Jump to content

6D Helmets: An Interview with the Co-Founder, Bob Weber


Freemotion

Not long ago we were able to meet 6D Helmets' Co-Founder, Bob Weber during a media day at Cahuilla Creek MX park just outside Temecula, California hosted by InsideLine.

We were able to discuss a little history, the details behind their revolutionary technology & what makes it different, advice on finding the right helmet, and what might be next for 6D all in Bob's own words. 

IMG_7846.JPG.33c3409d46f3958c3f4903c135169f22.JPG

Co-Founder Bob Weber Explaining 6D's Patented ODS System

ThumperTalk: How did 6D come about? What year?  

Bob Weber: I believed I had an idea worth developing to improve the capability of the helmet and better protect the human brain when subjected to oblique angle impacts in 2011. At that point, I contacted a good friend and engineer Robert Reisinger to help develop the technology. This process took us nearly 2 years. After prototype testing in an independent laboratory in Los Angeles, we were certain that we had a winning technology and could benefit the market with an improved helmet. It wasn’t so much a hole in the market we saw, but a massive development in how the helmet could be improved from an energy management and safety aspect. We sold our first helmets in 2013.

IMG_7848.JPG.2649d7eb035f6facfcab8cd4a9e4373f.JPG

ATR-2 'Circuit' from the 2019 Spring Collection 

ThumperTalk: Since the launch of 6D Helmets in 2013 there's been A LOT of helmet technology thrown into the market. So much so, it can be confusing for the consumer. What should a consumer look for (in technology) when purchasing a new helmet? 

Bob Weber: Today, helmets are much improved over the traditional designs of only a few years ago. So educating oneself on the various technologies out there should be the number one objective of the consumer. Riders, team managers, and parents should do their homework and learn about the different technologies available from the various brands out there, and how they differentiate from each other before they purchase. Head protection is about safety first, and should out-weigh any particular brand loyalty, cool graphic, or specific helmet design.

IMG_7842.JPG.0805c942fd7fee11c25b2dbd3c3f7d7d.JPG

ThumperTalk: Explain how Omni-Directional Suspension (ODS) works? And how is it so different to the standard style of helmets with EPS? 

Bob Weber: Simply put, the inner liner (much like an inner helmet) is uncoupled from the wearer’s head and can compress and shear within itself under impact conditions. This capability can dramatically reduce energy transfers to the brain from impacts at all velocities, and all impact angles. 

6D’s ODS technology:

  • Uncouples the outer surface of the helmet from the wearer’s head 
  • Dramatically improves low-threshold energy mitigation for both linear and angular accelerations
  • Has less constraints based on the shape of the human head
  • Is more tunable at the manufacturing level (defined by testing) 
  • Provides active suspension of the inner liner (6-Degrees of Freedom)  

IMG_7856.JPG.eb88e2af7b24b8511165d98e7f817262.JPG

Cutaway helmet showing the proprietary systems 

ThumperTalk: Since 6D came on the scene in 2013, it has started a kind of 'arms race' among helmet manufacturers for “new technology”. What are some certifications and testing standards that the consumer should be looking for when shopping for a quality helmet?

Bob Weber: Actually, there are no standards currently established to help guide the consumer when exploring angular acceleration force and low-threshold energy compliance. This will take time and in general, the governing bodies are slow to respond. The FIM has instituted a new standard for closed course road racing in Europe that was adopted in June of this year. They also have an off-road standard in development, but currently there is no date established for homologation requirements. 

At 6D, we’ve been testing for these dynamics longer than anyone. We started in 2011 developing the ATR-1 and established a testing protocol that we conduct on top of the US DOT and European ECE standards. Our method establishes testing starting with low-velocity impacts, measuring both linear and angular acceleration performance, and then climbs at controlled velocities all the way up to the maximum certification velocities set by the regulating bodies. 6D helmets are certified to the US DOT, European ECE 22.05, ASTM F3103 and UK ACU standards. Also, worth mentioning here, 6D does not make different helmets for different markets because of standards.

IMG_7845.JPG.2439cbf61c6f7d291b1548cb86b7ebd2.JPG

"We make one helmet, which exceeds the required standards in the US and all global markets, and sell that helmet everywhere"- Bob Weber

ThumperTalk: How do you know when it is time to replace your helmet? What are some things to look for or best practices can you share?

Bob Weber: Your helmet is a consumable device. It is designed to crush and yield when subject to impact force of some level of significance. After any moderate to severe crash you should inspect your helmet for damage, stress, or cracks in both the EPS material inside, and the shell surface. It is a good idea to have your dealer assist if you are unfamiliar with this process as damaged EPS is sometimes difficult to identify. Also, if you are competing on a regular basis, 2 to 4 times a month for 8 or 12 months out of the year, you are going to wear out a helmet and it should probably be replaced. Liners get played out, EPS compresses, and parts may be damaged by roost, crash, or poor handling and service. If there is none of that going on, your helmet may provide you 5 years or more of great service.

6D-Article.jpg.bd7b7a54c0c3a08ec5dfb15bba34916a.jpg

ThumperTalk: What's next for 6D? 

Bob Weber: We are preparing to launch our new ATS-1R street helmet in July. We’ve put a lot of work into this helmet updating the technology and improving fit and features for the rider. The ‘1R is getting “Advanced ODS” similar to what is in the new ATR-2, but without the multi-impact capability. It’s also lighter, has improved shield fit and function, and better fit when putting on and off. Especially for people with larger heads where we were pretty tight before. We also have a couple of cycling helmets in development and pretty exciting project going with a multi-impact helmet for another market. Watch for a 6D and FXR collaboration this fall as well. These helmets should be available in August from FXR.

**ThumperTalk would like to thank Bob & 6D Helmets for sitting down with us and talking helmets  

  • Like 6


User Feedback

Recommended Comments

Looks like 6D is picking up from great riders for 2020 👍

 

6D HELMETS ANNOUNCES PARTNERSHIP WITH MICHAEL LEIB AND CANVAS MX  
 
 January 22 nd , 2020 (BREA, Calif.) – 6D Helmets is excited to announce its partnership with
Michael Leib for round 4 of the FIM AMA Supercross series in Glendale,
Arizona. 6D Helmets will be the exclusive title sponsor for Leib, which will include a 6D
themed motorcycle graphic package and 6D themed Canvas gear.  6D and Canvas MX will
be offering this special limited-edition gear to the public exclusively through
CanvasMX.com.
 
In addition to the Glendale Arizona takeover, Leib will be competing in 6D helmets for all of
2020.     
 
“Michael presented us with a unique opportunity to showcase our brand quite differently
than the traditional sponsorship opportunities available to us. For our brand, we felt it made
a lot of sense to do something different. If Michael races well he’ll place our brand in front a
lot of eyes in a much different perspective than what’s normal in our industry” said Bob
Weber, 6D’s CEO and cofounder. “I’ve known Michael since he was an infant and he’s
always been just amazing. As an adult, I’ve been super impressed with his
entrepreneurship as both a racer and a businessman. We like his program, his energy, and
his odds to place our brand up front, so we’re excited to support him in Glendale and the
rest of the west coast 250cc series!”

Share this comment


Link to comment
Share on other sites


Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Reply with:


  • Similar Content

    • By Honeybagder
      North Carolina Hare Scramble Association - Brown Jug race
      https://www.nchsa.org/Schedule/tabid/33/Default.aspx?page482=1&size482=100
    • By Thill53
      I have been riding for a long time. I started riding when I was 8 and I always wanted to race in hopes that I will get that factory ride some day. The reason why i never raced is because this sport is expensive and couldn’t really afford it. I still want to make it in this sport I seen progression in my riding I just need to get out there. I am 14 and wondering if I could still make it . This year I’m finding a way no matter what. To me I see myself as a decent rider I ride often, stay in shape, and I do strict laps all the time. I got on a big bike at 10 so a lot of time to get things down. My natural ability is good I can whip scrub and take turns wide open on my 125. Right now I am sponsored by two companies for a start. I want to know from you guys is it to late for me to achieve my passion for racing and get the factory ride that I dream of? Can I have some advice on how or some of your stories.
    • By Honeybagder
      All,
      I recently moved to Asheville NC and started putting together a list of all the races from the two local series, North Carolina Hare Scramble Association and Mideast Hare Scramble Association, as well as the national races that I wanted to go to.  Turns out there is far more racing around here than just those series.  I had to shorten the list to only races within 2 hours of Asheville + a NEPG.  We are in the mecca of woods racing!!!!
       
      Also, if anyone lives in and around the Asheville area and would be willing to invite me to ride with them on private or public trails I would love it!  I am a 33 y/o A class woods racers (C class MX racer).  I am happy to ride with anyone including C riders if they like to push hard.  I like single track and hard enduro and I like to ride hard.
       
      See below list.

    • By MotoXking_101
      Hey, I'm looking for a new bike. Any insight for Thumpstar bike? Can you check this, thanks! 

×
×
  • Create New...