April 30, 2020
BMW gathered the 140 top ADV riders from over 40 different countries and combined them to make 23 teams for the International GS Trophy held this past February in New Zealand, and were able to review the Sena 50R along the way. The riders were challenged to pilot the new BMW F 850 GS both on-road and off over the course of eight grueling days. While pushing the bike to its limits, all 140 riders would use and review the new Sena 50R headset featuring the innovative Mesh 2.0 Intercom system.
Sena’s motorcycle communication devices are the go-to in the industry for ADV riders, and the 50 series headsets are the next evolution of Sena’s products. Sena’s 50 series includes significant technical enhancements made to the original Sena Mesh Intercom™ algorithm.
Sena’s 50 Series communication devices consist of the 50R and 50S. Both feature the enhancements to the Mesh 2.0 Intercom algorithm and the rest of the updates. The GS Trophy riders found these improvements to be extremely useful while making their journey.
The New Mesh 2.0 Intercom and More
Sena product designers crafted the 50R and 50S headsets to provide customers with the clear and crisp intercom capabilities not previously available.
Mesh 2.0 Intercom updates allow for up to 80% more data transfer between headsets even in harsh environments, resulting in extremely clear communication. Sena also added two new Mesh 2.0 Intercom modes: Multi-Channel Open Mesh Intercom and Group Mesh Intercom.
Multi-Channel Open Mesh Intercom allows riders to switch between nine different channels, connection for up to five miles, a near-limitless number of users, and one-click-to-connect capability. Group Mesh Intercom provides riders the option of creating a private conversation for up to 24 users.
The new 50 series communicators also provide Bluetooth 5.0, redesigned speakers, voice-activated Google/Siri digital assistant access, multi-language voice command functionality, automatic firmware updates, 30% faster charging, and 4-way Bluetooth Intercom capability.
Review of the Sena 50R from the BMW International GS Trophy Riders
Mirko Nagler of Sena had a chance to sit down with the riders to see what they thought of the GS Trophy and the Sena 50R. Here’s a little bit of what they had to say.
Ronnie Lundberg (1:20 in the video)
Ronnie was part of Team Nordic and said he found the Sena 50R to be a fantastic system for adventure riding.
"The Sena was very good. It was really outstanding. I really liked to connect and speak with each other. It was so easy."
Shahnawaz Karim (2:23 in the video)
Shahnawaz Karim was one of the marshals for the GS Trophy. He said that the 50R surprised him.
"I’ve been using Sena products for quite some time. The biggest advantage I felt as a marshal was that I was able to communicate with the last person in my group. I was taking eight people with me, and because I was riding at the front, if there was a car at the front, I could inform all of the guys behind."
Klara Finkele (4:05 in the video)
Klara was part of one of the female teams, and she said she thought the biggest advantage of the 50R was that it was a helpful safety tool.
"Safety. Yeah, it was safety, and when it was a bit gnarlier you could hear the others struggling. It was like ‘Oh, she’s down, we just have to wait.’"
Martin Victor Alva (6:15 in the video)
Martin’s Team was from the Middle East, and he was glad to have the Sena 50R for help with communicating during the challenging race.
"We hadn’t even trained as much as the other teams because we live so far away from each other in other countries … if it wasn’t for the helmet communication, I’m being honest, we would have been in trouble."
Diego Penagos (7:13 in the video)
Diego participated in Team Latin America. He said he was impressed with how easy the system was but also how crisp and clear the sound was both when communicating and when listening to music.
"There’s the joking and the talking and the planning. You just switch the channel, which is really easy, and you can talk to your teammates without taking the helmet off ... The sound, how clear it sounds, it’s beautiful."
Tom Moran (8:51 in the video)
Tom was a part of the video team for the International GS Trophy. It was his first time riding with a connected system. He came away impressed.
"I don’t want to ever not have it again. After the tour, we said, ‘how did we do it without this?’ It saves [lots] of time. I wouldn’t be saying that if I didn’t like it, seriously."
Stephanie Rowe (11:43 in the video)
Stephanie is another of the course marshals. She said it made her job as a marshal so much easier.
"In terms of the intercoms connecting to the group, it was instant. So, everyone would go to channel 4, and as soon as it was changed everyone was connected and then we were good for the day."
BJ Vosloo (12:08 in the video)
BJ was a part of the South Africa team, which won the International GS Trophy. He regularly rides with a Sena 20S, and he found the 50R to be a huge jump forward.
"My experience from the 20S on to the 50R that we used, it’s a massive improvement. There were two days where we bridged with other teams, and you’ll have 18 people on the same channel with no problem."
All of the riders seemed to be impressed with the capabilities of the 50R they tested over the course of their eight days in the saddle during the International GS Trophy, which means you can count on being impressed if you decide to buy.
The 50S and 50R are now available here and through preferred Sena dealers. Both the 50R and 50S will retail for $339 USD / €359 EUR (Incl. VAT). The 50R and 50S will also be available in a dual pack option, which will retail for $599 USD / €629 EUR (Incl. VAT).
Like all Sena products, the 50S and 50R are firmware upgradeable and come with Sena’s industry-leading two-year warranty.