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MXA TEAM TESTED: ARAI XD4 HELMET

October 21, 2013
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WHAT IS IT? The Arai XD4 is the fourth generation of the original, do-it-all, Arai XD helmet. With some reconfiguring, it can be used as a motocross, street, adventure or karting helmet. It is less expensive than four separate helmets, but not by much.

WHAT’S IT COST? $729.95.

CONTACT?
www.araiamericas.com or your local dealer.

WHAT STANDS OUT? Here’s a list of things that stand out with the Arai XD4 helmet.

(1) Multipurpose. It’s no secret that different disciplines require different helmets. You never see Valentino Rossi at a MotoGP wearing a motocross helmet, or Chad Reed at a Supercross with a full-face visor. There used to be no such thing as a helmet that could be used for street, karting, dual sport, enduro, adventure and motocross?at least not until Arai released the original XD helmet 10 years ago.

(2) Weight. We expected the Arai XD to be on the heavy side, considering the Lexan face shield and pivot hardware. It tipped the scales at 3 pounds, 9 ounces.

(3) Construction. The MXA wrecking crew, and everyone in the helmet business, admires Arai’s quality. It is the best in the business.

(4) Fit. Somebody has to offer the plushest lining, and that somebody is Arai. This helmet is excruciatingly comfortable. Plus, Arai’s new Microfit liner has 5mm-thick, peel-away temple pads that allow the fit to be changed in seconds.

(5) Convertible. The XD4 comes out of the box as an adventure helmet with a face shield and visor, but it can easily be turned into a street helmet by removing the visor. It could be transformed into a motocross helmet by removing the face shield, but the stock visor is weird-looking. We preferred to mount a Troy Lee Designs visor in the normal location, but this does require some handyman skills.

 

WHAT’S THE SQUAWK? The MXA wrecking crew dabbles in road racing, adventure biking and karting, so we are prime candidates for the Arai XD4. Our biggest complaint was the gawky look of the stock visor, which is raised up above the helmet brow to allow air to escape so the visor doesn’t lift the rider’s head at street speed. Unfortunately, that made it difficult to convert the XD4 into a good-looking motocross helmet.

The Arai XD4 is not the best choice for a single-discipline rider, who would be better served by a purpose-built Arai road race or motocross helmet; but, it is a unique design for the renaissance man who does a bit of everything.

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