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



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 vortexsophia
      Starting a thread to see if anyone out there has insights into wheel size selection for the standard Motocross Bike 250/450 DTX Class. 
      It's becoming more and more popular lately go run DTX whether on actual DTX setups or even knobby class. I'm running into tons of people that are starting out because it's kinda hip and it gives an IN to racing to what many people feel that missed out on the motocross years. Also, the costs are much less then MX so MXrs are crossing over and new riders are going right in because used cheaper bikes can have good racing on tracks less then the mile. Personally, I love sliding sideways at speed and the TT is my favorite race in all of dirt riding. That being said, there's some legit setup questions especially about wheels since it's the first conversion before doing full setups with suspension. I rode a top racer's setup with 2.75" front and 3.0" rear on a 1/4 mile DT and it felt like turning a FatBoy, it stuck to the track, but wow did it turn stiff.
      Things that are stated from the DTX wheel builders:
      19 inch are standard, local tracks often let Sumo wheels with FT tires, but AFT requires 19".  AFT limits wheel size to 19 x 3.5 in maximum. No specified minimum width. All around track size suggestion is: 19" x 2.15" to 2.50" for front || 19" x  2.75" for rear Standard Flat Track Tires are 130/80-19 Front and 140/80-19 Rear On shorter tracks, thinner wheels give the tire more roundness allowing for better maneuvering while on longer tracks the wider wheel make for a more flatter tire giving more contact area for acceleration, but hinders cornering.  Where things are silly on paper. The various DTX tire makers give what they say are the recommended/minimum wheel widths. It seems people don't exactly follow them. for example Shinko says min wheel width for the 130/80/19 is 3.0 and the 140/80/19 is 3.5 . I see people run them on wheels not that wide at all.  for other brands:


      Add in here, gearing, i run my standard 13/50 MX gearing, i 4th gear on the 1/4 mile. I don't have the greatest pull on the straightaway but it is great in corners. On the TT couse, stock gearing feels perfect. I have not put my aggressive coupler on the bike yet, i'm waiting to get things setup and tweaked right before throwing a different power setting. I'm running a stock 2019 RM-Z450 for what it's worth. 
       
      What are people running and or opinions on wheel widths for different track sizes? 
      What sprocket sizes are people running on different tracks?
       
      BTW to ask, any chance of mods putting in a Flat Track/TT category since tons are running over to the sport and thy're all thumpers?
       
    • By Avery Rost
      Hey guys! 
      I recently shot, edited and directed a short moto proof-of-concept film with a buddy of mine. I'd love for you all to check it out and let me know what you think about it! Link below!
      (Be sure to watch in 4K with earbuds for the best viewing experience.)
       
      https://vimeo.com/333246808
       
      Directed By: Avery Rost ( https://www.instagram.com/averyrost_ )
      Featuring: Blake Hansen ( https://www.instagram.com/blake_hansen200 )
      Production Company: Meraki Digital Cinema ( https://www.instagram.com/meraki_cinema )
      Shot on locations in Wisconsin.
    • By Jason Brown
      Looking for new friends to ride with. For this wknd I would have my 8 yr old and he rides too! Moto camp beers fun. Ya?
    • By gzamboni
      Sup fellas,
      Made my first bike clip, rippin thru the woods at last light. Give a like and subscribe if u wanna see more short adventure highlights like this. Suggestions are welcome.
      -Zamboni
    • By Dani Juarez
      Hey there! Looking for new people to ride with in Johnson Valley/Barstow area. Trying to learn new technical skills, push myself, and stay dedicated. I'm a beginner/intermediate rider, pretty new to the sport looking for cool people to ride with. Just a heads up I'm a 19 y/o girl. 
×