I have a problem….pretty sure I’m addicted to expensive helmets. So lucky for me I was invited to the launch of the Arai Defiant-X in Daytona. Now like I said, I have a helmet hoarding issue so I’m not new to Arai helmets (have around 10,000 miles on an XD-4) but getting the whole company backstory at the presentation really hammered home Arai’s commitment to safety and quality manufacturing processes to protect my already thick skull.
I only have about a 1000 miles or so on the helmet since the debut (SD weather wasn’t cooperative this spring) but I have been able to use it in a fairly wide variety of situations. Back in Daytona Arai took us straight to the Daytona short track where I had a chance to spin some laps in the new lid and I spent the rest of bike week wearing it all over town. Back here in Sturgis, I’ve beat around town and of course blown through the twisties with it. And in true Black Hills fashion, I’ve experienced everything from low 50 to low 90-degree weather, rain and even hail.
Having spent a fair amount of time in an Arai I had a lofty expectation when buckled it up. First thing I noticed was it felt light (3lbs, 8oz) and the second thing was that it fit like most Arai’s fit, extremely well. If you are an intermediate oval head shape (most people are) this going to fit you like a glove. And if you need to make a few tweaks they have the interior is set up to peel off pieces in increments of 5mm to custom fit it to your liking. The venting is up to the standards of past Arai offerings and is stellar. The classic Arai eyebrow vents are front and center along with multi-position vents on the top that exhaust out the back. Vents in the chin bar actuate inside the helmet and pull air up through some trick check vents and exhaust it behind your ear on outside of the helmet. Needless to say, the venting is next level. One of the well-known complaints about an Arai in the past was removing the pods to get the shield off, you needed a degree in mechanical engineering to change your shield. Well no more, they have made it exponentially easier. Even a meathead like myself git the job done first try.
They have clearly set their sights on the cruiser market with the styling of the Arai Defiant-X helmet. Which can be a tough sell for a demographic that’s known for spending more on beer in a 4 hour stretch at the bar than they generally do on http://blog.jpcycles.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Arai-Defiant-X-2.jpeghelmets. I often hear the chopper faithful questioning the difference in a $100 helmet vs a $600 helmet. I could go into the race-bred heritage, safety measures and manufacturing practices of this company but I won’t. I’ll break it down with a simple analogy; you don’t have to drive or even start up a Cadillac but when you sit in it you know it’s a nicer vehicle than a Yugo (Google it, kids). The Defiant – X is a clear winner, do yourself a favor and take a night off from the local watering hole and kick down that money for a bitchen helmet.
Video link https://youtu.be/50WzVu9cA6U