Bike.com evaluations the brand new Arai Contour-X


arai contour-x review

For greater than seven many years the Arai household has been producing premium handcrafted helmets in Japan. The Arai patriarch has been in a position to relaxation comfy understanding that they’ve, to one of the best of their potential, developed the most secure helmets doable for his or her prospects. Whereas there have been loads of adjustments through the years by way of supplies and different issues, extra philosophical viewpoints like the sleek, spherical R75 shell form designed for glancing off of impacts have turn into mainstays of the model.

The most recent helmet to hit North American shores from the Japanese marque is the Arai Contour-X. This helmet fills a sport-touring and on a regular basis use class for Arai, slotting in between the likes of the Corsair-X on the sportiest finish of the spectrum and the Signet/Quantum and Regent-X on the different finish. In different elements of the world, the Quantic – because it’s referred to as within the EU – has been round since mid-2021.

Maintaining the dangerous vitality out

As talked about earlier than, the Arai shell form has modified little through the years. There have been loads of corporations creating new methods to mitigate rotational vitality transfers to the rider’s head, however Arai strongly believes its R75 shell form gives a robust and easy floor that’s higher at glancing off impacts. “At Arai, we consider extra efficiency may be present in avoiding, quite than making an attempt to handle, influence vitality,” defined Arai reps.

CONTOUR-X-shell

Whereas the shell’s parts are hand laid, the attention port and vents are laser-cut.

What has been underneath steady improvement through the years are the supplies used to construct the helmets. This newest shell’s Peripherally Belted Complicated Laminate Building (PB-cLc2) is made up of greater than 25 particular person items and certain by Arai’s newest proprietary Z-Compound resin, which we’re advised is each stronger and cheaper than what was beforehand used. Throughout the forehead, which is historically the weakest level in a helmet, Arai has developed its personal Superfabric (inside its System One program, initially) to bolster the helmet’s building.

What units the Contour-X aside from most of Arai’s lineup is the marginally wider backside opening. By including a 5 mm flare on the backside, Arai has managed to make the helmet extraordinarily straightforward to don and doff. I by no means had a lot of a difficulty with this when utilizing different Arai helmets, however apparently it was a sticking level for some. With the brand new design, it’s spectacular how a lot simpler they’ve managed to make it with a refined change. This makes fast hops round city, working out and in of outlets, and so on. that a lot simpler.

The EPS liner contained in the helmet makes use of the identical one-piece multi-density building that now we have seen for a while now. Arai makes use of various densities of EPS at particular factors within the helmet to make sure every space is tuned to ship optimum influence absorption. 

When the tab is up, the brand vents are closed.

Entrance and middle is the brand new “3-D Arai Emblem vent” which may be opened and closed with a sliding tab on the high. Out again, the Contour-X options a big aerodynamic spoiler which, like the entire vents on the surface of an Arai helmet, are designed to interrupt away upon influence. The brand new chinbar vent and small higher vents do a surprisingly good job at flowing air and are straightforward to make use of with gloved palms at pace.

Slip inside

Arai’s fame for the utmost consolation doesn’t falter with the Contour-X. In actual fact, the Contour-X might be the most comfy motorbike helmet I’ve ever worn. Along with the 5 mm wider opening making the helmet straightforward to slide out and in of, the brand new odor-resistant brushed nylon liner itself is extraordinarily smooth with simply the correct amount of help to make sure a protected match. This will also be tailor-made by Arai’s multi-layered Facial Contour System (FCS) which permits foam to be eliminated for that Goldilocks match.

Regardless of what’s happening outdoors the helmet, inside is an effective place to be. Six entrance dealing with vents permit air to make its method by rigorously routed ducting to supply wonderful air flow and cooling whereas three static and one adjustable port within the rear deal with the exhaust. For the times when cooling just isn’t a priority, the helmet shuts up tight and comes with a Pinlock 120 insert to quell fogging. There’s additionally a small-ish chin curtain completely affixed to the Contour’s chin bar.

The liner is made from a combination of Phoenix down and unicorn mane, or no less than it feels prefer it.

Additional accentuating the helmet’s usefulness for touring and on a regular basis use, Arai has included recessed areas for bluetooth communications techniques in addition to a gap within the neck roll to stow the wires. 

Braving the weather

I’ve been using in a ton of rain currently, virtually completely with the Contour-X. Whereas I believe it’s a given {that a} helmet shouldn’t leak, the Contour-X holds up simply high quality to the torrential downpours we’ve been experiencing out west currently. Snapping the included Pinlock 120 insert into the VAS Max imaginative and prescient defend was additionally a useful contact within the inclement climate. Between rainstorms, the vents have proved themselves to be straightforward to function and adept on the job.

As examined (geared up with the Professional Protect), the medium Contour-X weighs in at 3 lbs 9.5 ounces (1629g). For reference, that’s 4.1 ounces lighter than my medium Corsair-X.

With a Cardo Edge put in in addition to the elective Professional Shade and Pinlock, the Contour-X has confirmed to tick each field I may ask for in a helmet throughout our uncommon climate shifts right here in California. I’d be grabbing it every time I left the home anyway because of the consolation, however these additional options have highlighted simply how versatile this setup is. 

As of now, Arai will provide 5 strong colours of the Contour-X beginning at $740 with two normal graphics beginning at $890. Availability is TBD in the intervening time, however we anticipate it shouldn’t be lengthy earlier than the brand new lid hits retailers. 

FAQ

What head form is the Arai Contour-X?

The Arai Contour-X accommodates a medium-oval head form just like the Regent-X and Corsair-X.

Are Arai helmets good?

We’d contemplate Arai to be one of many foremost helmet producers on the planet. With a product line spanning from two wheels to 4, Arai has developed a legacy for premium handcrafted helmets for greater than seven many years. 

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