published at 10.02.2015, 10:18
Rider equipment

GS helmet – tested in the toughest terrain

At the autumn international motorcycle shows, BMW Motorrad introduced its new lightweight GS helmet, specifically designed for sports riding and featuring high-tech materials that make it extremely safe and robust, yet comfortable. Developed with off-road and adventure travel in mind, the helmet has already seen action in this year’s Dakar Rally, as it was the preferred choice of father and son pairing Simon and Llewelyn Pavey.

Few would argue with the fact that the Dakar is the toughest race in the world, and this year’s event through Argentina, Chile and Bolivia certainly lived up to its reputation, with many competitors saying it was their hardest yet. Trusting his head protection – and that of his son’s – to BMW Motorrad’s new GS helmet was a ‘no-brainer’ for Si Pavey, who makes his living introducing GS riders to the joys of off-road motorcycling as chief instructor of the BMW Off-Road School in the UK.

The new GS helmet has all the features that are important for off-road riders, such as a shell made of 100% carbon-fibre-reinforced plastic, which provides excellent impact absorption and keeps down weight (the GS helmet weighs in at just 1,450 grams). A shock-absorbing inner shell comprises five sections of varying density for optimal safety, while 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.

The GS helmet is equipped as standard with a 3D-curved double glazed anti-fogging inner visor. The outer visor has a scratch-proof coating on both sides. The visor can be easily removed and replaced without the need for tools. Alternatively, riders can instead remove the visor and opt for the matching goggles for the ultimate in off-road usability.

For maximum air flow when riding off-road, the chin flap is removable, and the integrated screen then provides protection against foreign objects and also acts as a dust filter. The aerodynamic, wind tunnel-developed peak is removable too, while the head and chin pads are removable and washable – allowing sweat, mud and dust to be simply washed away.

Over two weeks and thousands of South American kilometres in often atrocious conditions, Dakar 2015 tested the Paveys and their GS helmets to the limit. Fortunately, both father and son made it to the finish line – making Dakar history in the process. Speaking after the Rally, Simon has this to say about their experience of the latest BMW GS enduro helmets.

“They truly were fantastic in all conditions and we should know – we had temperatures from minus 9 to over 50 degrees Celsius,” he said. “The comfort and fit was really good for both of us. The liner and the liner material are quite different to other off-road helmets but it really works. Ventilation throughout the helmet and breathability around the mouthpiece is really good. The vent closures are both nice and easy to use.

“The aerodynamics are really great – even at 165 km/h off-road – and all visor and clip-in parts were great on the long cold liaisons. The visor mechanism itself works really well, has good peak clearance when open and closes easily and positively. All the adventure helmet features are nicely thought out too, such as the mouthpiece clip, the chin-piece and the visor. 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. I've truly never had a helmet that worked for both until now.”

The GS helmet also comes with provision for the integration of the BMW Motorrad communication system, and as a further safety feature is combinable with the BMW Motorrad neck brace system. Simon was wearing the GS helmet in the ‘One World’ trim, while Llewelyn used one with the ‘Comp’ design. The helmet is also available in ‘Xplore’, ‘Light White’ and ‘Black Matt’ colour schemes, in sizes 52/53 to 62/63. GS enduro goggles, with rugged off-road styling, can also be matched to the GS helmet.