More than 70 years ago, a determined motorcyclist in Saitama, Japan assessed the situation to prolong his two-wheeled enjoyment and created a helmet company, the first in his native country. Decades later this brand continues to bring honor to the privately held company still run by the Arai family, whose only shareholders are its customers.
What makes an Arai helmet special? We know the primary function of all motorcycle helmets is to protect the head, but Arai takes it one level higher as the only company offering multiple interior-fit shapes. Comfort is key to a proper fit to better address the infinite variety of riders’ head shapes and sizes, and for more than three decades, Arai has pioneered different shapes — and even different proportions within those shapes — in its helmet models.
The Arai Difference: What is Glancing Off?
Arai’s concentration on safety, fit and performance begins with a focus on avoiding or minimizing impact energy from getting inside the helmet. Arai has determined that a rider traveling at street-legal highway speeds can carry more than 12 times the kinetic energy than the most stringent laboratory helmet standard tests. This energy increases by the square of the speed, so even a small increase in speed means measurably more kinetic energy that needs to be managed by the helmet.
This kinetic energy can be avoided or minimized by sliding over or ‘glancing off’ objects. Glancing off is the ability to avoid sending energy directly into the helmet and instead disperse as much of it as possible without stopping or snagging on an obstacle. Arai believes that the ability to glance off energy is one of the most important performance characteristics of a helmet.
Through decades of lessons learned on the street and track, Arai’s results continue to reinforce a simple truth that a rounder, smoother and stronger shell is better able to divert impact energy by sliding across uneven surfaces and glancing off obstacles more easily, as well as helping minimize excess rotational forces.
The result? The current Arai shell shape, similar to an egg — the strongest shape found in nature — has a better chance of doing just that.
Featuring Arai’s Intermediate Oval interior fit shape, the shell of the Corsair-X is created from PB-SNC² (super fiber and special synthetic fibers), providing both superb tensile strength and flexibility characteristics. Like the metal bands used to hold a wooden barrel together, a variety of carefully placed materials – combined with newly developed resins – result in strong shells with less weight.
The VAS pivot cover is now smaller and lower than the previous design, yielding an average of 24mm more area above the cover. And, the shell is now smoother along the Snell test line in the temple area, increasing the helmet’s ability to glance off objects during an impact.
The smooth area around the temple is increased by an average of 24mm on the new VAS model compared with the shell of the Corsair-V. Comparatively, the Corsair-X has the new VAS mechanism with a variable axis incorporating a moving pivot point. By combining the pin trajectory — which is based on an imaginary axis, with the two trajectories of the double pivot point slot — the shield opens and closes smoothly even with the much lower shield mount position.
A dual-function lever releases both the side cover/pod and shield pin for quick and simple shield removal. Being able to see the shield mechanism allows for easier shield changes. The VAS latch captures and securely holds the shield closed to help prevent unexpected opening. In addition to the de-mist function, the larger latch allows for intuitive and seamless shield operation. The standard VAS Max Vision shield with a clear Pinlock insert provides better visibility year round and for all types of riding.
The IC Duct-5 provides 11 percent more airflow than the previous Delta Duct 5. The new, bigger switch features three positions, is easier to open, and limits water intrusion when fully closed. Type 12 diffusers are 20mm longer and take in 19 percent more air than the previous design. New air intake vents have three positions, designed to help provide improved sealing which decreases road noise and water intrusion. The new chin curtain accentuates the egg-shaped form of the outer shell, blocking turbulent air from the underside of the helmet and increasing negative pressure to enhance the function of the chin vent by drawing more air from the mouth area.
Sizes: XS, S, M, L, XL, XXL, XXXL
MSRP: $999.95Arai Corsair-X