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Basem Wasef

Can Suspension Helmets Save Your Noggin?

By January 23, 2013

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6D Suspension Helmet

Anyone who's ridden offroad knows the value of a good suspension system, and Brea, California-based 6D Helmets incorporates that concept into a lid that ditches traditional helmet liner construction in favor of a more shock absorbing solution.

While typical helmets utilize multi-density EPS (Expanded PolyStyrene) liners to absorb impact, 6D incorporates what they call an "Omni-Directional Suspension" system which uses 27 strategically positioned elastomeric dampers to deflect the sorts of impact energy which can cause concussions-- or worse, brain injury and potentially, death. The setup is housed in a carbon fiber/Kevlar/fiberglass shell, and the new design is has first been seen on the GEICO Honda 250 SX supercross team.

The good news? 6D seems to have done their research on studying the causes of concussions, "low threshold energy" impacts, and the detrimental (not to mention, potentially lethal) effects of angular acceleration on the brain.

The bad? The DOT and ECE-approved helmets which go on sale in February will be priced at around $750, far higher than most motocross-oriented offroad lids.

The age-old question of how much your head is worth comes into play here (as it always does when expensive helmets are involved), but new technology like 6D's also suggests that a new way of looking at head protection might be right around the corner. If and when mainstream markets respond to this technology, future iterations of this concept could signal a sea change in the way helmets are constructed and marketed.

Source: Cycle World, 6D Helmets


Photo © 6D

January 23, 2013 at 11:14 am
(1) Ninja Kev says:

Given the rate that materials technology is proceeding I wonder how long before we have a helmet that is far less cumbersome. My helmet saved my life during a crash in 1982 so I never ride without one but it would be nice to have a helmet that’s one inch thick and weighs in at a pound or so. Maybe an “air helmet” that inflates when impacted (don’t drop it!)

January 23, 2013 at 12:10 pm
(2) Joe says:

I’m curious on how much this helmet weighs? Do you know Basem?

January 23, 2013 at 3:37 pm
(3) Pete says:

C’mon guys…get with the program! Didn’t you read right here that helmets cause more injuries and deaths than they prevent?
They snap you’re neck ‘cause they’re heavy.
They disable you’re hearing.
They impair your vision.
They fracture and send shards into your brain.
They don’t work at high speeds.
They cause split ends and terminal dandruff.

Of course there’s always the possibility this is the first serious advance we’ve seen in helmet technology in a very long time.
I say – bring it on ! Good for 6D!

January 24, 2013 at 9:10 am
(4) Stosh says:

Nija Kev’s comment says it all ~ AND is backed up by FACTUAL DATA !!

Pete’s comments should have some FACTUAL DATA to support his ideas ~ which in my 69 years of riding ~ are extremly ludicrous

January 24, 2013 at 12:04 pm
(5) LovemyGS! says:

C’mon Folks…….give Pete a break, it can’t be easy being an Idiot!

January 24, 2013 at 12:09 pm
(6) LovemyGS! says:

This my favorite part;

They fracture and send shards into your brain…………!

January 24, 2013 at 12:32 pm
(7) Ninja Kev says:

You’re right Pete, I would’ve been much better off to have my skull ground down 1/2″ over my right temporal lobe until my brain was spilling out.

I’m convinced! Hallelujah! I promise not to wear anything more protective than a baseball cap ever again! Thanks Pete, you probably just saved my life. By the way, is your TBI healing up okay? Do the doctors still think it will affect your cognitive functions?

January 24, 2013 at 12:37 pm
(8) Scottie says:

Good to see that someone is thinking of different ways to protect our heads. hopefully this will trickle down to a more affordable price in the near future.

January 24, 2013 at 1:26 pm
(9) Pete says:

Clearly my attempt at humor was lost on you one-watts. Go back a few articles on this blog to the beauty about bicycle helmets. Read ‘Stickerchicks’ comments…speaking of morons….

January 24, 2013 at 5:51 pm
(10) Joe says:

I believe Pete was using sarcasm in his first post. Sorry Pete, I got it but it doesn’t look like anyone else did.

January 24, 2013 at 9:14 pm
(11) Pete says:

Joe??!! Really…please. I deplore sarcasm…it is simply the lowest form of humor.

Unless of course I can get a good laugh out of it. And it worked like a hot damn this time.

It’s actually more fun if your audience has 2 brain cells to rub together.

January 26, 2013 at 12:23 pm
(12) Ninja Kev says:

Okay Pete, I missed your sarcasm so I’m sorry for denigrating you. There have actually been posts here from the “helmets will kill you” faction so I assumed (yes, I know the old saying) you were another one of those kooks. Maybe your sarcasm needed to be more blatant…or at least more “sarcasmy.” Hey! I invented a new word – somebody call the dictionary people ASAP!

January 26, 2013 at 1:54 pm
(13) Pete says:

Hey ! It’s all good…
The “helmets will kill you yahoos” make me crazy(er), and try to never miss a chance to rub their noses in it.
You should read ‘Stickerchicks’ post..she really is a whack job.

And I think ‘sarcasmy’ is great word!

January 31, 2013 at 1:08 am
(14) motorcycles says:


Sorry for the late reply.

It’s light: 6D says it weighs around 1,490 grams (around 3.3 pounds); for comparison, Shoei’s $614 VFX-W weighs 1,522 grams.


January 31, 2013 at 6:03 am
(15) Joe says:

Thanks Basem. Looks like a cool idea and a neat innovation in helmet technology.

February 5, 2013 at 4:22 pm
(16) Greg says:

Basem, how different is this technology from the football helmets described in this article: http://www.popsci.com/science/article/2012-12/helmet-wars-and-new-helmet-could-protect-us-all
It looks like these helmets “slide” during an impact and take away some rotational force before it reaches the brain.

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