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Pope Flook
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
How many of us have been told by BMW or other helmet manufacturers you need to replace your helmet because it’s been dropped on the ground, or if it has been in contact with the ground so you have to buy a new one.

I have the BMW C7 carbon flip helmet with the removable chin guard to turn it into an open face helmet if wanted. Due to a recent off late September (22) while I had stopped. Apparently the chin guard became detached on the right hand side and was hanging loose.

Having informed my local dealer of what happened, his stock in trade answer was - if it has bee dropped or touched the ground then BMW cannot be responsible for the helmet, and strongly advise it to be replaced with a new one - this has set me to thinking. What if I had been travelling, came off and slid along the ground with the chin guard becoming detached and the result was being seriously injured. I pointed this out to them and still got the same reply.

Don’t know about you, but to me this answer is not good enough. However, what I think they mean to say is this - if your helmet comes into contact with the ground whether you drop it or during a fall, should you continue to wear that helmet BMW won’t be able to guarantee the integrity of it - this way they cover them selves and there insurance company against any liability on helmet failure after it has been in contact with the ground. I have also as advised them of this approach.

I have asked my local dealer are they aware of any failure in the C7 helmets and do they know if BMW are aware of any failures. The local agent said they are not aware of such failures in the C7 helmets, and have not had any word from BMW of any issues. Surely I am not the only one to have an issue. I would be very interested in the readers of this illustrious Magazine have to say on my observations and comments about the C7 helmet.

In case if anyone is interested I have taken the helmet in for them to check it out. It was suggested the reason it became detached was the button you press down had jared down so causing the detachment. I pointed out to them that not long ago I brought the C7 in as I could not detach the guard, because it was very hard to press down the buttons. Also the visor has to be detached to get to it. They themselves had difficulty in pressing this down as well. So I cannot see how a simple tap could cause this issue. Apparently they found no reason for the detachment either.

Flook 😎
 

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Is it possible the chin guard was not fully attached when you had your off Flook? It's kind of all I can come up with as to why it would detach. Either way an experience such as yours would make me cautious of the C7 helmet.
 

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Pope Flook
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Not as far as I was aware MGD109, I had it up on part of my ride, also you would notice if it had become detached even slightly just by putting the flip up.
I appreciate your thought though :)
 

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Is it possible the chin guard was not fully attached when you had your off Flook? It's kind of all I can come up with as to why it would detach. Either way an experience such as yours would make me cautious of the C7 helmet.
I'm feeling like MGD109 is. I watched a YouTube video on the helmet. I couldn't tell if those snap in points for the chin bar were metal, or plastic. In any case, I'd take another look at yours and see if there's any way you can jiggle or jar that connection loose. Only if I felt comfortable with the connection, would I keep the helmet.

The BMW person is simply taking the safest answer for him. If he tells you to keep riding with it, he could get in trouble...and they don't get a sale on a new pricey helmet.

As far as buying a new helmet because you've dropped it...that's the recommendation I see given online. I still have my Shoei Neotec from years ago. It's been dropped on the ground. There's a couple chips in the paint from that. Everything else seems fine. Until I have to, I want to hold off on buying a new helmet.

Chris
 

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The admonition comes from the same place as "never repair a punctured motorcycle tire." They want to sell a new one.

Here is a reality test for your helmet: tell your insurance agent that BMW says the helmet is unsafe due to the accident of letting it fall off the bike. I don't think the insurance inspector will allow the claim.

My helmet fell off the bike, hit pavement, rolled 100 yards down an embankment a couple years ago. Meh.
 
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Not as far as I was aware MGD109, I had it up on part of my ride, also you would notice if it had become detached even slightly just by putting the flip up.
I appreciate your thought though :)
Sorry I'm not familiar with the C7 helmet but as you had the chin bar raised during part of your ride any possibility it was not fully closed/locking mechanism fully engaged, which could have compromised its function?

The reason I ask is I use a flip up helmet, before setting off I normally have the chin bar raised as I can see my airbag vest lanyard and can easily attach it, with the chin bar down I have to do it by feel which can be awkward. Once vest attached and gloves on I lower the chin bar but have found it is surprisingly ease not to fully engage the locking mechanism when lowering the chin bar with the helmet on my head, I don't consider it a fault with the helmet it's just the give in my neck as I shut the chin bar, the bar does need some degree of force to engage the locking mechanism. I always try to lift the chin bar before setting of to confirm all is well and about 1 in 10 times it will lift without the release button being depressed. I reclose with a more conscious amount of effort and the lock engages.
 
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.........I still have my Shoei Neotec from years ago. It's been dropped on the ground. There's a couple chips in the paint from that. Everything else seems fine. Until I have to, I want to hold off on buying a new helmet.

Chris
Would you not consider replacement due to age? Shoei's recommendation is 5 years, the rule of thumb I was told during my initial motorcycle training (admittedly a long time ago) was 5 years for a fiberglass helmet and only 2 for a polycarbonate (more suspectable to UV degradation was the explanation) although that appears to have been extended to 5 years by most manufacturers using polycarbonate these days, maybe there's been some improvement in UV blockers.
 

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Pope Flook
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I always make sure the flip is fully clicked closed when closing it. Otherwise a whistling noise can be heard even with ear plugs. I found this out years ago with the system 6 Evo, I did not full engage to close.

The clip arrangement on the C7 has a triangular button which is plastic, this is depressed and pushed under a thick plastic bar and fits into a precise triangular hole. No movement at this point whatever on either side. The visor covers this triangular point when it is closed and when it is open. Only when the visor is partially open is it possible to get to the moveable buttons, even then it is difficult and the visor needs to be removed to get at these properly. Hence my issue of how.

However, my main concern is where BMW and other manufactures be should the flip part become detached while the rider is sliding along the road and has serious injury. I do not believe the manufacturer would get away in a law suit with that reply of when it touches the ground we cannot be responsible for it. This is my main point.

Also is any one here do you have the C7 or equivalent and had issues with it. If so, please let me and others know here.

Take it easy all and ride safe
 

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Morning Dave,

In answer to the original question, I've never had such an issue with any of the System helmets that I've used. There was however an unfortunate accident a member of another forum had some years back, which was similar if at higher speeds and resulted in life changing injuries.(BMBikes back maybe 10 year's, chap from the Emerald Isle.)

Totally understand your concern about the chin bar, it shouldn't happen. Might be an idea to contact the manufacturer which I think is still Schuberth. (Helmet City might help you with a Schuberth branded replacement at a good price.)

As far as the secondary question others have raised i.e. replacement on age or impact. My nut is worth more to me than the cost of a replacement. As such I change my lid when it's served its purpose or come to the end of its natural life.

Ride safely Dave.

Sent from my motorola edge 20 using Tapatalk
 

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Would you not consider replacement due to age? Shoei's recommendation is 5 years, the rule of thumb I was told during my initial motorcycle training (admittedly a long time ago) was 5 years for a fiberglass helmet and only 2 for a polycarbonate (more suspectable to UV degradation was the explanation) although that appears to have been extended to 5 years by most manufacturers using polycarbonate these days, maybe there's been some improvement in UV blockers.
I'm at the point of considering a replacement. What got me started thinking about a replacement was the weight. I put in some long days riding and there were a couple times last summer when my neck was beginning to hurt. So along with ventilation and noise being high criteria for me, weight is too. And that's the quandary. The Shoei Neotec II actually weighs more than my original Neotec!

I've read the same things about the degradation of the helmet. I think the Styrofoam on the inside is the most critical part. Is it beginning to come apart from age? I take my liner out and wash it each year. It gives me a good chance to look at the normally hidden parts of the helmet. From what I can tell, everything looks like new. At least I can look with no rush. I dropped my Nolan helmet years ago onto some sharp rocks. The replacement parts were almost half the cost of a new helmet, so I used that as an excuse to buy a new one.

One advantage to getting a new helmet, is the technology is improving. Or should be. Many of the top-of-the-line helmets are designs from several years ago...which might be why they are so heavy. I'm hoping for some sales, and maybe some new releases over the winter months.

Chris
 

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Shoei Neotec 2 weight. Agreed its heavy. I bought one in the summer & took it back after wearing it around the house as too heavy. (Infinity offer 7 day returns if not worn on road). Exchanged for a (catchily named) HJC RPHA 90S Carbon which is light & comfortable
 

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Below is SHARPs commentary on Flip Helmet testing: Sharp only test helmets legal for UK, we can deduce that the relevant safety standard does not require the flip to stay locked every time. Latest Sharp test on BMW helmets is for the System 6 EVO which gets all of 3 stars (max 5)

During each of our 30 linear impact tests we note whether the lower face cover has unlatched or unlocked during the impact. The number of times the faceguard remains fully locked after each of the linear impacts is expressed as a percentage for the latch rating. For example, if the lower face cover stayed completely shut in every one of the thirty impacts the score would be 100% but if it should open on nine occasions, the score would be 70%. We are not currently able to apply an objective measure to the safety effect of a failure of the chin bar locking mechanism and therefore we do not factor this into the safety (star) rating

As said BMW taking the easy option by saying that cannot warrant a helmet after being dropped. Were there to be a law suit post accident I guess their defence would be that the helmet performed to the relevant safety standard & to succeed you would have to show that it did not

Shoei for example offer a post drop assessment. My retailer sent my scraped helmet to the UK distributor, came back OK. I changed it anyway, didn't want to ride with that "badge of shame"

O the "touched the ground" phrase is misleading IMO. My helmet touches the ground every time I place it there whilst chaining my bike etc 😀 Your helmet was dropped (or not)
 

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A flip front helmet is designed to break off to some extent. If you had an off with the front flipped up, you'd want it to break off (on impact/with sliding forces) otherwise it could catch something and wrench your neck. With the helmet fully closed and locked in position is should be able to break off/come loose.
The AROS system Schuberth use should prevent the helmet rolling off your head (the main carcass, not the front too).
 
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Pope Flook
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Below is SHARPs commentary on Flip Helmet testing: Sharp only test helmets legal for UK, we can deduce that the relevant safety standard does not require the flip to stay locked every time. Latest Sharp test on BMW helmets is for the System 6 EVO which gets all of 3 stars (max 5)

During each of our 30 linear impact tests we note whether the lower face cover has unlatched or unlocked during the impact. The number of times the faceguard remains fully locked after each of the linear impacts is expressed as a percentage for the latch rating. For example, if the lower face cover stayed completely shut in every one of the thirty impacts the score would be 100% but if it should open on nine occasions, the score would be 70%. We are not currently able to apply an objective measure to the safety effect of a failure of the chin bar locking mechanism and therefore we do not factor this into the safety (star) rating

As said BMW taking the easy option by saying that cannot warrant a helmet after being dropped. Were there to be a law suit post accident I guess their defence would be that the helmet performed to the relevant safety standard & to succeed you would have to show that it did not

Shoei for example offer a post drop assessment. My retailer sent my scraped helmet to the UK distributor, came back OK. I changed it anyway, didn't want to ride with that "badge of shame"

O the "touched the ground" phrase is misleading IMO. My helmet touches the ground every time I place it there whilst chaining my bike etc 😀 Your helmet was dropped (or not)
Ajaay, I get your point, especially the last two lines - "touched the ground" phrase is misleading IMO. My helmet touches the ground every time I place it there whilst chaining my bike etc 😀 Your helmet was dropped (or not).

I was wearing my helmet when I fell off, my right foot became trapped under the bike, my right shoulder hit the ground and I kept my head to my left as I went down. The next thing I done was to force my foot out of my boot, which caused me to break two bones in my foot. As I was standing I noticed a wobbling from my helmet, and someone said your helmet is broken mate. It was only after the bike was uprighted I found the RHS was unhinged. Only on removal the issue was plain to see, where it is normally fitted it had become detached. With some help it was re-slotted back into position.

You may well ask how do I know my head was to the left when I fell off. I always seem to fall off when I am not moving, either my right leg goes out too far or the road has a dip etc, so I naturally place my head to the left to try and prevent it touching the ground.

In this instance there is vey slight mark on the RHS of the helmet. I have been under the impression that when anything made of carbon, the carbon is layered at angles creating strength, perhaps you could advise on this.

Flook 😎
 

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A flip front helmet is designed to break off to some extent. If you had an off with the front flipped up, you'd want it to break off (on impact/with sliding forces) otherwise it could catch something and wrench your neck.
I have experience of 3 modular (flip front) helmets all Caberg. I don't believe the chin bar on any of these is designed to break off in the event of an accident, Sharp testing shows 10% failure rate of the closure mechanism but the two pivot points are steel bolts with no obvious "shear" points machined into them. It actually surprises me that, unlike very early modular helmets, the Cabergs are legal to use with the chin bar raised. Personally, don't ride with the chin bar raised.

Schuberth (BMW) may take a different approach (which if ridding with the chin bar raised makes a lot of sense) and may explain Flook's issues with his C7 helmet.
 
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Flook, Sorry to hear about your foot, hope you recover well. I expect we've all fallen off whilst stationary, I know I have, usually due to slippy ground or adverse camber.

I have no particular knowledge of Carbon helmet strength, no doubt plenty of info on the web.

With the very slight damage described, I think I'd put the unhinging down to the way it hit the ground & continue wearing it.
Although if you've lost confidence then consider replacing with either a full face, or a flip that scores better on the SHARP flip latch tests The BMW System 6 gets 93% (same as my HJC) The Shoei Neotec 2 which most consider a quality helmet only gets 70%
BMW 6 Evo Sharp test
 

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I have experience of 3 modular (flip front) helmets all Caberg. I don't believe the chin bar on any of these is designed to break off in the event of an accident, Sharp testing shows 10% failure rate of the closure mechanism but the two pivot points are steel bolts with no obvious "shear" points machined into them. It actually surprises me that, unlike very early modular helmets, the Cabergs are legal to use with the chin bar raised. Personally, don't ride with the chin bar raised.

Schuberth (BMW) may take a different approach (which if ridding with the chin bar raised makes a lot of sense) and may explain Flook's issues with his C7 helmet.
When flipped up, they're designed to break off. When fully closed like a standard full face helmet, they shouldn't.
 

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I'm just a casual observer, but I've followed the development of modular helmets for several years now. In the early designs, the chin bar was not designed to break off if raised. In fact, one of the things helmet reviewers used to look for was a metal and not plastic locking mechanism. I also used to read some forum comments about how dumb it would be to ride with the chin bar raised because of the forces on your neck when that chin bar hit the pavement because it would not come off in the raised position.

Then designs came out where the chin bar was designed to be used in the raised position and even in some cases to be removed totally to give you an open face helmet.

I can't believe a modern helmet would be designed to have the chin bar break off when closed. That would expose your face to the road surface. Eating your meals through a straw could be a definite consequence.

Chris
 

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Although if you've lost confidence then consider replacing with either a full face, or a flip that scores better on the SHARP flip latch tests The BMW System 6 gets 93% (same as my HJC) The Shoei Neotec 2 which most consider a quality helmet only gets 70%
BMW 6 Evo Sharp test
The Nolan modular (flip up) is one of the few brands that gets a 100% SHARP rating for not opening on impact. I almost purchased a Shoei NeoTech II, having ridden for years with a Shoei full face helmet. However, researching on the SHARP site caused me to decide against the Shoei. Seventy percent when it is one's life is not good odds.

As many in the group know, Snell is the U.S. helmet testing entity. Unfortunately, Snell will not even consider testing any modular helmet, so I was pleased to discover the U.K. SHARP organization.

I never ride with the helmet open. Sometimes, riding in town, to get a bit more air or less fogging, I do open the plastic visor.

The U.S. DOT testing is a joke. Unfortunately, a deadly joke for folks who rely on the DOT sticker as evidence of adequate protection. Cereal bowls with straps get DOT stickers. Lost a close friend who went riding with a cheap DOT helmet and left his full face Shoei at home. The medical examiner said he would have walked away if he'd been wearing a good helmet.
 
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