TheArai Corsair-V motorcycle helmet is the helmet chosen most often by riders in sanctioned competition.
The choice is made for comfort, of course, but chiefly for safety. And since building a safe helmet has been Arai’s primary goal in its 50-year history, it has obviously been successful. Arai says it does not design for style but for function; it has nevertheless managed to achieve a not unattractive helmet. Its targeted market is the experienced rider, a person who knows for what features to look.
The Arai Corsair-V is Snell M2010 certified and DOT approved. It weighs an extremely light 3 pounds 6 ounces and is styled specifically for high-speed, long-mile races where the head is tucked. Because racers love their Corsair and because some want to ride with it on the street, Arai includes a well-designed five position spoiler in the rear that creates venting when the head is upright. Street riders who want an Arai are advised to look at the RX-Q, a Corsair-based helmet, designed more for upright riding.
The Corsair-V best fits an intermediate oval type head where the front to back measurement is longer than the side to side measurement. The Corsair, with five shells and a size range of XS to 3XL, fits most people adequately; interchangeable cheek pads help customize the fit.
Each Arai helmet is handmade and is subjected to three quality control inspections. The Corsair-V has a price tag of over $700; many riders who survived a crash with only minor bruises would testify that the price is value well earned. A design feature of the Corsair is quick release cheek pads with orange safety tabs to let EMTs grasp and remove the pads and get the helmet off an unconscious person quickly and with less trauma. Most riders don’t complain about paying for details of that caliber.
The face shield on the Corsair gives some of the best peripheral vision of any helmet. Although there is a small learning curve involved with replacing the shields, once mastered, switching out between the several UV protective lenses is a snap. Arai recommends taking different shades on each ride to be prepared for changing light conditions.
The helmet has a horseshoe shaped venting system on top with airflow that is more efficient than earlier models. A middle intake slot allows for faster venting of air by providing more negative pressure pull. The upper vent toggles have been made bigger, so adjusting them while wearing the thick gloves worn in races is possible. Eyebrow vents in the face shield focus cooling air over the temples to keep the head comfortable. Noise absorbing earpad foam is added, but because race competitors wear earplugs, Arai did not design for quietness.
A new feature is a flared bottom ridge. Arai’s major focus is to create a helmet that spreads impact energy most thoroughly. With the flare, the energy is bounced back instead of being transferred to the person inside. The flare also brings the center of gravity down, giving greater comfort over long distances. An added benefit to a flared bottom is ease in putting the helmet on. As one expert said, if a helmet is easy to put on and take off when you first get it, it is too big. The flare helps significantly. The helmet also features the latest Dry-Cool liner and cheek pads. Take them out, rinse them off, and they air dry in five minutes. A vented neck roll is also easily removed, washed and replaced.
The Corsair-V motorcycle helmet is the first choice of more than one-half the competitors in the Formula 1 races. That is an endorsement that makes a clear statement. The Corsair-V is one good helmet.
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