6D ATR-1 Helmet Review

New motocross 6D helmet is designed to reduce rider concussions.

6D ATR-1 Crusader black-red helmet product image

The classic helmet structure of a composite shell, expanded polystyrene (EPS) liner, and soft foam comfort liner has been around for six decades now. Despite periodic upgrades and new standards to this formula, helmet maker 6D's research shows such traditional helmets still under-perform in two critical area—low-speed crashes and glancing side blows or more technically, "angular acceleration." Dirt riders often encounter both.

Billed as “suspension for your head,” the 6D ATR-1 helmet actually has an Omni-Directional Suspension (ODS) system between the inner and outer EPS liners. As the term implies, ODS allows the inner liner (including your head) to “float” independently of the outer liner and the carbon fiber, fiberglass, and Kevlar outer shell. (Think of Norton’s famous isolastic engine mounts, only with 360-degree movement capability.)

6D ATR-1 helmet in use during race

This allows several advantages. First, in a crash, the unique hourglass-shaped posts (which 6D calls “Elastomeric Isolation Dampers”) connecting the two liners extend the deceleration time for the inner liner, thus lowering the g-forces reaching the brain. Second, the 6D helmet dampers can flex in any direction to diminish harmful rotational forces during a glancing blow. And finally, the 7mm air gap between the inner and outer liners improves cooling.

Sizes include XS–XXL for adults (ATR-1) and SM–LG for the youth-sized ATR-1Y. We tested the 6D ATR-1 helmet over multiple ride days on the motocross track, in the desert, and even on ADV street duty. We found the fit quite comfortable and noticed good airflow. The only demerit was excessive noise.

Suffering no significant crashes during our test, we can’t report firsthand if the 6D spared us a concussion. But the confidence boost from having this new engineering wrapped around our brainpan is significant. And if the energy management data provided by 6D is accurate, at some point, virtually every dirt rider will wish they had one.

Chaos Graphic - Blue

Crusader Graphic - Black/Red

Hornet Graphic - Green

Intruder Graphic - Grey/Red

Maze Graphic - Green

Stealth Graphic - Orange/Charcoal

In-action shot #1

In-action shot #2

Ghosted image of the new 6D ATR-1 shows the array of impact-absorbing dampers that reside between the two EPS liners.

Besides the proprietary omni-directional suspension, the ATR-1 has emergency-release cheek pads.

Impact-asorbing dampers are barely larger than a fingertip.