Arai RX-Q Motorcycle Helmet Review

[This Arai RX-Q Motorcycle Helmet Review was originally published in the May 2010 issue of Rider magazine]

Arai bills its RX-Q as a whole new class of helmet that is positioned between street and racing headgear, which in its own line is between the Profile and the Corsair-V. To position it here, Arai states that it offers features initially created for the extremes of racing, re-thought and tailored to the needs of the street. Essentially, it calls the RX-Q a Corsair-V for the street.

It begins with a shell made from what Arai calls “S-Glass,” a lighter grade of fiberglass that the company says is better than carbon fiber, and the helmet features a one-piece, multidensity EPS foam liner. Around its base is a “hyper ridge,” a reinforced band designed to improve strength and aerodynamics. The RX-Q also incorporates a wider face-port opening, which offers the rider a greater peripheral view. And as with all Arai helmets, fit and finish is superb.


Arai manufactures its helmet interior configurations for specific head shapes based upon its continual comparison and measuring of human heads. As a result, the RX-Q is built in Arai’s Intermediate-Oval (IO) interior shape. For style it features what the company calls an “Arai look,” smooth surfaces without exaggerated ridges or protrusions, and it also features a new one-piece bottom edge trim that eliminates seams and cleans up the style.

Arai’s top-line helmets have always been known for their features, and the RX-Q is loaded with them. Close the face shield, push in on the black button on its left side and it clicks closed for positive locking. Or hook it open with a thumb and it lets in a slight cooling/defogging breeze. Speaking of venting, those little black eyebrow vents in the shield open with a click and flow air over the crown. In the center of the wing on the back is a button that, when slid rearward, uncovers paired exhaust vents. It’s a two-step control, but the adjustment is so fine that most riders will simply utilize it as open or closed. Regardless of the position of the exhaust vents, clicking open the pair of top vents (easy to find even while wearing gloves) sends in (depending upon speed) a blast of air. Finally, the chinbar vent sends in a cooling/demisting breeze.

To change the shield, lifting it causes a little lever to deploy from beneath each sideplate. Raise a lever while simultaneously pulling away the shield on that side. Replacing it involves some futzing to fit the shield into its receptacle.

The RX-Q has a new cheekpad design to enhance fit, comfort and to block out noise, and here they got it right. Because the cheekpads form a more complete enclosure it may require more effort to force your head through them, but once inside its interior seems to almost lovingly absorb your head. I was easily able to slip on my glasses once wearing the helmet. Pulling down on the chin curtain deploys a retractable chin spoiler. What really impressed me is that the RX-Q is one of the quietest helmets I’ve ever worn, and at 55 ounces (or just under 3.5 pounds) it’s toward the light side as full-face helmets go.

My only negative comment is that while I have always appreciated the soft, luxurious feel of most Arai interiors, the RX-Q is lined with a new Dry Cool fabric that is still comfortable but a bit more coarse. Arai says it does a better job of keeping moisture away, however, and therefore keeps you cooler. The RX-Q is priced from $539.95 in solid colors to $679.95 in graphics, and meets the DOT and Snell standards.

See your motorcycle retailer or Arai


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