BMW makes a habit of rebranding accessories, and you can’t really blame them. Take something that’s been tested and is solid, then buy the rights and put your name on it? It’s a win-win.
They’ve done it with the BMW 2-in-1 gloves, which are rebranded and slightly different Held Air-n-Dry, the series of BMW Navigator GPS units which are slightly-reprogrammed and rebranded Garmin Zumo units. Now they’ve inducted Sena into their family, slapping a roundel onto a Sena 10R helmet communicator and calling it a Fit-for-All.
They could certainly do worse. The Sena 10 series family of communicators is pretty rock-solid reliable. It may not have all the bells and whistles of the 20 or 30 series, but reliability and ease of use are large factors when it comes to communicators. We don’t want to have to read a 25-page manual just to figure out how to turn the communicators on and pair them.
The benefits of helmet-to-helmet communicators are at this point well established. My very favorite part is not having to use hand signals or flash my lights in the hopes that the ride leader will notice we need to make an unscheduled stop. Even if you only ever ride with one other person, having the ability to quickly, easily, and safely communicate with the person on the other bike gets rid of so many confusing and sometimes dangerous attempts at interaction.
BMW is awfully late hopping on the branded bandwagon here. I bet a lot of their customers already have a helmet communicator, so what’s the difference in the BMW branded Sena? As far as I can tell, having experience with a 10R and comparing the Sena page to the BMW product information page, nothing.
The real key to this product will be its availability at BMW dealers, and that dealer’s willingness to pair the device with their customer’s phone and motorcycle. The current generation of BMW Navigator GPS (still a Garmin Zumo!), while removable is quite seamlessly integrated into several BMW bikes’ instrument panels. That GPS can be controlled with the Wonder Wheel where there is one, so once paired you’ll never have to touch the communicator again. You can control GPS directions, music volume and phone calls all through the bike’s “infotainment” system and that handy wheel on the handlebar.
So you can purchase a motorcycle and a comm system (and maybe also a helmet) from a dealer who will install the comm in your helmet, pair everything, and show you how to use it all. I have to guess a lot of BMW riders will probably say “sign me up!”