The BMW Motorrad principle Safety 360: Rider equipment


The BMW Motorrad principle Safety 360: Rider equipment

Safety as a matter of principle – perfect protection from hazards, wind and weather. BMW Motorrad is the only motorcycle manufacturer to develop an entire range of rider equipment and has done so since the 1970s – from motorcycle helmets to rider suits, boots and gloves. From the very outset, engineers and designers have set […]

Safety as a matter of principle – perfect protection from hazards, wind and weather.

BMW Motorrad is the only motorcycle manufacturer to develop an entire range of rider equipment and has done so since the 1970s – from motorcycle helmets to rider suits, boots and gloves. From the very outset, engineers and designers have set high standards when it comes to safety. The aim to this day is to provide maximum protection combined with a high level of wear comfort and excellent performance.

BMW Helmets

The BMW Motorrad System helmets with folding chin section set the benchmark in the motorcycling world from the very beginning. The last few decades have seen ongoing development towards today’s fully-fledged range of clothing and riding equipment at the high level of quality and performance that is characteristic of BMW Motorrad.


Motorcycling is all in the head – BMW Motorrad helmets for optimum protection and functionality.

Today, BMW Motorrad helmets not only meet the regular ECE norm 22-05, they surpass it significantly in many aspects. All BMW Motorrad helmets have an EPS inner shell made of foamed polystyrene with varying material densities. The result is optimum impact absorption in the areas of the chin, forehead, crown, back of the head and cheeks. BMW Motorrad helmets can be adapted to individual ergonomic needs by means of various cheek and neck pads. The System 6 helmet is available in sizes 48/49 to 64/65.

BMW Motorrad helmets have an effective system of negative pressure ventilation. The so-called “AirFlow” system was used for the first time in the BMW Motorrad helmet of the same name – the first of its kind in the world. The current AirFlow2 helmet has two additional large ventilation zones so as to direct maximum airstream volume into the helmet. This ensures the rider always keeps a cool head.

In the helmet area, BMW Motorrad provides various solutions to match differing purposes. Comfort-oriented motorcyclists will find an integrated sun visor to reduce dazzle in the folding System 6 helmet, for example.

In order to provide the best possible protection, all BMW Motorrad helmets have an additional neck strap which keeps the helmet securely in place even in the case of a collision. Depending on their purpose, helmets are fitted with an easy-to-use ratchet fastener or else the double D fastener popular with sports riders.

The weight of a helmet has a major impact in terms of the physical strain experienced by the rider, especially in the area of the neck muscles, so every gram of weight reduction increases riding pleasure. In spite of its sophisticated chin section mechanism, GRP helmet shell, integrated sun visor and dual visor as standard, the BMW System 6 helmet weighs no more than approx 1,570 grams (size 58/59), the Sport helmet weighs just 1,380 grams and the Enduro Carbon helmet, one of the lightest of its kind in the world, boasts a weight of little more than 1,100 grams. The main reason for this is the use of light, highly rigid carbon fibre laminate for the helmet shell.

The helmet’s aerodynamic qualities are another comfort feature which enhance rider concentration. BMW Motorrad has its own wind tunnel, enabling helmets to be tested under reproducible conditions during development, thereby achieving optimum aerodynamic and aeroacoustic performance. This is why BMW Motorrad helmets are among the quietest in their class, offering extra ride comfort and therefore improved concentration and safety while motorcycling.

Helmet safety also means ensuring optimum visibility for the rider in all conditions. For this reason, BMW Motorrad helmets without dual visor have an anti-scratch and anti-fog coating. The anti-scratch coating makes the visor surface resilient to scratches which can impair visibility – especially when riding at night or in the rain. The anti-fog coating stops the visor from fogging over in damp climatic conditions. Outstanding helmets in this area are the BMW Motorrad System 6 helmet, the Sport helmet and the DoubleR helmet, which are even fitted as standard with a dual visor. The latter offer the best anti-fog properties currently technologically feasible.

BMW Motorrad


Safely dressed in all weathers – innovative textile rider clothing by BMW Motorrad.

There is no such thing as bad weather when it comes to motorcycling – only the wrong clothing to suit the purpose. This philosophy, common among motorcyclists, has been part of the BMW Motorrad program for decades in the development of rider suits, jackets and trousers. It is embodied in the company’s very own seal of quality – C.A.R.E. by BMW Motorrad.

C.A.R.E. stands for “Concept of Advanced Rider Equipment” and reflects BMW Motorrad’s constant endeavour in research, development and the testing of materials and products to find the appropriate solution for the
wide-ranging demands made of motorcycle clothing.

BMW Motorrad all-weather suits such as the TourShell are not just designed to be wind and waterproof with the use of high-tech materials, they also provide additional active breathing due to the C.A.R.E. climate membrane. The outer material is a highly abrasion-resistant material made of polyamide and spandex consisting of a triple-layer laminate. This laminate design prevents the upper material from absorbing too much water and increasing the weight of the suit. At the same time, the spandex element keeps the tissue elastic so that the suit can adapt to the rider’s movements. This is also supported by stretch inserts at the shoulders (men) and hips (women). As a result, the rider benefits from excellent wear comfort and can focus entirely on motorcycling – in all weathers and riding conditions.

Flexible, removable NP protectors with excellent damping properties developed by BMW Motorrad are applied at points which are at particular risk in the event of a fall, such as the back, shoulders, elbows, hip and knees. These fit snugly around the respective body parts so as to provide the best possible wear comfort, too. In the knee area, the protectors can also be adjusted to three different levels so that every motorcyclist can find the perfect fit. The cuff bands, collar and waistband are also adjustable to meet individual needs. Here, an elasticised Velcro fastener with a large adjustment range provides much improved comfort as compared to the conventional Velcro fasteners used previously.

A removable, quilted thermal inner jacket fulfils the particular demands of an all-weather motorcycle suit. With its efficient thermal insulation and integrated cuff sheaths, if offers excellent protection from the cold: by ensuring the rider’s well-being, this supports concentration on the road. If it is still too hot in the summer in spite of having removed the inner jacket, it is possible to make use of the effective zip vents at the side of the chest area.

Only the very highest quality materials are developed and used in the manufacture of BMW Motorrad rider equipment products. The upper materials – in particular terms of abrasion resilience – are a key factor since they are so important for safety. A computer-supported test facility is used for development purposes to simulate realistic conditions which indicate precisely what happens to the clothing on contact with the road.

This development process has led to the creation of such fabrics as the extreme protective textile Schoeller Keproshield especially for motorcycle suits – the result of collaboration with textile specialist Schoeller. Keproshield is made of Kevlar (aramid), cotton and polyamide, thereby constituting the upper material. The three layers are merged with the so-called c_change membrane and a light knitted yarn. The use of this material results in an improvement in tear resistance, tear propagation strength and frictional heat resilience of approximately 20 per cent. What is more, the reduced weight makes for a significant enhancement in terms of wear comfort.

The above-mentioned c_change membrane adapts its pore size to the outside temperature, regulating the level of active breathing required of the clothing. Nature itself is the role model here. c_change membrane “breathes” in high temperatures and insulates in the cold, rather like the principle of a fir cone whose scales open in warm weather and close in cold weather. What is more, this “intelligent” membrane is designed to be permanently wind and weatherproof. It is flexible, providing an excellent basis for an entirely elastic upper material so as to ensure even greater wear comfort.

The so-called coldblack® feature in dark suits achieves effective heat management. coldblack® reflects both the visible and the invisible component of solar radiation – this means that not only light is reflected but the heat, too. In this way the textiles stay cool for longer, increasing wear comfort and thereby tangibly enhancing the rider’s concentration and safety.

Athletic and safe – BMW Motorrad leather motorcycle clothing.

To this day, leather clothing is regarded as cult among motorcyclists and BMW Motorrad addresses this desire on the part of the fan community by offering a broad and highly innovative range of one-piece and
two-piece items.

Close-fitting leather suits in highly abrasion-resistant kangaroo leather, up to approx. 1 millimetre thick, and in cowhide nappa leather, approx. 1.2 thick, offer maximum safety in the area of sports and supersports.

Safety is reflected here not just in the choice of material, however, but also in the manufacturing process. It takes as many as 130 production stages and 120 individual parts made of leather, stretch fabric and reflective material as well as zips and snap fasteners to make a single leather suit. This includes stretch inserts in leather, Kevlarstretch or Aramidstretch for a high level of wear comfort and pre-shaped sleeves and knee sections for a perfect fit on the motorcycle.

The BMW Motorrad leather suits DoubleR and Sport also feature the TFL Cool System. Dark leather with this system reflects the rays of the sun just as a light-coloured material would. A special water-repellent treatment prepares the material for motorcycling in the rain. So-called hydrophobisation only creates a protective layer around the fibres of the leather, while the leather pores remain open. This retains maximum active breathing.

NP protectors – removable at the back and hip, permanently sewn in at the shoulders, elbows and knees, and retrofittable at the tailbone – are developed in collaboration with biomechanics, specialised doctors and accident researchers to provide protection in customary BMW Motorrad quality. Safety optimisation is founded off with INOX stainless steel sliders injected in plastic. In addition to NP protectors, the supersports leather suits also have a back hump with a zip to integrate the so-called BMW Motorrad Neck Brace System.

Neck Brace System.

Protection for the front and rear neck area -the BMW Motorrad Neck Brace System.

As the world’s leading motorcycle manufacturer for innovative safety systems, BMW Motorrad presented the Neck Brace System in 2006.

At this time, helmet and body protectors had already become firmly established in motorcycling. However, the sensitive neck area was still vulnerable.

In collaboration with KTM and team of specialists made up of accident researchers, biomechanics, accident surgeons and not least the inventor of the system, South African medical consultant Dr. Chris Leatt, BMW Motorrad was actively involved in advancing the development of neck protection. The aim was to reduce the risk of injury to the neck, cervical spine and collarbone in the case of a severe fall.

The Neck Brace System is a light construction made of carbon, Kevlar and glass fibre reinforced plastic which is partly coated with a soft, impact-absorbing and skin-friendly foam layer. The system is placed around the neck like a collar. Two quick-release fasteners at the sides enable simple handling. The Neck Brace System does not create a static connection between the helmet and shoulders but sits on the torso so as to preserve freedom of movement.

Boots and gloves.

Not just made for walking – BMW Motorrad boots.

The innovations and functional detail solutions to be found in all
BMW Motorrad products are developed by an experienced team of specialists – people who know from experience what motorcyclists expect of their clothing. Motorcyclists’ extremities are especially at risk of injury. This is why BMW Motorrad addresses these risks with innovative solutions it its boots and gloves, too.

In the area of wind and waterproof motorcycle boots, various individually tailored solutions have been developed which are designed to suit the various types of use and rider preferences. For example, a BMW Motorrad boot fitted with the so-called Torsion Control System TCS comprises two heel shells and a dual-section frame which interact perfectly. TCS significantly reduces the risk of ankle injury.

The Metatarsal Control System MCS is likewise applied so as to avoid injury caused by extreme flexion of the metatarsal. The system is based on a fixed polyamide foundation with a rotational point at the height of the flexion, controlling the upward and downward movement of the foot and preventing excessive strain to the metatarsal.

A safe pair of hands – BMW Motorrad gloves.

The development of gloves also focuses chiefly on fitting accuracy, comfort and safety. From slight curvature of the fingers for ergonomic optimisation through to GORE-TEX®-X-TRAFIT membranes for wind and waterproof properties as well as maximum breathability and highly abrasion-resistant leather, e.g. Keratan® sheathing with Superfabric®, rayskin leather or keprotec® at especially sensitive points as well as the use of Kevlar-carbon hard shells or visco-elastic impact-absorbing foams at the knuckles – every BMW Motorrad glove contains within it a wealth of expert knowledge.

Increased visibility Reflectors and luminous colours – to be seen by others.

When riding at night, in the rain or in the fog, a matter of a few metres can make all the difference. The sooner the motorcyclist is seen by other road users, the better. For this reason, BMW includes light-reflecting elements in its rider equipment so as to significantly enhance visibility in poor conditions, thereby minimising risks. For optimum visibility, BMW Motorrad offers the Boulder 2 and AirShell jackets in the colour neon and the BMW System 6 helmet in luminous fluorescent yellow.

Gerald Ferreira

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Published : Wednesday July 4, 2012

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