- Interior Shapes
- Shell Construction
- One-Piece Liner
- Rear Vent and Ridge
- LRS Shield Removal
One major reason for Arai's legendary reputation for unmatched comfort and fit is our belief that the shape of a rider's head (the relationship between its length and width) is as important as head size in getting the best helmet fit. That's why we go to the considerable time, effort - and expense - to create more than one interior shell shape. (Arai was the first and only helmet manufacturer to acknowledge and address the fact that not all heads are shaped the same.)
Shown are the two basic head shapes: the far left is a Round Oval (the front-to-back and side-to-side dimensions are very close); near left is the Long Oval (front-to-back dimension is greater than side-to-side). Both shapes illustrated are the same dimensional size, but obviously different shapes.
The Arai QUANTUM-2 model employs the Round Oval shape. (The Long-Oval shape is used in our Profile model.)
These days, there are almost as many "revolutionary" shell-construction materials as there are new helmet brands. Arai's decades of experience, research, testing, comparison and evaluation has led us to conclude that fiberglass-based construction is best at performing a motorcycle-helmet shell's main job - spreading and dissipating impact energy through strength, structural integrity and impact-flexibility. The XD's clc (Complex Laminate Construction) shell utilizes Arai's proprietary aerospace fiberglass technology to achieve a strong, flexible shell in a lightweight package.
Arai's EPS liner is like no other, comprised of several material densities molded into a single piece. Arai pioneered this technology more than 20 years ago and is still, to our knowledge, the only helmet offering a single-piece hybrid liner and its unique benefit: the direct-fused contact area that each EPS cell shares with it neighboring cells creates a mutual support - as one is crushed under impact, the surrounding cells assist with the energy absorption. (Liner pieces that are simply fitted or glued together cannot rely on such a high-level support bond.)
Arai's quality is so singularly advanced that it reaches the world's highest level of racing, a place so technical, so demanding, that most other helmet makers can't even imagine it, let alone compete in it. We're talking about Formula One auto racing. (Arais are actually chosen by more than half of the F-1 grid! Including the new 2006 world champion and three of the top-five drivers.) One of the benefits of Arai's F-1 involvement - 200+ mph! - is that we learned the best way to ventilate a helmet is to pull the hot stale air out, rather than trying to push new air in. (This led Arai to introduce the world's first diffuser-mounted motorcycle helmet, the RX-7 series, one of our most-copied features ever.) The Quantum-2's ventilation employs these principles, creating a flow-thru system of exceptional cooling throughout the helmet. The top vents are recessed into the shell to reduce drag and wind turbulence over the shell's flowing-area. Again, as always, the Arai Way costs more to produce. But the Arai Way is about "better," not "cheaper."
Rear Vent and Ridge
The Quantum-2 has Arai's distinctive Hyper-Ridge reinforcement band along the bottom of the shell adds reinforcement and shell strength. What makes this "minor" Arai feature significant? Many helmet makers reduce the shell material at the bottom of the helmet. But Arai maintains shell thickness to the very edge - and then strengthens it. Why? Because our experience tells us to. And because we don't think it's a good place to try to save a few dollars or a little weight.
(Strengthening the bottom also helps to significantly lower the helmet's center of gravity, contributing to a better overall balance, making an Arai rest easier on your head.)
Arai's LRS tool-less shield-removal system has to be one of the most misunderstood shield systems on the planet. But watch racers Nicky Hayden and Kenny Roberts, Jr. swap Arai faceshields on video while wearing the helmet and you see for yourself how really easy it is.
Riders ask us why Arai continues to use side pods when others have gone pod-less? After all, pod-less systems are easier to make, requiring a simple flat surface beneath the pivot point. Yet Arai's experience says that flat spots in the curved shell shape diminish shell integrity, whereas continuing the shell's three-dimensional curve beneath the shield pivot-points (that nobody sees) maintains shells integrity.
Our way is complicated and costly, requires a significant commitment of R&D resources, and is possible only with the experience and talent capable of creating a system of pod components that must incorporate extremely difficult compound curves in order to work with the shell's "natural" curvature.
But the Arai Way is about building motorcycle helmets the best way humanly possible. If it were easy, everyone would do it.