Arai Signet-X and Quantum-X Helmet Review

The author testing the new Arai Signet-X with the external Pro Shade in the lowered position.
The author testing the new Arai Signet-X with the external Pro Shade in the lowered position.

Last year Arai redesigned its top-of-the-line racing helmet and changed its name from Corsair-V to Corsair-X. We reviewed the Corsair-X in our April 2016 issue (also here on, praising its ventilation, lightness, comfort and new pivoting shield mechanism.

Arai has given the “X” treatment to two of its street helmets: the Signet-X, which has a long oval head shape, and the Quantum-X, which has a round oval head shape. And, if you’re a tweener, putting the Corsair-X comfort liner (starting at $47.25) in the Quantum-X converts it to an intermediate oval head shape. Since I have a long oval noggin, the Signet-X has more of a “just right” feel than the Quantum-X, though I had trouble finding much to complain about comfort-wise with either helmet.

Arai Quantum-X in Glass White, with Pro Shade in lowered position.
Arai Quantum-X in Glass White, with Pro Shade in lowered position.

The Signet and Quantum are essentially the same helmet with only minor cosmetic differences; their head shapes—and available graphics—are what set them apart. Both have the Variable Axis System (VAS) that debuted on the Corsair-X, which uses a moving pivot point for the face shield, allowing it to be mounted lower, as well as the side pod to have a shallower recess (for better shell integrity), the side pod cover to be smaller and—best of all—face shield changes to be easier. A large latch on the left side of the face shield simplifies locking and opening the VAS-MV (Max Vision) shield, which comes with a Pinlock-120 anti-fog insert.

2017 Triumph Street Triple RS action
The author in another Signet-X, testing the new 2017 Triumph Street Triple.

Read our First Ride Review of the 2017 Triumph Street Triple RS.

With a Peripherally Belted-Super Complex Laminate Construction (PBScLc) shell, both lids (in size medium) weigh 3 pounds, 8 ounces out of the box, or 3 pounds, 12 ounces with the Pinlock and optional Pro Shade System ($86.45) installed. The external Pro Shade, which has been redesigned to make it easier to flip up and down, is a clever middle ground between a tinted face shield and a drop-down sun visor. When it’s up, it acts like a dirt bike-style peak to reduce sun glare without adversely affecting airflow. When it’s down, it provides shading over most of the face shield, leaving a small, unshaded portion at the bottom so you can easily read the bike’s instrument panel.

The Arai Quantum-X flows air nicely, thanks to plentiful and well-positioned vents.
The Arai Quantum-X flows air nicely, thanks to plentiful and well-positioned vents.

Air flows in through a large chinbar vent, brow vents at the top of the face shield and vents on the front of crown (all of which are adjustable/closable), and then out through exhaust vents on the back of the crown, the sides and the rear of the neck roll. They move plenty of air, though with all of the vents open wind noise can become a nuisance unless you wear earplugs; closing the vents on cold or mild days makes the helmets quieter. And, like other Arais, they use a soft, single-piece, multi-density EPS liner to absorb impact energy and a fully removable, washable, anti-microbial comfort liner, which has customizable temple, crown and cheek pads.

For about $160 less than the flagship Corsair-X, the new Signet-X and Quantum-X offer comparable levels of comfort, ventilation, lightness and convenience. Both retail for $679.95-$709.95 for solids or $829.95 for graphics in sizes XS-XXL.

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  1. You couldn’t give us a picture with the visor up? This sounds like exactly what I want. Can the flip up be fitted to a Shoei AIR?

  2. except you didn’t mention the top vents blow cold air across the top of your head when you look sideways (i.e. lane check), which is going to be a real downer in the winter. That also means they will leak in the rain. I’m really looking forward to that (not). The “large” faceshield latch is difficult to use with gloves on, and frankly, rather useless.
    But if you have a long oval head… you make do with this sillyness. Duct tape on the vents, neuter the latch. Glad I spent extra for a premium helmet.

  3. The latch drove me nuts as the little switch unlatched the main post just great. It is the secondary or “demist” position that is, in my opinion, dangerous. Wrestling with a face shield while riding is not an ideal compliment to a great helmet.

    I took a dremmel to the small, secondary post and removed a tiny bit. No improvement. I removed more and still had some frustration. I ground down the entire little peg and I now have a helmet that I am going to propose marriage to. Shield locks solidly down and the switch unlatches it making it easy to lift open.

    Hate to offend the designers of my perfect helmet but it is only perfect after I removed the secondary rataining post on the latch.


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