Schuberth is well-known for their high-end modular helmets, and the E1 is their adventure-centric flip-up lid, sporting a cleverly adjustable peak and wide eye port. The chinbar nestles cleanly into the peak when up, and that peak is aerodynamic enough to be surprisingly unbothered by even the most annoying of Bay Bridge crosswinds.
There’s a smooth-operating dropdown sun shield inside that is easily deployed with gloved fingers, and the face shield offers lift points on both sides. This is one of those little features I didn’t really know I was missing, but never want to live without now that I know the joy of opening my face shield at a stop light with my right hand, while holding the clutch with my left.
The environment inside the E1 is comfortable. Moisture wicking Coolmax fabric lining lives up to its name, and the helmet’s off-road bias means it’s one of the best-ventilated full-faces I’ve ever worn. The chin vent is as effective as those on my dirt lids, but I can close it!
Optics are another area where the E1 really shines. I’ve had many otherwise-fine helmets that had optical distortion in my field of vision. This is often particularly noticeable with drop-down sun shields. The Schuberth’s optics, however, are crystal clear, and the anti-fog insert proved effective even in the torrential downpours we recently experienced here in The Bay.
I do have a couple of complaints. First, attaching a “universal” clamp-on communicator proved to be a bit difficult. Schuberth offers a Sena-built, helmet-specific intercom that fits in to the neck roll area, and that seems to be the way to go.
Second, putting the helmet on and taking it off requires opening the chinbar for me. I may have a fatter head than some, but the area between my chin and the bar is a tight and interferes with my Surj-inspired mini-beard a little bit.
Schuberth touts their helmets as some of the safest because of their multiple size-specific shells and high-quality construction. We’ve all read the available data—or should have—and the industry standards are certainly a reasonable starting point.
But beyond safety, the E1’s premium price brings many other things to the table. The removable, washable liner is one of the standouts but the EPS foam underneath that liner has a microfiber-like material covering it too. Not that my head makes contact with it under normal circumstances—but the finished surface is a nice touch that sets the Schuberth apart. Similarly, the mechanism and detents for both the face shield and chinbar feel substantial and give the impression of positive connectivity when closed, unlike the sketchy feel of some cheaper modulars. The vents are highly effective without the usual wind noise penalties—the E1 is quiet enough that one could almost not wear earplugs for anything short of sustained freeway use or bikes with a lot of buffeting from the windshield. Even on a naked, it manages to perform quietly and comfortably.
I’ve seen a few E1s on sale for $550 to $650, but even at that discounted price, the DOT and ECE-approved E1 is well into premium territory. It sports top-quality materials, flawless fit and finish, and is one of the best-feeling helmets I’ve worn lately.
$749 to $849. Learn more and get your own at Schuberth.com.
This story originally appeared in our June 2018 issue.