Updated: Apr 3, 2018
The most important piece of safety gear that anyone will put on when they ride is a helmet.
The most important piece of safety gear that anyone will put on when they ride is a helmet. Interestingly enough, various helmet manufacturers have been making, essentially, the same style of helmet for a long time: a hard shell that is some sort of combination of Fiberglass, Kevlar, and Carbon Fiber (on high end) with a foam insert. While these helmets get the job done as far as keeping your head in one piece, they have not made many strides in preventing concussions.
Similar to many other sports, concussions are a hot topic and there is good reason for it. We all see huge crashes, hits, punches, and kicks where someone is clearly not all there after they get up. We can, unfortunately, assume that these people most likely have a concussion. Though, what about the small tip over crashes when we hit our head and keep riding? Those can have a significant impact down the road too. While we see the short term effects, long term effects can develop into serious problems like Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy or CTE. For more about CTE, click here: https://concussionfoundation.org/CTE-resources/what-is-CTE
As more research and information has become available, 6D went about designing their helmet differently. Instead of solid foam stuck to a hard shell, they have 2 layers of foam with an air space in between. The two shells are attached by rubber bungee-type attachments and will allow the helmet to decelerate the impact more than a traditional helmet. While only a fraction of a second, this extra deceleration reduces trauma transferred directly to the brain. It also helps to account for rotational pressure since we usually fall at weird angles and at various speeds. This approach has allowed their helmets to reduce head force and reduce/prevent concussions.
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I can personally attest to the safety of this helmet after withstanding a bad crash in 2016. After hitting the ground head first from about 30ft up, my bike had broken rims, hubs, and fork internals in addition to my AC joint being completely separated (Grade 5), and a few broken ribs. With that said, there was a tremendous impact on the ground with my head, as well, that certainly left me dazed and confused. The inside shell of the helmet broke in 3 spots, the visor broke off, and the face protection on the outer shell was also broken. I ended up sending it to 6D as part of their crash test program so they could evaluate the helmet. They called me back asking if I was okay since the helmet was completely destroyed. Not only was my head okay, I did not have a concussion or any concussion symptoms post-crash. The evaluation of my helmet and description of my crash would contribute to future research regarding the safety features of helmet designs. They also will offer you a replacement at a discounted rate on a new one as a replacement which was really cool of them. Their customer service is top notch!
In addition to the increased safety factor, these helmets look really cool! Just turn on the TV to watch the Pros and you will see a lot of 6D helmets on the starting gate. There are a variety of designs that will help match your bike and gear. In addition to Motocross helmets, they offer cycling helmets, as well. For more information on 6D helmets, visit their website at www.6dhelmets.com or check out the video at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wk94MdHGSPg
As with any premium product, 6D helmets are definitely not the cheapest helmet on the market. But in my opinion, a good helmet should come before a new exhaust pipe for your Bike. At around $695 dollars you will be buying the best piece of safety gear available. Plus if you factor in potential medical bill savings if something does go wrong, I would rather prevent it in the first place.
The 6D helmets get a 5/5 Star rating from EMX.