The announcement is retroactive, and applies to all BMW motorcycle helmets sold from January 1, 2020. BMW motorcycle helmets sold before that date will still have a warranty period of 24 months. BMW’s press release also says the warranty applies to “all helmets purchased from a participating BMW Motorrad dealer.” Does that mean it does not apply if the helmets are not purchased from a participating BMW dealer—say, as an online sale? The press release does not say. However, you rarely see BMW-branded helmets for sale anywhere but through dealerships.
BMW’s warranty covers the helmet’s material and any manufacturing defects. There are some stipulations about helmet communication systems; as per the press release, “Installed BMW Motorrad communication systems, in turn, are excluded from the BMW Motorrad warranty extension for helmets. This means that the warranty expressly does not apply if a defect or damage is caused by improper handling, an accident or the improper installation of the system and accessories - even by third parties.” In other words, if you install a comms system and screw up your helmet, that’s on you. The warranty also excludes scratches on the visor, sun shield, helmet shell and plastic parts.
BMW has a significant lineup of branded motorcycle gear, covering boots, glove, jackets and helmets. It sells ADV-style helmets, sport helmets, jet helmets, and open-face cruiser helmets. BMW says it designs and tests its gear in-house, and at least some of it is also manufactured in-house. It’s not cheap, but it is intended to compete with other high-priced top-shelf equipment. You can find the 2020 BMW Ride Catalog here, with more details about the current helmet line and its certification. Pricing will vary, depending where you live—get those details from your local dealer.