First shown in concept form two years ago, we’d forgotten all about the carbon shell RX7 until we saw Bruce Anstey wearing one at the TT last week. His is one of only 300 Arai RX7 RC’s that will ever be sold in Europe. The £2100 helmet is made using Formula One helmet technology that dramatically reduces the weight, but is incredibly labor intensive. 22 man hours go into each one.
The RC is certified to both the Snell M2010 and ECE 22.05 safety standards but, as far as we can tell, isn’t being sold in this country. The last time we asked about it, Arai Americas was annoyed to find that a publication was interested in covering its products.
The trick with the RC’s shell appears to be the large weave and a peripheral belt around the perimeter that retains shell strength even while weight is dropped “substantially” below the 1,650g non-carbon RX7. Arai claims the RC is the lightest Snell-approved helmet on the market, but doesn’t deign to quote an actual weight. Traditionally, American Snell certification makes a helmet heavier and harder than its lighter, safer European counterparts.
Don’t balk too terribly much at the price. The RC’s construction is based on that of the firm’s flagship GP-6 RC Formula One helmet, which retails for five large. We’d hazard a guess that being based on the RX-7’s off-the-shelf sizes and features helps reduce the cost over that bespoke F1 lid.
Want one? European Arai dealers are only getting three apiece.