Arai XD-4 Hi-Viz Neon Helmet
Great for the proper application
For me there are two primary aspects to a helmet:
1. The protection it offers
2. Everything else
In the case of the XD-4, I can only trust to what I read and hear from other riders and the testing agencies regarding #1. Blessedly I have never had to rely on this helmet to save my life. But ask any reliable source, and you'll find that an Arai helmet will go further toward protecting your brain than any other.
I ride both street and dual sport bikes. For the street I have an Arai Corsair helmet, and for dual sport, it's the XD-4. The XD-4 is OUTRAGEOUSLY comfortable for the shape of my head- which is more elliptical than round. The padding and interior design of the helmet is far beyond any other I've tried on, and I have tried a lot. The helmet feels so good to have on I hardly want to take it off at the end of a ride.
Visibility is definitely geared for slower speeds- you lose some upper view and gain it below, which is where your eyes are when navigating off-road terrain. Part of this is due to the visor, but it's also the cut of the view port. When going fast on the street your eyes are focused much further ahead and that upper view is critical, and opposite is true when going more slowly. The extended front cowl of the chin bar gives better low view, as well as ventilation in the woods on a hot day when there isn't a high rate of air flow from forward movement to cool you down. The rest of the brilliant venting that Arai provides in the helmet itself works really, really well. The visor is a dream come true when riding west later in the day-no more of the left hand shielding your eyes from the sun. And because of the design of the visor, air moves through a gap between the helmet brow and the visor itself, so higher speeds don't tend to pull your head back. After all, with dual sport riding you can spend as much time on the pavement as in the dirt, and even more in some cases. So being able to go faster with the visor in place is a nice feature. At higher speeds the pointed taper of the helmet (when viewed from above) tends to smack your head around a little if you turn your head left or right, and this is something you just have to get used to and work around. The tapered shape also causes (to my eyes) some annoying distortion if you use the plastic face shield. The curve of the face shield is pretty exaggerated in order to accommodate the shape of the helmet, so I suppose the distortion is unavoidable. If you wear goggles (as many dual-sport and off-road riders do), then this won't be an issue for you. But in a driving rain, I really appreciate the face shield, and generally tend to use it with sunglasses underneath.
One final note- the hi-vis paint is way cool, and does a lot more than would seem obvious for increasing your visibility to others- my riding buddies comment that they can see me from a mile away, and that's important, since they're usually way behind me. I don't want to lose them, after all. For dual sport riding you won't do better than this helmet. For street riding it has some downsides, but that's the nature of dedicated design- this helmet isn't intended for street-only riding, though it's so comfortable and well-built that you wish it was. But that's why you need a street helmet too for dedicated street riding. To me it's worth it to have both types of helmets, rather than trying to make due with just one.
November 14, 2013
Just whan I needed
admittedly I'm new at this....
but no let down once received... everything I expected and great ventilation for desert rides!
November 11, 2013
Excellent Helmet, but mind the fog
If you are familiar with Arai helmets, you know the level of quality to expect from the brand. This helmet meets that standard in almost all aspects. Starting with the fit - I absolutely love the conforming fit of the cheek pads. The snug, but not constricting, fit gives me an extra sense that should I go off, I'll be protected. There is surprisingly very little buffeting caused by the peak. Even at highway passing speeds, I can bring my head fully out from behind the windscreen and look all the way behind me without feeling like my head is going to be ripped off. And speaking of wind, yes this helmet may be louder than some of the most expensive "road" buckets, but it is still the quietest adventure helmet I've tried and as quiet as many other full faced lids.
The color is very, very noticeable - without being obnoxious - in all weather conditions. I've had other riders tell me that the helmet is literally visible from a mile away in beltway traffic.
Airflow is incredible in the XD-4 at all speeds. This has been my daily helmet in every temperature and weather condition out there. It has kept me as cool as you can hope to be in 100+ degree days and doesn't freeze my head in sub-freezing temps.
My only complaint is one that has been echoed a lot here: fogging. The lens will fog in humid conditions and in cooler temps from the difference in inside / outside the helmet temps - there is no getting around that. I believe it is the price we pay for the beak and the extreme curvature in the front of the lens.
I ride almost daily, from rush hour commuting to weekend off road adventures and this helmet is at home in both worlds. The visibility, field of vision and protection you get in the XD-4 is second to none.
October 28, 2013
Great look, Great Fit...you expecting something else from Arai?
Before purchasing this helmet I had previously used lower end, heavier helmets. So, needless to say this was like putting on my own crown to rule the kingdom of KLR'arian.
The fit feels true to the sizing of previous helmets I had used. The cheek pads are a little snug feeling, as other reviewers had mentioned, but I like the snugness of the cheek pads. The all the vents on the helmet really do a great job of keeping you cool. Set one side of the helmet vents open and the other side closed and did a small trip around the block. You can really feel all the air blowing into the helmet.
Regarding the Hi-Viz color, its amazing how many drivers I see noticing me with the bright helmet bobbing down the road. From wearing previous white and black colored scheme helmets, people never did a double take looking at me. So the helmets doing its job in that regard as well.
Easy pad removal for cleaning. All in all a great helmet and you get what you pay for.
October 26, 2013
best airflow available
fit, airflow, visor function are the best of every helmet I have tried. Chin strap with snapping lock is the industry standard and could use an update to the same lock system used by Schuberth.
October 20, 2013
I agree with the hype, they are worth it!
I was really happy with my first ride with the XD4. It is such a night and day difference from a motocross style with goggles.
The helmet fit is a bit snug to get on but comfortable when it is on. The cheeks for me were a bit snug, but are breaking in nicely. If you look into the difference in the Aria helmets and what shapes they contour to, this is right on the money. I'm used to wearing FLY helmets because they fit me well.
There are soo many vents and options on this helmet I am still getting used to all of them and how they work. This helmet has great vision. Wow, you can really see around you now. I feel much safer having a helmet that I can see easily behind me, not like with goggles where you have to dang near turn all the way around. The visors are very clear too.
The are pretty quiet as well, compared to what I was wearing. Sizing seems pretty much as with other helmet brands. I wear an XL in pretty much everything.
If you are thinking about it, just buy one. They are pretty awesome and you'll love all the features, style, comfort, and quality.
October 7, 2013
Great Helmet, lots of fog.
This helmet is everything I hoped except for the fogging. Otherwise it's comfortable, light, and the peak doesn't catch much air at speed.
The fogging is really bad with the provided shield.
October 7, 2013
Great airflow in this helmet
I have had the helmet for a couple of months now. The fit was dead on according to the sizing info. There are lots of vents on this helmet and you can feel the air. This was important for the summer months in NC. The hi-viz color really stands out (sharpie high-lighter yellow).
October 2, 2013