Motorcycle racing is full of peaks and valleys—in a single race weekend you can experience some of the highest highs and the lowest lows. At the final round of the 2017 MotoAmerica championship, hosted at Barber Motorsports Park, three-time Canadian Superbike Championship (CSBK) Pro Sport Bike Champion Kenny Riedmann was reminded of that. Recently, Kenny was able to share with us his experience with the ATS-1 and how he was able to go from crashing in morning warm-up to earning his best ever MotoAmerica Superbike result that same day.
Rider: Kenny Riedmann (age 26)
Helmet: 6D ATS-1
Crash Date: September 17, 2017
Crash Location: Barber Motorsports Park / Birmingham, Alabama
Kenny Riedmann says: “It’s not often that you’re excited after a crash, but I’ll admit that I walked away from my crash at Barber Motorsports Park not only relieved but actually upbeat—I’ve suffered concussions from a lot smaller impacts, and walking away made me feel extremely fortunate.
The crash itself happened as I was approaching the end of the back straightaway, which on my superbike is at the top of fifth gear. Just as I went to brake and tip into the left-hand turn 11, I realized that I’d lost all front-brake pressure. I went for the rear brake and was able to get the bike slowed down some but ultimately ran out of track and had to run off into the grass. As soon as I touched the grass I high-sided and was launched onto another section of racetrack, a right-hander that climbs uphill. As I landed, I hit my head harder than I ever have before and then rag-dolled a few hundred feet, stopping just shy of the air fence. It was a really nasty crash.
Whenever a rider hears that crack of a helmet hitting the ground, their initial thought is “Okay, how concussed am I? What’s the damage to my body?” All of that was going through my mind during the crash. But then, after getting up, I realized that my head was completely clear. I had no headaches and no signs of a concussion. In fact, after further evaluation, I was able to get back on my bike later that day and race, ultimately earning my best ever MotoAmerica Superbike finish.
I’ve hit my head in other helmets, and in those cases I remember feeling hazy for a little bit—kind of confused and not really sure if I was concussed or not. I knew I’d hit my head, and I knew something wasn’t right. I felt like this impact was far worse than anything I’ve ever taken before, and yet I felt none of that. To get up right away and feel just as good as I did before I hit the ground, it was really an eye-opening experience.”
6D Helmets says: Kenny, we’re so glad to hear that you came out of your crash in such good shape. 6D’s goal is to provide a helmet that reduces energy transfer to the brain more effectively than traditional helmet designs provided by competitor brands. The ODS technology infused into every 6D helmet offers levels of protection unmatched by conventional designs. ODS is more effective in managing angular acceleration force and low-threshold impacts than competing designs and traditional helmet liners. ODS performs better over a much broader range of energy demands so that racers and enthusiasts alike are better protected in the event of an accident. Thank you for your testimonial, and we look forward to seeing you on another podium soon!
After any accident of significance, the athlete should submit to concussion protocol evaluation before returning to riding or racing. Following is a list of stories we’ve done on the subject of concussions and 6D’s helmet-rebuild program—an option for ATR-1 and ATR-2 customers: