arai axces Helmet
From £249.99 I www.whyarai.co.uk
For the last decade I have entrusted Arai with the task of looking after my brain when riding. From the feel when wearing to the quality of the finish, these helmets just ooze class.
I am also a biker on a budget and this was my one gripe with Arai, as sometimes there seemed to be a wide gap between the tech offered up between the bottom and top ends of the range. The Axces has addressed this situation with better-looking venting.
Some things never change on an Arai. I pulled on the Axces for the first time, there was a moment of discomfort and then “Oh, that feels right”... which is how my last two Arais stayed for their lifespan.
The quality of the finish (Arai makes its shells extra hard and shiny to help the helmet slide in the event of a crash) is even better than on my previous Arai Condor. Just like my Condor, the weight of the Axces is beautifully balanced.
So, what has changed? Arai evolves, so change comes in gradually. But the Axces has made a real leap forward when compared to my Condor.
The visor features Pinlock II, covering almost the entire surface. This is good news as it means no more peripheral misting or affected vision from looking through coated and non-coated parts of the visor.
This meant the visor vents had to be dropped (no issue for me, I never used them as they seemed to blow air straight into my eyes!) – a bonus as it brought the venting system from further up the Arai range to the Axces. The chin vent is essentially the same (two settings when open – one blows air on to your neck, the other on to your face), but it now features a lip that lets you operate it easily, even in thick gloves.
This ease of use continues with the top venting. Again with twin settings, the top vent control is rear-set, just the right place to reach back easily to operate on the move in gloves. The ratcheting is smooth, but gives enough feedback to tell the rider the setting they have selected. And the venting is effective. It is good enough that with both sets of vents fully open on a pleasant (if slightly cool) day, I had to shut them off as my head was cold. In heat, as long as you are moving just a little, the venting will keep your head cool.
But better venting brings with it the old Arai complaint. The Axces, like all Arai helmets, is noisy. With the vents open earplugs are a good idea and if I bend my head too far downwards there is a strange squeak as air gets forced through the top of the visor.
The Arai Axces is quality. The enhancements since I last bought a helmet make it a game-changer in this price bracket. Go and try one, I think you will be impressed.