Arai XD-5 Helmet Review

Arai XD-5 Helmet Review
Arai XD-5 helmet in the Discovery Blue graphic. (Action photos by Align Media)

My how time flies! It’s been 30 years since Arai launched its DS (dual-sport) helmet, which had a chinbar like a dirtbike helmet, a clear faceshield, and the round shell Arai is known for. When the first Arai XD arrived in 2004, it had the sun-blocking peak visor that has since been a signature feature of the dual-sport/adventure helmet.

Arai XD-5 Helmet Review
New features on the Arai XD-5 include a more aerodynamic peak and a rear spoiler.

Arai’s XD-4 made its debut in 2012, and it has been a popular choice among ADV riders ever since. With a steadfast adherence to its “glancing off” philosophy, whereby the spherical shape of its helmets helps redirect impact energy, as well as its “priority for protection” prime directive, Arai does not release new helmets often nor does it chase fads. It’s been a long wait, but the new XD-5 is finally here.

Arai XD-5 Helmet Review
The Arai XD-5 has a PB-cLc2 fiberglass shell with a super-fiber belt along the forehead.

The XD-5 begins with a Peripherally Belted Complex Laminate Construction (PB-cLc2) fiberglass shell, which has a super-fiber belt along the forehead to reinforce the area above the eyeport. The XD-5’s shell flares out an extra 5mm around the opening to make the helmet easier to slide on and off.

Arai XD-5 Helmet Review
The Arai XD-5 has a new toolless shield/peak attachment and removal system.

The XD-5 has the latest version of Arai’s variable-axis faceshield system and the Pinlock-ready VAS-A, which maximizes surface area to improve its ability to glance off objects. Above the forehead is a new logo vent that was adapted from the Contour-X and enhances ventilation in a critical area. Also, the XD-5’s chin vent is twice as large as the XD-4’s, bringing much more air to the rider’s face. All vents on the XD-5 are adjustable, but the faceshield no longer has integrated vents.

Related: Arai Contour-X Helmet Review

Arai XD-5 Helmet Review
The Arai XD-5 in the off-road configuration (peak on, faceshield off for use with goggles).

On the XD-4, removing the peak visor and faceshield required the removal of four plastic screws, two on each side. The XD-5 simplifies the process with a new toolless visor/shield attachment system, which makes it easy to switch between three configurations: adventure (visor on, shield on); off-road (visor on, shield off for use with goggles); and road (visor off, shield on). The peak visor, which is rounder in front and has less overall surface area, can also be adjusted up or down on the fly.

See all of Rider‘s helmet reviews here.

Arai XD-5 Helmet Review
The Arai XD-5 in the adventure configuration (peak on, faceshield on).

Inside the helmet is a one-piece, multi-density EPS liner and a removable, washable comfort liner with adjustable pads at the cheeks, temples, and rear of the head. The cheek pads, which have an emergency-release design, have a new hook-and-loop fastener piece to facilitate easier installation of headset speakers in the ear pocket. There’s also a wire pocket in the neck roll.

Arai XD-5 Helmet Review
The Arai XD-5 in the road configuration (peak off, faceshield on).

For everyday use, the factors that matter most are comfort, weight, and ease of use. My initial test of the XD-5 was two full days of street and off-road riding. As with other Arai helmets I’ve worn, comfort was good right away with no hot spots. The XD-5 has an intermediate oval interior head shape, which suits my noggin just fine, and the helmet is secured with a tried-and-true double D-ring chin strap.

Arai XD-5 Helmet Review
The Arai XD-5 is more aerodynamic than the XD-4.

At 3 lb, 13 ounces for the size Medium I tested, the XD-5 isn’t the lightest ADV helmet on the market, but its average weight didn’t cause any fatigue. What was immediately noticeable was how much more aerodynamic the XD-5 feels thanks to its smaller, reshaped visor peak and new rear spoiler. There is much less buffeting, and the helmet slices through the air more cleanly when looking left or right at speed.

Arai XD-5 Helmet Review
Thad Wolff gives the Arai XD-5 a thumbs up.

Overall, an already impressive premium ADV helmet has been made even better. The Arai XD-5 is available in XS-XXL in solid colors for $839.95-$859.95 and graphics for $949.95.

The post Arai XD-5 Helmet Review appeared first on Rider Magazine.


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