Arai Helmets’ premium full-face and open-face motorcycle helmets stand out for a lot of reasons. Chief among them are impeccable hand craftsmanship and materials, comfort, a custom-like fit and an unwavering devotion to the company’s stringent definition of head protection, which generally exceeds U.S. Snell certification standards. These qualities have helped Arai build a large fan base among both regular on- and off-road riders as well as a heap of successful racers.
That base might also point out that — because of all of the above — Arai helmets tend to be pricy, and for some wearers the design of the shell, neck roll and cheek pads can make the helmets difficult to put on and take off. Once an Arai is on your head, it’s hard to imagine a cozier, more secure lid, but for some getting it over the largest part of their melon can be a struggle.
To address both issues Arai has created the new Regent-X full-face helmet, which offers all of the qualities for which Arais are known at a lower cost, and it has some simple changes that make the Regent-X lighter and easier (effortless, actually) to slide onto and off your noggin. For starters the Hyper-Ridge-reinforced bottom opening of its new Peripherally Belted–Complex Laminate Construction 1 (PB-CLC1) fiberglass shell is 5mm wider in the chin and cheek area, and the neck roll is thinner and shorter. Arai’s Facial Contour System (FCS) cheek pads, which move up and down as you don the helmet and wrap snugly around your jaw, carry over but now have recessed speaker pockets for more space and to ease communicator installation.
More cost-effective materials make the Regent-X’s new shell a little heavier than the PB-SNC2 shell in Arai’s flagship Corsair-X helmet, though Arai says it still provides the same level of protection. Interestingly, at 54.5 ounces in my size large, due to its minimal vent scoops and simpler neck roll the Regent-X ends up 2.5 ounces lighter overall than a Corsair-X. As usual the Regent’s brushed nylon interior is soft and silky comfortable, and optional sizes are available for the removable, washable head liner and cheek pads for a custom fit. Venting is noticeably effective and the front chinbar and dual brow and top vents are closable, though the rear exhaust vents on the Regent-X are always open. A few years ago Arai changed its toolless shield pivot design to make it easier to use and to enlarge the smooth area above it (along the Snell impact test line), so changing shields is a snap (as always, read the manual). I’m a big fan of Arai’s ProShade shield, too, which adds a flip-up sunshield to a regular clear shield to provide similar convenience to an interior drop-down sunshield without compromising the forehead area of the helmet.
If you’re a regular Arai wearer you’ll find the Regent-X so easy to slide on and off that it actually takes some getting used to, but once you do I promise it will become your go-to Arai, especially since it’s just as quiet, light and comfortable as other Arais. The Regent-X has an Intermediate Oval interior shape (Round Oval and Long Oval are available in other Arais), is Snell M2020 certified and will be available in early to mid-December in a variety of solid colors ($559.95) and graphics ($689.95).
For more information, see your dealer or visit araiamericas.com.
Having owned (and appreciated) Arai helmets but now boycotting them, this review doesn’t answer the question many ask: Is it still necessary to be a magician to remove and reinstall the face shields and does replacing them still require first selling a body part?
Starting with the Signet-X and Quantum-X in 2017, Arai changed their shield attachment system and it makes shield changes much easier. According to Arai’s website, MSRP for a replacement VAS-V face shield is $57.45.
I really liked the overall feel and performance of my Arai. Don’t own one now, so I have no skin in the game, but my cursory search for a replacement VAS-V face shield is $102.45 MSRP, but of course distributors sell for less + shipping, etc. I couldn’t find the cost to replace the same shield that comes with the Regent-X Helmet being reviewed here? But that wasn’t my big problem with Arai, it was removing and reinstalling the darn thing. I suspect the process has been improved, but have you actually tested the procedure relative to other manufacturers and found it as easy? If so, I’ll go and retest it myself because it was that feature that kept me from buying an Arai. Thanks.
VAS-V Max Vision shield on Arai’s website is $57.45:
Yes, the new shield replacement system, while still unique relative to what’s used by most other brands, is far easier to use than before. Go to an Arai dealer and check it out.