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The Arai XD4 Explore Graphic Helmet replaces the category leading Arai XD-3 Dual Sport Helmet.
Notable improvements for the XD4 are improved ventilation with redesigned face vents and a venturi vent at the brow, adjustable cheek pads, a new visor system for improved visibility and a new locking shield for aerodynamics.
New comfort headliner, with micro fitting 5mm peel away temple pads
Fully removable/replaceable/washable Interior: Comfort head liner, Cheek pads, Chinstrap covers
Dry-Cool® technology keeps you dry and cool for greater comfort
Patent pending, New FCS® (Facial Contour Support) cheek pad design, also with a 5mm peel away micro fit feature
New shell shape for better aerodynamic stability at higher street speeds
New exhaust ports added to the top diffuser vents
New chin vent with more intake ports
Larger sculpted side cowl vents improve ventilation
First, I ride a 2013 BMW F800 GS (I also have a Ducati Streetfighter and an Arai RX-Q, see my comments below) with a Touratech touring windscreen which is approx. 4” taller than the OEM screen. I am 6’0” tall but wear 30” inseam pants which makes me slightly more “top high” from the waist up. This helmet is for on-road-off-road use on the BMW.
My major concern before purchasing was wind noise but my experience has been that the bike, windscreen, and my body height is more of a factor than the helmet. My normal riding position on the BMW puts me just inside the turbulence zone of the air going over the windscreen. If I stand up slightly (+3”) on the pegs it puts my head into the relatively smooth air coming over the screen. If I do a super-bike tuck or lean forward lowering my position I get completely behind the screen with 95% of the air blocked. My other helmet, for riding on the Ducati Streetfigther, is an Arai RX-Q. The Streetfighter has ZERO wind protection and the RX-Q is quite tolerable for noise up to freeway speeds and no ear protection. The RX-Q on the BMW is noisy from about 30 mph up. The XD-4 is almost exactly the same, with the turbulence causing a general rumbling noise in both helmets. With either helmet if I stand up on the BMW into the direct air the noise level drops. If I lean forward behind the screen they both are very quiet. So for ME, on the BMW, with this particular setup, the XD-4 behaves noise-wise very closely to the RX-Q (which I find very tolerable). BTW, this particular windscreen setup while not perfect is a good compromise, it blocks the blast of air on your chest and doesn’t intrude on forward visibility.
Some other comments after about 2k miles and a couple of long trips ...
On a March three desert tour in Calif. with temps in the 90’s I found the ventilation to be excellent, noticeably better than my RX-Q. However, on very cold mornings going over mountain passes the more open neck area of the XD-4 lets in more air than the RX-Q. I end up putting on my Klim neck gaiter sooner than with my RX-Q.
I wear prescription glasses and purchased Scott OTG goggles primarily for low speed, hot weather, off road travel. The goggles just barely fit inside the face opening of the XD-4 and require a bit of fiddling to get over the glasses but inside the face opening. Other brands/types of OTG goggles may or may not fit. Obviously the airflow with the shield up and goggles on is even better.
The XD-4 has very good peripheral vision, but obviously not with goggles on.
On the desert trip and over a series of days of high winds the helmet developed, depending on wind direction/angle to the helmet, a very loud low frequency humming/buzzing noise. It got to be really annoying. I discovered that the screws holding the visor on the helmet had become slightly loose, snugging them up tight made the problem go away.
Summary. A great helmet for what it is designed to do with amazingly few downsides when compared to its all-pavement cousin the RX-Q. A bit pricey but worth it. I would buy another. Attached "selfie" photo gives an idea of the close fit with OTG goggles on.
May 16, 2014
best big trail helmet
Good shape and good look, nice to wear anytime of the day, the only step back is how difficult is to chage the visor;
May 5, 2014
This product is great
Great helmet. It works very nice for the off road, but also is quiet comfortabel on the highway, even with the peak.
The only thing to improve will be the chin ring devise. I have seen better.
January 13, 2014
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Larry L: quality and function is why I choose Arai.Jul 5, 2014
Anthony G: I already own an XD3 which I love.Jun 9, 2014
jay b: i wish this had a sun visor like the shark but other than that i can't find another helmet better suited to adventure riding the the arai xd-4. loved the color scheme. wish troy lee would come up with a rad design for this model.May 5, 2014
Paul M: Arai helmets tend to fit me better than any other brand that I've tried,(long, narrow head shape). Undeniable quality and quality control.Apr 5, 2014
Gary L: Excellent reviews of a great Dual Sport Helmet, allows plenty of air flow and great field of view. Having worn it now for a couple months, great fit, quite, comfortable, and the colors match my 2013 BMW R1200 GSA 90th Anniversary Edition; cornet, but looks really cool. Chin strap is often very annoying to get buckled on and off and is the only negative.Mar 27, 2014
Shean S: I ride up here among the frozen chosen North, and the flexibility combined with a pin lock system provides the ability to cover a hot day or a wet cold on the same trip. My current helmet fogs and its just not the same as my two Buddies I ride with. Tired of holding up the ride to wipe down.Feb 17, 2014
James U: I wanted a dual sport helmet, highly visible, matches my bike, can use in three configurations plus goggles if need be. Ultimately, Arai has a good reputation for quality and safety. Can not put a price on cranial protection!Oct 1, 2013
A shopper asked:I ride a 2013 Ducati Multistrada sport/touring bike with an upright seating position. I am planning to purchase a communications device at a later date and planning to use both on the highway. Is the XD-4 helmet quiet enough for a communications system or should I be looking at a Shoei GT Air, for example? I really like the style of the XD-4 but not sure how much more noise I will have to endure. Please let me know your thoughts. Thanks!Jun 1, 2014
A S:I also have a Multistrada and have had one outing with this helmet and a G9x. I don't have anything else to compare it too, but I was able to maintain communication with my riding buddy at speed up to 100mph/160kmh. It gets a bit noisy at higher speeds and the wind noise does make it a bit harder to hear clearly, but still very doable. My riding buddy has a GS adventure and it's much easier for him due to the better wind protection. Looking at a Puig aftermarket windscreen to try to improve this. At slower "legal" highway speeds it's just perfectly clear.
Mike R:I would say yes. I love these helmets, I had an XD 3 prior to the 4 and used it for 5 plus years. I also used an Autocom set up in both helmets. I have communications and music routed through my system. I ride a GS adventure and unless I'm driving at crazy speeds I hear the system fine. I think the 4 is a little quiter. I recently switched to a Sena Bluetooth and it works well too. Good luck in your choice, it works for me.Jun 4, 2014
Shean S:Hi Shopper, Bought the helmet to use principally on my BMW 1200 GSA, but it was so comfortable I started using it on my other street bike too. I installed my bluetooth bike to bike G9 system without any problems. Noise is quieter than my sstraight up street helmet from Shoei. Short answer, absolutely thi helmet rocks fo communications or just rockin' while you're rolling.