When it comes to enjoyment of your motorcycle, other than the actual machine itself, nothing is more important than wearing the right helmet. After all, if it’s too heavy it becomes tiring; if the aerodynamics are poor, it can be extremely noisy; if the ventilation is inefficient, you can suffer from visor misting and be too cold in winter – and also too hot in summer. Fortunately, the latest ‘System’ from BMW Motorrad has been 30 years in the making and as such, is one of the most advanced helmets ever produced.
This sixth generation System helmet is the latest in a long line of motorcycle helmets that can trace its history back to 1981 and the first ‘System’ produced by BMW. During the past three decades, thousands of customers – including many police riders, who have to wear their helmets all day, every day – have discovered the benefits of the BMW flip-front helmet. Over the course of its development, advances in materials technology, crash test data collection and changing consumer requirements have brought about significant innovations in the helmet’s design.
The latest System 6 is one of the quietest flip-fronts on the market and comes with a drop-down, integral sun visor, which is simply activated by a slider on the left side. This was a real wish of many customers, as this quick, effective solution negates the need for sunglasses or having to carry a spare, tinted visor for use in bright conditions.
Furthermore, the standard double visor system is designed to maximise the helmet’s anti-fogging performance, as well as minimise reflection and absorb 99.99 % of UV-A and UV-B radiation. Simply put, your view in front stays clear and consequently safe, whatever the conditions.
Importantly, the System 6 is light, with excellent aero-acoustics, and therefore places less strain on its wearer. In addition to boasting a minimal weight of 1,570g for the smaller shell version (it can be specified in two outer shell sizes), the System 6 is also more compact than its predecessor, thanks to a cleverly designed chin bar pivot which optimises the size of the helmet when the chin bar is in an upright position.
Once you have tried a flip-front helmet, it’s rare that you return to a full-face helmet, as the benefits of this system are numerous. Being able to lift up (rather than have to remove) the helmet to talk to others – for example when paying for fuel at a service station – or being able to eat, drink or smoke without having to unfasten, take off, and then put the helmet on again, are all luxuries that flip-front helmet users enjoy.
Naturally, BMW Motorrad has placed a strong emphasis on safety and the System 6 possesses exceptionally high standards of impact absorption, including an extra neck band to prevent the helmet from twisting on impact, ensuring it remains in the best possible position on the rider's head. Furthermore, during development it was subject to intensive tests to ensure its integrity. The visor, for example, was lifted up and down 25,000 times, while the chin bar mechanism (opened by means of a central button) was tested 10,000 times in order to recreate the everyday strains it was bound to experience in the real world.
The helmet’s interior is made of Alcantara® and breathable DuPont Coolmax®, which is removable and washable, the chin-strap fastens with a push-fit buckle, and there is naturally provision for installation of an in-helmet communications system, such as BMW Motorrad’s Navigator IV.
So, if you want a technically advanced and functional helmet, the System 6 is light, comfortable, aerodynamic and above all safe. After all, it’s been 30 years in the making for your maximum riding fun.
For more information on the System 6 (and other helmets in the range), please click here