Arai Defiant-X Helmet Review - Best In It's Class, And Here's Why
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Today we're doing a product review on the Arai Defiant-X helmet. The Arai Defiant-X sells for $593 up to $728, depending if you're going with a solid color or one of the graphics.
Please understand we don't update videos for pricing changes, only if the helmet itself has been completely redesigned. This is kind of a purpose-built helmet; with that said, it is at home in more than one place.
The styling is cool, and the ventilation is excellent. It's a quiet helmet, and this is going to be at home on a naked bike, like an MTO 7mt on ion. Anything where you're upright, these helmets ARE going to do well in that environment.
With that said, let's say you have a sportbike and you think this thing looks kick-ass, well it's going to do great for you there. Remember this isn't just a helmet, it's an Arai.
This package that you see here there's a lot more than meets the eye, it's a little engineering marvel.
Who is this helmet right for? I see this working great on more of an upright motorcycle. With that said, if you like it and own a sportbike, it's going to do a great job.
This helmet weighs three point five pounds in a size medium on our digital shipping scale, which we see with any of the Snell certified helmets, in that size, in the premium category.
It'll either be Snell 2015 or Snell 2020 certified. They're updating the new certificate or submitting them for testing for the new certification.
As I understand it, the helmet is unchanged. The Arai was capable of passing either one of the tests without any significant modifications of any kind. Whatever one you get, you're going to get yourself a safe helmet.
Let's talk about interior shape and fit. This is built for intermediate oval head shape, the most common one in North America. I measure 58 centimeters on the button, with an intermediate oval head shape, and I got to tell you I get an incredible fit from this helmet.
I have not yet ridden this model. I've ridden in the Signet X, the quantum X, and the Corsair X, this one in the new region X I have not yet ridden in.
My expectations are the performance of this is going to be very similar to what we found with a quantum and the Signet. Fifty-eight centimeters medium, fits excellent, intermediate oval head shape.
Before you buy a helmet, especially something this expensive get yourself a good measurement. If you don't have a cloth tape, you can use a string that doesn't stretch.
Measure from just above the eyebrows to get the circumference. Use a steel tape to translate that to the size chart we have on a website for the Arai helmets.
The size chart works well, and our staff is always here to help you choose the best possible size and fit for yourself. It's essential to have an understanding of your head shape.
Intermediate oval is slightly longer front to back than it is side to side. You can see that in the mirror, and it is the most common head shape in the US.
The Arai Defiant-X, like the rest of the Arai models, does a fantastic job when you are wearing glasses. It's easy to get the glasses in, and they sit right on your nose and easy to pull out.
Feature and benefits
Let's start with ventilation, that's one of the key points with any helmet we have switchable vents on the top of the helmet, they are the largest intake vents. They are multi-positional, they feel tight and nice action on them.
The brow vents that are built into the shield are fully functional, and they are very effective. They introduce air right into the temple area, and it really helps to cool the rider down.
You also have an aggressive styling point to the intake vents on the chin. These serve two purposes. Inside the helmet, there are two red switches. When they're in the closed position, and you see all red, they're going to divert the air, so it De-mists the shield.
While we're talking about the shield this, it comes with a pin lock insert, so you're going tremendous fog-free performance. When you see red, and they're closed it blows air up onto the shield, when you open them it's now going to allow air to enter the helmet in the mouth area to cool you down.
The chin curtain on this helmet is fixed. This is a venturi vent right here, and this is the exhaust portion. The intake portion for this Vette can be found right here. It collects air from up into the eye-port area and sucks it out the back of the helmet.
That's something that they've taken from the Corsair X and integrated into the define X to help manage ventilation. The design and the chin are different than we see with the quantum x, or the Signet, which offer a beneficial ventilation package.
They wanted to make sure that this helmet is ventilated at a high level, so they added that ductwork and a venturi vent from the Corsair X. The helmet also offers an exhaust vent in the back again switchable.
To the right is fully open, to the center is half open, and to the left is closed. More exhaust venting is found here, giving you the venturi effect.
What happens is at speed air draws over that, it creates suction inside the low-pressure, and it sucks out the heat and moisture to keep the rider cooler and comfortable.
The base of the neck roll, you're also going to see this built-in vent. It is a rubberized material, so it keeps it comfortably. It doesn't feel as hard at the back of the neck roll, and you can see these intake vents here in these areas and the exhaust here.
At speed, the air is dragging over this once again venturi effect. Three holes are on the backside of the neck roll, this pocket that is found in between the bottom of the EPS and the top liner, and the top of the neckroll heat and moisture can collect there. This helps to suck that out of the back of the helmet.
This helmet comes is five different shell sizes. Extra small has its own shell, small is shell number two, medium, and large share one shell. This is a medium that we're showing you here on the tables, and get a sense of the external size.
Extra-large has its own, so does 2x. while we're on the topic of shells, these are handmade in Japan by real artisans.
We have an example here of an old Corsair shell. This is from 2010, the reason that I want to show this is all the different materials that go into this.
This isn't just a bunch of ground-up fiberglass and resin. They have strategically placed different materials in certain areas to tune the rigidity of this shell to protect the rider best.
To back that up, the helmet has multi-density EPS. This isn't just a hunk of foam like an old McDonald's Big Mac container that's blown in there right to the act as a crumple zone, there once again tuning the energy management.
You can see the different colors represent different densities of EPS material. You can see several at work here, a total of five that you can see. So tons of engineering and technology goes into this helmet you find that even in their Defiant-X.
The shield system. It includes the pin lock insert, which is nice, and we're going to show you how to change this. It has a shield lock built-in, push it down, and it's in the lock position, to release it lift it up on this tab and then pull up.
Let's say you want to drop down the inner screen. A lot of the other brands are offering drop-down inner screens. Arai will not do it; they feel it compromises the helmet's safety because it changes the engineering of the helmet.
You now have to have a pocket for this thing to float up and down in.
What do you do is you hog that out of the EPS, do you make the external shell bigger, they wouldn't do it they feel it compromises the safety.
They also believe that safety is the primary reason for wearing the helmet, with comfort and rider experience being the second most important thing.
The pro Shade system is a transparent shield that is purpose-built to accept an external drop-down tinted visor on a hinge mounted system. It accepts the pin lock insert for fog-free performance, and it still has the shield vents built into it, so you're not losing anything. You're also not losing any safety.
I've ridden with this quite a bit, and it's a useful tool. It does create a little more noise in the upward position, but at the end of the day, it's not a big deal. This comes down to just their overall philosophy, they refuse to compromise anything internally in the helmet, and you have to respect this.
Start with the shield in the upward most position. Arai did an excellent job on this mechanism, and this is the best one they've ever had. It's a real move forward, and they're using and all their current models.
Get your shield in the up position; if you look here in the side pod area on both sides, you're going to see a little trigger with an arrow that tells you to pull it backward.
You get the side pod hanging like that, and then you just kind of turn the shield like that, and it jumps right the helmet. It's pretty simple.
To reinstall it, you need to line up this little brass insert with this open space here on the shield ratchet system. In that position, it dips in that hole, rotates it up, hears an audible click, gets your shield cover, and finds a tab here at the top.
It dips in right there in that pocket from top to bottom push you hear an audible click that side is finished. Come over to the other side, rotate it around till it dips in, click side pod, push down before you go on right in it what I like to do is actuated a couple of times up and down all the way, make sure everything is good to go.
What's nice with these two is they built in a tether system to those side pods if you have Mis installed your shield, and let's say your side pod does pop off; it is not going to fly off while you're riding.
That is a challenge that we used to have with an Arai helmet way back in the day, and that has fortunately been fixed with this latest system.
Now we've hit the point where I'm going to completely disassemble the helm and give you a closer look on the inside out.
One of the cool features we're going to be able to show you now is the peel-away layers built into both the top hat and the cheek pads.
What those allow you to do, is let's say you get the helmet you've broken the helmet in. It's still just a little tight in the cheek pad, or up in the temple area, you're able to remove the liner peel away some of the foam is glued on in segments.
You can pull the layers away to help open those areas up and tune the fit to personalize it for your preference.
The chin curtain on the Defiant-X is fixed, which is not able to be removed. This helmet is assembled a little differently than the other Arai helmets that we've shown you. To release the cheek pads, you need to get in between the back of the cheek pad and the outer shell of the helmet.
Put pressure in to release it from the EPS, working your finger in behind it and putting pressure on the rear of the cheek pad.
Once you've released it, you then need to fold it over and take the tab that is part of the neck roll and release it from the little pocket built into the cheek pad.
The other helmets are assembled differently where the tab dips into the rearward portion of the EPS, and it has a little clip upfront here that locks in so a little different assembly and disassembly process with this.
These cheek pads are unique, and this is not just a piece of foam. Multiple materials go into creating the Arai Defiant-X cheek pad. One thing I want to call some attention to is the front portion of this cheek pad.
Notice this isn't just fixed; it is floating to help give you the best possible on-off experience while maintaining comfort and that cradling effect that Arai is famous for. How they get there I'll show you by removing the cover is by using several different materials.
There is a plastic backing in here that has a spring-like effect, and you can see look at all the different densities in the cheek pad foam used here. The peel-away layer is the one on the outermost portion of the cheek pad foam.
If you intend to install a universal blue tooth that layer of foam, you're able to peel that away. The pocket is built into the EPS backing of the cheek pad, and when you look at it and compare it to the other cheek pads on the market, there is a tremendous difference from Arai to the competition.
Continuing forward, we need to remove the other cheek pad from the helmet. The same process, get towards the back, roll it out, release it from the pocket, and slide it over the chin strap.
The neck roll is removable I want you to grab it like so, and kind of rotate forward it's going to come right out that is the easiest way to get that out don't be pulling on that you want to rotate it just like I showed you.
The top pad there are two snaps in the rear, two snaps in the front. I like to fold it over; you can visually see them; you can also feel it on your thumb contacts it.
I'm wedging it in between the EPS liner in the back of the top liner. Release the snap, same gig in the front; this also has peeled away layers.
Like I showed you with the cheek pads, those can be found in this pocket right here; if you need more room in the temple area, all you have to do is peel that bad boy away, and you are good to go.
Don't do that until you've written in the helmet long enough to understand how you feel about the fit, and give the foam a chance to break in a little.
These don't break in a lot; they break in a little, so be patient with it. What you don't want to do is pull that layer of foam out and then realize you do need that in place.
When we have all that out, we can focus on some of the built-in internal ventings. You can this right here, and the duct is glued to the outer shell of the helmet.
You can see how it starts up here in the eye-port, and then it lines up with this external vent, and that's where you get that venturi effect.
Another venturi exhaust vent here, you can see the hole on the EPS board right there, three holes in the EPS here correspond with the exhaust vent.
Two holes in the EPS appeared towards the front correspond with the intake vents on top of the helmet, and of course, we have the ductwork right here for the vents that are going to strategically blows air onto your forehead to cool you down.
This is an expensive helmet; this isn't a $200 helmet or $100 helmet, you're talking six to seven hundred dollar investment. I think a helmet like this deserves having appropriate time spent so that you're able to do your research and make a good decision for yourself when purchasing this.
It's essential when you get the helmet and get it home to leave the sticker on the shield. Wear this thing in the house long enough to understand how you feel about the fit before taking it for a ride. That way, if you need to return or exchange it, we can do that entirely hassle-free for you.
If you have any questions, leave those in the comments section of this video I answer all that stuff myself, and I'm here to help you get the best experience from your new Arai Defiant-X helmet.