Former motocrossers Bob Weber and Robert Reisinger have joined forces to form a new Californai-based helmet company called 6D. Concerned about the ever-increasing rate of concussions in motocross and Supercross, both Weber and Reisinger blame this trend on outdated helmet technology, saying they feel that helmets have simply "not kept pace with technology." They are out to change all that. "Bikes are more powerful, riders are faster, and they are jumping farther than ever and are crashing harder than ever, too. Helmet technology has been stagnant," said Weber. "We thought it was time to build a safer helmet.
"The more we studied the problems, the testing methodologies, and learned about head injuries, the more we realized it would require a very creative and completely new approach to build a truly improved helmet," added Weber. "The helmet would need to manage critical angular acceleration energy issues present in all impacts, as well as reduce low-threshold energy transfer to the brain. We need a softer, more compliant helmet design, but without compromosing the high-energy performance."
After two years of designing and testng, the 6D ATR-1 helmet with Omni-Directional Suspension (ODS) technology is the result.
The heart of this new ODS technolgy is the 6D ATR-1 helmets EPS (foam) liner. Unlike traditional helmets, the 6D's liner is divided, creating a compound liner assembly.
"These two liners are separated by a very specific programmed array of elastomeric isolation dampers, creating an air-gap," says Weber, "that affords the free-motion suspension capability of ODS. "The ODS system improves impact force management within the helmets interior environment. ODS technology is designed to protect your head over a broader range of energy transfer; especially angular energy in low and high velocity impacts, than traditional helmet designs. In testing, ODS has shown to significantly reduce the energy transferred to the head, reducing the likely hood of a concussion or brain injury."
The GEICO Honda Motocross/Supercross team has been testing the helmet and was impressed enough with the 6D ATR-1 helmet that its Lites team, including Eli Tomac, Wil Hahn, Justin Bogle, Zach Osborn and Zach Bell will wear the helmet in 2013. Weber and Reisinger recently introduced the helmet to the media at the GEICO HOnda team's race shop in Corona, California, where special guest Broc Hepler was invited to speak to promote the helmet. The former factory suzuki and Yamaha rider had his career cut short by a concussion. He retired in 2009.
"I might still be riding if this helmet was around back then," Hepler said.
Asterisk's Doc Bodner attended the event and endorsed the helmet as well.
The 6D ATR-1 helmet also features a carbon fiber/Kevlar hybrid shell, clavicle cut-aways, full-ventilation, a large eyeport, and is compatible with all neck braces. It weighs three poinds and 4.5 ounces and meets DOT and ECE standards. Price has yet to be determined.
Weber says that they will soon introduce a street helmet using its ODS technology. If all goes accordign to plan, the 6D ATR-1 helmet will be available to the public in February. For more information on the 6D helmet, visit the company's website at www.6Dhelmets.com.
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