BMW Motorrad and KTM working jointly on a cervical spine protection system

MW Motorrad and KTM working jointly on a cervical spine protection system for the sports motorcyclist. New concept can substantially reduce risk of injury.

Munich. Effective protection of the neck and spinal areas, particularly in the case of the rally motorcyclist, is still as topical as it ever was. In collaboration with KTM, BMW is now aiming to push ahead with the development of an adequate system of protection for this extremely sensitive area. The objective is to reduce the risk of injury to the neck, the cervical spine, the spinal cord and the collar bone in the event of a serious fall.
The prototype made of carbon fibre, damping material and titan currently undergoing intensive testing at BMW Motorrad, is producing excellent results. Consequently, experts at BMW Motorrad Accident Research regard the prototype as having a huge safety potential. Its use can reduce the following injuries suffered as the result of an accident, but without any loss of the necessary freedom of head movement:

· Hyperflexion: overflexion of the head when forced forwards
· Hyperextension: overflexion of the head when forced to the rear
· Lateral hyperflexion: overflexion of the head when forced to the side
· Axial loading: compression of the spinal column due to the effect of force on the helmet

To the enduro motorcyclist and rally biker, but also to the motorcyclist in everyday traffic situations, this system of neck protection will mean a great step forward in the area of passive safety.

"Motorcycle sport should be safer and we wish to make a contribution in achieving this", explains Dr. Herbert Diess, Head of BMW Motorrad, while commenting on the decision to dedicate a substantial degree of attention to this subject. He continues: "The concept is extremely promising. If this system continues to come up to our expectations, I can well envisage us putting it into series production."

BMW Motorrad and KTM are working closely together with a team of specialists comprising accident researchers, biomechanics, accident surgeons specializing in spinal injuries and last but not least Dr. Chris Leatt from Leatt-BraceTM who developed the brace. He is currently involved in the promotion of motorcycle safety in South Africa and is employed as a consulting physician for the South African racing series.

The foundation "Wings for Life", which has committed itself to the substantial support of medical research in the field of paraplegic rehabilitation, will benefit from the knowledge gained by the BMW Motorrad / KTM project team.

The new concept for minimising the risk of injury resulting from accidents is scheduled to be employed by KTM works motorcyclists and by BMW Motorrad before the end of this year.

Source: KTM-Sportmotorcycle AG
Photo: Leatt-Brace

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