Arai Rebel: a helmet for nakeds

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Categories: Galleries, Dailies

Update: Arai's going to call this thing "Defiant" in the States.

This evening, Arai will be unveiling a new helmet to journalists here in LA. Because Arai doesn't consider HFL's staff to be real journalists, you can read about the helmet first here. Designed to work with the unimpeded airflow of naked bikes, the Arai Rebel adopts larger intake vents and a new chin piece complete with a lift-canceling spoiler.

"There is a strong tendency within the motorcycle community towards simpler, more affordable bikes, without sacrificing anything towards styling or performance," explains the company's press material. "This has created a whole new segment of often naked bikes with an unmistakable 'street fighter' touch to them. The brand new Arai 'Rebel' helmet is the perfect companion for this new bike segment. Based on the much praised fit and comfort of the Quantum, the Rebel adds an aggressively styled chin piece to this new concept."

"The chin piece of the Rebel is designed to guide the wind around the neck and to improve the aerodynamic properties of the helmet. The integrated chin bar spoiler and the shape of the chin bar improve the wind cheating properties of this helmet. These have also been adapted to the different angle of the head and helmet in relation to the wind and the weight balance of the helmet."

The Rebel is differentiated by that very large new chin vent and chunky top vents, but it's the prominent chin spoiler that's going to make the biggest difference.

That chin piece is also said to make that area of the helmet roomier for the rider's face while a new type of cheek pad should help hold the helmet securely to the head. Dubbed "Facial Contour System," the pads include a "spring action" that should retain ease of taking the helmet off or putting it on, even while the area of the pads now extends to wrap under the jaw. Customizable "peel off" additional pads will allow riders to tailor the fit of the cheek pads in a similar arrangement the Nexx XR1R. By wrapping under the jaw, the cheek pads should also help keep air from entering under the chin, further optimizing the Rebel for the upright riding position of naked bikes.

Targeting the helmet at urban street riders, the larger vents are designed to better flow air at lower speeds than other, more sport-oriented Arai helmets. At lower speeds, a greater volume of air is required to provide the same cooling effect. That will be particularly apparent through the much-larger chin vent, which should also aid that other bane of the urban commuter: visor fogging.

Elsewhere, the Rebel appears similar to the Arai RX-Q. Same rear spoiler/vents, same exhaust ports behind the ears, same "hyper ridge" band around the bottom of the shell, same exhaust vent built into the rear neck roll. It's likely the Rebel will adopt the same "intermediate oval" head shape too.

Also like the RX-Q, expect the Rebel to add 100g or so of additional weight for the American market, where it'll adopt the heavier, harder Snell M2010 standard over the softer, lighter ECE 22.05 used elswhere. That RX-Q carries a $590 MSRP for solid colors, we expect Rebel pricing to be similar.

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