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Arai RX-7V Review

Arai RX-7V Review

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The new RX-7V (RX7-V) (RX7V) is the pinnacle of Arai’s experience, knowledge and know-how in helmet technology.  Arai have designed a completely new Variable Axis System (VAS) for the Visor and  this has enabled then to give visor a moving pivot point.  This allows the visor to open and close even with the 24mm lower mount position.  By making the visor position lower, Arai has improved the helmets ability to ‘glance off’ in the event of an impact.  Arai’s philosophy is that it is the ability of a helmet to glance off objects that avoids sending energy directly into the helmet.  In real world situations Arai believe that a helmet should not just comply with acknowledged test standards, it should exceed them in circumstances and situations outside the criteria of those standards.

A standard laboratory test required by most standards is the drop test, which tests a helmet at one point only. Real world scenarios are very different.  In accident situations most cases show that helmets hit obstacles at an angle , not vertically. By learning through their long illustrious history, Arai have designed the R75 shell to be rounder, smoother and stronger, enhancing the ability of the helmet to both disperse and distribute impact energy.

 

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I’ve been using this £599.99 Arai RX-7V helmet for three years and in that time have covered well over 50,000 while wearing it.

What’s good? 
With all the road testing, racing, commuting and long-distance miles I do, I spend more time in my Arait han I do in my house. Replacing the hugely successful RX-7GP, this is the latest, range-topping RX-7V, complete with racy top scoops, a stronger new shell, new visor mechanism and vent controls. It started life as a plain white model and has been custom-painted by Rich-Art

Even after all this time and distance covered, my Arai still offers the same cossetting, velvety sumptuousness it had when it was new. Once you get the hang of it, the visor system is a lot quicker and less brutal to use than the one on the GP. And the removable chin curtain, which stops air blasting up into your face, is a god send on icy-cold days.

Earlier this year I crashed wearing it (a 70mph corner-entry, cold tyre highside at Valencia). I grazed the top, damaged one of the scoops and broke the rear spoiler off, but I’ve had it checked out at scrutineering before racing and been wearing it since.

What’s not? 
Those giant air scoops offer superb ventilation when it’s hot, but unsurprisingly they cause turbulence and create a lot of noise at high speed. I wear ear plugs, so it’s not such a problem, but helmets without stuck-on vents will always be quieter.

 

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I AM testing the new Arai RX-7V – the successor to the RX-7 GP. It won’t be in shops until November so this is a preview test of Arai’s upcoming top-of-the-range lid.

The first thing I noticed when I lifted the helmet from the box is the new visor locking system. The visor locks in place when closed and the new system unlocks and lifts the visor with one simple upward movement.

The Visor opening mechanism is borrowed from the helmets developed for Formula 1. There is an all new variable axis visor system, so when riding the single lever visor operation is simple to use even with a glove and clicks back into place effortlessly. Locked down there is no wind on your face at all and combined with the fabric chin cover nothing gets in. Riding behind a tractor carrying straw was a pleasure as nothing got in to the helmet, I have also used the helmet in the rain and it never got a drop inside the helmet After using Pinlock inserts for a number of years I wouldn’t look twice at a helmet that wasn’t compatible with a Pinlock (or equivalent) anti-fog visor insert. It’s great to see a Pinlock included with the 7V but a feature I really like is the recess within the Arai visor to house the anti-fog insert. This allows for a larger insert to be used offering more peripheral vision and is another improvement on the previous models. The RX-7V offers excellent field of vision. The vision above the eye line is great, you can see further ahead without giving yourself neck strain keeping your head up when tucked in. Overall great vision.

The central air intake is now 20mm longer than the RX-7GP and really increases airflow with larger intakes and better seals. The opening controls on the front have been changed, the buttons are bigger and they operate as slide system making it easier to operate when you’re wearing gloves. The GP features smaller and more fiddly push buttons. The eight adjustable vents mean you can moderate the airflow and temperature.

I have owned and worn an RX-7GP for three years. I’ve loved it and have worn it for sports and track riding, especially when I wanted to keep cool but apparently the new RX-7V has 11 per cent more airflow (at 100kph) from the top duct and 19 per cent larger intake scoops.I can report, the airflow is better through the helmet but without any increase in wind noise. I tested the helmet with and without ear plugs and the wind noise is certainly louder than a touring helmet. The helmet has really well placed pads over the ars which makes it more comfortable and further reduces wind noise. For me, the increased airflow outweighs the disadvantage of extra noise. I always use earplugs when I ride.

The new shell offers slightly more room around the chin area than the previous designs, 3mm to be precise. The extra  room is immediately noticeable for those used to the RX-7GP and extremely welcome. The cheek pads are well positioned, combined with the extra chin space I could chew gum without knocking my chin on the front and without biting the inside of my cheeks.

The RX-7V has a rounder shape with a stronger shell. The shape aids aero dynamics, and improves glancing-off which is the ability to dissipate energy. The new helmet does this in three ways. Firstly, the stronger shell means there is less chance the helmet will change shape on impact. Secondly, the outer shell is rounder and therefore easier to slide over  surfaces. Finally, the diffusers and ducts are glued to the outer shell so they are designed to snap off on impact which prevents digging in to the surface.

The RX-7V is also lighter than the GP thanks to improved resin which helps contribute to a 30g weight saving.

The old RX-7GP was comfortable, the new RX-7V more so. The interior has a new design and feels super snug straight out of the box. The fully removable interiors will help keeping it box-fresh (with the occasional wash), while the different size interior thicknesses are available should you need a custom fit.

A trick feature is the pull-down chin spoiler, designed to reduce wind noise and turbulence. The GP has this feature but the 7V has an extra fabric section that further reduces noise and turbulence. There is also an air wing between the air vents to fine tune the drag on the helmet.

The mounting point of the visor has been lowered by 24mm. The replacement visor system does improve the structural integrity of lid. On first appearance it’s as complicated as on previous versions.  If you are already familiar with Arai this will be a change for you. It took me a few minutes to work it all out but it is really simple, you may need a couple of trial attempts then you will soon get the hang of it. Take care replacing the side pods as they are only held in place by a couple of small hooks.

I have tested the helmet on my commute to work,  I have also used it on a couple of Sunday morning blasts and it was tested on track at Ascari and surrounding roads. The temperatures were high in Spain and it was great to feel the benefit of the high airflow.

Details:

Six sizes from XS – XXL

Available visors are: Clear, Light Smoke or Dark Smoke

ECU certificate

Double D Ring Fastener

£599.99 £100 extra for those with graphics

Five-year warranty

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