The Arai Concept-X helmet: ’80s styling, but safer

If you feel like your life needs some Mad Max/outrun/Akira flair, the new Arai Concept-X is here to help.

Actually, it’s not really that new; the Concept-X debuted at EICMA in 2019, but deliveries seem to be a bit slow coming to market (betcha it’s our old friend, COVID-19, to blame!). It’s what happens when the bigwigs at Arai take a look around the market and say, “Hey! Hipsters love those retro motorcycle helmets, and we’re missing out on this market!”.

In the past few years, open-face helmets like the Bell Custom, and even old-school full-faces like the Simpson Bandit have made a big comeback, right alongside the resurgence in retro-styled bikes. So, Arai’s getting on board with this idea, with the Concept-X, which mashes up aesthetics from the 1980s with modern protection.

The Concept-X is based on the rounded R75 shell design, with Arai’s proprietary “Peripherally Belted e-Complex Laminate Construction.” Arai also used the VAS visor-mounting system, which places the visor lower. All these design factors supposedly help the helmet deflect impact. Of course, the helmet is available in a range of shell sizes, so small heads aren’t stuck with oversized helmets.

Like something from a Sega Genesis video game, or maybe a certain classic Japanese anime.

Arai went with the VAS Max faceshield design, again supposed to deflect impact while allowing max visibility. The shield is Pinlock-ready, and uses the same one-handed closure as Arai’s F1 helmet, with closure latch on the left-hand side.

On the front of the helmet, Arai has six intake vents on the chinbar (which can be closed on the inside), as well as two brow vents. Arai spent considerable time designing the helmet’s airflow system; the brow vents feed air through the EPS liner, and the side exhaust ports draw it through the system via the Venturi effect. Very clever stuff; this definitely isn’t your average crappy made-in-China retro helmet, designed to recycle 1970s tech while cashing in on aesthetic trends.

Arai has photos of the helmet on its Euro website right now, but it’s not on the North American website. Head over to theĀ  Euro site, and you’ll see a wide range of paint options, and pricing. We’ve seen no word yet on Canadian availability or pricing.

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