While our primary objective when designing helmets is always energy management, we’re also proud to offer what we believe to be the powersports industry’s only helmet-rebuild program. Helmets are consumable items, and while this has always been the case due to their single-impact construction materials, in the past they have rarely been properly retired because they were not damaged in most common off-road impacts. Helmets were so stiff that in all but the most serious impacts, the helmet was doing little work in protecting the athlete. The material foams and shells did little to manage the forces in less than catastrophic impacts, and instead transferred the kinetic energy directly on the rider’s head and brain. 6D’s helmet is different, and with that improved performance comes a helmet that does more “work,” and is therefore potentially more vulnerable to damage than some others in the market.
So shortly after the introduction of the original ATR-1 off-road helmet, we established a rebuild program to provide our customers a better value in both protection and longevity than competitor helmets. Our program has been successful and is appreciated by our customers. This year it has also been significantly improved and simplified with the introduction of the new ATR-2. I’ve really enjoyed seeing this program evolve over the last five years, and now with the introduction of the ATR-2, I thought it would be cool to take another look at the process.
6D’s helmet-rebuild program was born from the awareness that even when a helmet does its job of protecting the rider, it’s always upsetting if the product is damaged in the process.
6D’s helmet-rebuild program was born from the awareness that even when a helmet does its job of protecting the rider, it’s always upsetting if the product is damaged in the process. We recognize that 6D customers are making a considerable investment in their protection, and we wanted to ensure that they’re getting as much value as possible. We also want to do whatever we can to discourage the use of a damaged or compromised helmet.
To be honest, we hadn’t given a lot of consideration to a simple rebuilding process when we introduced the ATR-1, but with the work, we learned and refined the procedure over time. When it came time to develop the ATR-2, our focus was still on energy management, but we knew that we could also incorporate changes that would improve and simplify the rebuild process, while also saving the customer money. Now an option for owners of both the ATR-1 and ATR-2 models, our rebuild program has continued to grow as we work to provide more value and protection to the consumer.
Here’s a look at how the 6D Helmets rebuild process works:
1) HOME INSPECTION
The first step after a crash is to inspect the helmet at home, looking for visible damage to the shell. If the shell is cracked or fractured in any way, the helmet is finished and must be replaced. However, if the shell appears to be good, we can inspect the helmet at 6D headquarters to make the final determination. If we receive a helmet that cannot be rebuilt, our policy is to destroy it, returning it to the customer with the straps removed.
2) BEGIN A CRASH REPORT
Once you’ve inspected the helmet, contact 6D at 714-772-2121 to begin a crash report. A representative will ask you about the crash event so that we can better understand the impacts your helmet sustained, and to take down any necessary personal information. This is an important step, because if a helmet is sent to 6D without any information, it’s tough to understand the crash event and, if no additional information is provided, how we can contact you regarding the repair options.
3) SHIP HELMET TO 6D
After you’ve contacted 6D and made a crash report, you can ship it to 6D. Before boxing your helmet, put a piece of masking tape on it with your name and phone number. If there’s anything you can add to the crash report, include a written note with a paragraph or two about the event. Every bit of information 6D receives can be used to understand our helmets’ performance in varying incidents.
4) 6D INSPECTION
Once the helmet is received, 6D staff will complete an initial inspection to determine the damage condition. The customer service department will then call to let you know if the helmet is rebuildable or not, as well as the fee associated with the necessary repairs.
5) HELMET REBUILD
During the rebuild process, we remove the helmet’s internals and replace relevant parts. With the ATR-1, we replace the outer and inner liners, a complex assemblage of parts that’s assembled as one piece in our factory before being bonded to the shell. The ATR-2 has a multi-impact EPP outer liner, and its revised construction means that, in the likely event that the outer liner is fine, we have the option to replace only the EPS inner liner. In addition, the ATR-2 has an EPP chin-bar liner that is more easily replaced than the bonded-in EPS chin-bar liner of the ATR-1. Of course, there is often more to the re-birth; crashes are abusive to helmets, and damage won’t always be limited to the inner liner. Visors get broken, visor screws can be tweaked, and the rubber trim can be peeled off the shell. As part of the rebuild process, all of these areas are inspected, and much attention goes into returning the helmet to a renewed condition, apart from any cosmetic damage.
6) HELMET IS SHIPPED BACK
After a final cleaning, the helmet is packaged up and shipped back to its owner. It’s time to ride again!