It ‘s been a while since we sampled an Arai VX-Pro off road helmet, our last iteration being the VX-Pro3 circa SNELL 2000.
Arai makes various helmets for three head types: round oval, long oval and the highly popular intermediate oval. The VX series is available purely in intermediate oval, which conveniently fits about 80% of North American head shapes. It’s a category Arai has pretty much perfected. Bikeland editors also like Arai for the ability to “fine tune” a customized fit.
The VX-Pro4 tweaks and upgrades from its predecessors pleasantly surprised us. Though it’s a full on competition dirt helmet, detailing and finish on our sample unit was what you’d expect to see on a custom street lid.
With seventeen colors and schemes available, the recently introduced Combat pattern quickly caught our eye. Even our crustiest, function-first editor was duly impressed by the airbrush-like metallic paint and laser sharp graphics. For Dual Sport riders, well-integrated yellow splashes help to be seen when having to venture into digitally distracted driver domains. The extra bit of high viz conspicuity doesn’t hurt in today’s increasingly congested off road riding areas either.
The VX4 meets SNELL 2015 standards and we suspect it’s the reason for the 4’s only drawback: about six ounces more heft than previous iterations. Weight location is relative though and cleverly, like with several other Arai models, weight is less noticeable when it’s located low like in the reinforced Hyper Ridge base band.
An adjustable five mm wider and fourteen mm longer visor offers improved glare protection, a great benefit in low angle light or heading up sun-spiked hills. Large relief ports under the expanded peak allow more airflow to minimize lift and pulling at speed.
The chin vent now outside the shell can be easily shut off in cool weather and allows more interior room for bigger jaw folk. The shell is about an inch longer overall. In keeping with Arai’s long- standing goal to minimize potential shell snagging, the external mesh vent assembly is rounded; smooth and affixed with a single break away screw. The inner mud gate is easily removed for increased airflow or to fully close off in cold weather
Plush, inviting liner components feature FCS cheek pads with larger surface areas that wrap under the jaw for more comfort. The helmet feels more “locked in’ especially when you’re getting bounced around traversing tough terrain.
A favorite feature set gets better: The VX-PRO 4’s neck roll pad is now removable and washable, just like the headliner, and customizable cheek pad covers.
Ventilation has increased with six, fixed-open top and rear exhaust vents in a cowl designed to help vacuum extract heated air. The cowl includes a slight ridge to help keep goggles in place. Goggle centering is also aided by raised strap guide ribs molded into the eye port trim, which also reduce liner wear and increase airflow.
There’s a lot of new competition in high-end off road helmets these days however the VX-Pro4’s features and Arai quality should keep it on your consideration short list.
From SRP $609.95
Color as tested $749.95
More at araiamericas.com