If you were following my posts in the forum site on this website, you would have seen that I was looking to purchase the new BMW System 7 Helmet and Communications System earlier this year.
BMW announced this new system as the evolutionary replacement for the System 6. While it may be ‘evolutionary’ it is their first all carbon fibre based modular helmet and is priced competitively against the Schuberth C4. One interesting feature is the ability to remove the chin guard and transform the helmet into a 3/4 Jet Helmet. This is not something that I have done yet and I’m not sure I would want to. I have become somewhat attached to my chin.
There was a lot of speculation about who was manufacturing this helmet especially given that the System 6 was made by Schuberth. Turns out this is a true BMW helmet from concept to design and from design to manufacturer.
The helmet comes in two shell sizes and has six variable head sizes. BMW is offering both solid based colour options and has three graphic based designs. The helmet was announced in October and only started to ship in July this year. My initial choice was for the flourescent yellow (HI-VIS) option which matches my riding gear but unfortunately it would appear that the graphic versions are delayed until sometime in the fall. Not wanting to wait any further, I opted for my second choice, a solid silver version.
Unboxing and Setup
I wisely left the helmet and its’ accompanying communications system with the dealer to set up. I watched for about an hour while they installed the system. It requires all inner linings and pads to be removed and also requires that the existing tie downs be removed in order to accommodate the installation of the new components. Tools and experience are necessary to do this quickly as one must be familiar with the process. All the components fit neatly in predefined sockets in the helmet. Each component is installed separately with the connecting wiring coming to the main computer module. It too is nicely contained in a protective sleeve and installs tightly in its permanent place inside of the shell. Everything is well protected from the elements.
Design and Fit
Be sure to read the manual! It contains key information on how to operate and take care of your helmet. The visor of course includes an anti-fog pin lock system. The pin lock insert has a noticeable blue colour to it and requires you to remove it from the visor in order to remove a protective covering. The process to remove the visor is simple but requires attention. Also, it is possible to remove the chin guard without tools. I have not yet attempted this.
Setting up the bluetooth pairing options were simple and seamless. For each device pairing, you must put the communications system in pairing mode. Ensure that the helmet communications system is powered on and then simultaneously press the power and volume + button. The green LED will blink twice as fast to indicate that it is now in pairing mode. Ensure your other device is in discovery mode. The helmet will appear as an option and adding it is a breeze. You are able to have up to three bluetooth connections simultaneously with the communications module. Paring with another helmet is considered one connection. In my situation, I have the audio system from my motorcycle, my navigation system and my smartphone. Through some trial and error, I found that the order in which devices are added makes a big difference.
Pair the motorcycle audio system first, then add the navigation unit. Once that is done, you have an A2DP compliant headset that is able to communicate to your motorcycle and the navigation unit. Lastly, pair your smartphone with the navigation unit – not the headset. This added my iPhone to the whole setup and allowed full operation, including control of Siri.
While it is still early, on first use I am quite satisfied with my decision to purchase this unit. This is a high-end helmet that is built with quality and durability. Its’ closest competitor is the Schuberth C4 which apparently is having major issues with manufacturing and shipping. I spoke to a few dealers and saw their frustration and not being able to sell the C4 this season.
Helmets are a very personal choice. For me, I am satisfied. Be sure to try your helmet choices on and ensure that it fits and suits your needs.
Overall Rating: 5/5