Author, Andy Lawson
I recently purchased the new carbon fibre based BMW System 7 helmet as a direct replacement of my System 6, which was now some 6 years old.
An additional feature this time, as compared to the System 6, is the ability to remove the chin guard completely and the helmet becomes a jet style helmet. Certainly, a feature which attracted me to buy, especially after one rather hot trip to Belgium last year, where I really struggled to get cool air and rode quite a bit with the flip chin guard raised. However, despite the high temperatures over the past few weeks, I’ve yet to be tempted to remove the chin guard completely. There’s just something niggling at me about the additional safety when it’s in place, and yet, riding with it flipped up is no different right? I will add, I noticed the manual does say NOT to ride with the chin guard flipped up. Now, I’m not going to go into the rights and wrongs of this, but just thought I should highlight the point.
The helmet comes in two shell sizes, has several head sizes. and both solid based colour and graphic based designs My choice was to go for the yellow (HI-VIS) option, as anything which may help avoid SMIDSY (“Sorry Mate I Didn’t See You”), must surely be an advantage
Perhaps one thing to note when considering buying:
The previous Communications System in the System 6 is not compatible with the System 7. So, I also had to buy the optional and new Communications System, which is not an insignificant cost. On a positive note, the mounting into the helmet is very neat and has predefined fitting slots. Even the plug on the charging tail lead now has a recess slot, unlike the previous version, which just tucked behind the padding.
So, is the System 7 that much better than the System 6?
Good question, and in my humble opinion, I’ve not really noticed a huge difference. The view aperture is slightly bigger. The drop-down sun visor lever switch does seem to be quite stiff. This may ease up over time, but it may also be a feature, as I understand there were comments about the sun visor slowly working its way down while riding, on the previous System 6. Not something I had noticed myself.
An area where one would expect a distinct advantage should surely be weight right? After all, with the carbon fibre build it must be lighter. Well, I decided to weigh both my System 6 and System 7 and with interesting results. Both helmets have their comparable Communication Systems installed:
System 6: 1884 grams
System 7 1915 grams
I reweighed both helmets 3 times each, to ensure I would get a correct reading. Although the numbers varied by just a few grams each time, the System 7 was consistently the heavier. The results surprised me and I’m sure they will you too.
The fitting and comfort of the System 7 is excellent, although it did take several hours of wearing to “break in” the cheek and forehead padding. No different to any other new helmet, but I did wonder at the time whether it would break me first! 😊
I feel the design shape is good. I don’t feel any buffeting while riding and although there’s some wind noise, it’s certainly not unacceptable. I do have ear plugs to wear, although when riding without them, it’s not uncomfortable.
Setting up the bluetooth pairing is fairly straight forward. Ensure 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 it is now in pairing mode. I won’t go into further detail on pairing devices, as depending upon which bike you have, the pairing and device sequence will be different. You can have up to three bluetooth connections simultaneously with the Communication System module. Paring with another helmet is considered one connection
Overall, I am satisfied with my decision to purchase the System 7. A little disappointed it isn’t significantly lighter, but it’s certainly not uncomfortable.
Choosing a new helmet is a very personal choice. A helmet for one person will not necessarily suit another. The shape of your head, forehead, jaw line etc. will make a significant difference as to which manufacturer helmet you will eventually buy. Finally, and if I may just offer this advice:
Always, always, ALWAYS, try different helmets on before buying and go for a fitting with someone who has been trained on how to fit helmets properly. Too tight and the pressure may cause headaches, dizziness etc. Too loose, and your head will turn inside the helmet. So, in an off situation, it’s quite possible for the helmet to come off!
Originally posted 2018-07-25 09:19:06.