1 (edited by gunn 2017-08-09 10:20 AM)

Topic: Bimarco Grip FIA Halo Seat Review (affordable fiberglass Halo seat)

All:
My Bimarco Grip FIA rated seat finally came in. It was the most affordable non Kirkey halo seat I could find.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/181832685842

It's slightly wider than the Corbeau Forza that I'm replacing, has a full fiberglass shell, and most importantly for us includes the halo bars to protect us in lateral impacts. I've seen a few reviews of this seat (mfg in Poland) -- seems to be popular with rally types in the EU -- but nothing stateside so I wanted to write something up. Given that i don't have any direct experience or know anyone with direct experience with the brand, I'm placing a lot of my faith in the FIA rating. I did see a comment though from someone selling a seat b/c it didn't fit in the Miata.

I ordered it from the mfg via eBay on 6/29 and it was finally delivered on 8/1 (shipping from Germany via DHL->USPS).
Shipping took right about a month and the only complication was that USPS was too lazy to attempt a redelivery to my office without prodding them (they are supposed to reattempt delivery of all business pkgs if the business is closed when they make their first attempt). The Bimarco came wrapped in bubble wrap and in a big cardboard box with some extra padding. Not a fantastic packing job (it would have been nice if they filled the whole thing with peanutes so the seat wouldn't shift inside the box but marginally adequate for the job.

YMMV but here's the kind of deal I got:
$449+$99 shipping = $548 shipped
- $35.92 (8% eBay Bucks cashback when purchased during promo period. Don't forget to register)
- $60 (Bought $400 worth of eBay GCs may bought from SamsungPay at 10-15% off during promo periods. I buy enough off eBay to bank te. Max 8 GCs per transaction).
+ $35 (cost of best offer made on side mount brackets to mount to our existing sliders
http://www.ebay.com/itm/400976754093)
= $487.08 - whatever I sell the original Corbeau Forza seat for locally.

IMO, not a bad upgrade to protect our necks.

Other people might suggest that I could have sold my Hans Sport and bought a Necksgen Rev for lateral support but this makes me feel safer as I am still skeeved out by the difference in forward motion between the two CAPE tests (I found them in 2014 but it looks like Necksgen pulled theirs from youtube. hrm.). The other cheap option for a halo seat would have been swapping the Corbeau out for a kirkey. Although I'm getting old, my ass still hasn't grown enough to offer sufficient padding to make that option appealing smile

Installation was fairly straightforward: I found that the outside width of the Bimarco seat was slightly wider than the Corbeau Forza seat so I needed to create two adapter plates to attach my Corbeau sliders to the Bimarco's new brackets.

Padding wise, I think the Forza might actually have more cushion under the butt but this is likely because it's built more like a traditional car seat (tube frame with padding/spring suspension?) vs a fiberglass shell w/ just padding. The front part of the seat that fits under your upper thighs is more comfy with the Bimarco though since those are essentially two big cushions.

I did find that the halo extensions do make it slightly harder to get the seat into the car and to enter/exit the vehicle w/ a helmet (neither issue was surprising). It's a good thing that my wheel is already detachable.

All in all, I'm pretty happy with the initial quality of the product but will report more after I've had a chance to take it on the track.

Initial unpacking at my office. You can fit it in a Prius
http://www.gunn.com/images/bimarco_1.jpg

Side by side with my better Corbeau Forza (which will be the passenger seat w/ the other one being sold off)
http://www.gunn.com/images/bimarco_2.jpg

DIY adapter to my existing Corbeau sliders/bracket
http://www.gunn.com/images/bimarco_3.jpg

Fitment in Tbird
http://www.gunn.com/images/bimarco_4.jpg
http://www.gunn.com/images/bimarco_5.jpg

Myopic Motorsport's #888 Bosozoku Texino Thunderbird (1995 tbird w/ 93 V8 swap + shopping cart rear wing)

2 (edited by n0m4d 2017-08-09 12:57 PM)

Re: Bimarco Grip FIA Halo Seat Review (affordable fiberglass Halo seat)

Thanks for the review!!  We ordered the same seat from eBay on 7/18 (after 2 failed attempts to order a Motamec GRP1 from the UK) in hopes of running it for this coming Thompson event.  It hasn't arrived yet and I'd be surprised if we do get it in time.  We also were considering the Kirkey but run a Sparco evo ii right now and this Bimarco seat looks like a direct swap.

It would be nice if Pyrotect would offer a similar seat that doesn't require shipping halfway across the planet.

EDIT:  It looks like Pyrotect now has a halo seat for $700 on backorder (a Motamec GRP2?).

Since 2009
#30 & #39 Overengineer'd Racing - Wilton, NH
http://www.facebook.com/nhlemons

3 (edited by gunn 2017-08-09 12:59 PM)

Re: Bimarco Grip FIA Halo Seat Review (affordable fiberglass Halo seat)

n0m4d wrote:

Thanks for the review!!  We ordered the same seat from eBay on 7/18 (after 2 failed attempts to order a Motamec GRP1 from the UK) in hopes of running it for this coming Thompson event.  It hasn't arrived yet and I'd be surprised if we do get it in time.  We also were considering the Kirkey but run a Sparco evo ii right now and this Bimarco seat looks like a direct swap.

It would be nice if Pyrotect would offer a similar seat that doesn't require shipping halfway across the planet.

I agree: a marketing/rebranding deal with someone like Bimarco could be an easy way for a company like Pyrotect/G-Force who don't have a seat line yet to enter this product segment without investing significantly in tooling.

I'm sure there's enough margin for a company like Bimarco to sell these by the shipping container full to one of these outfits. Even if the retail price was similar to what we just paid, it would be a helluva lot more convenient/faster if we could deal with a US sales channel. I guess a company like Corbeau who doesn't have a similar product would be less interested in a rebranding deal because if someone doesn't buy one of these halo seats, they "might" buy an additional product from an existing Corbeau lineup.

I'm not an automotive products marketing guy but this seems like something a bizdev person at one of these outfits should look at.

.

Myopic Motorsport's #888 Bosozoku Texino Thunderbird (1995 tbird w/ 93 V8 swap + shopping cart rear wing)

Re: Bimarco Grip FIA Halo Seat Review (affordable fiberglass Halo seat)

We've run the Bimarco Futura, which I think is basically the same seat but non-halo, for 2 races now and have loved it.  No one has ever complained about lack of comfort.  My only complaint is the lap belt holes are narrow, which makes adjusting the belts a bit challenging, but it looks like the openings on yours are larger.

I was skeptical about this brand at first as well but after researching them on a bunch of Euro sites I felt comfortable enough to pull the trigger and am very glad I did.

Electric Mayhem Racing