Arai claims it's taken everything it knows about making a super lightweight, super ventilated race helmet, everything it knows about making a comfortable, high quality road helmet and combined the best of both into the new Arai RX-Q. Headlining the new features are an extremely wide visor aperture, specially constructed cheekpads that now cradle your head from below in the aim of drastically improving comfort, ventilation that increases airflow while decreasing wind noise and a shell that's both stronger and features a larger opening for easier ingress and egress.
Drawing comparisons between the RX-Q and the Quantum 2 that Arai is
adamant the the new helmet doesn't replace is inevitable. How can
something be lighter, offer more vision or better ventilation without
an example of what it's lighter, more or better than? Cutting through
the silly marketing-speak, you actually get to a valid point; where the
Quantum 2 was built down to a still fairly substantial price, the RX-Q
is a completely new design that aims to be the premier road-focussed
helmet in the world, cost be damned. It costs $540 for plain colors,
identical to the Quantum 2 and considerably cheaper than the $770 Arai Corsair V.
So with the same price, what makes the RX-Q so much more special than
the Quantum 2? What makes it so much cheaper than the RX-7 if it's so
Let's begin by comparing it to the Quantum 2. Like that helmet, the
RX-Q's shell is made from Arai's second tier Super Complex Laminate
Construction, but over the Quantum 2, the RX-Q gains a more aerodynamic
and stable shape, has a 10mm wider visor aperture and now features
something Arai's calling a "Hyper Ridge" that encircles the bottom of
the shell, allowing for a larger head hole while increasing strength,
improving aerodynamics and lowering the center of gravity (presumably
by combining the two traits of being heavy and close to the bottom).
The RX-Q is also said to ventilate more efficiently at lower speeds
(good for the road) while performing the typically counter proportionate
trick of reducing noise. That newfound airflow appears to be down to
the revised rear spoiler/air vent and the new side vents, but Arai also
claims its heavily reworked the way in which air flows through the
helmet's interior. The company doesn't quote any figures stating
exactly how much more air is flowed. The reduced noise is down to two
things, that revised airflow and the new cheekpads.
Other than to note in passing that Arai offers its in a variety of
sizes for a tailored fit, cheekpads aren't something I believe I've
ever written about before. Arai says these new cheekpads are "very
labor intensive and costly to make" and are hand constructed from 12
separate pieces. They feature a "sculpted flange" underneath the jaw
that creates a better seal against noise entering from below. That
flange also cradles the head from underneath, providing a new facet for
comfort. They also feature an emergency cheekpad removal system that
enables emergency responders to more easily remove your helmet in the
event of you being unconscious, thereby reducing the chances of neck
Oops, we've gotten ahead of ourselves. File the cheekpads under "items
unique to the RX-Q, not shared with the Corsair V," so now we can move
on to what it does share. The big deal here appears to be the new 10mm
wider visor aperture and the visor that's designed to go with it. In
addition to increasing peripheral vision, that visor feature little
winglets on the outside of the upper edges designed to again reduce
noise and turbulence too.
The RX-Q also features an interior shape modeled after that of the very
spherical Corsair V, but elongated slightly to offer a good fit to a
wider range of people. Like the Corsair V, the RX-Q is also available
in five different shell sizes ranging from XXs to XXL.
Arai's not quoting an official weight for the RX-Q, but we'd expect it
to come in around the same as the Quantum 2: 1624g for a size medium.
That's fairly average for a helmet at this price level and radically
low weight isn't something that Arai is known for. Like the Corsair V,
we expect the RX-Q to satisfy boy ECE R22-05 and SNELL M2010 standards.
If all the above sounds like I'm trying really hard to be critical of
the RX-Q, it's because I'm trying to impartially evaluate it. Arai's actually one of the only companies
in the motorcycle industry that I'm an unreserved fan of. They build
all their helmets by hand in Japan and are a family-owned company,
meaning they're free to pursue quality products over eeking out every
last cent of profit. I've covered hundreds of thousands of miles in
Arai helmets and even had a terrible crash in one and not once have I
ever found a single thing to fault with any of its products. I've
simply enjoyed the knowledge that I had the safest, most well made,
most comfy helmets in the world. I even like the much maligned visor
mechanism. So I'm probably not the person to objectively evaluate the
RX-Q based on initial information about it. As far as I'm concerned,
the RX-Q is an Arai and that means it's going to be a great helmet.