Eli Tomac gives the 6D its maiden voyage and stamp of approval.
Two motocross racer with years of industry experience have designed what they feel is the safest offroad helmet ever built. Bob Weber and Robert Reisinger are former pro racers, who combined their experience to design a totally unique way to absorb the energy of a crash. In short, the 6D helmet uses two separate EPS foam liners, with the two liners suspended by 27 unique rubber dampers. In a low intensity crash, the inner EPS shell compresses towards the outer shell, but is damped by the ODS (Omni-Directional Suspension) devices, which look like rubber hour glasses. The absorptive qualities of the ODS slows the compression of the foam EPS down until the force of the crash compresses the rubber completely – which leads to the inner foam liner and outer foam liner meeting each other...at which point they become a conventional one-piece EPS liner.
The 27 ODS dampers are highlighted in this photo, but in real life are situated in a 6mm gap between the two EPS foam liners.
It may sound hard to visualize, but at its heart, it is like having tiny shock absorbers as a first line of defense. The big plus of the ODS system is that unlike most helmet systems, which are designed for the big hit, and the big hit alone, the 6D helmet is designed to absorb the small hits that are the biggest cause of concussions, while not lessening the big hit capabilities of the helmet. And, since the inner EPS liner floats on the 27 shock absorbers, it has the ability to move, not just vertically with the blow, but in sheer and rotation to further increase the helmet’s ability to lessen injury.
Here is a super close-up look at the ODS dampers in the 6mm gap between the two foam liners.
In short, the 6D ATR-1 offroad helmet is designed to protect your brain over a broader range of impact energy, particularly the low–threshold energy prevalent in most dirt bike accidents. Low-threshold impact energy is the primary cause of concussions and second impact syndrome. Low-Threshold Energy, or low velocity impacts, is qualified for sake of reference as velocity equal to, or less than, 4m/sec (meters per second) as measured on traditional linear helmet testing equipment. A 4m/sec impact is equivalent to roughly 120 G’s being transferred to the brain in most current model Snell and ECE approved off-road helmets. That’s 100% more than the energy necessary to sustain a concussion in an adult male. The same low threshold tests concluded that the 6D helmet, with ODS technology, can significantly reduced the G-forces on the head by as much as 38%. Additionally, independent laboratory testing also confirms a significant reduction in angular acceleration energy with ODS. Angular acceleration is the primary cause of rotational brain injury, which is a potentially deadly and life-changing impairment.
The heart of the 6D helmet are the ODS dampers, but the brains are in the overall design and layout.
The improved performance of 6D’s exclusive ODS technology is claimed to reduce the likelihood and propensity of concussion over traditional helmet designs. Although no helmet can protect you from all potential impacts or injury, the 6D ATR-1 was engineered to provide active free-motion capability within the helmet’s protective liner and exceed current required helmet standards. It currently has ECE and DOT certification and is AMA legal. It will also pass Snell, but has not yet been certified.
Although 6D is a start up company and will not have product ready for sale until February 2013, they impressed the Geico Honda team enough that the complete Geico team will be wearing 6D helmets in 2013.
6D ATR-1 FEATURES
The 6D ATR-1 will go on sale in February. This will be the most expensive motocross helmet ever made, but even at full pop will be half the cost of a high-end CRF450 exhaust system.
ODS (Omni-Directional Suspension) Technology: A series of damper units control impacts in the low-threshold range and thanks to dual EPS foam liners are still able to absorb high-threshold hits.
Shell: The ATR-1’s shell combines a proprietary woven blend of advanced aerospace carbon fiber, composite fiberglass, and Kevlar to create the perfect ratio of strength to weight. There are no protrusions, sharp edges, or radical fins incorporated into the shell design which improves rider safety. The ATR-1’s shell was designed with the singular goal of building the safest, most effective, offroad helmet possible.
Visor: The visor mounts flush within an integrated recess in the outer shell surface.
Eyeport: The large eyeport opening provides excellent fitment of all popular motocross goggles.
Cheek pads: The cheek pads channel air flow from the chin bar into the air-gap for improved ventilation and comfort.
Roost guard: A removable contoured roost guard provides additional protection from rocks and roost while accommodating all popular goggles and nose protectors.
Rear Delta vent: Designed and engineered by aviation experts, Delta vents assist in the evacuation of air by creating a low-pressure venturi effect on the external surface of the helmet. Delta vents aid air transfer by scavenging air from within the helmet.
Clavicle cut-away: The lower chin bar opening is designed to reduce both mass and weight, as well as provide increased clavicle clearance without sacrificing strength.
Sternum pad: The ATR-1 incorporates a unique EPU (Expanded Poly Urethane) sternum pad design, which steps down below the nose of the chin bar area. The sternum pad provides a progressive surface for added protection of the chin, jaw and sternum in the event of an accident.