Tag Archives: Motorcycle Helmets

Schuberth R2 Carbon Helmet and SC1 Communicator | Gear Review

Schuberth R2 Carbon helmet review
The Schuberth R2 Carbon in Stroke Gold

According to Schuberth, its R2 Carbon helmet is the first full-face carbon helmet with an integrated communication system. Thanks to a pre-installed, invisible speaker, microphone, and antenna, this helmet comes factory-ready for easy installation of a branded Schuberth comm setup created in partnership with Sena.   

The R2 Carbon is exceptionally light. Schuberth uses two shell sizes for the R2 line, which spans from sizes S to 2XL. With the SC1 intercom and battery installed, my XL R2 Carbon weighs 3 pounds, 2.1 ounces, about half a pound lighter than my Arai Corsair-X without a comm system – a significant weight reduction well appreciated during a long day’s ride.

Once you understand the insertion procedure for the separate battery and comm module, it’s easy to slide them into their little pockets on the bottom rim of the helmet. It took a little fiddling to get two SC1 sets – one for me and another for my wife, Katie – working and linked. Once the SC1s are paired, small and easy-to-reach rubber-sealed buttons on the comm module adjust volume levels. Simple and effective. We tried the helmet/comms setup with and without earplugs, and we both preferred plugs. The SC1 offers plenty of volume without distortion, and wind noise becomes less tiring with this method.

The R2 exudes quality and it’s well sealed to prevent wind noise from interfering with comms. So much so that behind a well-faired bike like our Honda Gold Wing, I was wishing for a couple more helmet vents beyond the two-position forehead vent and small chin vent. As a passenger, Katie felt airflow through the R2 was fine, comparable to other helmets. On non-faired bikes the R2 works better for me, so just be aware of the limited ventilation if you’re doing a lot of warm-weather riding on touring rigs.

The R2 Carbon has a fast-drying, antibacterial, removable, and washable comfort liner, as well as emergency-release cheekpads. The faceshield is easy to remove and reinstall, and an anti-fog insert comes standard. A tried-and-true double D-ring secures the chinstrap.

Overall, Katie and I are happy with the fit and comfort of the helmets, and we appreciated the ease of use of the communicators. We opted for the Stroke Gold graphic (shown), but the R2 Carbon also comes in Stroke Red, Bold Chrome, Cubature White, and Cubature Yellow. The R2 Carbon retails for $649, and the SC1 is $229.

For more information: See your dealer or visit schuberth.com

The post Schuberth R2 Carbon Helmet and SC1 Communicator | Gear Review first appeared on Rider Magazine.
Source: RiderMagazine.com

HJC Releases First-Ever Red Bull Licensed Motorcycle Helmet

HJC RPHA 1N Red Bull Austin GP helmet

HJC Helmets and Red Bull have been working on launching the first-ever Red Bull licensed motorcycle helmet. Until now, any helmet sporting a Red Bull graphic has been exclusively available to sponsored riders, but HJC and Red Bull have partnered up to design a very special helmet, the RPHA 1 Red Bull Austin GP helmet.

For years, Circuit of the Americas has hosted a paramount MotoGP race for Red Bull, and the RPHA 1 Red Bull Austin GP helmet will pay tribute to this event with a graphic that celebrates the Grand Prix of the Americas. The sleek design accentuates the aerodynamic lines of the RPHA 1, HJC’s premium race helmet, while featuring the unmistakable Red Bull logo and COTA colors. The RPHA 1 has also been reserved for professional racers, but HJC will finally release their highly anticipated race helmet to the public in December 2021.

HJC RPHA 1N Red Bull Austin GP helmet

The RPHA 1N Red Bull Austin GP helmet was officially launched on October 3rd at the Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas in Austin, Texas. October 3rd also marked the 50th anniversary for HJC Helmets.

HJC Helmets has released several successful licensed helmets in the past, but the RPHA 1N Red Bull Austin GP helmet is one of a kind. The largest helmet maker in the world has teamed up with one of the most popular brands in motorsport.

The relationship began with HJC supporting the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup and becoming the official helmet partner for the series. From there, the relationship evolved and the next step of the partnership sees the release of an exclusive helmet collection that will be available to all motorcycle riders, something that has not been done before with any other brand.

MSRP for the RPHA 1N Red Bull Austin GP helmet is $949.99. For more information, visit hjchelmets.com.

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Source: RiderMagazine.com

The Why Behind Arai Helmets

The Why Behind Arai Helmets
Akihito Arai pictured at the Arai factory in Japan.

In 1914, a doctor practicing near the Brooklands racetrack in England first correlated the relationship between motorcycle accidents and serious head injuries. Dr. Eric Gardner went on to invent the first purpose-built motorcycle helmet. It wasn’t until two decades later, when a head injury resulting from a motorcycle accident took the life of Thomas Lawrence, better known as Lawrence of Arabia, that the first serious studies were conducted into the efficacy of motorcycle helmets in reducing the severity of head injuries. Hugh Cairns, Lawrence’s attending doctor and a leading neurosurgeon, used his findings and influence to ensure that helmets would become obligatory equipment for British Army Signal Corps riders going forward.

Early helmets were mostly constructed from cork, leather, and sometimes wood, and remained so until post-war developments in synthetic materials lead innovators such as Hirotake Arai to develop an entirely new design. Arai, a keen motorcyclist, had retooled his family hat business to produce safety helmets for construction workers. Applying the same manufacturing techniques, he began making and selling the first Japanese motorcycle helmets in 1952. They were made from a fiberglass resin outer shell lined initially with cork, and later, expanded polystyrene (EPS).

Seven decades on, motorcycle helmets, along with a multitude of international standards, have evolved exponentially, as has our understanding of science. Nonetheless, the infinite number of variables existing in a real-world crash ensure that even the most sophisticated models used to gauge a helmet’s ability to absorb an impact will remain controversial. While tests aimed at appraising shell penetration, peripheral vision, and the strength of chin straps lend themselves more readily to laboratory observation, governing bodies are forced to compromise in the face of producing practical, repeatable tests that accurately simulate impact absorption.

The Why Behind Arai Helmets
An Arai factory engineer utilizing an ‘anvil test’ rig on a helmet shell.

An effective helmet design aims to minimize the energy reaching the wearer in a crash, and since much of the testing involves dropping helmets from a given height onto an anvil, passing the resulting standards can be as simple as thickening the EPS layer in all the right places. Arai argues that the resulting helmet would no longer possess the overall strength and durability afforded by a sphere and ignores the role a helmet plays in redirecting and absorbing energy. In the same way a stone can be made to skim across a pond, a round, smooth helmet will glance off a surface, redirecting energy away from the wearer.

Arai’s design philosophy first accepts that practical limitations on a helmet’s size and weight restrict the volume of protective EPS foam it can contain. Inevitably, helmets can’t prevent all head injuries. But, with the understanding that safeguarding a rider’s head goes far beyond meeting the demands of governing bodies, Arai applies the “glancing off” philosophy to design helmets that reduce the effect of impacts on riders’ heads. Given that most impacts are likely to occur at an oblique angle because motorcyclists are moving at speed, Arai’s design aims to maximize the ability of a helmet to redirect energy by glancing off an object. The design is a function of shape, shell strength, and deformation characteristics that absorb energy along with EPS.

The Why Behind Arai Helmets

Arai collects crashed helmets for analysis and data collection, and uses the information to continually refine their helmet design.

Arai has developed and refined its approach through decades of evaluation and experimentation. Its helmets are round and smooth, and any protruding vents or airfoils are designed to detach on impact. The shell itself must be strong and flexible, but it must not deform too quickly or it will dig in rather than glance off. Arai uses multiple laminated layers combining glass and composite fiber to produce a very strong but lightweight material, and areas of potential weakness at the helmet’s edge and eyeport are reinforced with an additional belt of “super fiber.” Arai says its shells can withstand much higher abrasion than what is mandated by standards tests, and in doing so, can retain its energy absorption properties for a second or third impact.

The Why Behind Arai Helmets
Every Arai helmet is still made and inspected by hand at the family-owned factory in Japan

While glancing off can redirect energy from the impact, a high-velocity crash may also require a helmet to absorb and distribute impact energy. Arai’s proprietary one-piece, multi-density EPS liner is made up of different sections of varying densities corresponding to the adjacent shell surface. This helps maintain the helmet’s spherical form and enhances its ability to glance off. In the case of a crash involving a slide along the ground and into an object, such as a curb or barrier, Arai’s helmets are designed to deflect the initial impacts with the ground with minimal shell deformation, saving its absorption properties for the rapid deceleration caused by impacting the object.

While glancing off can redirect energy from the impact, a high-velocity crash may also require a helmet to absorb and distribute impact energy. Arai’s proprietary one-piece, multi-density EPS liner is made up of different sections of varying densities corresponding to the adjacent shell surface. This helps maintain the helmet’s spherical form and enhances its ability to glance off. In the case of a crash involving a slide along the ground and into an object, such as a curb or barrier, Arai’s helmets are designed to deflect the initial impacts with the ground with minimal shell deformation, saving its absorption properties for the rapid deceleration caused by impacting the object.

The Why Behind Arai Helmets
Each helmet shell undergoes a series of quality control checks before continuing through the production process.

Many other helmet manufacturers and philosophies exist, and riders must make their own conclusions in the knowledge that certification requirements mandated by bodies such as the DOT and ECE only guarantee a minimum standard. Every Arai helmet is still made and inspected by hand at the family-owned factory in Japan; the only automated process is the laser cutting of the eyeports. Over its history Arai has built an enviable reputation for quality and attention to detail. As the saying goes, it is expensive for a reason.

For more information on Arai helmets, visit araiamericas.com.

The post The Why Behind Arai Helmets first appeared on Rider Magazine.
Source: RiderMagazine.com

HJC RPHA 90S Modular Helmet | Gear Review

HJC RPHA 90S Modular Helmet Review

We can’t get enough of modular helmets here at Rider. The protection of a full-face helmet combined with the convenience of a flip-up chinbar is really hard to beat. Add in the premium features of a helmet like HJC’s RPHA 90S, and you cover all the bases: safety, comfort, aerodynamics, ventilation, versatility, and ease of use.

Based in Korea, HJC is the world’s largest helmet manufacturer. RPHA, which stands for Revolutionary Performance Helmet Advanced and is pronounced “arfa,” is HJC’s premium line of full-face and modular helmets. The 90S shell is made of HJC’s proprietary, lightweight Premium Integrated Matrix (P.I.M.) Plus that blends carbon and carbon-glass into a hybrid fabric. My medium-sized 90S weighs 3 pounds, 11 ounces, which is comparable to other premium modular helmets we’ve tested.

The interior is 3D-engineered to reduce noise, and combined with the aerodynamic shell, neck roll, and chin curtain, the helmet does a good job of dulling wind noise. The 90S has a plush, removable comfort liner, recessed ear pockets, and channels to accommodate glasses. The anti-scratch faceshield is Pinlock-ready (an anti-fog insert comes in the box), and a sliding lever on the lower left edge of the helmet deploys or retracts the drop-down sunshield. Vents on the chinbar, crown, and rear of the helmet are easy to open or close with gloved hands. Airflow through the helmet is decent but could be better (though that would increase wind noise; I wear earplugs most of the time, so it’s a trade-off I’d be happy to make). Sold separately are Sena-made Smart HJC 20B and 10B Bluetooth communication systems that integrate into a port inside the rear of the helmet.

HJC RPHA 90S Modular Helmet Review 2021 Honda Gold Wing Tour DCT
HJC RPHA 90S on a 2021 Honda Gold Wing Tour (Photo by Kevin Wing)

I’ve been wearing the RPHA 90S for about a month on bikes ranging from a Triumph Speed Triple naked sportbike to the Honda Gold Wing. There is no EPS padding built into the chinbar, but it does latch closed with metal pins and locks securely. The chinbar’s release tab and the center locking mechanism for the faceshield are both easy to find and use on the fly, though with the faceshield cracked open the mechanism ends up in my line of sight. Otherwise, vision is very good through the large eyeport. I appreciate the plush liner for the chinstrap, which secures with a traditional D-ring. The 90S was comfortable, quiet, and user-friendly during 12-hour days in the saddle with highs in the triple digits. Can’t ask for much more than that.

The HJC RPHA 90S is available in sizes XS-2XL. Pricing ranges from $459.99-$469.99 for solids to $499.99 for graphics (shown).

For more information: See your dealer or visit hjchelmets.us

The post HJC RPHA 90S Modular Helmet | Gear Review first appeared on Rider Magazine.
Source: RiderMagazine.com

Scorpion EXO-R1 Air Carbon Helmet | Gear Review

Scorpion EXO-R1 Air Carbon Helmet review

Carbon fiber helmets have been around for a long time, and they offer a great combination of lightness and strength, as well as the high-tech look of the carbon fiber weave. We’ve seen (and tested) more of them in recent years because improvements in manufacturing have made it possible to produce high-quality lids at a lower price. Premium carbon fiber helmets used to cost upwards of $1,000, but now you can buy them for about half as much.

Scorpion’s EXO-R1 Air Carbon helmet is a perfect example. Its resin-infused TCT-U 3K carbon fiber shell composite weave is said to provide aircraft-grade impact dispersion. Compared to the standard EXO-R1 Air we tested last year, the Carbon version is 3.5 ounces lighter (49 ounces for size medium) and has the same aerodynamic shell that’s designed to reduce drag and improve balance. The Carbon feels really light in my hands and all but disappears when it’s on my head.

Scorpion EXO-R1 Air Carbon Helmet review

Between the carbon shell and the comfort interior is a multi-layer EPS liner designed to absorb impact energy and it has built-in channels to allow air to flow around the head. Scorpion’s Ram-Air intake system sucks air in, which then moves through the helmet and returns to the atmosphere by way of a four-port exhaust spoiler. With a race helmet level of ventilation the EXO-R1 Air Carbon can be a tad noisy, but that’s what earplugs are for. The clear MaxVision Pinlock-ready face shield has an anti-scratch coating and blocks 95% of UV-A and UV-B radiation. A dark smoke shield, a Pinlock anti-fog insert and a helmet bag come in the box. Shield changes are a breeze, and the shield closes securely with a center lock.

Scorpion EXO-R1 Air Carbon Helmet review

In terms of comfort, the intermediate oval Carbon was initially pretty snug, but after a full day’s ride the removable/washable KwikWick III antimicrobial interior molded to my Charlie Brown head. Scorpion’s Airfit inflation adjustment system provides a custom fit for the 3D-contoured Kwikfit cheek pads, which also have an emergency release. Other features include speaker pockets, a breath deflector, a chin curtain and titanium D-rings on the chin strap.

If you’re looking for a lightweight, feature-packed, stylish, and functional full-face helmet, the EXO-R1 Air Carbon is a solid choice. DOT/ECE certified and backed by a 5-year warranty, it’s available in sizes XS-3XL in Gloss Black or Matte Black for $549.95.

For more information: See your dealer or visit scorpionusa.com

The post Scorpion EXO-R1 Air Carbon Helmet | Gear Review first appeared on Rider Magazine.
Source: RiderMagazine.com

What You Should Know About Motorcycle Helmet Laws

Riding a motorcycle is an activity that comes with a fair amount of risk. That risk is rewarded by the unparalleled experience of tossing a leg over a bike and going for a ride, but it’s there nonetheless. 

In many areas of the world, local governments have decided it’s in the rider’s (and the community’s) best interests to enact helmet laws and enforce them. With helmets being such an important part of motorcycling in general, I thought I’d take a closer look at motorcycle helmet laws and identify some things that every rider should know. 

You Should Always Wear A Helmet Regardless Of The Law

The first thing I want to touch on is the fact that you should always wear a helmet no matter what the law says. Personally, I’m a bit of an ATGATT (all the gear, all the time) fan, but if you’re not, at the very least, you should put on a helmet each and every time you get on a motorcycle. 

You’ll hear people ask, “Are motorcycle helmet laws effective?” The simple fact of the matter is that motorcycle helmets save lives. The number of studies that show the effectiveness of helmets on reducing injury and death are too numerous to list here. 

With that said, I will point you towards this handy list of studies compiled by the Skilled Motorcyclist Association organization, which shows how effective helmets really are. 

According to the association, motorcycle helmets actually reduce the risk of death by 42 percent and head injury by 69 percent. With all of the data available to motorcyclists, the real question is why the heck would you even ride without a helmet? 

Not All Helmets Will Satisfy The Law

Helmet Laws

Now that I’ve reiterated how important motorcycle helmets are to rider safety, I want to talk about the fact that not all helmets are created equal, and not all helmets are treated equally in the eyes of the law. 

When you ride in the United States, for example, only helmets that have Department of Transportation (DOT) approval will satisfy the law in the states that have motorcycle helmet laws on the books. It’s worth noting that not all states have helmet laws on the books either. This means that you won’t be required by law to wear one, but I still strongly recommend that you do. 

Alternatively, DOT-approved helmets are not legal in places like the UK and Australia, which call for Economic Commission for Europe (ECE)-approved motorcycle helmets. 

ECE and DOT are different standards. They’re the two that matter the most in terms of helmet laws, though there are other helmet standards like Snell and Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM) that take helmet safety even further than ECE and DOT do. 

The best advice I can give here is to get a helmet that will satisfy your local laws. Look them up wherever you live. If you can’t find them, then contact the authorities to find out what type of helmet will satisfy the laws in your area. It should be an easy thing to do and will help keep you legal and safe on the road. 

A Helmet Can’t Guarantee You Won’t Get Hurt In A Motorcycle Accident

A motorcycle helmet will greatly reduce the risk of death or injury due to you hitting your head in a motorcycle accident. However, it cannot guarantee that you won’t sustain a head injury. As I discussed at the beginning of this article, motorcycling comes with risks involved. Even if you wear all of the protective gear you can, there’s still a risk. 

A lot can go into determining whether or not you will sustain an injury or be killed in an accident. The number of variables is endless. There’s your position on the road, your speed, the terrain and landscape around, the road surface, the other motorists on the road, and so, so much more. No helmet can protect you from every scenario. 

With that said, I would say that buying a high-quality motorcycle helmet from a reputable company that is modern and up-to-date in terms of construction and features will help give you the best chance at surviving a motorcycle accident unscathed. 

If you need to find yourself a good motorcycle helmet. Our sister site Web Bike World has some of the most comprehensive helmet information available anywhere in the world. The reviews you’ll find there are in-depth and thorough, and you should be able to find a helmet that satisfies your needs. 

If You Do Get Hurt While Riding, Seek Advice From A Professional

Helmet laws

One of the most common questions I get from riders is: what do you do if you’re injured as a result of a motorcycle accident? The first thing I’d say is to reach out to a motorcycle collision lawyer. 

The next question I get is: what can the lawyer really do for me? That question is a lot harder to answer because just about every motorcycle accident is different. However, in many cases, having a lawyer on your side can help. 

I’ll let Heidi Wickstrom of Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C. explain from the point of view of a lawyer in the video below:

This is especially true with a head injury. You’ll have medical bills to pay, likely have a busted-up motorcycle to deal with, and who knows what else. You could even have repercussions for the rest of your life. Having someone there like a medical malpractice lawyer to help you understand everything and ensure you get the correct compensation can really make a difference.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

HJC i10 Helmet | Gear Review

HJC i10 helmet

I see a lot of HJC lids when I’m out and about with other riders, which is no surprise: they’re attractive, functional and easy on the wallet. Its CL-17 has been a bestseller and a workhorse of the lineup for years, and for 2019 HJC released a new model to replace it, the i10. Its advanced polycarbonate composite shell has a fresh, modern look, with crown, forehead and chinbar intake vents and always-open exhaust vents at the rear, and the Taze graphic we tested (shown above) also features subtle silver reflective striping on the front, top, back and sides. The liner is removable and washable and the Pinlock-ready visor snaps on and off easily. The i10 is also ready to accept the optional built-in SmartHJC 20B or 10B Bluetooth communication system, or it can be used with a separate system from a manufacturer like Cardo or Sena.

My i10 was comfortable right out of the box, with ample room for speakers. I would say fit is intermediate oval that leans just a hair toward round oval, but I didn’t experience any hotspots or pressure points. The chinbar and forehead vents are super easy to use with gloves on, but for some reason I struggled to locate and operate the top vents at times, usually when wearing thicker gloves. The visor is easy to use too, with a large tab front and center that eliminates the fumbling at traffic lights I’ve experienced with some other brands, but I wish it had a smaller initial “de-fogging” opening. I also miss the convenience of a built-in drop-down sun visor, but if that’s a deal-breaker for you, HJC’s i70 (reviewed in the October 2019 issue and here) is a nice step up for not too much more dough.

With a lower-priced lid like the i10, your primary concessions are in the comfort category; at 3 lbs., 9 oz. my size small i10 is nearly 5 oz. heavier than a similarly featured high-end competitor. That doesn’t sound like a lot, but after a full day of riding that third of a pound can become apparent. That said, the i10 is still a lot of helmet for the money, especially given it carries the newest Snell M2020 certification in addition to DOT. It’s available in sizes XS-3XL (3XL is DOT only) in five solid colors starting at $149.99, and in three graphics starting at $169.99.

For more information, see your dealer or visit hjchelmets.us.

Source: RiderMagazine.com

6D ATS-1R Helmet | Gear Review

6D ATS-1R helmet in Gloss Black
6D ATS-1R helmet in Gloss Black.

In 2016 we tested the ATS-1, the first full-face street helmet from 6D, a new company that had developed a patented system called Omni-Directional Suspension (read the review here). Inside the helmet are two nested EPS liners connected by an array of hourglass-shaped elastomer dampers. The dampers allow the EPS liners to move independently in six axes, so the outer shell moves independently of the head. Upon impact, the liners compress together and/or shift laterally relative to each other before they crush like EPS liners in other helmets, absorbing and dissipating kinetic energy and reducing the amount of force transferred to the head. Independent tests have shown that ODS significantly reduces linear and angular (rotational) acceleration compared to other helmets, reducing the likelihood of concussions, traumatic brain injuries or death. The innovation and wide-ranging applicability of ODS helped 6D win the Grand Prize in the NFL’s Head Health Challenge III competition.

6D’s new ATS-1R improves upon its predecessor in a number of ways. Advancements in ODS technology are said to provide “significant improvements in both linear and angular acceleration mitigation” while also reducing weight. My size-medium ATS-1R weighs 3 pounds, 5 ounces, which is 9 ounces lighter than the ATS-1. Designed with input from professional racers, the ATS-1R’s carbon fiber, intermediate-oval shell has an aerodynamic shape with a rear wing to reduce drag, buffeting and lift. With four intake vents, 15 transfer ports and five exhaust vents, the ODS Air-Gap ventilation system, which takes advantage of the space between the nested EPS liners, moves a significant amount of air. With all of the vents open the ATS-1R can be noisy, but it’s suitably quiet when wearing earplugs.

Omni-Directional Suspension
This cutaway graphic shows the 6D’s proprietary Omni-Directional Suspension system that reduces brain damage in rotational impacts.

Other changes to the ATS-1R include a larger shell opening, redesigned cheek pads (optional pads allow sizing to be customized), a redesigned chin curtain, a removable neck cuff and a new self-tensioning face shield base plate, which improves sealing. The anti-scratch, UV-blocking shield offers 10 positions as well as a lockdown lever and a Pinlock 120 anti-fog insert is included. Changing the shield is a no-brainer and requires no tools. The ultra-plush comfort liner is removable, washable and compatible with eyewear, and inside the helmet are integrated speaker pockets.

Comfort, fit and finish, ventilation and ease of use are first rate, and the price of the DOT- and ECE-certified ATS-1R is significantly lower than that of its predecessor. It’s available in sizes XS-XXL for $695 in Gloss Black or $745 in graphics, and comes with a deluxe helmet bag.

For more information, see your dealer or visit 6dhelmets.com.

Source: RiderMagazine.com

Arai Regent-X Helmet | Gear Review

Arai Regent-X helmet in Sensation Red Frost.
Arai Regent-X helmet in Sensation Red Frost.

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.

Arai Regent-X helmet in Sensation Red Frost.
Arai Regent-X helmet in Sensation Red Frost.

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.

Source: RiderMagazine.com

Shoei GT-Air II Helmet | Gear Review

Shoei GT-Air II
Shoei GT-Air II helmet in Redux TC-1 graphic.

For sport-touring riders who prefer a traditional full-face helmet to a modular or flip-up style, Shoei’s GT-Air has been a top choice since it was first released back in 2012. Since then, the popularity of built-in or integrated Bluetooth communication systems has increased, so for 2019 Shoei has updated the GT-Air II with an optional Sena SRL2 comm system, along with some other tweaks meant to make a great lid even better.

The SRL2 ($299) was designed specifically for the GT-Air II, which means installation is quick and almost foolproof. Insert the battery and controller into their separate compartments, snap the speakers into the pre-cut indentations and stick the microphone on the inside of the chin bar (or use the included boom mic). Ready to ride!

GT-Air II SRL Bluetooth
The SRL Bluetooth system, made by Sena, is quick and easy to install in the GT-Air II.

Otherwise, the basic construction of the GT-Air II is unchanged: the shell is made of Shoei’s proprietary Multi-Ply Matrix AIM, which consists of hand-laid interwoven layers of fiberglass, organic fibers and resin, backed by a new EPS liner that now incorporates varying foam densities within each piece for a compact, lightweight design that still protects your noggin.

The removable, washable and sizable Max-Dry interior feels like it may be just a bit more plush than the previous GT-Air, but fit seems about the same as before: a slightly longer oval shape than some of Shoei’s other helmets. Fit around the neck roll is a tad looser to facilitate pulling the GT-Air II on/off but is still snug enough to keep things quiet.

One major change is the switch to the new, patented micro-ratchet chinstrap, as seen on the Neotec II. Unlike other ratcheting chinstraps, Shoei’s closure mechanism is made of 100-percent stainless steel — no plastic — for the utmost in safety. I like the design, which lets the user preset the general fit with an adjustable strap, and fine-tune it with the ratchet. It seems more secure and also more comfortable, similar to a traditional D-ring strap.

Other features include a new drop-down sun shield that’s 5mm longer than before; that doesn’t sound like a lot, but it’s enough to cover nearly the entire eyeport and is less intrusive when glancing down at the gauges. A redesigned upper vent shutter is still one of the easiest to use with gloves on, and has two intake positions, both of which flow noticeable amounts of fresh air; five exhaust vents, none of which can be closed, draw it out.

Shoei focused on making the GT-Air II as quiet as possible, with new, thicker face shield beading that seals tightly against wind and water and a compact, aerodynamic shell (my size small weighs in at 3 lbs., 9.8 oz. with SRL2  installed). With the vents closed, the GT-Air II is comfortably quiet, but once the vents are open the noise level goes up considerably. The CNS-1 face shield is the same as that used on the original GT-Air, and comes with a Pinlock EVO fog-resistant insert. The GT-Air II’s new baseplate, however, now allows the shield to be opened just slightly for venting and defogging.

Overall, the GT-Air II is a solid step up from the previous version, with enough updates and upgrades to justify the roughly $50 price increase. It’s available in sizes XS-2XL, spread over three shell sizes, for $599 (solids) or $699 (graphics). 

For more information, see your dealer or visit shoei-helmets.com.

Source: RiderMagazine.com