Motorcycle tip & skills

6D ATS-1 Motorcycle Helmet Review

motorcycle helmets, 6d helmets, helmet review, protective helmet, motorcycle gear

Sport Rider


The first street helmet from 6D Helmets to utilize its revolutionary ODS technology (“Progression in Protection,” April/May), the ATS-1 represents nearly three years of R&D work by the small company to design and build a helmet that would measure up to the best brands and models in the market. Sporting an outer shell made from a proprietary blend of advanced aerospace carbon fiber, fiberglass composite, and Kevlar, the ATS-1 was designed using fluid dynamics software for optimum aerodynamics, with a rear spoiler added to reduce drag and lift at speed. There are four adjustable intake ventilation ports that channel airflow into a network of 15 transfer ports (that use the air gap between the inner and outer ODS liners) and five exhaust ports. The rear of the neck roll also features a removable cuff that provides even more ventilation airflow for really hot days.

The inner comfort liner is removable and washable and is available in different sizes for a customizable fit. There are also slots in the liner to accommodate most designs of glasses. The cheek pads are equipped with an emergency release strap for easy removal by medical personnel.

The ATS-1’s face shield employs a proprietary articulating pivot mechanism that pulls the shield snug against the eyeport seal when closed and ratchets through 10 positions from closed to fully open. The shield is made to accept a clear 100 percent Max Vision Pinlock antifog insert that is included with the helmet, and each shield is anti-scratch-coated on both sides and provides UV protection and distortion-free vision (shields exceed VESC-8 standards).

An internal breath guard deflects heated breath downward while channeling fresh air up along the inside surface of the face shield from the adjustable chin vent to reduce fogging, and a removable chin curtain seals out turbulence in the facial area. The helmet chin bar is lined with EPS for proper frontal impact protection.

Comfort with the 6D ATS-1 was excellent, with no pressure points that would cause soreness over extended periods on our oval-shaped medium-size head. Aerodynamics on everything from a fairing-equipped adventure-tour bike to a naked machine with no fairing was very good, with little buffeting or lift detected at speed. The 6D has a very wide eyeport providing a large field of vision, and even in a full tuck position there was no vision problems. We also found the ATS-1 to be one of the quieter helmets we’ve tried, with the shield sealing well with no leaks or excessive wind noise through the ventilation ducts.

And speaking of ventilation, the 6D’s venting capabilities are right up with the best we’ve tried, especially with the rear neck roll cuff removed. The ODS system’s air gap between the two liners provides an excellent air channel throughout the helmet’s interior, and the ATS-1 takes full advantage of this benefit, with a definite cooling effect noticeable in the front, top, and rear of the rider’s head.

Replacing face shields is one of the only gripes we have with the 6D ATS-1. With the clear shield it’s easy to see and position the pivot properly to snap the unit into place, but with a dark smoke shield, it takes some practice to get it into the correct spot. And the right-side pivot on our helmet was a little stubborn to both insert and remove the shield.

The 6D ATS-1 is also slightly heavier than most helmets, with our medium-size lid weighing in at 3 pounds, 12 ounces. While this is likely a result of the added weight from the ODS protection technology (as well as the incrementally larger shell size to accommodate it), it’s never a bother while riding.

Considering the additional protection afforded by the ODS technology, those are minor blips on what is a superb first effort from 6D Helmets. The ATS-1 exceeds DOT and ECE 22.05 helmet standards and has a three-year limited warranty. It comes in gloss black, gloss white, and matte black finishes, in sizes XS–XXL.

Retail: $895

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