Motorcycle helmets are the most essential piece of protective equipment for any motorcyclist. Manufacturers invest significant amounts of time and money into research and development to ensure the design and technology that goes into their helmets is the best you can get.
The basic design of motorcycle helmets has stayed the same for decades – an inner EPS foam layer protected by a hard outer-shell – designed to give a firm structure to protect your head from impacts. Thanks to the development of materials to better absorb the energy of impacts – reducing the acceleration and rotational forces on your brain inside your skull prevents head injuries, manufacturers are producing ever safer, lighter and more comfortable helmets.
6D Helmets have developed a revolutionary new ODS system using two separate EPS liners, that offers superior protection from both a design and technological perspective, with the goal to cover all ranges of impact speeds and the resulting linear and angular acceleration on the brain.
Omni – Directional Suspension (ODS)
6D’s innovative patented Omni-Directional Suspension (ODS) technology is designed to uncouple the helmet’s outer shell from the inner EPS liner, which in turn reduces the transfer of energy to the rider’s head and brain during an accident or impact.
The damper system is the heart and soul of 6D’s patented ODS technology. An array of dampers works in unison with the dual EPS liners to isolate impact energy from the brain. The hourglass shape and elasticity of the dampers protection against low and mid velocity accelerations, giving the inner EPS layer the freedom to displace and shear in within itself. This omni directional displacement – the “six degrees of freedom” – became the inspiration for the company name, 6D Helmets.
The 6D ATS-1R helmet reinvents motorcycle helmet design. Safety is paramount in a motorcycle helmet, but it also needs to be comfortable and stylish too – let’s face it, we all like a bit of style when we’re out on our bikes! The AST-1R features an ultra-light 3K carbon fibre shell; constructed from a blend of aerospace carbon, it is extremely strong, and extremely light, which alleviates stress on your neck and shoulders whilst riding.
The ATS-1R is an incredibly stylish looking helmet and is a race proven design thanks to 6D athletes such as Danny Buchan and Billy McConnell in the British Superbike Championship!
Using advanced CAD design, 6D have been able to maximise the shape of the ATS-1R helmet (and its rear wing) to greatly improve the aerodynamic efficiency of the helmet to reduce drag, buffeting and lift when riding at high speeds. Advanced CAD design also helped 6D to manufacture a very clever articulating visor pivot mechanism, which enables the visor to have a tight fit against the helmet’s shell when closed. A handy locking tab locks the visor in place for high speeds, or keeps the visor ajar for some extra airflow…. All ATS1-R helmets are supplied with a clear visor and a Pinlock 70 visor insert.
Although the race pedigree of the ATS-1R shows through, it still makes an awesome road helmet! A removable and washable comfort liner mean no more smelly helmet syndrome in hot weather. A removable and washable comfort liner means no more smelly helmet syndrome in hot weather. Whilst keeping you draught free in colder weather when fitted. The combination of CAD design and hi-tech materials mean that the helmet is super comfy and quiet on the road to help you concentrate on the job in hand. Emergency quick-release cheek pads are fitted as standard and the helmet is eyewear compatible and has integrated speaker pockets should you wish to fit an intercom.
As well as providing excellent protection for your head, the ODS system on the ATS-1R also provides an excellent ventilation system. The ODS ventilation system uses 4 adjustable intake ports to channel fresh air into the helmet, where it is then managed by a network of 15 transfer ports through the air-gap in between the 2 EPS liners, before dissipating through one of the 5 rear exhaust vents (optimally positioned at the rear of the helmet to take advantage of the negative pressure effects). An internal breath guard and brow vents help against fogging even on the coldest and wettest days.
What do we think?
It’s easy for us to sit here and go through the features of the helmet line by line, but does that help us in the real world when it comes to making a decision of what our next helmet should be? Well, not really! Thankfully we have been lucky enough to test an AST1-R over the last few months and we can share with you a few of our thoughts…
There is no denying that the 6D helmet comes bristling with features and is packed full of the most innovative helmet technology on the market, but should it be sold as a race/track lid, or is it capable of all-round sports/touring/commuting use?
Unboxing any new helmet is always exciting and this one didn’t fail to deliver the same feeling! A plush, padded helmet bag kept the helmet safe and oozes quality. The fit and finish of the helmet is excellent with good quality graphics on a well finished package.
Once out of the box, it is obvious to see that the carbon ATS-1R is heavier than my AGV Corsa and quite noticeably when holding them side by side, but this is a trade-off for the ODS suspension system and once it is on your head, the helmet doesn’t feel heavy at all… The helmet instantly feels snug and comfortable and it was re-assuring to have a double D-Ring fastener too.
The field of vision is great – the aperture in the helmet is great and offers good peripheral vision when on. Like most helmets these days, the ATS-1R comes with a Pinlock ready visor and a Pinlock 70 in the box. The first impressions of the visor are very good. It uses a tool-less quick release system, that is easy to operate and means visor swaps can be done very quickly! The design of the visor mechanism means the visor sits close to the helmet and shuts tightly when locked shut with the locking tab. The handy sized visor opening tab is a good size and easy to use with gloves on too!
Over the last 6 months, the helmet has been used for a combination of commuting, track days and weekend blasts and I’m happy to say it has ticked all the boxes so far.
Over the backend of the summer on a few track days, the helmet performed impeccably! The initial fears of it being a little heavier than my previous AGV were long gone after a few sessions. It was super stable with no buffeting at speed, and the ventilation system worked perfectly; the vents are easy to operate with a gloved hand and the visor lock system helped to re-assure you that the visor would not creep open at speed. The ventilation was also very good, I had removed the neck roll and chin curtain for a bit more airflow, but it didn’t increase the noise in the helmet a lot at all. It is a relatively quiet lid and it was easy to tell a lot of work had gone into keeping it as quiet as possible (even if I do wear earplugs!) The removable interior was a god send, as after a few track days it had an interesting aroma! Once the interior had been washed though, it was like new again – I think all helmets should have fully removable interiors these days!
As the summer came to an end and Autumn kicked in – I was determined to keep my commute to work going with the AST-1R. Now it was broken in, it became like an old faithful pair of slippers – comfortable and seemingly doing everything I wanted! As the weather got a little cooler, I put the neck roll and chin curtain back in, to reduce the colder air a little. The Pinlock insert and internal brow vents have kept the visor clear and mist free, no matter the weather, wet or cold! The visibility out of the helmet is very good and I felt extremely comfortable riding the daily commute and I have to say, I was impressed with the peripheral vision.
So, what is the verdict? I was super excited to use the 6D helmet and I must admit, I have not been disappointed at all! It features cutting edge technology in a helmet that isn’t over heavy, looks great and is extremely comfortable on the bike! It really has become my go-to helmet, no matter what or where I’m riding – it’s the helmet I pick up 1st! At £549.00, it may seem a little pricey, but once you remember the technology inside and the materials the helmet are made of – it should be a lot more!
If you’d like to see our range of 6D helmets, click here…