Arai Unveils RX-Q Road Helmet


Arai revealed today its new RX-Q street helmet. The company says the model is a new class of helmet positioned between its Profile street model and its premium racing helmet, the Corsair-V.

From Arai’s marketing materials: “We sat down and said, ‘Let’s use the same 24-7 focus we use for race helmets on a pure, focused, ground-up ultimate street helmet, one born from the concept of a Corsair-V for the street, borrowing and refining those proven designs to a new purpose.’”

In doing so, Arai says it made improvements in stability, comfort and quietness.

Arai hasn’t determined retail pricing, but says it will be around $675. The Snell M 2010-approved helmet will hit the market in late December or early January. The RX-Q does not replace any previous model.

The “RX” prefix harks back to the original X-7 of 1979. That model evolved into the iconic RX-7, which introduced the concept of top-mounted diffusers. The concept came from Arai’s involvement in Formula-1, where Arai learned that the best way to push hot air out of a helmet was to pull it out via the negative pressure created by the venturi effect of the diffusers.

Here are some key features of the RX-Q:

  • An evolved version of Arai’s Intermediate-Oval (IO) interior shape. Arai offers multiple interior-fit packages to better conform to head shapes as well as sizes. Its interior-fit shapes improve as company research recognizes trends based on consumer feedback. The RX-Q shape is similar to the current Corsair-V and Vector models, and the former RX-7 Corsair, but the RX-Q’s shape represents a further refinement of interior shape configuration based on Arai’s continual comparison, measurement and testing of human head shapes.
  • A wider peripheral view for better visibility. The RX-Q uses the same new wider-eyeport SAI faceshield as the Corsair-V.
  • A new cheekpad design. According to Arai, the cheekpad requires 12 separate pieces placed by hand. The designs were influenced by the ones used by Formula-1 drivers. The cheekpads cradle the rider’s head from underneath. They also have more surface area. Because of this, Arai claims riders won’t feel pressure points across their cheeks.
  • Increased quietness. From Arai marketing materials: “Believe it or not, this is also because of the new cheekpad design. The sculpting also blocks more noise entering the helmet from underneath — the major source of helmet noise — by creating a better noise seal. This, combined with new sound-deadening foam in the cheekpad, gives you an extremely quiet helmet. Plus, the RX-Q has Arai’s Emergency Cheekpad Removal System.”
  • More efficient vents. Arai says that while the vents are not aggressive-looking, they are extremely efficient, flowing “huge volumes” of air through the interior to improve ventilation at road speeds, not race speeds. “Not a lot of vent holes — just the right ones, in the right size, in the right place,” the company notes.
  • Smaller, more aerodynamic shell. Every Arai shell is formed by hand and has a natural egg shape. This along with a small size aids in stability and stillness, Arai says. “Not only in straight-line wind-tunnel stability, but it also minimizes the negative aerodynamic effect when turning your head to check traffic or in a cross wind," the company says. Arai uses five shell sizes to produce the full size run.
  • A lower Hyper Ridge that circles the shell bottom to improve strength and aerodynamics. It’s also designed to lower the center of gravity for a light feeling on the rider’s head. Plus, a larger bottom opening makes for an easier on-off without enlarging the helmet.
  • More aerodynamic upper and side exhaust vent cowling. The cowling is sculpted to enhance stability while increasing exhaust efficiency. The side vent cowls are tailored to street speeds. Compared to the cowlings found on the Corsair-V, the Q’s cowlings are larger and more aggressively styled because lower street speeds require more surface area and a more refined shaping to deliver the increased stability. High-speed performance is excellent as well, Arai says. The RX-Q also has a retractable chin spoiler and a removable neckroll.
  • New one-piece bottom edge trim. Arai says the trim gives a clean look by eliminating the need for seams.

The RX-Q will be available in a variety of graphics and colors in sizes XXS-XXL. There is also a special RX-Q section on the Arai website at

J.D. Power & Associates has ranked Arai No. 1 in customer satisfaction for 11 straight years.

Posted by Arlo Redwine

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