Four Decades of Safety.
Next year, BMW Motorrad’s first ever helmet turns 40 years old. BMW was the first motorcycle manufacturer to design and create its own helmets. A wide collection of BMW Rider Equipment and BMW Motorrad Motorcycle Accessories are available, offering clothing, luggage and accessories suitable for riders of every model in the BMW Range. So just how far have they come?
BMW Motorrad Helmets
- Pre 1976
- Today's Standards
Early 20th Century Helmets
Previously, motorcycle helmets were often simply the best bit of headwear a rider had lying around, with early adopters wearing flying helmets and cork-lined hats that are comical when viewed with modern eyes.
1976: The 1st Motorcycle Helmet
BMW Motorrad was the first motorcycle manufacturer to produce a helmet in 1976, followed by a full range of protective kit and clothing in 1978. In 1976, Motorrad’s first helmet was recognisably modern, featuring a chin strap, locking visor and ‘full face’ protection.
The System Helmet
The first System helmet – with a flip-up chin visor – was introduced in 1981, with eight successive revisions up to and including the System 6 Evo, which is now BMW Motorrad’s bestseller.
The lightweight, flip-front System 6 was introduced in 2009 and rapidly became BMW Motorrad’s best-selling and most popular helmet. In addition to low weight, despite featuring a flip-down internal sun visor, the System 6 has outstanding aerodynamics and aeroacoustics, ensuring the quietest and most comfortable ride possible. The System 6 Evo has a tougher, even more scratch-resistant sun visor, a more robust visor mechanism enabling operation with gloved hands, improved ventilation control on the chin and a revised spoiler for improved aerodynamics and a smoother ride. Additionally, the Evo comes in a range of all-new colours and designs for a fresh new look. In addition to boasting a minimal weight of 1,570g, the System 6 Evo is one of the quietest flip-fronts on the market – just 84–86 dB(A) at 100 km/h. It features a unique design chin bar pivot which reduces the size of the helmet when the chin bar is in an upright position.
BMW Motorrad’s hugely popular Enduro helmet has been superseded by the all-new for 2015 GS helmet. The GS helmet is lighter, stronger and more comfortable – offering riders the perfect adventure-ready helmet for on- and off-road riding. The GS helmet shell is constructed from of 100% carbon-fibre-reinforced plastic (CFRP). This provides excellent impact absorption and keeps weight down to approximately 1,450g. The shock-absorbing inner shell comprises five sections of varying density for optimal safety. The characteristic BMW integrated neck bands complete the safety concept, keeping the helmet firmly in place and optimally positioned on the head if the worst should come to the worst – a feature offered by very few helmets anywhere in the world. The GS helmet has just been put through the ultimate test, being worn by BMW Off-Road Skills Chief Instructor Simon Pavey and his son Llewellyn during the 2015 Dakar race.
BMW Motorrad Testing
To ensure the best possible products are offered to riders, BMW Motorrad extensively tests helmet aerodynamics and aeroacoustics in a variety of extreme simulated weather conditions including wind, rain and severe temperatures.
WATCH OUR VIDEO TO SEE MORE ABOUT HOW WE DESIGN HELMETS.
2015 Dakar Race
Simon Pavey, Dakar racer and BMW Off-Road Skills Chief Instructor, said: “Both my son Llewellyn and I wore the new GS helmet for this year’s Dakar. It was a bit of a gamble trying an untested product, but comfort and fit was really good for both of us. The liner and padding material is quite different to other off-road helmets but it really works. Ventilation throughout the helmet and breathability around the mouth piece are really good, while the vent closures are both aesthetically pleasing and easy to use. We had temperatures ranging rapidly from as low as −9 to over 50 degrees Celsius, truly demanding for any helmets, and they managed admirably.
“All the GS helmet features are nicely thought out. The chin bar vent clip, the chin piece and the visor are all strong, easy to operate and well situated. The visor mechanism works really well, has good peak clearance when open and closes easily and positively. Much improved. The peak itself is great even at high speed, and didn’t cause any head wobbles even at 165kp/h flat out on the dirt.
“Overall we were really impressed and I am looking forward to spending as many hours as possible with one on my head this year, both racing and adventure riding at the BMW Off-Road Skills school. I’ve truly never had a helmet that worked for both.”