In 2016 we tested the ATS-1, the first full-face street helmet from 6D, a new company that had developed a patented system called Omni-Directional Suspension (read the review here). Inside the helmet are two nested EPS liners connected by an array of hourglass-shaped elastomer dampers. The dampers allow the EPS liners to move independently in six axes, so the outer shell moves independently of the head. Upon impact, the liners compress together and/or shift laterally relative to each other before they crush like EPS liners in other helmets, absorbing and dissipating kinetic energy and reducing the amount of force transferred to the head. Independent tests have shown that ODS significantly reduces linear and angular (rotational) acceleration compared to other helmets, reducing the likelihood of concussions, traumatic brain injuries or death. The innovation and wide-ranging applicability of ODS helped 6D win the Grand Prize in the NFL’s Head Health Challenge III competition.
6D’s new ATS-1R improves upon its predecessor in a number of ways. Advancements in ODS technology are said to provide “significant improvements in both linear and angular acceleration mitigation” while also reducing weight. My size-medium ATS-1R weighs 3 pounds, 5 ounces, which is 9 ounces lighter than the ATS-1. Designed with input from professional racers, the ATS-1R’s carbon fiber, intermediate-oval shell has an aerodynamic shape with a rear wing to reduce drag, buffeting and lift. With four intake vents, 15 transfer ports and five exhaust vents, the ODS Air-Gap ventilation system, which takes advantage of the space between the nested EPS liners, moves a significant amount of air. With all of the vents open the ATS-1R can be noisy, but it’s suitably quiet when wearing earplugs.
Other changes to the ATS-1R include a larger shell opening, redesigned cheek pads (optional pads allow sizing to be customized), a redesigned chin curtain, a removable neck cuff and a new self-tensioning face shield base plate, which improves sealing. The anti-scratch, UV-blocking shield offers 10 positions as well as a lockdown lever and a Pinlock 120 anti-fog insert is included. Changing the shield is a no-brainer and requires no tools. The ultra-plush comfort liner is removable, washable and compatible with eyewear, and inside the helmet are integrated speaker pockets.
Comfort, fit and finish, ventilation and ease of use are first rate, and the price of the DOT- and ECE-certified ATS-1R is significantly lower than that of its predecessor. It’s available in sizes XS-XXL for $695 in Gloss Black or $745 in graphics, and comes with a deluxe helmet bag.
For more information, see your dealer or visit 6dhelmets.com.