Racing continues to be one of the main forms of research for helmet builders. If a racer’s head can ricochet of the pavement at speeds up to 200 mph, and walk away headache free, the helmet he or she was wearing did a job well done.
Much time goes into creating a design built upon safety; sometimes, it’s a 24/7 thing. One company that has always remained focused on utmost safety in racing has been Arai. The iconic Japanese manufacturer offers helmets that are virtually 100-percent handmade, and has earned the number-one ranking in J.D. Power and Associates’ Motorcycle Helmet Customer Satisfaction Study for 10 consecutive years.
Arai is making the headlines yet again, but this time the company founded in 1926 is catering to the everyday street rider. The new lid, the RX-Q, is not marketed as a “whole new helmet,” but rather a “whole new class of helmet.” The RX prefix is already well-known within the Arai community. After the RX-7 was introduced in the early 80s, the model became the design of choice, other manufactures immediately following. Because the new RX-Q has a new mission, Arai says the RX prefix was a natural.
Arai says the RX-Q is “a helmet purpose-built to be the ultimate street helmet, to set a new benchmark in street comfort, quiet, ventilation and stability, every feature optimized for the conditions, speeds and environment of the real world. A helmet for the other top-of-the-line models to compete against.”
Arai says it’s a Corsair-V for the street, one that’s aimed at the “pro street rider, experienced, not a poser…one who can readily feel and appreciate the differences built into this thing, who reels of mega-miles no matter which way the road flexes, on every kind and style of bike.”
The key features of the new RX-Q include:
A new level of stability, quiet, and comfort in a road helmet.
Extremely wide peripheral view for better visibility and awareness of the world around you. The RX-Q uses the same new wider-eyeport SAI faceshield as the Corsair-V, 5 mm wider on each side.
Even more comfort. The RX-Q’s truly-unique, newly-sculpted cheekpad shape cradles the head from underneath for a level of comfort Arai says needs to be felt to be believed. The new cheekpad has more surface area, and moves away from the typical “pressure fit” to a more “comfort fit” based on the design’s “cradle” support for the jaws. The result is a more secure fit in a more comfortable package. The design was influenced by Arai’s F-1 drivers, the most demanding of all for fit.
Very, very quiet. Again, a result of the new cheekpad design. The sculpted flange under the jaw also blocks more noise entering the helmet from underneath - the major source of helmet noise - by creating a better noise seal. This, combined with new sound-deadening foam in the cheekpad, gives you an extremely quiet helmet. Plus, the cheekpad also has Arai’s innovative Emergency Cheekpad Removal System.
All this innovation and benefit from a simple cheekpad. Except that in Arai’s world, no part of a helmet is “simple.” This unique new cheekpad is nothing short of a marvel, very labor intensive and costly to make. In fact, the design utilizes 12 separate pieces specifically placed, by hand, by Arai’s skilled crafts-people.
The RX-Q’s advanced ventilation combines more efficiency with even less interior noise. Arai’s ability to further refine proven designs to increase helmet performance proves that you don’t have to reinvent the wheel to make substantial improvements. While not very “aggressive” looking, the vents are extremely efficient, flowing huge volumes of air through the interior to improve ventilation at road speeds, not race speeds. Not a lot of vent holes – just the right ones, in the right size, in the right place.
A uniquely-designed lower Hyper Ridge circles the shell bottom to improve strength and aerodynamics. It’s also designed to lower the center-of-gravity for an exceptionally light feeling on your head. And a larger bottom opening makes for easier on-off without enlarging the helmet.
New more aerodynamic upper and side exhaust vent cowling, sculpted to enhance stability while increasing exhaust efficiency. The side vent cowls are tailored to the needs and speeds of the street. Compared to the C-V, the RX-Q’s cowlings are larger and more aggressively styled, as lower street speeds require more surface area and a more refined shaping in order to deliver the increased stability. High speed performance is also excellent.
Small, more aerodynamic, hand-formed natural shell shape and size aids stability and stillness - not only in straight-line wind-tunnel stability, but it also minimizes the negative aerodynamic effect when turning your head to check traffic or in a cross wind. And it looks better on your head than other bigger, rounder balloon-style shell designs on the market.
The RX-Q has an evolved version of Arai’s very popular Intermediate-Oval (IO) interior shape. Arai is the only company offering multiple interior-fit packages to better address the infinite variety of consumers’ head shapes and sizes. Its interior fit shapes evolve and improve as company research recognizes trends based on consumer feedback. The RX-Q shape is similar to the current Corsair-V and Vector models, and the former RX-7 Corsair, but the RX-Q’s shape represents a further refinement of interior shape configuration based on Arai’s continual comparison, measurement and testing of human head shapes.
Brand new, one piece bottom edge trim, gives an incredibly clean look by eliminating the need for seams. Admittedly not a major innovation, but still another example of Arai’s unceasing attention to details and aesthetics.
Arai’s exceptional handmade craftsmanship, made to a higher standard of protection, comfort, and quality that’s difficult to put a “price” on.
The new Arai RX-Q is available in a variety of graphics and colors, in sizes XXS - XXL. Suggested list prices range from $539.95 to $679.95.