The Aria RX-7V helmet is the pinnacle of their helmet development, having been designed for racing. It was released in 2015 and was the first Aria in ages to get full marks in the UK government’s sharp impact tests. It also saw the introduction of an all-new visor mounting system.
It’s become very popular in the years since, with Arai devotees, in particular, singing its praises very, very loudly.
I have seen this helmet with over 150 customer reviews, and 145 of those have been five-star reviews, so it’s obvious that owners are very happy with their purchase. That’s a particularly impressive tally for something with such a hefty price tag.
Arai RX-7V Review
As we write this review, the RX-7V starts at £449.99 for a plain color and goes up to £789.99 for race replicas like the Maverick Vinales rep. Of course, as you’d expect, when people spend that money, they expect the best.
They’re more picky in the way they review things, so for 95 of buyers to give full marks to a helmet with such a high price tag, it’s pretty damn good, in my opinion.
The shell material it’s made using our Arai’s PB-SCN 2 construction. That means it’s made from a laminate of fibers designed to balance weight and impact protection.
The PB part stands for peripherally belted, which means there’s a reinforcing band of fiber just above the eye-port.
That gives more structural strength and allows Arai to use a thinner polystyrene impact liner just above the rider’s eyes.
That helps with peripheral vision, which is especially important on a race helmet where riders often want to achieve something bordering on the impossible. They want to see where they’re going while their face points toward the floor.
The vision on this helmet is good, and it’s frequently mentioned in those 150 customer reviews.
Arai’s philosophy on shells has always been to make them tough and able to resist a spike penetration test, even if the relevant safety standard they’re applying for doesn’t demand that test be carried out.
They say having a tougher outer shell means they can run a softer EPS impact liner and still get exceptional impact protection results.
The everyday downside to that is that Arai’s tend to run heavier than many equivalent helmets. For example, the RX-7V in a medium weighed in at 1626 grams/3.5 lbs on our scales.
That’s quite a bit above many equivalent sports and race helmets which tend to sit somewhere between 1300 and 1500 hundred grams.
But numbers don’t always tell the full story, and many owners within the reviews we saw describe their Arai RX-7V as light.
The scales might suggest the opposite, but the RX-7V clearly carries its weight well, and it must have a good balance for people to describe it in those terms.
My experience with this helmet has been a few hundred miles on the road on both naked and sports bikes on short stints and longer journeys.
As for the weight, I did notice the extra weight when compared to equivalent helmets from other manufacturers.
I was surprised when the scales showed that weight of 1626 grams/3.5lbs as I don’t feel this helmet feels as heavy as that when it’s in use.
Venting through that shell is one of the key aspects of the RX-7V, with a three-stage chin vent that is either fully open, fully closed, or halfway between the two. There are also a whole series of vents on top of the shell.
The central top vent is the simplest. Slide the switch back and forth to reveal a hole that draws air inside the helmet. The diffuser is a classic design that has been on Arai’s helmets for ages.
The idea is that these scoops pull cool air over the top of the helmet, forcing hot air that’s on the inside to rise and leave the interior through holes on the top. Switched exhaust vents on the back allow air to escape through the rear of the diffuser.
Six holes through the shell and the EPS into the helmet interior allow that air to escape. If that’s not enough venting for you, then Arai’s trademark brow vents are here to give you even more airflow.
Vents on top of the visor rotate open, allowing air to come through the top of the visor and then travel through ducts just above where your eyes would be on the interior to draw cooling air to the rider’s temples. That’s not a new idea, but it’s unique to Arai, and it works brilliantly.
The visor was one of the most prominent new features when this helmet was released. It’s Arai’s Vas-V system, and it’s gone on to be used in most subsequent new Arai models.
The main advantage is that the side pods here are smaller than the previous system and sit lower on the shell. This allows more of the shell’s material to contribute more to the helmet’s protective qualities.
Arai star ratings in the sharp impact scheme have improved noticeably since this new visor system was introduced.
So the extra protection is the main advantage, but there’s also a more obvious everyday advantage to this, which comes in the way the visor changes with the Vas-V System.
The side pods now detach from the helmet to allow access to the visor mounting. The pods are still tethered to the lid, so there’s virtually no risk of losing one.
The other innovation for this visor is the locking tab to the lower left of the helmet. It can lock the visor securely down; you can also lift it slightly to allow in a smaller amount of air.
With the visor down, give it a firm push, and it will lock shut against the tab. Push the lever up with your thumb, and the visor’s now locked into a slightly open position, it leaves a very small gap around the seal to allow in some air, but the visor can’t open any further in the wind flow.
Pulling the visor away from the helmet slightly makes the tab clear, and then it can be lifted open.
Some of the customer reviews of this helmet describe that lever as fiddly, especially those who’ve tried operating it with winter gloves.
Others say it’s something you get used to, and that’s where I found myself. It doesn’t take long to feel fairly natural to use that tab, though it is harder to get your glove inside and peel it away when you’re wearing a thicker glove.
The visor offers very good peripheral vision and is also supplied with a pinlock 120 insert to protect against misting.
It’s a max vision insert, so it covers most of the inner surface to stop the ceiling trim from interfering with your vision.
The liner is plush, one of the main attractions of Arai’s helmets, and it’s anti-microbial to keep it feeling fresh.
The skull pad and cheek pads are removable, and different thicknesses are available to customize the fit if that’s something that will help you.
The cheek pads have pockets to accommodate intercom speakers, and the removable neck roll also has an exhaust vent at the back to help warm air escape.
Like all Arai’s and the vast majority of race lids, this helmet has a D-ring strap fastener and covers that stop your skin from getting irritated by the strap. It can also be unclipped and taken away for washing.
There’s a large removable chin curtain to make the ride quieter on the road. Taking that out will increase airflow, but it will come at the expense of some extra road noise.
Then there’s a spoiler that can be pulled down to provide some extra protection against wind flow and chills.
The Arai RX-7V is rated ECE 2205 for road use. It’s got the ACU gold sticker for race and track use in the UK, and as I said earlier, it scored the full five stars in the UK government’s quick impact scheme.
Having spent those few hundred miles on the road in this helmet, it’s an impressive piece of kit, and I don’t doubt for a second that it would offer first-class protection if it were ever called into action.
In my experience, it was better on bikes with a fairing or a screen to give some shelter against the wind.
It also felt slightly less aerodynamic when pushing through clean air and riding on a naked bike. But this is a race helmet, and that’s how it’s designed to be used behind the fairing.
If you are going racing, it may be worth looking at the RX-7V fim model, which has a spoiler at the back for extra aerodynamic sleekness and a different visor that better suits the demands of racing.
It’s also approved to the international racing standard, which you might need when racing at higher levels.
The Arai RX-7V Helmet is a premium Arai helmet that is perfect for those looking for the perfect combination of safety and performance.
With a VAS pinlock Max Vision visor, this helmet is fully adjustable with five positions and three different visors that can be easily removed and replaced.
This helmet is the first Arai helmet to feature a speaker pocket for added sound quality.
In addition, the helmet also features a larger field of vision than previous models, a redesigned inner cheek pad, and a removable neck roll.
Where To Buy
|Model||Sports Bike Shop|
|Arai RX-7V||From £449|