Arai Corsair-X: 10 Things You Need To Know New full-face motorcycle helmet is the foundation for the Japanese manufacturer’s next generation of DOT/Snell-approved head protection.
1. Two words: round and smooth. Starting point for the Corsair-X is Arai’s customary egg-shaped shell. Company engineers call this “R75,” defined as a continuous, convex curve of a minimum radius of 75mm. Should the helmet glance off an object, energy-absorption capacity can be reserved for a second, third, or even fourth impact—what Arai calls the “realities” of a crash.
2. A fundamental difference: The Corsair-X has a new faceshield system. This complicated yet elegant design uses Arai’s new Variable Axis System (VAS) that lowers the operating mechanism, increasing the area above the side pods by an average of 24mm for a rounder, smoother surface along the critical Snell test line. F1-derived thumb latch positively secures the shield in its closed position.
3. Faceshield removal is a snap: Raising the anti-fog-insert-ready shield to fully open exposes a small lever at the base of each side pod that, when pressed, releases the pods and unlatches the shield. Lowering the shield detaches it from the mechanism. If one or both of the pods pop off upon impact, the shield is designed to remain in place.
4. Building a better egg: The new shield-pivot mechanism remains largely outboard of the helmet to minimize the depth of the recesses in the sides of the shell, thereby maintaining the helmet’s smooth overall shape. Compared to the mechanism used on the previous Corsair-V, the new side-pod design fitted on the Corsair-X is much thinner, shaving 2mm from the depth of the recesses.
5. Let’s face it: Many Americans have pronounced features, such as a large nose or jaw. Comedian Jay Leno, an Arai wearer, is one well-publicized example of the latter. Arai addressed this design challenge by extending the chin bar of the Corsair-X by 3mm and reshaping the liner to give the wearer more room and make the helmet feel less claustrophobic.
6. Ready for the worst: In the event of a crash, the multi-piece headliner frame is designed to break away, releasing pressure naturally, so as not to interfere with energy absorption. An optional foam crown for a custom fit will be available. Ducted channels between the headliner and cheek pads remove moist air from the eye port that might cause fogging.
7. Custom fit and improved feel: Thinner, non-overlapping liner materials minimize contact with the forehead to improve overall comfort. All Arai headliners now incorporate temple pads that peel away for a tailored fit. Introduced on the Signet Q Pro Tour and Defiant Pro Cruise, the multi-piece Eco-Pure liner has anti-microbial properties and a new weave that resists dirt buildup.
8. A feature you can actually feel while riding: the new central top-of-shell intake vent. While the previous Delta 5 vent had a lower and wider profile, the latest design pulls in more air and is less sensitive to the wearer’s position on the motorcycle. Two-stop “slider gates” close more securely than the previous flappers, helping to reduce wind noise.
9. An added bonus: A secondary benefit of a smooth, round shell is that the helmet remains aerodynamic and quiet even when you turn your head. Small bulges in front of the air intakes in the 20mm-longer diffusers improved flow by a claimed 19 percent. Straightening the diffusers enhanced overall stability. The adjustable wing is identical to that used on the Corsair-V.
10. Weaving protection: The Corsair-X begins in a steel mold as a “bird’s nest” of proprietary fiberglass composite surrounding a structural net and held together with a new stronger resin. Arai says this combination offers the greatest structural integrity and impact flexibility for spreading energy loads over the widest possible area. Peripheral belting across the forehead further strengthens the shell. Fast Facts
- An Arai shell expert (15 in the world) can produce either 110 fiberglass shells each day or one carbon-fiber shell.
- Helmet molds are machined in-house from steel ingots.
- Strong shell, soft liner: Arai has 10 EPS liner-density options and engineers usually favor the softest possible combination for best energy absorption.
- Each full-face helmet has anywhere from 27 to 30 highly individual components, each precisely cut and shaped.
- Prepping, applying, and sanding the base coat of paint for each shell requires five days of hand labor.
- Arai employs 280 people at its manufacturing facility in Ohmiya, Japan; only three are certified to install chinstraps.
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