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6D ATS-1R HELMET REVIEW

6D ATS-1R HELMET Review Summary
Review Summary
The 6D ATS-1R helmet is a premium piece of kit with a premium price tag—but it justifies its ~$800 cost with an exceptionally high-quality construction and tons of advanced features. Take, for example, the 3K carbon fiber outer shell and omni-directional EPS shell designed to help spread out forces during a collision and reduce the likelihood of severe brain injuries. There are a couple of drawbacks, including highway noise and weight, but this is still obviously a high-quality product.
Sizing & Comfort

Build Quality

Visibility

Ventilation

Noise

Safety

Pros
Safety, safety, safety
Strikingly bright & classy graphics
Dark smoke & Pinlock face shields and carry bag included
Good ventilation
Three-year warranty
Cons
Heavier than it should be
Wind noise and buffeting at speed
Overall size & frontal cross section
No high-viz graphic option
Vibrating clear screen over 55 mph (when in highest open position)

4.3
A Good Buy

Review Summary

  • This is a premium helmet with a high-end price that features NFL-funded safety research, a carbon fiber shell, beautiful graphics and lots of accessories.
  • Advanced features include an omni-directional EPS shell to help reduce rotational forces in accidents, and a 3K carbon fiber outer shell. This helmet was designed for protection, and made beautifully.
  • It’s a bit heavier than you’d expect, and although it offers plenty of ventilation, this helmet is also fairly noisy. That said, it’s still a premium product—and well worth a look if you’re willing to pay big bucks for a serious lid.

The 6D ATS-1R Full Face Helmet is a Beautiful Full-Face Helmet

I’ve broken legs, ribs, toes and collar bones (none motorcycling) without lasting impact, but if I whack my head or mess up my hands, life will change seriously, perhaps forever. I’m always interested in rider safety, which is evolving rapidly in headgear, airbags and clothing, and I’m willing to invest in it. This helmet is a good example, for which the research was funded in part by the world’s most profitable sports enterprise: the NFL.

When I got a chance to review this helmet for webBikeWorld, I jumped at it. Read on to find out what I think about its design, build quality, protection, and more.

See Also: Best Full Face Helmets for 2022

Additionally, you can check out a video showcasing the 6D ATS-1R helmet here:

About the 6D Brand

The 6D Helmet Company is based in Brea, California, and they offer a variety of sport helmets for bicyclists and motorcyclists, including youth sizes. To date, they’ve sponsored around a hundred racers in bicycling and motorsports. Their corporate identity “6D is a reference to the engineering term 6 Degrees of Freedom, which refers to the ability to move 3 dimensionally in space about the Cartesian coordinate system of X,Y and Z, including rotation about each axis.” In 2017, 6D and a partner won the $500,000 Grand Prize in the NFL-sponsored Head Health Challenge III, having won $250,000 earlier to get to the round of five finalists. As you may have seen in recent news, the NFL is very concerned about head and neck injuries.

Relative to motorcycle helmets, all this shows up in the 6D ATS-1R with an omni-directional interior EPS shell that can move in any direction with the rider’s head in a collision to transfer the impact energy over a wider area and slow the impact on the brain. The inner EPS layer is softer and a bit thinner than the more conventional outer EPS lining, distributing an impact from any place on the shell even farther.

Between the two EPS layers is the special ingredient: little hour-glass shaped elastomeric towers, like double ended mushrooms, that allow the inner liner to flex, move and compress in any plane and direction to diminish an impact to the brain. You can catch a glimpse of these little red mushrooms at the back of the helmet, with the neck roll cuff removed.

6D ATS-1R helmet outside

Front of 6D ATS-1R helmet

Design & Innovation

The ATS-1R (Advanced Technology Street) helmet was introduced in 2019, replacing the older ATS-1 while providing lighter weight, a wider chin for easier entry, and more positive ratchet stops for raising the face shield. There are two shell sizes: XS-Med, and L-XXL.

With a big head, I’m reviewing the XXL size; despite the thin carbon fiber shell, this lid with all parts weighs 1704 gm/3.755 lbs. In the wBW weight scale, this ties with #179, in the lower half of the spectrum of 272.

A smaller size obviously would weigh less. This is not a critical observation–merely analytical–in that the extra safety provided by two EPS layers separated by posts results in extra size and weight, in the range of dual sport and modular helmets.

6D ATS-1R helmet next to other helmet outside

Build Quality

The 6D really shines in this category. The 3K carbon fiber outer shell is extremely thin and very strong, and has a beautiful decal and paint graphic on the exterior that’s covered by a thick, glossy clear coat. The interior features:

  • An EPS-lined chin bar
  • A removable and washable padded liner
  • Padded leggings on the chin straps
  • A breath guard over the nose to prevent shield fogging
  • A removable and quieting breath/weather guard in the chin area
  • Emergency-release cheek pads
  • A convertible neck roll cuff at the back of the neck that either allows or prevents internal air from exhausting (depending on the season)

There are no loose threads or misfitting elements, and the removable soft parts are held in place with hook-and-loop strips and tabs—much preferable to snaps or buttons. I was a little nervous pulling out the liner and chin and neck covers due to the layered safety technology, but after watching the Revzilla video more times than I’ll admit, it all came out (and more importantly) went back in smoothly and easily.

Interior components of 6D ATS-1R helmet

Inner lining of 6D ATS-1R helmet

Emergency release pads for 6D ATS-1R helmet

Protection

Helmet manufacturers devote endless acronyms to promoting their particular brand of cranial security. Protection is the main reason for buying this helmet, and the ATS-1R really stands out in this category, with its ODS (Omni-Directional Suspension).

The design disperses impacts from all sides and surfaces by actively suspending the inner from the outer EPS layer; the lighter, thinner inside EPS can move independently of the heavier outer EPS liner to disperse impact energy. The two EPS layers are separated by little elastomer towers that move and flex with impact.

The helmet comes with a 10-page brochure describing and graphing its technology, and there are videos and web pages on 6D’s web site dedicated to the safety philosophy and technology as well.

Multiple inner EPS layers visible in 6D ATS-1R helmet

The helmet itself comes with protection as well, in the form of a sturdy ventilated Cordura helmet bag with a double-zipper top with handle, fleece interior liner, side pocket, embroidered logos, hook and loop handles, and four side d-rings. If you’re wearing the 6D lid, this bag can serve as a nice flashy tail bag fastened down with the d-rings.

Helmet bag for 6D ATS-1R helmet

Noise Management

This is not a quiet helmet, both on account of its size as well as its multiple intake (four) and exhaust (five) vents. A removable chin skirt is lightly insulated for warmth & noise reduction; the large number of vents in chin, forehead and brow add some noise, as does the helmet’s wide frontal cross section.

With my bike’s adjustable Madstad windscreen set low and angled back for summer riding, I couldn’t ride with the thin face shield up all the way over 55 mph. The buffeting actually made my head vibrate at a pretty high frequency. Only when the Madstad was in the high and vertical position (winter or LD highway setting) could I ride comfortably with the screen up for ventilation.

I suspect a thicker face shield, like the included dark smoke shield, would take care of this pretty easily. Dropping the shield a notch or two helped fix the vibration, and of course your mileage may vary on this particular effect.

Fit & Comfort

The Rogue is shaped for intermediate oval heads, and as an XXL-size member of that group, I can attest to its proper fit and comfort. The interior contains a plush washable synthetic moisture-absorbing padded liner that is easily removed and replaced; the cheek pads are available in different sizes for a snug fitment.

I found the speaker-ready earholes a bit small and on donning the lid had to tuck in my ears to avoid bending discomfort. There is a nice wide eyeglass channel that makes inserting and wearing glasses easy and comfortable over a long ride. A double D-ring with pull tab fastens the helmet securely, and both chin straps have padded covers for comfort and anti-chafing. All the longer rides I took with this helmet were comfortable, especially with ear plugs.

Ventilation & Airflow

Four intake vents provide lots of ventilation, but they also increase road noise when open. All are easily opened and closed with gloves on. Starting at the bottom is a 2”-wide (5 cm) chin vent, which exhausts vertically into the face shield interior.

Close-up of the front of 6D ATS-1R helmet

Two smaller brow vents 3.25” (8.5 cm.) apart and a 2.75”-wide (7.25 cm) crown vent empty into multiple channels running the length of the helmet interior; they direct a little air at the top of the shell but mostly at the base of the helmet at the hair line.

Vent control at top of 6D ATS-1R helmet

Small control on top of 6D ATS-1R helmet

There are four exhaust vents at the rear of the helmet; a little black “rear delta vent” on the crown, a wider one at the base of the black ”aerodynamic wing,” and a vertical slit vent on each side.

Rear of 6D ATS-1R helmet

A cover at the back of the neck can be removed for warm weather airflow and installed for the colder months to seal off some of the air; when it’s off for max airflow, you can peek into the helmet interior and see the little red mushrooms at the heart of the safety system.

Back of neck cover for 6D ATS-1R helmet

Inside airflow is managed and distributed by perforated channels molded into the inner EPS lining; these channels run along the main axis of the helmet and empty at the back and bottom of the shell.

Interior of 6D ATS-1R helmet

There are two shell sizes; My 2XX size filled the larger shell. The shell is larger than average, since the ODS safety system requires two EPS shells separated by the little mushrooms. The large frontal cross section that results moves a lot of air around it, and you can hear this even with ear plugs. It is a noisy helmet at highway speeds or above. The black wing vent at the rear black looks racer-cool and may mitigate noise and buffeting at higher speeds, but the exposed face screen hardware may offset this.

Face Shield & Removal

The Rogue comes with clear and dark smoke shields, as well as a Pinlock for the clear shield. The shields have anti-scratch coating on both sides. The clear shield feels quite thin, and it flexes when the tab on the left side is used to raise and lower it over the ten-stop range.

Side view of face shield on 6D ATS-1R helmet

When it’s all the way down and seated against the waterproof gasket, it’s much quieter and forms a tight seal against a mist or heavier rain. It was more comfortable to raise it one détente by the tab, and then stick a finger in the nose notch to raise it into one of the upper stops. Lowering it, a finger or two at TDC feels more secure than using the tab.

When fully raised on a hot day to flow maximum air, the thin shield feels flimsy and vibrates at highway speed; lowering it a stop or two to get below the wind fixes this. The dark smoke shield is a bit thicker than the clear shield and will vibrate less. But I did remove the clear shield several times for cleaning; it pops off and on very easily, snapping in and out of the mechanism, which is exposed when fully raised. It’s advisable to clean the exposed shield mechanism occasionally, to keep road grime from accumulating and gumming up the works.

The shield tab on the left side of the shield does not easily open or close it; I put a finger at the top of the shield for a tight seal against the waterproof gasket. To open, a finger in the central notch makes it easy to raise the screen.

Close up of front of 6D ATS-1R helmet with face shield partially raised

One time I tried to raise the screen with my right hand; the left side of the clear screen completely popped off the mechanism, and I had to stop on the roadside to pop it back in. A shield lock lever at the base of the left side shield either locks the shield in the down position or raises it a bit for airflow.

Value for Money

This is a premium helmet, and the price and everything that comes with this lid reflects that, right from the moment you unbox it. The most important feature is this helmet’s safety design, and how it will work in an accident involving the head. Of course, I didn’t test that feature and I sincerely hope that I never do. And if I did, would I be able to report back?

It’s bigger and noisier than many other helmets, but more innovative thought and design has gone into its safety to balance the scales of judgment. Me? It’ll be my daily rider, and I’ll use earplugs for everything longer than the normal commute or errand. I’m looking forward to the next generation of 6D headwear.

Packaging for 6D ATS-1R helmet

Sun visor in wrap for 6D ATS-1R helmet

Stickers and packaging materials for 6D ATS-1R helmet

Comes with clear and smoke shields, one pinlock, a fancy lined carry bag with handles and d-rings, 10 stickers, uncounted tags, two brochures.

The Verdict: Final Thoughts on the 6D ATS 1R

What body part is more important than your head? This is a premium helmet with high level details, focusing especially on scientifically-derived and NFL-funded protection against both vertical and angular impacts. Its high price is partly offset by pricey accessories including clear, smoke and Pinlock screens and an elegant padded black bag with carry straps and d-rings for fastening to a back seat or tail rack.

Specs

  • Manufacturer: 6D Helmets
  • Made in: China
  • Price as shown: Solid $774.95 Graphics $799.95
  • Sizes: Two shell sizes: XS/SM/MD, and L/XL/2XL
  • Rogue Colors: Matte Red/Grey, Matte White/Grey, Matte Red/White/Blue
  • Safety Designations: DOT, ECE2205
  • Warranty: 3-year manufacturer warranty
  • Review Date: October 2022

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