Japanese helmet manufacturer Arai has a history dating back to the turn of the century. Their story began with manufacturing caps, before moving to military headwear and finally motorcycle helmets in the early 1950s. Anyone who has owned an Arai knows the brand represents premium quality and class-leading safety. To this day each Arai helmet is handmade and is built to meet or exceed stringent Japanese Snell safety standards. For the last few decades, Arai’s focus has been on helmets designed for the sports bike segment, but recently, like many other manufacturers, they’ve expanded their range to include retro styles. The latest addition to their retro motorcycle helmet offering is the 2020 Arai Rapide otherwise known as the Concept-X.
“Old school cool, without the compromises” is Arai’s own definition of what their Rapide brings to the retro helmet segment. So despite the Rapide looking like a 1980s brain bucket, this modern helmet offers the very latest technology and safety features.
Arai has nailed the retro design brief by developing a clutter-free outer shell design. From the brow, all the way over to the base of the skull the helmet has an uninterrupted smooth finish. A classic look wide and tall eye port offers excellent visibility thanks to Arai’s VAS-V Max Vision visor. Adding an aggressive edge to the styling is a grilled chin bar that’s accentuated by chiselled edges. Two small openings at the rear of the helmet are the only other vents evident in the shell, but this doesn’t mean the Rapide suffers from a lack of ventilation.
The Arai Rapide uses a genius Free Flow ventilation system that channels air through the EPS shell to keep your head cool. Air enters the helmet via the 6 mesh-covered vents in the chin bar and through brow vents built into the top of the visor. As cool air is drawn into the channels in the liner hot air is forced out through the two side vents in the shell and from a vent in the rear of the neck curtain. All of the helmet’s inlet vents can, of course, be easily closed and opened as desired. Operating the helmet’s visor has also been made easy by utilising Arai’s single finger operation, 3D hinge system developed for their F1 helmets.
As for safety, the Arai Rapide continues to benefit from technology developed for racing applications. The helmet’s outer shell is made from Arai’s acclaimed Peripherally Belted Laminate which is both strong and lightweight. Combined with their unique single-piece EPS liner the helmet meets and exceeds Snell, ECE and DOT safety ratings. For additional safety, Arai also includes a pin-lock fog-free visor insert for a consistently clear view in any conditions.
Available in 11 different colourways and retro patterns the Arai Rapide is an excellent option for riders in the cafe, classic and custom segments. Prices start at a touch over $500 USD with the option of fitting a tinted visor at an additional cost.