Motocycle 23 Jun 2020

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Arai Quantum-X Helmet Review - Editor's Choice For Round Heads

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These are the new Sigma X and Quantum-X helmets from Arai. These things just dropped on the market, and they have a lot of trickle-down technology, which makes them a great helmet. The trickle-down technology is coming from Arai Corsair X, which is their flagship race helmet.

These helmets now have a lot of that same technology built into them, giving you the consumer a much better helmet. What kind of trickle-down technology are we looking at? I know we've seen some of the venting that I'm familiar with, the lens system looks kind of familiar as well.

Coming down from the Corsair-X, Arai addresses some shell composites with this, so it does get some of the Corsair X shell composite material built into this. I think there's one less layer in this helmet then the coarser X has at the flagship, again that being their race helmet that's a lot of technology built into a street helmet.


The venting system like you touched on, yes, is new for this helmet; it brings in a lot of air, and we do a great job of actually getting that hot air out of the helmet. The system is the VAS system that is coming out on the Corsair X helmet earlier this year and is a straightforward, secure shield change system.

It allows you to move between shields if needed quickly, and it has the pin lock technology which the Corsair X had as well. So it allows you to use a double pane lens on there. So now we have the Sigma X here, and the quantum X here is the difference between the two?

Arai is one of the only held manufacturers that address different head shapes. We're not all created equal each one of us has a different head shape, so one traditional shell is not going to work for everybody.

The only way you can conform to different head shapes is with padding, Arai addresses that by making different shells. With the Signet X, it's more of a long oval design, so it's going to give you more room front to back and be a little tighter on the side.

Where the quantum-xe is round, oval shape, so it's going to be more of that traditional round shape, not so long front to back not so skinny up the sides.

Being the third shell as an intermediate oval, so the one cool thing actually with the quantum-x is it shares a very similar shell design as the Corsair-X.

If you needed to go a little bit more intermediate oval, and you want to stay at this helmet price point, you can use the top liner from the Corsair X to convert this from a round, oval helmet into an intermediate oval helmet.

That is one thing that Arai has always addressed with their helmets is a very tailored fit. They don't just make one shell and then tune it by padding, and four different shell sizes follow the gamut of head shape.

So extra small gets its shell, small/medium gets its shell, large extra large gets its shell, and 2xl gets its shell, so it allows for a custom fit helmet.

What you're saying is because this is a long oval shape, this is a round, oval shape, depending on your head size whereas most large helmets are a one-size-fits-all, if you're large if you're a large oval shape you will fit better in this helmet?

If you are more of a long oval shape like you mentioned, this helmet is going to give you the room front-to-back room, if you've ever wanted a helmet that didn't fit your head shape correctly, you'd know it right off the bat.

If you start to develop a hotspot, if you've been on the bike for an hour two hours, you start feeling a real pain spot; that's because the shape of the helmets not necessarily correct. You might be in the right size helmet, but not the correct shape.

What happens is a lot of people to compensate for the shape they go up a size, so it's too loose at that point, so you know we've found from doing a lot of shows that a lot of riders are in the wrong size helmet just because they're trying to compensate for a particular head shape.

With Arai, you don't have to do that, they've created the shell for the head shape, and then you run the size helmet that you're wearing. It allows for a much better experience when you're on the motorcycle.

It's a custom fit, and it fits tighter, it's going to work better with energy management, it's going to be a quieter helmet. When you go too big with the helmet, you develop air pockets, which allow a lot of wind tear and road noise to get up inside the helmet.

The tighter the helmet fits, the quieter it's going to be, the more comfortable or the rides going to be. So one thing I'm noticing between the two, even though they are four different head shapes by looking at them you can't see it's not like it's a very similar helmet.

When you're looking at them from an exterior standpoint, this one is a little more round than that one is, and it is a little different from the bottom part of the shell that's the only way to tell. The Signet-x from the quantum-x.

Outside of that weights are almost identical, and a ventilation shielding system and the interior is all identical. We weighed these on our scale. We're looking somewhere around 3.8, 3.7 pounds for each helmet.

One thing to know it's not just the weight of the helmet, the helmets balance correct. You don't have a lot of weight in the front or a lot of weight in the back. When you lean over the bars to get on your bike on that weight, get magnified.

Now and your neck has to hold all that weight up, so a very balanced lightweight helmet is going to give you a lot better experience when you're on the motorcycle for two, three, four hours at a time.

It mainly comes into play when went with wind buffeting; if it's not a balanced helmet, you're going to be blowing all over the place.

Size and weight play to win buffeting. Moving the air off the back of the helmet if you notice on the back of this helmet right this large diffuser, well actually this large diffuser does two things. It helps to evacuate the hot air, but it also gets the air off the back of the helmet.

What happens with a lot of wind buffeting is their spools behind the helmet, and you get a lifting effect on the back of the helmet. So if that air doesn't get off far enough off the back of the helmet, it magnifies the buffeting that you would see from a helmet.

Now the venting carries down from the Corsair X? It's very similar to the Corsair X; it has another inner diffuser on it, so it does have one more man on the front. The vents may be just slightly larger than the Corsair X than they are on this, but the nice part of this helmet it does have multistage venting.

You have five intake vents, and five exhaust vents to get the air through this. On the top vents you have three-stage, it closed, medium, or fully open. The chin bar as well, you have a closed, medium, or fully open.

You have two brow vents, which helped bring some air up into the helmet, so intake wise, you're getting a lot of air in, but you know you can only cram so much stuff into a bag before it overflows.

You got to be able to get that hot air out, and that's where Arai has addressed the five exhaust vents. In doing so with these diffusers as the air rushes past this diffuser, it creates a vacuum on the backside of the diffuser, which helps actually to pull the hot air out.

So you get a real comfortable airflow throughout. There are three large holes drilled in the top of the EPS liner that do a great job of bringing the air into you and keeping you comfortable, so you have a subtle cooling effect from front to back, and then everything's going out.

Even down to the back of the helmet there's a neck vent. That helps with the air that moves along the bottom of the helmet to create that vacuum.

In the cold months, it's vice versa. We want to try to lock some of that right out and keep that cold air out. You shut this thing down, with the chin curtain on it you're not getting a lot of air in there it's going to be a nice warm helmet during the winter, so it is an all-season helmet.

Then we've got the VAS visor system. Again, coming down from the Corsair, so that's going to make it smooth as you said earlier to swap out for different visors. If you want to change visors, some people want to run a light visor during the day or a dark visor in the afternoon you very easy to do.

Pop the side shields off, and there's a red pin light you just line that line the pins with the red dot pops right off you can put your new shield on. All right, they do come with the pin lock visor, which is kind of a cool feature.

Especially in colder climates where you're riding where it's chilly out, it does come with a clear shield that goes inside but allows you to double pane well, which helps with fogging.

In those colder months, you can double pane, and the nice part is in the pin lock you can also get it in a tinted, a light smoke, dark smoke, or yellow.

You can put that in it just drops in with these two screws here real quick draw, and you're good to go your double-paned, and you have a tinted lens inside.

It also works with the approach. Its been around about a year and a half now, and this is Arai's answer to the drop-down visor. So drop down visors for many of the helmets they haven't built into the helmet, but those are not Snell approved.

You can't get snell approval because you're creating a void now between the outer shell and the eps. Snell won't approve that so this Arai answer to that, it's called the pro shade system.

With this visor up, you got clear you have a clear visor you run a double pane so you can double paint it, so you get the same benefits during the cold, but as soon as the Sun drops down where you need it you just give this guy a little tug and drop it down now you have a nice tinted visor.

It drops down very low, so it does come down far enough for you not to play with it.

You do not have to bend your head down to keep yourself in the tinted spot, and it also gives you some real excellent visibility down low where you would need to see your gauges your measurements.

You're looking through a clear visor as well, so this stays on the helmet, this is an entirely new shield that you would put on the helmet and have it as separate. To open, it's straightforward, just give it a little tug out and lift it.

It does manage airflow right very well; you don't get a lot of buffeting from this. What I kind of like about it though to in the up position, so you're twelve o'clock, one o'clock, two o'clock in the afternoon where the Sun's not directly in front of you, that's kind of above you, it gives you almost a visor tinted shell.

That's what keeps you from sunburned. You know some people get nose burns or whatnot, which helps with that.

It's also not raised so high that it's not going to catch. The air between the shield and the outer shield very well, you don't get a lot of buffeting.

I wouldn't recommend it at the one hundred thirty, hundred forty, hundred fifty crazy miles an hour or something like that but definitely, for your ordinary commuting this is an excellent option for you so

Even though there are a lot of different visors you can choose from, this one is one that kind of covers everything. It allows you to have the best of both worlds.

What about the interior? The interior has an antimicrobial interior liner that came down from the Corsair-X. It is fully washable, fully removable, which is nice. We've all had those helmets that have developed the odor after a good summer riding, so you can remove all the liner in this and wash it.

We do recommend that you wash it at the sink with just a dishwashing detergent, nothing aggressive, and then just let them air dry. The cheek pads have EPS liner on the back, so you don't want to put those into a dryer that's going to create a bunch of heat on it because that definitely will hurt the EPS liner.

With the cheek pads which started with the Corsair X is the emergency cheek pad system. This started with the Corsair X because in racing, if there's an accident or an incident, you want to get the helmet off quickly without aggravating any kind of neck injury.

So Arai built this quickly these cheek pad system in there, it's identified by the two orange tabs you were just showing. Those can be pulled, and it knocks the cheek pad loose while the helmets on your head. So those cheek pads can be removed, and then the helmet slides off nice and smooth. Because the cheek pads are the hardest part to get off your head.

It's got a nice chin vent and neck roll back here as well. One thing I noticed about the ear pads is that it's got little pockets in it, this started with the Q-models last. Arai put cutouts in because so many of us now run in communication systems.

You want to have your music, you want to have your phone, so Arai went through and put these cutouts in there so that you can put the speaker in behind the liner, so it's nice and tucked out of the way doesn't get up against your ears, you don't even know it's in there, but yet now you have your communication system. You can chat with your buddies, listen to your music, or take phone calls.

Talking about size and the fit is key to Arai, and they take that very seriously because the tighter the correct fit you have, the better you're going to be in the event of an accident.

You need to manage energy, and that's what this helmet is developed to do, so in keeping a tight fit. Arie offer different sized cheek pads and size top liners, so you can tune that fit to make it work for you.

Some of us might have more prominent cheeks and others. Some of us may have a different head shape on top versus so we're still long oval, but we need just a little more padding, a little bit more room, or we need to close the gap a little bit.

In the cheek pads, you can adjust by 5 millimeters, either way, so you can buy other cheek pads and 5-millimeter increments so you can expand or tighten up. Same with the top line,r it's a 2-millimeter change there.

Arai comes with the cheek pads that are in the helmet come with a 5-millimeter tearaway, which is nice because I always tell people to start with the helmet tight, it's going to break in a little bit after you've used it for 30 days 60 days.

The helmets going to start to break in it's just like a pair of shoes, it's going to get a little looser as it gets a little bit looser if you started too big. So with knowing you have a five-millimeter tearaway in there, if you start tight once it breaks in, it'll need a little bit of room you can pull that five-millimeter tearaway out of there smart and open it up.

I think we covered just about all the features Arai has added in these new helmets but what about the standards, what kind of standards do these meet?

There are many standards as you know out there in the industry, DOT is everything out here in the US. Everything has to be DOT approved and Snell. Snell has probably the most stringent standards to go by.

Those are standards, and they're not the goal from Arai, Arai wants to exceed those. Their philosophy is if you had the opportunity to build a helmet, put your name on it, would you cut corners? Would you use the best components?

It's your name, and it's you out there using it, it's built as safety equipment, so they exceed those Snell standards.

This is one of the safest helmets out there on the marketplace that you can purchase, and it is to answer your question: DOT and Snell approved.

What kind of warranty do you get with the Arai?

The Arai Quantum-x comes with a five-year warranty from the purchase or seven years from manufacturing. The cool thing about Arai helmets is if you need to know when the thing was manufactured on all the newer helmets, you just checked the D-ring.

They are laser etched into the D-ring so you'll have a date there, a month in a year, so you know again right when this came off the line. If it's a helmet that's a little bit older than that, it would be embossed in the leather.

Typically you want to keep a helmet five years, seven years max. Things like the ozone, sweat those all start to play on the EPS liner inside the helmet and start to break that down. So after five to seven years, you want to replace your helmet to keep it in good condition.

You don't want to leave this thing in the trunk; you don't want to hang it in the wall in the garage, or heat is going to accelerate that process.

We've got the Signet X, which is for your long oval head shape, then the Quantum-X, which is for your round, oval head shape. So between the three with the Corsair involved as well in the immediate oval, you've got a helmet that'll fit just about all the riders out there.

And then again, the goal we've got a lot of trickle-down features and technology from the core Corsair-X with the composite shell, the venting and the visor system as well as the interior.

Removable cheek pads, emergency cheek pad system, have all come down out of that Corsair X, so you see flagship racing technology move its weight into the everyday Street helmet.

That's a lot of technology that's trickled down from the Corsair into these two helmets. You've got the shell construction, the visor, the venting system, the liner, and the quick-release cheek pads.

Between the Signet X, the quantum X, and the Corsair, you now have three different shell shapes that will fit just about every rider in America. We're starting to see that racing technology is trickling down into the everyday Street riders, which benefits all of us.

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