helmet allows you to easily access a drink, be heard, and just get a little more air in at rest stops without removing the helmet.

What Head Shape Are You?

Generally, there are three head shapes: round oval, intermediate oval, and long oval. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has some good basic information about this here.

Like most Americans, I have an intermediate oval head shape. I’ve been fortunate that in 23 years of reviewing motorcycle helmets, most fit well without uncomfortable hot spots, as long as they are the right size. Most Schuberth helmets are said to fit more rounded head shapes, but the new Schuberth C5 is built with the American intermediate oval head in mind.

A Helmet For Women and Men

WRN features each of Schuberth women’s helmets in its gear reviews section, including the C4 PRO Women. This helmet is designed to get a better fit for many women’s faces which are often narrower in the jawline with higher, more prominent cheekbones than men. With the Schuberth C5, fit for both women and men can be customized with replaceable padding called "individual concept" padding. It comes in various thicknesses for the seven different head and cheek pads, essentially eliminating the need for a women-specific version of the helmet.

Schuberth sport pads
My head circumference measures 22 inches (55.88cm). This size is at the top of Schuberth’s small and at the low end of its medium. So, it’s sort of in-between sizes. The medium fits but “drops” too far on my forehead. Replacing the stock cheek and head pads with the thicker “Sport Pads” provides a customized and much better fit.
schuberth c5 contents
The Schuberth C5 comes with a Pinlock visor for the faceshield that eliminates fogging and a thick helmet bag. The Schuberth SC2 communications system integrates perfectly into this helmet.

Forget About the C4 Pro

Upgrades to the Schuberth C5 from the C4 Pro are extensive and well-worth the extra $100. The Schuberth C5’s all-new fiberglass shell offers improved shock absorption using more fibers in the higher impact areas. Weight is kept low by using fewer fibers in low impact zones.

Can Am Spyder Limited
Testing the Schuberth C5 on a number of different motorcycles, including the Can-Am Spyder Limited reviewed here, I’m impressed with its light weight, aerodynamics, and comfort features that keep me riding all day long with no fatigue.

Comfort Improvements in the Schuberth C5

Comfort improvements include the aforementioned “individual concept” padding, a less-constricting chin strap position, lighter weight, and improved ventilation. A new “memory” function holds the visor in position when you lift and close the chin bar. Safety features include Schuberth’s patented Anti Roll-Off System and an improved field of vision.

Schuberth C5 pads
The optional pads are available in Sport (far left) or Comfort (far right) options. You can see from this photo the difference in thickness. The stock pads are in the middle. The cheek pads ($59) are sold separately from head pads ($35) so you can get a perfect fit for your particular head shape.
Schuberth C5 pads
Sometimes removing and replacing pads from helmets can be really difficult, but Schuberth makes it simple to figure out where each pad goes and the snaps are easy to use.

Light and Comfy

Comfortable, cool, quiet, and lightweight describes the Schuberth C5 well. I am always a little leery with modular helmets, as their extra parts usually mean extra weight. But the C5’s 3.92 pounds (for S – L sizes) is on par with most premium full face helmets. And this weight also includes the built-in speakers, wiring and antennae for the SC2 communication system.

Schuberth ratchet retention system
Schuberth helmets utilize a convenient ratchet retention system. Once you adjust the strap to the correct tightness, the ratchet closure means it only takes a second to secure the helmet.

I'm a huge fan of Schuberth’s full coverage sun visor, included on the C5. The slider to manipulate the visor is easy to find and use quickly. It’s on the lower left edge of the helmet, which means no obstructing your view when sliding it.

Schuberth SC2 Comm System

The Schuberth SC2 communication system adds an additional $349, about the price of SENA’s 50S which this system is based on. It can be paired with up to three Schuberth headsets via Bluetooth as well as a smartphone, GPS, MP3 player, and the SENA SR10. I was also able to connect the SC2 to my older Sena 20S.

The SC2 also utilizes the mesh intercom system, allowing you to make up to 9 groups and have seemingly unlimited riders connected. Connecting via mesh is so much easier than the old days of connecting via Bluetooth. Open mesh means that you just push one button, and anyone else doing the same will be connected. So simple! In addition, there’s a free app that makes it even easier to create and organize your groups as well as control some settings.

Installing the SC2

Schuberth SC2
The plug and play SC2 comm system is based on SENA’s 50S. HD speakers, mesh, FM radio, and Bluetooth antennas are pre-installed in the Schuberth C5 helmet shell. An upgrade from the C4, if you already have a comm system and want to replace the C5 preinstalled speakers, you can unplug and remove them.
SC2 communication system
The SC2 takes just a few minutes to install, and because of its small size doesn’t cause extra wind drag or safety issues. The SC2 costs an additional $349. And can be paired with other SENA systems.
Schuberth C5 SC2 microphone
The boom microphone simply plugs into a prewired position—easiest installation ever!

To use the SC2, you turn on the main unit in the back, then press the “up” button on the side “remote” unit to connect them. The remote is small and offers good tactile feel to find and use the buttons with gloved hands. It uses a non-rechargeable battery but Schuberth includes a spare which you’ll want to carry with you.

Schuberth SC2 charging
The main unit charges with the provided USB-C cable and it takes about 2.5 hours for a complete charge.

The functionality of the SC2 is top-notch, and the sound quality is on par with similar systems. I always want just a little more volume on every comm system, and the SC2 is no different. But my favorite feature is called audio multitasking, which allows you to listen to your music until someone on the intercom speaks.

Ordering Info

The Schuberth C5 comes in 6 solid colors for $749 and 2 graphics with 8 color combinations for $849. There are two shell sizes, one for sizes S – L, and another for XL – XXXL. The SC2 costs an additional $349.

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