Getting a Schuberth or BMW System Helmet

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by jodyz121, Jan 25, 2009.

  1. jodyz121

    jodyz121 Mostly Harmless . . .

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    I've been shopping helmets seriously, and what I want is either a Schuberth C3 or a BMW System 5 or 6.

    Has anyone had any experience importing one of these from Europe? Can you get them in Canada? What is the best way to go about this?

    I would appreciate any help or advice you can offer. PM me if you wish to discuss a financial arrangement. Thanks very much.
    #1
  2. Burnszilla

    Burnszilla BurnsMoto.com

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    #2
  3. IKIGAI

    IKIGAI Been here awhile

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    I also have been shopping for helmets seriously (or serious helmets), and was also interested in the C3,.... but now I'm not so sure.

    The BMW System helmets are available in Canada; they should also be available at BMW Dealers in the States.
    I had the opportunity to try on both the System 5 & 6 helmets yesterday at the annual Vancouver (Abbotsford) bike show.
    Both of those helmets employ chin dams to reduce the inflow of air (pressure) around the bottom of the helmet and it is one of the main reasons both iterations are so quiet and vent well -- the Schuberth uses both a chin dam and an adjustable neck wrap.
    A chin dam may work well at reducing noise, but its an annoyance when putting on or removing the helmet.
    When I put the system helmet on with the jaw piece open, and then closed the jaw piece, the dam hit me square on the chin. If you have a 'short face' or round face, you might not experience this problem.
    The System 6 is a very light helmet. It uses a sliding spring loaded gear lock on the strap instead of D-rings (the same type of strap lock used by Airoh) and the visor has posts already installed to accept a pin-lock shield.
    There is also a sliding internal tinted visor -- I was told there would be two different tints available -- which is actuated by a lever on the lower left hand side of the helmet body. The adjustment is a friction type and does not use detents. The internal visor is not cut out to accommodate the bridge of the nose -- it is parabolic on the leading edge. It doesn't hit the bridge of the nose when extended, because it is positioned closer to the external visor than it is to wearers face and when lowered, will extend slightly below the cheekline.
    Color choices are, dark, darker, and dark-with-bright graphics. I was told the color white, is not available.

    BMW Canada is retailing the System 6 for,...

    wait for it,

    .....around $900CDN.

    The C3 is much the same design and is not available either in Canada or the USA, and the price is about the same by the time you convert to the pound and pay for the shipping.
    If you are serious about either helmet, I would suggest you find one to try on first.
    The design and price are so similar between the two, that (if it fit me) I would probably lean toward the System 6, only because you will be able to find replacement visors & parts for sale here in North America -- with the Schuberth, you'll have to get everything shipped from the UK.

    Hope this helps, and good luck in your search!
    #3
  4. jwnsc

    jwnsc Hang in there.

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    I saw no mention of VAT. Anyone know if
    it is already included in their price quote or
    do they add it for helmets shipped to the EU?
    #4
  5. jodyz121

    jodyz121 Mostly Harmless . . .

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    That's a lot of helpful information. Thanks!
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  6. MoxNix

    MoxNix Ex-ExPat

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    VAT is included in the price not added like US sales tax.

    Get it soon, before the Pound rebounds.

    Chris
    #6
  7. GB

    GB . Administrator

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    the VAT is deducted from the price once the helmet is shipped to the US.

    £450 for the C3 :eek1 I think I paid $350US for the C2.
    #7
  8. jwnsc

    jwnsc Hang in there.

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    David from Designer Helmets told me that a motorcycle helmet
    is considered "compulsory safety equipment" and is exempt from
    VAT in the UK. The price quoted on their website is without VAT.
    He also said the GBP/USD exchange rate is the lowest since 1986.
    #8
  9. jodyz121

    jodyz121 Mostly Harmless . . .

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    One foreign vendor has replied that since BMW helmets are not certified for use in this country, he is prohibited from selling to Americans. Each buyer must certify that he is not a citizen of the U.S. and must agree not to resell the helmet to an American.

    I'm not sure I agree with all of this. If these restrictions are real, how do these other vendors manage to ship to the U.S.?
    #9
  10. waddyp

    waddyp Quite Content

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    I bought my C3 from these guys, nice clean transaction- http://www.sportouring.com/main.php?group=schuberth_c3.
    I believe Schuberth makes the BMW system helmets, at least they used to. I've owned three system helmets, and two Schuberths. One gets used to the action of closing the chin bar without discomfort to face or glasses. My C2 was best helmet I've ever owned..... until my C3. Good luck.
    #10
  11. jodyz121

    jodyz121 Mostly Harmless . . .

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    Thanks for the info, Ed. I'll give them a try.
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  12. levain

    levain STILL Jim Williams

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    I bought my Schuberth R1 from fc-moto.de it was a smooth easy transaction, but, they took a week or so to ship, if that's important. Great helmet, and, they have a section of their payment page that asks where you are and automatically gives shipping and VAT deduction.
    #12
  13. CourtFisher

    CourtFisher Been here awhile

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    Jody,
    [imported from concurrent thread in BMW MOA forum]

    "...there is a BMW corp policy/ embargo against selling System helmets to US citizens. The policy was first imposed in ~ 1998, with intro of the System 4. The BMW Legal Dept imposed this policy on BMW Motorrad & all retail dealers worldwide, because of the Legal Dept's assessment of possible legal risks by (us) litiguous Americans.

    However, that policy is not necessarily well-known/ re-enforced at BMW retail sales level, and even when known, is often ignored [except by Canadian BMW dealers]. It all depends on local country & dealer circumstances at the specific time you are attempting the purchase (in person). Many US citizens have bought System helmets overseas without hassle or with minimal hassle. A BMW employee-salesperson at a major BMW-company owned dealership in Germany even offered to sell a BMW-brand Carbon helmet if payed in cash (ATM across the street) so there was no paper trail."

    In theory, no BMW dealer outside US is supposed to ship BMW brand System helmets to a US address or sell over-the-counter to a US citizen. Nevertheless over-the-counter sales happen not infrequently. It also doesn't explain how www.designerhelmets.com in UK circumvents the BMW policy. They may purchase System units from BMW dealers, then re-sell/ ship them to US customers as 'private' shipments (which anyone can do)--but that's speculation.

    None of these BMW 'official' restrictions apply to Schuberth-branded helmets retailed by non-BMW dealers, even though Schubeth manufactures both.

    Given the (foolish) hassle/ difficulty for US citizens to buy System helmets, I would concur with others' recommendations to order a Schuberth C3 from overseas supplier, if you're intent on either. There is nothing intrinsically 'better' about the System 5 (or 6) vs. C3. Most important, as usual, is that any helmet FITS/ protects, and lots of readily available helmets retailed in US do that.
    #13
  14. MoxNix

    MoxNix Ex-ExPat

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    I've been known to pick up Schuberth parts and ship via USPS to the states.:augie
    #14
  15. jodyz121

    jodyz121 Mostly Harmless . . .

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    Many thanks to all of you.

    What a world. The threat of lawsuits scares the best manufacturer out of the market. That seems totally cockeyed to me, and I'm a lawyer.

    Shouldn't the cheap and shoddy folks get weeded out before the top of the line makers? Ah, well. I guess it would be a dull world if everything made sense.
    #15
  16. Reverse

    Reverse Armchair Tough

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    It makes perfect sense. It's the same reasoning that makes deadbeats drive uninsured, while those of us that have something to lose make sure we're covered.
    #16
  17. jodyz121

    jodyz121 Mostly Harmless . . .

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    To all of you out there helping to carry the load for the deadbeats of the world, you have my undying respect.
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  18. cbcK1200S

    cbcK1200S n00b

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    Out of curiosity, did you have to pay US duty when you imported your C3 from GB? I know as a Canadian there are import duties which apply when you import but I do have a US mailbox in Blaine WA that I use when I purchase out of country items (mostly off eBay). If the US import tax is minimal then it becomes an attractive proposition.

    I've checked all the dealerships around the Vancouver area and the prices range from $840-$940 for a BMW System 6 I have yet to find a Schuberth flip up though one dealership was selling off a couple of full face helmets at $500.

    Thanks in advance.
    cbcK1200S - Colin
    #18
  19. GB

    GB . Administrator

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    The BMW System 6 as well as their hawk-like Enduro helmets are available at my local BMW dealership. Ultimately, I imported a Schuberth C3 helmet because I really want the retractable sun visor.

    I don't think Canadian dealers are allowed to ship BMW helmets to the US, but if you really really want one, and don't mind being raped on the price, I could help you out.

    I paid no duty on my C3. I like mine more than I did my C2, which I liked less than I did my original Concept. For me, the C3 fit is perfect and it feels lighter and much quieter than my retired C2. It's too damn bad that Schuberth no longer exports their motorbike helmets to the US.

    p.s. right now, the US and CDN$ are at par, so are you willing to spend $800+ plus 13% federal and provincial sales taxes? :viking
    #19
  20. cbcK1200S

    cbcK1200S n00b

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    I've been looking at both the Schuberth and the BMW System 6 here in the Vancouver area and I'm aware that you cannot purchase them in the States. I've looked at them online at Designer Helmets in GB and my question was "has anybody in the US shipped a helmet from GB into the States and if so, how much duty was charged". I'm trying to work around the inflated price they want for the helmets here in Canada and if you can buy one in GB for $200 less, heck....I'll hang onto my money and buy in GB.
    cbcK1200S - Colin
    :deal
    #20