Arai Corsair-V Helmet Review – BikersRights
All of my biking life I have worn Shoei helmets - don’t really know why, brand loyalty I suppose. So when Arai gave me the opportunity to try out their new Corsair-V, I jumped at the chance.
I am a true believer in never “skinting” on a helmet; you should always get the best one that your money can buy and that you can afford, and Arai is at the top of the list. You only have one head, and let’s face it, it really is an egg shell in an accident. I can vouch for that after meeting a deer on a country road back in Blightly a few years ago.
The first thing that impressed me with the Arai Corsair-V when the box arrived was the three different lenses. Clear, slightly tinted and dark. The thought of having not to wear sunglasses under my lid while riding was “brilliant” as the men from the Guinness advertisement say.
Then there was the instruction on how to use the helmet. I popped the Arai CD into my machine and there we go; full easy to use computerized instructions.
The venting system is unbelievable; there are more vents on this Arai than I have ever seen on a helmet. On the top for your skull, on the back for the back of your head, on your face to stop steaming up, basically everywhere, and they all open and close with no hassle and are very well made.
The same however, cannot be said for the visor removal and replacement system. I suspect there is a knack to it. I as of yet, have not found that knack. It took me only two minutes to get the visor out and maybe half-an-hour to get it back in. I am not a quitter so over the course of the summer we will keep playing with swapping the visors in and out and I will report on either my success or failure to master the technique.
The colors, design and finish are really quite spectacular and being able to remove the lining to wash the inside after a track day is another benefit. Your head is also, as my mother would say, “snug as a bug in a rug”. It fits very comfortably, with support in all the right places and no movement at all. Arai helmets are renowned for the ability to remove the inside and put it back in the same way it came out. We will find out throughout this test.
Last night I went up to my weekly Quaker-Steak & Lube bike night in Cranberry, PA to test this baby out. The first thing that I noticed was its clarity through the visor. I had the clear visor on and it felt like it wasn’t there, I could see perfectly, absolutely no distortion at all! And the same could be said when I was coming home in the dark. The next very positive point is the Arai design. The helmet doesn’t go down way over the bottom of your chin, therefore, the airflow is wonderful, you don’t feel as restricted and it’s also lighter overall.
I did however, have problems with the catch that seals the visor down to stop any air from coming in. It wouldn’t open easily with my gloves on. Arai give me some lubricant in the packaging and I may need to add some more to the catch to make it move easier.
We have track work this next couple of weekends, so let me keep reporting on how the Arai does at 170 mile an hour.
You might recall a month or so ago I was given an Arai Corsair-V to test. Here is Part II of the series (check out Part I in our parts editorial department).
Firstly, I have to say I really didn’t know so much went into making sure you have the perfect fit for protection on your head. It is a real strength of Arai to make sure you have the right size, shape and design for your individual head. Basically, every part of the inside of the helmet can be adapted to fit your individual shape. No “one” head is the same, so they make the entire inside removable and replaceable to fit your shape and size.
For example, I felt that my cheeks were being too compressed inside the helmet, so they sent me two different size cheek pads. I put the smaller thickness in, which was 2 mm thinner than the first one, and “bam” it fits perfectly. They were extremely easy to fit and at the same time I swapped the inside lining also just to see if I had the right size, and yes, the original lining is perfect for my size.
Basically, you really do get a custom made helmet when you buy Arai, and in all of my years of riding I have never come across that type of service.
I also had two little points that I made in my last article. One was the helmet mechanism and changing the visor. First time around I found it difficult; the other was the locking catch when you wanted to seal the visor down. Well I am pleased to say that I have got the hang of the visor exchange. On a recent road test with Kawasaki, I had to change it three times a day due to the weather, and if you put the helmet on a flat surface and hook the edges of the visor in at an extreme angle it goes in very easily. This was what I was doing wrong the first time; I wasn’t putting the corners of the visor back as far as I could.
Now, I am not saying that this article is going to teach you how to put the visor in as cleanly as I can now, but what this article is designed to do is tell you that once you get the hang of it, it really does work.
On the note of the catch, well that was an easy fix. I was trying to push it upwards, and you should just click with your thumb underneath and it easily jumps out.
The ventilation system on the Corsai- V is really very well designed too. I was caught in the rain the other day and I wanted to keep my visor shut with the locking mechanism to keep the water out. The ventilation system kept my visor mist free, and it was a humid day. Top marks for Arai there too!
I have also had the helmet on a three day track event. At very high speeds, 150 miles an hour plus, it works wonders. I tightened the strap a little more than I would road riding just because of the wind blast at the helmet (not in the helmet), and my Arai didn’t move. It fit perfectly at that speed, it didn’t rattle or try to move up over my head, and it stayed exactly where it was suppose to.
Now onto safety. Well you really can’t judge the quality of a helmet unless you have smashed your head on either the road or a track pavement, and I am sorry to say this week I actually did use the helmet for what it was meant for.
I was riding in a group behind a novice rider and when she fell on a right hand bend, the only way to avoid hitting her was to lay my bike down. Thankfully it worked and I missed her, but my head hit the pavement really quite hard so the witnesses tell me. I did not feel a thing and was shocked to see how much impact the Arai had taken, it really did do its job very, very well.
Check out the picture in the Freeze-Frames of the aftermath, but like I said I had absolutely no damage to my head or concussion from the accident. The helmet stood up to everything Arai told me it would and I am here to road test another day.
Here at AllAboutBikes we go to the extreme to test our products.
Thank you Arai for saving my life.