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.
Photo © 6D