Arai Corsair V RC: F1 tech for motorcycles

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Arai_Corsair_V_RC.jpgThe Arai Corsair V RC shares its method of carbon fiber shell construction with the $5,095 GP-6 RC Formula One car racing helmet. That means, like the GP-6, it takes 22 man hours to make a single helmet. With a shape and vents modeled after the Arai Corsair V and, presumably, a much lighter weight, the RC would become, in our opinion, the most desirable bike helmet on the market, if Arai decides to produce it. An Arai representative suggested to Superbike that production is unlikely, stating “to get these helmets perfect/to Arai’s very high standards, the rate of rejects will be high (and expensive).” No further info is currently available on the RC, but it is on display at England’s NEC bike show.

via Superbike

  • Ken

    Carbon fibre helmets are beserk. They weigh nothing. They’re probably the best use of a stupidly expensive material when something else will do fine that I can think of. Apart from hops.

  • A rocket scientist

    Carbon fiber is not necessarily a good material for something that is designed to take impact loading without failure. The problem is that carbon fiber is very stiff and brittle.

    Stiff is really bad, because that means the shell transfers energy into your head– how a cue ball transfers energy to other billiard balls. Brittle is really bad, in that the carbon shell can absorb MUCH less energy than fiberglass before failure (and the failure is dramatic — think lots of dust and tiny pieces).

    Sure, it can be light, but even lighter is not wearing a helmet at all.

    The entire purpose of the helmet is to absorb the energy so your head and neck does not. That means the helmet must deform some and then release the energy slowly. Like a soft ball, not a cue ball.

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

      Don’t under estimate the advances in production techniques for carbon fiber in the last two decades. While “stiff” and “brittle” were certainly applicable in the early ’90s, people have learned how to make carbon structures exceptionally resistant to forces occurring in multiple vectors and how to precisely engineer in specific amounts of flex. You can see this in everything from bicycles (laterally stiff yet vertically compliant) to the Ducati GP9′s frame to F1 suspension to the chassis of the $400,000 Lexus LFA that I drove a month or so back. There’s sadly very little info coming out of Arai about this helmet (them seem to view the release of info on exactly how technologically advanced the helmets are that they’re charging a premium for based on those technological advances as a bad thing), but I’m sure they wouldn’t make a carbon helmet that would shatter the second a pebble hit it or that was somehow less safe than one of the fiberglass/kevlar/carbon blend shells.

    • immunetologic

      Don’t forget that the plastic shell on your current helmet doesn’t absorb the impact… Your head hits the Styrofoam in the helmet, which cushions the blow. Also, keep in mind that there are tons of carbon fiber helmets already on the market, and they are tested, so the the problems you describe would have become evident a long time ago.

    • 2Twisted

      Although I think that carbon fiber autoclaved dry layup(current carbon fiber helmets are wet layup heavy same as advanced fiberglass) would be an ingenious(and expensive) solution to a non existent problem lighter weight more aero helmets are always welcome. However what would be really useful transfer of F-1 helmet technology would be the heated ducted fan heads up display helmet visors used in F-1 helmets adapted for MC helmet use. BTW planned flexible carbon fiber technology came out of the ski and archery bow world initially and has now transitioned to the latest dry lay up carbon fiber bicycle tubing not from the automotive tech.

  • http://www.motostrano.com Joe

    I’ll take 3 for my collection.

  • Darren

    Build it and I will come! Seriously, I would buy one!!! PLEASE!

  • fearnow

    (hands Darren a towel to wipe up, in case Arai makes the helmet)

  • Mitch

    Sweet – until you slip and lowside on the first lap before tire warmup and tap the helmet on the ground. D’oh!

  • Hiwatt Scott

    They’re still gonna want you to throw it away in 5 years.

  • AceCafeClipOns

    I’m still waiting for a fiber-whatever Corsair that suits my head shape and doesn’t force me to customize checkpads and wear ear-plugs…

  • vic

    carbon fiber is the future in helmets.. with the aid of CAD you could design certain elements in the shell to provide certain functions(like the bicycle frame example in siler’s post)
    btw bmw’s sportintegral carbon helmet is autoclave dry layout.it only weight 1 kg in xl size..but they don’t make that themselves..i think carbon dream in italy makes it for them and they only use that process for their stuff which includes fairings tanks and also military/aeronautics stuff who are managed by their other divisions.so it s posible(if expensive..the bmw helmet was 1500 euros at a dealer..but man…it s so light)

  • Scott

    could they make a pretty one with digital camo for Wes?

  • Dan

    I recently picked up an HJC AC-X3 carbon offroad helmet on clearance for $230. It’s a great helmet and love the lightweight of the carbon. Shimmers pretty in the sun too. I read that even when they were selling for $500 HJC was still losing money on every one because rejection rates were so high in production.

    I use a $450 solid color Shoei x11 on the street and will admit the interior quality of the shoei is higher but overall fit & finish is similar. I’m realizing that if it fits well, is comfortable and meets the highest safety standards are a lot more important to me than how much it costs. I’ll never pay over $450 for a helmet, and at that there better be more difference from a $250 helmet than the name on it.

  • http://www.squidoo.com/hearing_protection Scotty Mclellan

    I know this is going to sound a bit old fashioned but, I really like taking care hearing and whilst I do agree with the previous poster and I really hope I do not get shot down for saying this, but I believe it is important to take all things in moderation.

  • http://www.hudsonbearings.com/ Ball Transfers

    This is a sharp helmet. I really like the checkerboard finish.