STORY CONOR FRASER
I have been wearing Arai’s off road offering, the VX-Pro4 for the most part of this year and it has probably seen the most days on my head of all the helmets I own. Although these helmets have changed very little visually from the early 2000’s, the subtle safety updates and aero refinements prove the theory, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. Immediately when looking at any Arai helmet, you notice that they appear to have a rounder shape than any of their competitors. With helmet technology and rider safety at the forefront of our industry currently, Arai are certainly not shying away from this, continuing the production their R75 Shell (rounder, smoother, stronger) shape across the range.
Physics will tell you that kinetic energy increases in proportion to speed (simply put, the faster you go the more energy you carry). Therefore, impacts in real world crashes can carry forces that are well above the required safety standard thresholds. The theory that a round helmet has less edges to catch in a crash, makes sense when you think about this and Arai’s long history of studying numerous real-world incidents has me feeling as though I am pulling one of the safest helmets in the market onto my head every time I go riding.
So how does it perform? For me the VX-Pro4 has to be one of the most comfortable helmets that I have ever worn. The only way I can describe this is that it feels as though the inside lining of the helmet is touching more of my head and more evenly, where as some competitors’ helmets leave me with a feeling of pressure points in certain areas. The ERS (Emergency Release System) cheek pads have a super tight feel and wrap all the way around your cheeks perfectly. Due to this, the cheek pads do protrude a fair way out from the bottom of the helmet, however their design allows for them to hinge out of the way when taking on or off the helmet. The majority of the liner is washable and has held up perfectly to plenty of cycles through the washing machine. It can be a little frustrating at times that you need to remove the liner from the foam padding, rather than a complete sealed foam pads in some other helmets.
I have always been of the opinion that you only get one head, so why not make sure you are protecting it with the best helmet you can
Given that I have used this helmet mainly over winter months, I have noticed that the ventilation is a little lacking on the VX-Pro4. I find myself coming in from a ride with noticeably damp hair and a far more soaked liner. This doesn’t present a massive issue for myself, as the liner does do its job of wicking away the sweat perfectly whilst you are wearing the helmet and I have never had any issues with sweat dripping down into my goggles or the like.
As for the rest of the helmet, it performs as it should with no complaints. The visor made of a flexible material, has great adjustability and stays where it is supposed to whilst riding. The goggle port is a little on the small side and to accommodate larger ‘outrigger’ style goggles or those with nose guards, you will need to remove the rubber nose protector to create some more room, but again this is not really an issue and I am clutching at straws to find anything major about this helmet I don’t like. We have been using the Matte Black colourway as it goes with anything, but for 2019 Arai came out with some pretty bright and detailed paint schemes that really stand out from the pack.
At $749.95 RRP ($699.95 for Solids) it is one of the higher priced helmets on the market. I have always been of the opinion that you only get one head, so why not make sure you are protecting it with the best helmet you can. With the safety features you attain, the comfort and those vivid colourways, you are most certainly receiving value for money with the Arai VX-Pro4. You can check out the range at araihelmets.net.au and see all the colourways available.
$699.95 for solids