Arai Corsair-X Isle of Man 2016 helmet. Photo courtesy Arai
Introduced in 2015, the Corsair-X replaced Arai’s previous top of the line Corsair-V. At first blush it looks similar, but inside and out there are significant changes that make this the best Arai yet. First up is a new face shield retention system with removable side pods, making face shield replacement a snap. It’s far superior to the cumbersome setup previously used, and Arai’s new Variable Axis System moves the pivot point of the shield an average of 24mm lower on each side (depending upon helmet size), increasing the smooth shell area above the side pods.
The new Corsair-X also features Arai’s F-1 derived shield lock, which is much smoother to operate than the previous setup, and air flow is the best of any Arai we’ve tested. Lifting the shield from lock creates a small opening to aid defogging, and a centrally located top intake vent does an excellent job of pulling in air, regardless of rider position. It’s also the quietest Arai yet. I wore a Corsair-X IOM 2016 on our trip to the Isle of Man last August, and it was superb. Comfortable, quiet and great looking, it’s a top-quality helmet. Price: $1,049.95 (as tested). — Richard Backus