Growing up, I was always told Arai and Shoei made the best helmets, and that was that.
– I’ll give a bit of a back story for the circumstances that I crash tested the helmet to give more of an insight into the type of impact and speeds it slid across the ground at.
The logical decision, when I passed my A2 at the end of July in 2016 was to go out and buy new kit- Why not?
I knew that stepping up from a 125 was a big deal, and I needed better protection, because knowing myself, I’d really have to put it to the test sooner or later. (having done so with my previous HJC CS-15 6 months to the day before)
So I treated myself to the latest Arai RX7V in Frost Black, it was beautiful, it had a shimmer to it, but wasn’t the slightest bit girly- perfect!
It was also on an offer where it came with a free tinted visor- even better!
It didn’t take long, now having a big boy (or girl!) licence, I knew I could go fast, but it didn’t mean I was any good at it..
In November 2016 I decided after finishing work at 8pm, now was the time to go for a ride. So naturally, met up with all of my A2 licence holding mates, and some that were still on 125’s…
We were heading to our usual spot, and obviously, having the biggest bike there I felt the need to go as fast as I could, pinning the throttle open on my little SV650S, then the realisation set in, I’m supposed to turn left now..
And the rest has since left my mind
Surprisingly, I managed to get myself up, and onto a kerb while my friends picked the bike up and brought it over to me, with surprisingly very little damage! Myself? A little more damaged.
Next thing to do was to get to A&E, view the next few images at your own digression..
Yes, I was wearing jeans and trainers, rookie mistake, I’d like to say I’ve learnt since those days…
So, pre-crash the helemet was great, granted I didn’t own it that long, but in the 3 months I had it I covered over 6,000 miles on the bike, with it.
The first thing about it, the new helmet smell, the second greatest smell in the world (a 2 stroke engine is obviously a firm first)
The fit was perfect for me, comfortable, and breathable, the lining is different to the other models of Arai Helmet, it’s removable, washable, and Arai boast that it’s Anti Microbial- whatever that is? It felt a lot smoother going on than any other I’d tried, and had room to easily fit my intercom, thanks to the built in speaker pockets.
I think the thing that stands out most about the helmet was the “Air Wing” being adjustable, it gives you customisable aerodynamics- if you know what you’re doing. After the Air Wing, the ventilation stood out the most for me, the typical Arai brow vents are great, when you’re out all day, it’s sunny, and you’ve got a bit of a sweat on, opening those really helps cool your cranium.
The chin vent was a game changer for me, having previous helmets that had vents that were all or nothing, this had 3 positions to adjust to, but with a slight mesh behind to help prevent a mouthful of flies as well as a neck exhaust vent that greatly helped with cooling
The top vents weren’t dissimilar to my previous Arai helmets (Older Astro and Chaser models) I knew what to expect, and there wasn’t a single aspect of the lid that let me down.
The visor system is the smoothest to date, with the side pods being easier than ever to remove, and much sturdier than older models, mine came free with a Pinlock which was great for preventing fogging up inside of the visor. The visor itself looked great quality, it didn’t scratch easily, and gave a great field of vision.
The helmet is equipped with an Emergency Release System, which given the risks when riding a bike, may be of use at some point to any of us. It also has a 5 year warranty that’s pretty impressive given that that’s the entire lifetime of a helmet. You’ve got all your typical features of a higher end helmet, such as replaceable interior, replaceable cheek pads, replaceable chin strap covers, neck roll, as well as the adjustable chin skirt and breath guard being replaceable too.
Typical of Arai and other “Premium” Brands, the helmet fastens with a Double-D ring fitting, thought to be the safest and most secure way of fitting a helmet.You can really see the work and thought that has gone into this helmet, feeling as good as it looks.
So here are the after crash photos;
The crash was roughly between 90mph and 110mph, onto tarmac with about a 15m – 20m slide, before mounting the kerb- sounds like some sort of ballet move.
As you can see, there are very visible slide marks on the shell of the helmet, the visor has some scratches, but overall the exterior of the helmet doesn’t look to be in bad shape. None of the vents were damaged, and nothing fell off or shattered, everything was still as it should be, looking at if from the other side, you wouldn’t have known it had just been treated like a bowling ball.
Most importantly, it stayed firmly cradling my skull during the crashing and sliding process, and I was able to safely and comfortably remove it myself before the hospital trip.
If I had to do it allover again, I’d wear better protection clothing wise, but I don’t think I could have made a better choice with protecting my brain..
Hopefully it’s not something that happens again, although if you fancy sliding down the road, I can testify that this helmet does a great job of it!
Feel free to let me know what you think in the comment box below..