November 21, 2006 We’ve written before about the groundbreaking work being done by South African physician Dr. Chris Leatt in the area of motorcycle safety and the Neck Brace System which offers a major safety improvement for motorcyclists. The Neck Brace significantly reduces the risk of injuries around the neck area, on the cervical spine and collarbone, in the event of a severe fall. Although accident-induced injuries to the neck area are rare in statistical terms, when they do occur, they constitute a far greater risk for the rider. Developed by Leatt in cooperation with KTM and BMW and a team of specialists made up of accident researchers, bio-mechanics, accident surgeons, the Neck Brace System is now ready for release and will be sold worldwide by BMW Motorrad, from early in 2007.
The Neck Brace System was first shown to the public at INTERMOT in Cologne, in October, and is now on display at the EICMA Motorcycle Show in Milan.
So to close this safety gap, BMW Motorrad is now offering the Neck Brace System as a safety concept endorsed and acknowledged by renowned researchers.
The Neck Brace System is a lightweight construction made of carbon, kevlar and glass-fibre-reinforced plastic covered in part by a soft, impact-absorbing layer of foam pleasant to the skin.
The rider places the Neck Brace System round his neck like a collar, two rapid action catches at the side ensuring simple handling and adjustment.
The Neck Brace System does not form a static connection linking the helmet with the rider's shoulders, but rather rests on the rider's upper body, offering its safety effect as soon as the wearer moves his head to the front, rear or side. As a result the rider retains the required freedom of movement under normal conditions, with the risk of over-stretching his head in the respective direction (hyperflection, hypertension, lateral hyperflection) being reduced significantly. Injuries resulting from forces exerted on the helmet that may act on the spine (axial loading) are minimised by the lower edge of the helmet resting on the neck brace.
Originally developed for enduro and rally sport, the Neck Brace System has gone through several months of careful testing by BMW Motorrad and KTM works riders, accompanying the actual process of development. Wearing the Neck Brace System, Chris Pfeiffer, riding for BMW Motorrad, finished among the top 10 in the 2006 Erzberg Rodeo. This safety system is now also used in street races, successfully proving its qualities in the South African Superbike Championship, for example.
The price of BMW Motorrad's Neck Brace System and its availability is not yet finalised.