Arai is a household name when it comes to motorcycle helmets. Whether it is racing at a lighting pace on tarmac, or speeding through the bush over rocks and logs, an Arai helmet will be in its element. However, to understand a helmet from Arai, you must first know a bit about the company’s history.
The story of Arai began in Japan in the 1950’s with a man known as Hirotake Arai. Hirotake was a hat maker who had a passion for riding his motorcycle. At the time, it was not possible to get a helmet in Japan, and after a couple of crashes, Hirotake decided to make the safest possible helmet for himself.
He built his own testing equipment and with his full hat maker understanding of head shapes, he built a comfortable and sturdy helmet that he, and later his friends used. This passion continued on as the brand Arai was formed. Every helmet is meticulously designed to surpass standards and keep riders safe.
The Arai VX-Pro4 is here and ready to live up to Hirotake’s legacy. This helmet is a little different than a lot of other motocross helmets in my mind because it shares a large portion of its ideology with a road style helmet. However, it is a great helmet. If you liked the VX3, then you will no doubt love the VX-Pro4!
The R75 Shape
There is always a common comment when it comes to Arai helmets. That is, “the helmet looks very round”. Well looks can be deceiving, but in this case, they aren’t. The helmets are quite round, and that is for a very specific reason!
The R75 actually stands for “radius 75mm”. This is because each Arai helmet following this principle is made around a continuous curve that has a radius of at least 75mm. This allows the shell to be very smooth, round, and strong.
Why would you want smooth and round? You want this for two reasons according to Arai. Firstly, the shape helps to disperse kinetic energy. Secondly (and most importantly), the shape makes it harder for the helmet to catch and dig into the ground and other objects during a crash. Which in turn will reduce unwanted rotational forces that may be placed on the neck, head, or brain.
This is one of the prevention over protection scenarios. Not to say that Arai helmet doesn’t focus on rotational force protection, because they do. The R75 shape though, is a good starter to preventing some of the forces in the first place.
Arai Helmet Safety
A helmet review without some in depth talk of the protection a helmet offers is more of a sales pitch than a review. We want you to know everything when it comes to choosing the right helmet for you. In the sense of safety, Arai helmet seems to be a little different than most. Almost more traditional, but in a really good sense.
For off road, Arai helmets test well. I would not go as far as saying they offer the best off road protection because I truly believe that 6D Helmets currently holds that title. However, they offer awesome protection, and you should feel safe wearing one. Let’s take a look at some of the features:
Multi-Density Foam Liner
There are a lot of companies out there offering more unique internals compared to the Arai VX-Pro4. However, the three different density layers of foam you will find inside an Arai are ready to protect your head from any velocity that you will encounter on a motocross bike. This is a tried a true method of energy absorption and Arai helmet stands by its safety standards.
The shell is one of my favorite parts about this helmet. It is proof that Arai did not cheap out when designing this capable motocross lid. The shell is made up of multiple materials but primarily “Super Fiber”. Arai claims that Super Fiber is 30 percent stronger than the typical fiberglass that is used to make a lot of motocross helmet shells. It also has a higher penetration resistance than fiberglass.
The price of Super Fiber is as much as six times more than fiberglass though. Is it worth it? As far as my brain is concerned, absolutely! To put the shell together a complex Lamination construction (cLc) process is used. This is a process that takes a lot of hours from trained craftsman, but the result is worth it. A solid no questions asked shell that will protect your head (and the helmet internals) from just about anything.
Break Away Pieces
What is the point of making use of the R75 shape if the small protrusions of the helmet cause snagging? There is none. That is why Arai has crafted the vents, mouth piece, and peak (visor) so that they break away under crash loads. Don’t worry, they won’t just fall off. It takes a certain level of impact before they break away. They have been engineered so that it happens before they can cause injury of course.
Emergency Release System
Just like any other high quality modern helmet, the Arai VX Pro4 is equipped with an emergency release system. This is aimed to help first responders after the wearer has had a serious crash. The pads release from the shell allowing the helmet to be taken off of the injured rider without any jarring.
Arai VX-Pro4 Ventilation, Weight, and Fit
The ventilation system in the Arai VX Pro4 motocross helmet is good, but not great. If you are a heavy sweater, this probably isn’t the helmet for you. On the other hand, if you do not profusely sweat, then this will be okay. Since the vents are designed to break off in a crash scenario, you can easily buy, and mount new ones.
The weight of the VX-Pro4 is also not the lightest. I assume this is because of the Super Fiber shell rather than a carbon composite and the abundant pads but this is just my speculation. A large weighs approximately 1570 grams.
The fit is Arai’s intermediate oval shape. This tends to lend itself to long narrow faces. It feels very snug, however, there is not quite as much ear room as one might like. The fit of Arai’s motocross helmets have always been a love it or hate it scenario. If you have tried the VX 3 than you already know if you will like the fit of this helmet or not.
Is this the Helmet for You?
If you have used Arai helmets in the past and liked them, then this is no doubt a great choice for you. It features updates like a larger visor, and added safety features compared to the VX 3. If you like using brands that have a solid foundation, than this helmet is again for you. However, if you are looking for the most modern internals, then I would recommend you look elsewhere.
Overall the Arai VX-Pro 4 is a great motocross helmet. It will protect your head quite well. After all, Arai does say that they strive to meet their own standards, which well surpass the SNELL and DOT certifications. As always I recommend trying a few helmets to see which fit you best. If you do end up buying the VX-Pro4 Arai helmet, I am sure you will not be disappointed!