Head Protection Technology

By Alan Tecchio

Motojournalist Alan Tecchio Originally Published this Article in Ultimate Motorcycling Magazine

Motojournalist Alan Tecchio Originally Published this Article in Ultimate Motorcycling Magazine

As an MSF RiderCoach I have worked with plenty of “returning riders” who took time off from their machines to raise a family. While I do not plan to take time off now that I have kids, I do recognize that my riding changed after my children were born. Suddenly I was less likely to ride in inclement or really cold weather and had become a more defensive and cautious rider.

When my daughter Annabella was finally able to flat-foot her feet on the passenger pegs, I knew what was coming next–heartfelt pleas to go for a ride together. Riding with a new passenger can be tough as it is, but when that person is a youngster, it can present even more challenges. For instance, new passengers have to be told how to look through turns and how to lean with the bike when the rider initiates lean in a corner. With young passengers making sure they are always holding on tight (in my case to a Buddy-Belt) is important as well. I also make it a point to ride with my Givi trunk to ensure she cannot fall backward.

The Schuberth C3 Flip-up Helmet with SRC-System collar Installed

The Schuberth C3 Flip-up Helmet with Bluetooth SRC-System Installed

You can go over some of these items pre-ride, hoping that it is remembered by the passenger or better yet… you can make sure you have a good communication system and use it to converse during your ride. I went with the Scala Rider system that was custom made for Schuberth helmetsThe Schuberth Rider Communication System. The fact that it is integrated into the helmet’s collar assists in ease-of-use and once you and your passenger get comfortable with where the buttons are located, you are good to go (even with gloves on!)

With myself donning my trusty C3 Schuberth flip-up helmet and my daughter wearing a C3W (a flip-up specifically designed for women) we prepared for our journey by talking through the intercom system to make sure our volume levels were good. After doing my pre-ride check on our gear and on the motorcycle, we departed.

Once we were enroute, the benefits of the SRC system became immediately clear. If you’ve ever ridden with a passenger, you know that if you want to convey any thoughts to them, you can point at stuff and hope they understand your meaning or you might turn your head toward them to say something that they may or may not be able to hear (not a recommended technique under any circumstances.) With the SRC though, there are no such issues. You can keep your eyes scanning ahead, around and in your mirrors, all the while carrying on a conversation. Although the buttons are easy to navigate, you won’t need them unless you are switching channels to put your iPod on or some other wired or bluetooth device. Conversing is all actuated by your voice.

“So, what is being conveyed during these moto-conversations?” you ask? Well, things like, “Are you comfortable back there?” or “Are you scared?” or “Are we going too fast?” were asked. Of course from time to time I would make sure she was holding on tightly and I could coach her in real time how to look through a corner, in advance of actually going into the corner. What an absolute pleasure and from a safety standpoint, a huge relief! We would end up laughing together at things and of course I would point out all the stuff around us that as a road user (let alone a motorcyclist), you should be looking for.

When I asked Annabella for some feedback of her own regarding the SRC, she said, “It’s great to talk with you while we’re riding because if I want to tell you about something I am seeing, I can just say it! I don’t have to wait until we come to a stop.” Out of the mouth of babes…

Alan and His Daughter Communicate While Riding Via Bluetooth Communications

Alan and His Daughter Annabella Communicate While Riding Via Bluetooth Communications

In speaking with a friend who has just started to take his own daughter out on his bike without a comm system, I learned that he did not think it was a problem to ride and talk just by turning his head toward her a bit. My response was, “So you have to take your eyes off the road in front of you even if it is just for a few seconds to do that, right?” He replied yes, which led me to remind him that it only takes a second for traffic conditions to dramatically change. If you are not looking where you are going even for a split second, that could potentially become a very dangerous scenario in a very short amount of time. He had to agree and accepted my offer to borrow my Schuberth C3’s to try them out with his daughter. I’ll bet that after he sees firsthand the level of safety using a state-of-the-art helmet communication system like the SRC’s provides, he will be buying a set of C3’s himself! If you ride with a young passenger, you should absolutely consider doing the same.

In-Helmet Communications Also Provides Safety and Ease for Adult Pillions and Co-Riders

In-Helmet Communications Also Provides Safety and Ease for Adult Pillions and Co-Riders

Even if you do not ride with a child in the pillion position, if you ride with other riders, being able to converse, sing together, etc… transforms your whole riding experience and definitely takes it to a completely new level. On a recent 2,000 plus mile moto-odyssey I and three riding buddies were able to easily let each other know when we needed gas, were hungry or just needed to take a break thanks to our SRC systems. When we were tired of hearing each others’ voices, that press of a button on the integrated helmet collar switched the comm off and allowed for our iPods to be piped into our helmet speakers. Another big plus– Phone calls are prioritized so we could take calls without having to have our whole group stop which would have wasted precious ride time.

So from a safety standpoint, the SRC setup within the Schuberth C3 helmet is simply amazing and with inexperienced riders, it is in my opinion, absolutely crucial. From a regular user standpoint, it makes riding a motorcycle way more fun and allows for conversations to occur that would normally have to wait until you were stopped somewhere. And let’s be real here-who remembers every single detail of a ride once they have come to a stop? To be able to point out a great mountain range or even better–a distracted driver who cannot maintain lane position, enhances any ride on a motorcycle. Hell, it could even save your life! It has on occasion, already done that for me so I am definitely sold. You will be too if you choose to make this serious investment in your head and general well being.

But enough with the sales pitch. The point of this story is that the experience the Schuberth C3 and C3W helmets with SRC systems in place was a phenomenal bonding activity for myself and my daughter. When you see how fast kids grow up these days, it makes you realize you have to cherish every moment. Times like these are worth more than gold.

Click here for a video of Alan and his daughter riding with their Schuberth Rider Communication Systems.

Alan Adjusts the SRC-System Mic and Explains How to Use the Buttons When Communicating

Alan Adjusts Annabella's SRC-System Mic and Explains How to Use the Buttons

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Schuberth North America announces a limited-time special offer on C3 and C3W helmets. From now until May 31st, the C3 or C3W are available for $549 or 2 for $989.* This opportunity ends soon so get yours today!

Developed in Schuberth’s own in-house acoustic wind tunnel, the award-winning C3 and C3W (fit for women) set benchmarks for lightweight, quiet, aerodynamic flip-up helmet technology. Other features include an internal sunvisor, Pinlock® anti-fog, advanced ventilation, removable lining and an optional integrated Cardo Bluetooth Schuberth Rider Communication System.

C3
Sizes: XS (52/53) – XXXL (64/65)
Black, Silver, White, Dark Anthracite, Hi-Viz Orange, Hi-Viz Yellow, World White and World Black
*Not available on Matte Black

C3W fit for women
Sizes: XXS (50/52) –L (58/59)
Black, Silver, White, Pearl White
*Not available on Matte Black

Includes:
5-Year Warranty
3-Year Service Plan
Mobility Program

Helmet details dealer locations are available on the Schuberth website:

schuberthnorthamerica.com

Schuberth North America is a branch of Schuberth GmbH in Magdeburg, Germany, providing innovative, protective Motorcycle Helmets. Made in Germany.

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in: Company, Motorcycle, Topics

Limited Time Offer on C3 & C3W

Schuberth North America announces a limited-time special offer on C3 and C3W helmets. From now until May 31st, the C3 or C3W are available for $499 or 2 for $899.* This opportunity ends soon so get yours today!

Developed in Schuberth’s own in-house acoustic wind tunnel, the award-winning C3 and C3W (fit for women) set benchmarks for lightweight, quiet, aerodynamic flip-up helmet technology. Other features include an internal sunvisor, Pinlock® anti-fog, advanced ventilation, removable lining and an optional integrated Cardo Bluetooth Schuberth Rider Communication System.

C3
Sizes: XS (52/53) – XXXL (64/65)
Black, Silver, White, Dark Anthracite, Hi-Viz Orange, Hi-Viz Yellow, World White and World Black
*Not available on Matte Black

C3W fit for women
Sizes: XXS (50/52) –L (58/59)
Black, Silver, White, Pearl White
*Not available on Matte Black

Includes:
5-Year Warranty
3-Year Service Plan
Mobility Program

Helmet details dealer locations are available on the Schuberth website:

schuberthnorthamerica.com

Schuberth North America is a branch of Schuberth GmbH in Magdeburg, Germany, providing innovative, protective Motorcycle Helmets. Made in Germany.

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The City of Aliso Viejo recently interviewed Randy Northrup
Vice President of Schuberth North America.

Link to the original article is here:

Aliso Viejo: Featured Business of the Month

Featured Business of the Month

Aliso Viejo is proud to be home to a vast business landscape that houses corporations from countless industries including one that’s manufacturers Formula 1 racing helmets. Read about Schuberth North America here.

Schuberth North America

Schuberth GmbH is a 90-year-old helmet engineering and manufacturing company in Germany. Several years ago an independent importer temporarily distributed the helmets in the United States but didn’t push the business much and eventually stopped. Subsequently, Schuberth’s new CEO decided to open their own satellite office to serve North American instead of going through another independent importer. Randy Northrup was tapped to head up the Schuberth North America business and he opened the Aliso Viejo office three years ago.

Schuberth GmbH develops and manufactures “head protection systems” for a laundry list of industries such as mining, forestry, electrician, fire fighting, police, military, industrial safety but the company is best known worldwide for the Formula 1 racing helmets and motorcycle helmets. The North American operation focuses primarily on motorcycle products, auto racing products, and law enforcement.

The company doesn’t sell direct to end customers from the Aliso Viejo office but instead supplies a network of independent dealers in the U.S.A. and Canada. Recently, Randy Northrup took some time out of his busy day to share a little bit about the business and community.

Q.) Why did you choose this city to do business in?

A.) The location was selected because it’s near a major airport; the office/warehouse configuration we have here was difficult to find in other places; the office rents here are more reasonable than in other places; and, of course, Aliso Viejo is a beautiful location offering many stores and restaurants for our employees and customers.

Q.) What is the best part of doing business in Aliso Viejo and do any of your employees live here?

A.) All of the same reasons listed above – also because we have had tremendous support from the city. There are currently 4 out of our 7 in-office employees who live in Aliso Viejo.

Q.) What do you see as challenges and opportunities within your field and for businesses in general?

A.) When we first opened up the economy was lagging challenged us as a new business looking to expand rapidly. Our challenge is brand recognition.  In Europe, the Schuberth Brand is well known and respected as the best.  In North America, we are not a common brand name.

Q.) Is the company involved in or give back to the local community in any way?

A.) We have been working on special programs for outfitting the local police force. We have also engaged the community for celebrations of special events like our grand opening and 1-year anniversary celebration. Our controller is active in helping out with activities at her son’s Aliso Viejo school.

For more information, visit http://www.schuberthnorthamerica.com

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Interview Series: Women & Motorcycling

As an ongoing feature, the Women’s Coalition of Motorcyclists will be interviewing the women who have made an impact on the motorcycle industry, from pioneers to newbies, industry players to racers, to you.

We thought it timely to launch this series on the eve of International Female Ride Day. Our first interview is with Sarah Schilke, who participated in the 2012 International Female Ride Day with its creator Vicki Gray. Couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate this event – Enjoy!

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: SARAH SCHILKE

Marketing & Public Relations Manager
Schuberth North America

THOUGHTS ON INTERNATIONAL FEMALE RIDE DAY

I was fortunate enough to be at the “2012 International Female Ride Day” events in Canada. Vicki Gray, who created the global event, lives in Toronto, so they make a big day of it up there. It was a great ride, visiting motorcycle manufacturers, a photo shoot at at Toronto City Hall and a get-together at a local dealership. I’ll be sure to celebrate this year’s event by at least riding to work—I think it’s cool and important to participate so that people around the world see plenty of women riding motorcycles on that one day!

RIDE HISTORY

I started riding (street) two decades ago, and a few years later got into off-roading as well, and later raced desert and motocross for several years. I currently own a Honda Superhawk and Ducati 750Sport, plus a couple of Yamaha dirt bikes. I started riding on a whim really. One night I made a comment to a friend that it would be cool if I rode a motorcycle. That friend then showed me a classified ad for aHonda Rebel 250. I picked up the phone, even though I didn’t know a thing about bikes. Interestingly, it was a woman selling the Honda, so I felt comfortable asking her my newbie questions . . . I didn’t know anything about bikes! There were no riders in my family, so the only inspiration I can think of is there was a TV commercial when I was little for “You Meet the Nicest People on a Honda”—the one where a helmet comes off and you realize it’s a women rider as her hair comes flowing out of the helmet. I do see myself as an anomaly because I didn’t have a role model who brought me into the sport. Female riders need to get past the conditioning we receive as children—girls are told motorcycles are dangerous or it’s not feminine to ride a bike.

INDUSTRY TAKE

I have been working in the motorcycle industry for over 20 years. My first job out of college was on staff at the Motorcycle Safety Program in Oregon, where I grew up. I enjoyed teaching the classes and knew I had found my career niche. Some classes were for women only, while others were mixed gender. I later got a graduate degree in Marketing, which I’ve put to use in the industry. One advantage to being female in the industry is that you stand out . . . but for every advantage there is a disadvantage, such as having to work harder to prove yourself. There is the added benefit that women network well; we proactively try to help each other out, which I think comes out of need because there is a lack of mentorship in the motorcycle industry. My advice to women wanting to work in the motorcycle industry is simple: don’t expect a job just because you ride. You should look for positions that apply to your experience and education, just like in any other industry. Unless you’re applying to be a racer, motorcycling is secondary to the requirements of a specific job—it’s also a great perk! This advice is gender neutral, by the way.

CURRENT COMPANY & EMPLOYMENT HISTORY

Schuberth is a global, head-protection technology company based outside Berlin, with a satellite office where I work in California. I travel to Schuberth headquarters several times a year, and speaking German is a benefit to the relationships with my colleagues there. I also use my language skills to help translate parts lists, ads and manuals. I understand the culture since I have lived in Germany a few times throughout my life, most recently when I worked as a Global Category Manager for Hein Gericke. For Hein Gericke, I ran projects relating mainly to the U.S. and European women’s motorcycle market and development of women’s motorcycle and casual apparel.

OUTLOOK ON FEMALE MOTORCYCLING PRODUCTS

Schuberth’s C3 product line is a third generation of flip-up motorcycle helmets. The women’s fit version, the C3W, was introduced in 2010. Engineers at Schuberth stumbled across cosmetic-company research that indicated the female head is typically smaller and features a narrower jaw and higher cheekbones. So, they devised a helmet with the comfort liner specially contoured to fit the female facial structure and with softer materials to better form to small features, plus fabric that is easier to clean and good for sensitive skin. This is the only helmet engineered to fit women. It was definitely not a “shrink it and pink it” version of a male product. The C3 Pro and the female-fit counterpart, the C3 Pro Women, was just introduced a couple of months ago. The upgraded features include aspoiler for higher speeds, an internal antenna, better ventilation and a more comfortable fit. It’s a terrific product. True German engineering—sort of the “Mercedes of Motorcycle Helmets.” There’s even Bluetooth communication available as an add-on. OurC3 Pro Women helmet is gaining in popularity.

TAKE ON INDUSTRY TRENDS

Let’s look at the numbers. It’s been stated for years that 10-12% of the motorcycle market is women. That’s based on registrations. How accurate is that? It could be 25%. Why? Because sometimes a woman’s motorcycle is registered under a man’s name. When talking about apparel, it’s also important to consider the number of passengers. Don’t they need gear even if they’re not up front? Plus, women more often make the shopping decisions for a family.Often, the women is the family CFO, so purchases have to be approved by her. And let’s not forget that this is about shopping. And, women do love to shop. I mean, I have six different suits, which I wear based on my ride or even mood that day!

BELIEF IN WOMEN IN MOTORCYCLING

I was excited to hear of the newly formed Women’s Coalition of Motorcyclists (WCM) and their goal to double the number of female riders by 2020 and promote women’s prominence in motorcycling.I’m happy that today there are so many high profile role models, because this is what helped me get past my “girls don’t ride motorcycles” conditioning. Now, people tell me that I’m a pioneer and role model since I was the first woman elected to the Motorcycle Industry Council Board of Directors and served two terms, so I try to “pay it forward,” too. I remember attending my first Women on Wheels (WOW) event in Seattle, back when I first started riding. I met an 83-year-old woman who had started riding  in her 70s after her husband passed away and his motorcycle was collecting dust. She walked with a cane, but she had circumnavigated the country on her GoldWing, pulling a trailer to get to the rally! I am still inspired by her, as well as the women I have met since, such as racing pioneer Mary McGee, who was a special guest at the “2012 AMA International Women & Motorcycling Conference” in Carson City, Nevada. Mary started auto racing and then road racing in the ’60s. Steve McQueen eventually convinced her to get in the dirt and she rode a 250 Husqvarna solo in the Baja 500, beating 17 two-man teams. She also did motocross races and she’s still racing today at 75. Then there’s NASCAR driver Danica Patrick. She actually wears a Schuberth auto helmet, so I have to give a plug here (smiles). But she’s a true pioneer and inspiring role model.These stories transcend motorcycling. And gender.

by Christopher Gil, VP of Editorial at MAD Maps, Inc. www.madmaps.com

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