Friday, December 17

Arai Vector 2 Helmet Review: Brand New for 2011!

Arai Vector 2 Thrill Helmet
We recently offered a sneak peak at two new Arai Helmets (check out the post here) in which we briefly discussed the brand new for 2011 Arai Vector 2 Helmet. Though the Vector 2 is slated for release on January 31, 2011, we got our hands on a production-level lid and were able to take a look at all the new features. To say we're impressed is an understatement. The changes that Arai made over the original Arai Vector Helmet, though extremely subtle at first glance, are significant steps forward in performance, fit and overall comfort of the helmet.

Check out our Arai Vector 2 Helmet Review below and don't miss the details after that along with some photos of the new look lid.

The first major upgrade in the Arai Vector 2 Helmet is the interior. This is the first complete redesign of a liner that Arai has done and for this new interior (that will be gradually making its way into all Arai lids), the focus was on comfort and micro-fitting. Arai stripped off the hard plastic frame that used to surround the entirety of the liner, and repositioned a soft plastic piece to the back of the head. They also utilize one piece of soft foam that wraps in an uninterrupted pattern around the entire circumference for uniform levels of comfort. The big news here is the ability to micro-fit this helmet and accommodate a range of head shapes. Arai has used 5mm peel-away temple pads on either side of the liner. So, out of the box, the Vector 2
Arai Vector 2 ID Helmet
Helmet will be an intermediate oval fit; but if you have a rounder crown, the temple pads can be completely removed, transforming this helmet into a round oval shape. Add to this that they also integrated the cheek pads from the Arai RX-Q Helmet that feature 5mm peel-away pads and you've got a helmet that accommodate an enormous range of head shapes. The guts (excluding the neck roll) are removable and washable, another improvement over the Vector's fixed interior.

Checking blind spots, head checks, and being able to see as much of what's around you when riding is of critical importance. For this reason, Arai is now using the SAI face shield, the same shield seen in the RX-Q and the
race-level Arai Corsair V Helmet, which offers 5mm extra periphery on each side of the shield. While 10mm total may seem insignificant, anyone who has worn an RX-Q or Corsair V will tell you that even that 1cm makes a huge difference when you're on the road. The SAI shield has also integrated slider pucks that shorten the gap between the shield and the helmet, causing a reduction in wind noise and an improvement in aerodynamics. The slider pucks essentially aid in creating a tighter seal at the gasket around the eyeport.
All of the ventilation and aerodynamic properties have been improved as well. The chin vent has been expanded and repositioned for a more streamlined look and upgraded performance. The front chimney vent now features a dual
closure system; a tab that slides over the 10mm port and a garage door that covers the entire intake region to eliminate the possibility of wind or precipitation entering. The rear wing now includes vents built into the wing and serves multiple purposes. The front vent sucks air and splits it through the rear V-vents, creating a better vacuum and also improving the overall stability of the helmet. When these vents are closed, turbulence is kept at extremely low levels and stability remains exceptional. The rear winglet vents have been slightly expanded and operate passively to continue the vacuum effect of pulling hot air out of the helmet. Finally, the rear diffuser that is built into the neck roll has also been finely tuned to now flow more air.

Arai Vector 2 Marker Helmet
The brand new Advanced Hyper-Ridge Band that sweeps around the lower rear of the helmet serves multiple purposes. First is safety. In any impact situation, the helmet's main duty is to disperse energy across the surface area of the shell to prevent any direct impact from one area. However, this also creates a shock wave across the shell which, if it quickly reached any edge of the helmet, would cause the helmet to crack and energy to transfer to the body. The advanced hyper-ridge essentially acts as a speed bump, a barrier, that slows the speed of the traveling energy helping to keep it within the shell of the helmet. Beyond that, it also widens the opening of the helmet for easier ingress and egress. The Hyper-Ridge also acts to lower the center of gravity, making the helmet
more lightweight and stable in active riding conditions.

I know that's a lot. And those are just the improvements. For the sake of brevity, I will bullet-point the rest of the features.

  • CLC (Complex Laminate Construction) Shell Design
  • Multi-Density, Single-Piece Hybrid EPS Liner
  • Brow Vent System Channels Air to Upper Face and through EPS
  • Snell 2010 and DOT Certification

There's a lot here for sure. And that's simply because they make the best helmets on the market in my opinion, and if the investment is in the safety of my brain box, this is the best money can buy. If you're having any trouble digesting this mountain of information, please don't hesitate to give us a ring (877.792.9455) or shoot us an email (

Check out our full selection by visiting the Motorcycle Helmets page at



1 comment:

  1. Terrific product video! Mid-2006 I got a medium-size Astal-X. By then, that model had been discontinued, superseded by (correct me if I'm wrong) the Vector. I ride infrequently and keep my Arai clean, bagged and indoors so it has aged very well. Even so, starting next summer, I'll be shopping a new lid. My narrow-ish 7 3/8 (57.5mm) head has recently been sized ("shaped?") as an Arai small Profile. Hm. But will definitely be giving the Vector 2 a hard look.


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