I have been riding around with my new Arai RX-Q helmet all season and I am now well prepared to give a rider report.. The Arai RX-Q is a replacement for my five year old Arai Corsair RX-7. I replace my helmets every five years because the oils in your scalp over time weaken the foam core inside the helmet. Most manufacturers recommend that you replace your helmet no later than every five years.
As I mentioned in an earlier post I jumped on the Arai RX-Q after I found out that this new helmet release was being made in Hi-Viz. The Hi-Viz really works and I recommend it to everyone. Sure, I know helmet choice is often about looks and style and Hi-Viz may not be the look that everyone is going for. I get that. But I get the feeling that the world is slowly ratcheting its way in the direction of safety and visibility. I recently read that French motorcyclists are going to be required to wear H-Viz Jackets within the next couple of years. I need to find out more about that.
My new Arai RX-Q is a bit on the pricey side but I can only echo Arai’s older ad campaign and say “what’s your brain worth.” The quality of the Arai RX-Q is evident throughout and I have only one complaint about the helmet – more about that later. I think the thing that I like the most is that it is by far the quietest helmet I have ever ridden with. Wind noise is substantially diminished in the ARAI RX-Q although I still wear my ear plugs. The cheek pads (although a bit rougher in feel than my old Arai Corsair RX-7) are designed in such a way that they really wrap around your face. The feel is snug without being constricting. The cheek pads are, of course, removable and washable and it is possible to pull them out and remove some adjustment bits of foam to make the fit right for you: you can also just replace them with varying size fitments to get it just right for your skull bone.
The Face shield on the Arai RX-Q is of the standard Arai SAI variety that you find across the line. It is a thick and very clear shield and there is nothing flimsy about it – after all its Arai here. The peripheral vision is wider with these SAI setups too. If I have one complaint about this helmet it is in the way that the face shield comes off and on. Mind you though this is a complaint I have about every face shield I have encountered so it is not necessarily Arai specific. There is a YouTube video of a guy popping an Arai SAI face shield off and on like it was nothing. I don’t know how he does it. For me the process is awkward and cumbersome and I am thankful that I don’t do it very often. I ride with polarized sunglasses so my need to swap out face shields is minimal: I just pull them to clean them.
The rest of the helmet build on the Arai RX-Q is a blessing indeed. The vents pop open and shut with a gloved hand with ease and I really like way that they have positioned them. My old Arai Corsair RX-7 had a vent in the forward, top, middle of the helmet (up front between the left and right roof vents.) That vent is gone in the Arai RX-Q and with it is gone some of the whistling that I had when I tilted my head back a bit. Voila, gone. Instead the new Arai RX-Q has these nifty vents incorporated into the top of the face shield and they extend into the helmet – again, easily flickable with a gloved hand.
I haven’t had the opportunity to do much rainy weather testing on the new helmet yet but that will be coming up in no time at all: where did the summer go?
All in all I have to say that this Arai RX-Q is the best helmet I have ever owned (no, really!) and I expect it to last me for another five years. As far as visibility goes, well I had some friends who saw me five blocks back ahead at night in busy downtown traffic and they picked me right out. That’s exactly what I am looking for in visibility. – To see and be seen.