Thursday, September 13, 2012

How excellent is the Arai XD4 - helmet review

I couldn't have been more excited to finally get into a Dual Sport helmet and getting the XD4 was definitely the right choice, no looking back.
So what's the skinny living inside an XD4? It's amazing. It really is the best of both worlds and if you have ever ridden dirt bikes you will know why. Living inside any helmet is really about one thing. Breathing. If you can breathe easy and don't feel claustrophobic you should be pretty right. I don't personally think that any helmet can ever be truly fog free. But the XD4 is as close as they come. Big Steve has fitted the pin lock screen (some sort of bizarre internal secondary screen thingy) and reckons that makes it absolutley unfoggable, which he demonstrated indoors with some indoors lidded huffing and puffing which was slightly bizarre but quite impressive, so I think I'll be getting one of those too, cause I still fog up in the morning with a fully closed lid sitting at the lights. The reason for all of this breathability is no secret either, check out the vents on this thing. Main darth vader gills;
 

 Under peak screen vents;
 

 Top of the helmet vents;
 

 Back of the helmet vents;
 

 Internal vents;


and a chin scoop which retracts;

  Shit going on everywhere! It's totally ace. And it's really light which is obviously really important, especially when you have a huge noggin. Now for the bad news. It's loud. With all of these vents going on and the extra chin area you get more wind. It's a windy helmet but you can breath really well. It's definitely louder than a full face lid, but don't knock it till you'vre tried it. I also noted a difference checking blind spots easily. I think that is to do with the chin as well, and would be influenced by the type of bike you ride. If you are cranked over a Panigale then this isn't the helmet for you, clearly but to my point it would be harder to turn or dip your head to the side in that position. But on a Hyper that isn't really a problem. On the flip side, no more being blinded by the sun. That beak does a brilliant job of blocking a setting sun solar flare. A slight dip of the head and it acts like a sun visor in a cage. I'm really sensitive to bright light so I wear shades all the time, polarised sunglasses actually and this would have to be the only helmet I could wear without glasses. Must be that extreme rake angle.


I don't think I really want to wear another full face helmet ever again. So how excellent is this helmet? Very excellent, 5 stars. Until then, ride naked (but wear a helmet)
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