Arai’s current Corsair-V has been available since 2007. With top riders such as Nicky Hayden, Dani Pedrosa, and Josh Hayes competing with the same helmet that’s available to the general public, it’s safe to say Arai has this helmet game dialed-in. So why change? How much better can it be? A lot.
I was invited out to the press launch of Arai’s new Corsair-X at Thunderhill Raceway in Willows, CA. I was quite familiar with it’s predecessor, but had wrote it off simply because it did not fit me well in stock trim. And that’s not Arai’s fault at all, but simply that I fit the bill on their Signet-Q model a bit better. However, once I slid this thing over my head, I knew it was a game changer.
The helmet itself is brand new for the most part, only sharing three features from it’s older brother. Brand new generation of the R75 shell, brand new diffusers, brand new liner, and most of all, a brand new shield system has them raising the bar yet again in the helmet industry. The helmet was actually designed around the new VAS (Variable Axis System) Shield System which now features an average of 24mm more room above the side covers. Because of this, it has more surface area to “glance off” objects that may otherwise catch during a tumble.
For the Arai loyalists bragging to their buddies about how quick they can change their shields out, this new system does require a new method. It was created to make the process a bit easier to see versus going off feel. Regardless, it’s an easy process and makes it less likely that a side pod will break. The side pods do pop off, but are tethered and pop back on with a simple click.
Other features include new top diffusers that increase air intake by 19% and offer three different positions which help with wind noise and waterproofing. The gray liner of the Corsair-V is replaced with a new Eco-Pure Liner. The liner’s frame is thinner and the material itself is the latest and greatest in sweat absorption technology. The chin bar is extended by 3mm making it a bit roomier for the folks with longer faces.
On track, the helmet was flawless. It provided massive ventilation, but was surprisingly quiet even at speeds the Mini-gale 899 reached on the front straight. I loved how big the eyeport was and it provided a huge benefit in navigating the longer sweepers using peripheral vision. It was also light—really light. It’s everything I expected out of an Arai helmet. They did their homework and solidified their status yet again as a leader in the premium helmet game.