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Cushioning the crash

By Shadow

Helmet technology has improved slowly and steadily over the past few decades, but recently, Bob Weber, a lifelong racer and 30-year veteran of the motorcycle industry, has developed the 6D Helmet. The helmet’s name refers to an engineering term that refers to the ability to move three dimensionally in space (and a lot of other high-math terms that make our eyes cross).

The new helmet uses what Weber calls Omni-Directional Suspension between the outer shell and inner core. The ODS layer is composed of 27 hourglass-shaped dampers that act as shock absorbers, providing a cushion against low-speed impacts. According to Weber’s company 6D Helmets, in a 4.5 mph get-off, the rider’s head experiences only 48 g of acceleration. In contrast, a rider wearing a Snell- or DOT-approved helmet would experience 78 g, exceeding the concussion threshold.

The 6D will be available in February for off-road use, and will cost about $750. Weber plans to release a street-legal version for bicycle riding, and says that there’s been some interest shown for football and military applications. We are guessing that eventually the technology will be made available for on-road motorcycling, although there’s no indication of what the price tag would be.


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