I have had only one concussion after all these years of riding (knock on wood) and after that experience, I would never wish that upon anyone. Losing spaces of time, memory and walking around aimlessly like someone is operating me via a remote control is not a fun experience. The crash I had was a low speed, high-side that twisted my body in the air, forcing me to the ground and snapping my head back to the dirt (think a hard whiplash). The following week after my crash I got a call from Bob Weber at 6D Helmets asking about what had happened and what type of helmet I was wearing. After telling him what I remembered and downloading him with as much information as I could, he asked me if we could meet up and inspect my helmet. We could talk some shop about helmets and their safety ratings, along with their procedures. I agreed and was down at the 6D offices a few weeks later once I stared feeling normal again. After reading all their information, I told him I wanted to try their helmet and he walked me through every aspect of their ATR-1 design. I could sit here and copy/paste every bit of information that 6D has on their website, but you could read all of that for yourself over at 6dhelmets.com. I will however give you some of the basic features of the ATR-1 design. In Layman's terms, ODS (Omni Directional Suspension) is suspension for your head. The ODS system is compromised of 2 EPS liners separated by an array of elastomeric isolation dampers that allow the system to sheer and displace 3-dimensionally when subjected to impact. The shell is a proprietary blend of carbon fiber, composite fiberglass and Kevlar. The liner is made up of a CoolMax fabric to keep you cool and the emergency release cheek pads can snap out in a hurry (to create space between your head and the helmet in case medical personnel needs to pull your helmet off without pulling on your neck). The new ATR design also has a shorter (more attractive) visor than in years past where the visor was quite long compared to other helmets on the market.
Once Bob took the time and explained the complete design of the ATR-1 helmet, I felt very comfortable about my choice to wear this lid on my head. Let’s face it all of these helmet companies can explain all of this technology to us and we wouldn't know if it actually worked until we put it to the test and had a crash to the head. Well by then its too late, right? No helmet can protect us from concussions completely, but some can definitely help more than others. After only a few months back on the bike, I took a decent spill and slapped my head pretty good with no effect of a concussion whatsoever. Was it the same type of crash that gave me a concussion? No. It was more of a swap and spit before coming down hard on the side of my head. I would like to think that the helmet did its job when I crashed, but honestly after that crash I felt safe and happy with my decision to purchase one. Yes, thats right I purchased my helmet after I heard Bob’s whole spiel that day we talked at the office. If someone takes the time to explain to me and show genuine interest in my well being, I think it is only fair to pay for the product. Bob knew I would tell him either way if his product was good or not, but I wanted to show my support in a product that I took a liking to after I heard what they were trying to achieve.
So how does the ATR-1 feel on the track? I wear a size medium and with standard cheek pads installed and the ATR-1 does feel a little loose (side to side). To combat that loose feeling I go with a thicker 55mm cheek pad and the fit is great for my round shaped head. I like the cheek pads to be snug around my cheek bones and with that extra padding the hemet fills my head just fine. The liner is not as soft as an Arai liner, but does still feel soft enough against my cheeks and forehead that I am not complaining. Like I said I have more of a round head and the ATR-1 sits down on my head correctly and conforms comfortably. Some helmets come too far down on the forehead and that prevents my googles from sitting in the eye port correctly, but the 6D does not do this. The eye port is huge, which I love for peripheral vision and for the simple fact any size goggle fits inside the eye port (yes, even if you wear glasses with your goggles). If you have a goggle that doesn't fit in the 6D’s eye port then you need to ditch your windshield looking goggles ASAP! I like that the chin bar is longer and doesn't sit against my huge nose. The ATR-1 is long enough that I have some room for my nose, but on the flip side of that roost doesn't get inside the helmet any easier than other helmets I have worn. The 6D helmet is louder compared to others however, but this is something I have grown accustomed to. I don't know why I can hear more of the outside world with the 6D helmet, but now I understand why some riders (that wear 6D’s) put in ear plugs. I have not gone to that extreme as I have tried ear plugs and DO NOT like that muffled feeling while I ride. The CoolMax liner wicks away sweat good and dries fairly quickly. After a quick 20 minute rest (in between motos) the liner is already dry on a 75 degree day. The eight intake ports and four exhaust ports ventilate my noggin extremely well. I have worn and tested a lot of helmets and the 6D feels like it vents better than an Arai or Shoei. Taking the liner out, washing it and putting it back in is not a nightmare and snaps in easily.
My medium 6D ATR-1 Macro helmet weighs 3 lbs 2 ounces and feels light when I am out on the track. The new lower price of the ATR-1 Macro is $695.00 and is comparable to most other high end helmet companies. After my spill and the overall comfort of the helmet, I am happy with my purchase. In fact, I was so impressed with the helmet that I bought one for my 11 year old son as well. Dress for the crash not the ride they say, so if you're in the market for a new lid I would head over to 6D’s website, take a look around and check out all the colors they have to offer.
Have any questions about this test, please feel free to email me at email@example.com.