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Arai RX7 review in HRC colours

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Time for another guest review and this week our mate Chris talks us through his Arai RX-7V in the beautiful HRC colours. Is the Arai RX7 the best helmet on the market and worth the money? The RX7 is Arai’s flagship sports helmet which builds on Arai’s experience and knowledge which spans decades. Worn by the likes of Maverick Vinales, Kenny Roberts, Jonathan Rea, and the iconic yellow of Joey Dunlop.

Joey Dunlop Arai
Joey’s iconic lid

Helmets build to exceed regulations

With constant evolution since 1968, Arai helmets evolve, and the latest iteration is packed with features. Arai studies crash data, and in doing so they have learned to focus on more than just meeting test standards. Arai builds helmets to exceed the standards and the company firmly believes their helmets are the best.

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The RX7V is certified to ECE22.05, the European regulations which make sure a helmet is fit for purpose. ECE 22.05 is the highest regulation in the world, but the RX-7V also has a five-star SHARP rating. The sharp testing is UK laboratory-based giving consistent fair results with one star being the lowest, and five the highest.

Arai helmets are constructed differently. Conventional helmets use a soft outer shell and a firm inner shell, whereas Arai does things differently. A hard outer shell avoids sending energy through the helmet. The hand-laid Peripherally Belted Structural Net Composite (PB-SNC2) gives the strength to the exterior. An Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) inner provides the padding. This system adds strength to the helmet without adding weight and size, an important factor for a sportsbike helmet.

Arai’s glancing off technology

The smooth exterior helps with Arai’s glancing off philosophy which works in a similar method to the MIPS system, and the 6D system, which aims to reduce forces transferred to the brain. A rounded shaped helmet causes a sliding effect with less chance of it digging in and creating the damaging rotational forces. The vents and covers on the RX7 are designed to break free in the event of an accident allowing the helmet to slide.

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All of this safety does come at a slight weight cost, A medium RX7 tips the scales at 1680g, and compared to other sporty helmets on the market it’s hefty. The Xlite X803 weighs 1270g in medium, Shark’s race R pro, weights 1300g in the same shell size, and Shoei’s NXR is 1350g. This weight is only noticeable when picking the helmet up. The aerodynamic shape of the helmet helps to negate some of that weight.

Less tech, here are some thoughts from Chris

I have been riding since I was 18, (that’s over 20 years) and early advice was to buy the best helmet that I could afford. This was good advice that I promptly ignored in favour of a bike with shiny bits. Upon my first accident (not my fault) I realised this advice should not be ignored and promptly rectified. 

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All of the Arai helmets I’ve had have felt quality, even the entry-level range. Wearing the RX-7 for the first time it struck how light it feels, it is like wearing a cloud. It’s almost like not wearing a helmet.

With Arai helmets being handmade I would always recommend trying it on as there is a slightly different fit between helmet models and sometimes individual helmets. The bonus with Arai is the padding and internals can be correctly adjusted to get the perfect fit which can easily be done when buying.

The thing that struck me is how comfortable it is and the quality of the visor. Vision through the MAX vision visor is tremendous and a pinlock is included to stop it fogging up. I have fitted my helmet with a tinted visor, which transforms the look.

Max vision aperture

This helmet’s ventilation is fabulous. There are three main vents on the top, a large one on the chin and even little eyebrow ones on the visor for de-misting if you don’t have the pin-lock inserted.

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The venting does cause the helmet to be slightly noisier, it is not awful by any means, but it is not as quiet as touring helmet. Wearing earplugs does help to reduce the wind noise, to a normal level.  

The helmet interior has a removable washable Anti-microbial liner, with the Emergency release system. The lining has cutouts for speakers, so Bluetooth headsets can be used. Personally, I like peace and quiet whilst riding, but it’s good to have the option should you wish to install one.

Get up close, and notice the unreal finish

The paint finish and colours are beautiful especially when the sun catches the metallic shimmer of the helmet. The classic and iconic designs are really done justice thanks to the master Arai craftsmen and women.

RX7 Pedrosa
A work of art RX7 Pedrosa – Arai

Is the RX7 worth the price tag?

£789. The RX-7V HRC edition is pricey and it is a lot of money to spend on a helmet. Cheaper brands conform to the same safety standards so what makes this better? The only thing to say is just the Arai build quality, and that is what sets it apart. You can feel the quality, nothing is flimsy or gimmicky, everything feels as if the attention to detail is spot on. If it has been put there it is there for a reason.

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The Rx-7V gives pretty much a custom fit. The built-in cheek pads can be altered to fit you perfectly, in fact, the whole interior can be fitted to you which benefits both comfort and safety. Most dealers will offer a free service and a cleaning facility, which helps keep your helmet in good condition and lengthens the life of the lid considerably.

Top-notch service with the price

Despite being expensive, the RX7-V is worth every penny. I bought mine at MC Hub in Darwen and the aftersale service has been second to none. I would highly recommend the RX-7V it’s Well worth the extra money. Most high-performance flagship sportsbike helmets, helmets are in this price area.

Deals are always about, you can pick up a replica colour for the £630 and plain colours for £530.

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The next level up is the RX-7V Race. Homologated to the FIM regulations this is THE top-level helmet. These are in mainly bland colours like whites, greys and blacks ready for your custom design painted on. The race can be bought for the £680 area.

RX7V RC – Arai

If you are feeling particularly flush, the top-level RX-7V RC comes with a carbon fibre shell. This was a limited edition with a £2,800 price tag, but the visible carbon fibre weave is over 18 rated.

Chris rocking his RX7 HRC!