Just like anything else, motorcycles are continually evolving and getting lighter, faster and more powerful with each passing year. Despite improvements to how well bikes handle and perform these days, having an accident and crashing is always a looming threat that can never be eliminated, only mitigated. Fortunately for us riders, there are engineers working hard to keep our heads and bodies as safe as possible so we can continue to enjoy riding motorcycles both on- and off-road with confidence in knowing that we have the best chance in decreasing the amount of damage a potential crash can cause.
6D Helmets is one of the few helmet manufacturers on the cutting edge of pioneering new safety systems and strategic technologies aimed to decrease the effects of a crash on the rider’s brain. The company has just released the newest version of its off-road helmet, the ATR-2. Building on everything that 6D has learned from its ATR-1, the ATR-2 features an evolved version of the company’s patented Omni-Directional Suspension system (ODS).
ODS is a fully active, in-helmet suspension and kinetic energy management system whose function is to reduce energy transfer to the brain over a much broader range of energy demands, including low-, mid- and high-velocity impacts for both linear and angular accelerations. What this basically means is that, depending on the crash, your head can hit the ground not only multiple times, but also from an infinite amount of different speeds and angles.
So, 6D has designed essentially a ball and socket system of dual Expanded PolyStyrene (EPS) liners that are connected via Elastomeric Isolation Dampers to isolate impact energy away from your brain caused by varying rotational forces. The elastic properties of the dampers, combined with their unique ‘hourglass’ shape, provide a progressive spring rate that manages low and mid-threshold accelerations, while simultaneously allowing the inner EPS liner to displace and shear in 3-dimensional space within itself. This omni-directional suspension capability provides ‘six degrees of freedom’, which became the inspiration for the company’s name – 6D Helmets.
It’s a lot of technical mumbo-jumbo to wrap your head around – pun intended – but 6D does a better job of explaining and fleshing it all out below. If you’re interested in how you can mitigate and decrease the amount of potential damage a motorcycle accident can inflict on your head and brain (as you should be), we highly suggest finding out more below. This announcement may be for an off-road specific helmet, but we can surely expect the same technology to be used in 6D’s street helmet, which we will announce as soon as we find out more.
Begin 6D Release:
(TEMECULA, Calif.) – During a special event held at the compound of freestyle motocross legend Brian Deegan, 6D Helmets unveiled its all-new ATR-2 off-road motorcycle helmet. The byproduct of 6D’s relentless pursuit of brain protection, the ATR-2 features an evolved version of the company’s signature Omni-Directional Suspension system (ODS). The updates were heavily influenced by the work 6D completed inside the NFL’s Head Health Challenge III Contest, in which 6D and testing partner Dynamic Research, Inc. were selected as the Grand Prize Winner. The ATR-2 also includes numerous additional features meant to enhance overall safety.
6D revolutionized helmet design with the 2013 introduction of the ATR-1 dirt bike helmet, whose ODS technology set new standards in athlete brain protection by providing protection over a broader range of energy demands, including both linear and angular acceleration. Some manufacturers subsequently introduced technology in an effort to address the inherent flaws in traditional designs which 6D exposed. To date, none have achieved the excellent performance of 6D’s ODS system, and now, the evolved ODS system (called “Advanced ODS”) incorporated in the new ATR-2 raises the bar again.
“6D’s Omni-Directional Suspension technology has been studied, analyzed, and tested by some of the greatest minds in head protection and has proven itself effective all around the globe across multiple helmet platforms,” said Bob Weber, 6D’s CEO and cofounder. “Yet, as a company, we continue to challenge ourselves to improve our technology and advance rider safety. It was with that mindset that we were able to develop the new ATR-2—the most technically advanced helmet available today.”
The ATR-2’s Advanced ODS is highlighted by a new Expanded Polypropylene (EPP) multi-impact outer liner and a new Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) replaceable inner liner. As before, the two liners are connected via a series of elastomeric isolation dampers, assisting in progressive loading of the ODS system during impacts. Now, however, many of those dampers have been replaced by damping towers that are incorporated into only the outer liner; these towers are capped by new, low-friction disks that slide freely against the inner liner, thereby reducing friction under loading and increasing the displacement travel between the two liners.
“Through material testing and analysis made possible by the NFL Head Health Challenge III Contest, we were able to unlock additional potential from our ODS system, and we’re proud to have incorporated these improvements into the new ATR-2,” said Robert Reisinger, 6D’s Director of Engineering and cofounder. “With this new Advanced ODS system in place, the ATR-2 offers improved performance in both linear and angular acceleration mitigation, and at the same time can be made easily re-buildable for a longer service life. This improves rider safety and saves the consumer money.”
In addition to Advanced ODS, the ATR-2 features a number of other updates aimed at improving safety: A structural Brow Rib strengthens the upper eyeport area, while a strategically designed Cervical Protection Zone works to protect the rider in the event that the helmet is pushed down and back into the neck and spine during an accident. The ATR-2’s shell has also been optimized to perform in concert with the Advanced ODS.
In addition to its superior low-, mid-, and high-velocity impact mitigation, the ATR-2 has an overall weight reduction of about 100 grams. The helmet also features a removable, washable comfort liner with a genuine Dri-Lex® antibacterial fabric, as well as 17 transfer ports that work in unison with the Air Gap Ventilation System to keep the rider cool. The new EPP chinbar is over-molded with polyurethane at the sternum pad location and is more energy-absorbing for side impacts to the jaw area.
Safety features carried over from the revolutionary ATR-1 include a clavicle cutaway, sternum pad, shear-away visor screws, and emergency removable cheek pads.
The ATR-2 is available in three shell sizes covering a size range from XS to XXL and comes with a three-year limited warranty. MSRP starts at $695.
6D Helmets LLC is dedicated to the relentless pursuit of brain protection. 6D’s patented Omni-Directional Suspension™ (ODS) technology provides protection capabilities unmatched by any other helmet design. 6D, established in 2011, is the safety technology leader in both motorcycle and bicycle helmet design. ODS™ is exclusively available in 6D Helmets. www.6Dhelmets.com