I have to confess that my first motorcycle helmet was an off-brand sale rack item that I purchased to attend the MSF course. I didn’t pay much attention to its quality, and sure enough, the chin vent broke off shortly after I got my license. Since then, I have had a few accidents, and I firmly believe in “ATGATT.” Choosing a helmet is a serious business for motorcyclists because it is the most important safety equipment for riding, period.
Arai has been known both for its premium quality helmets and their focus on safety. You can read this in detail in Jim Pruners’ long yet very informative article “Arai is The Helmet to Buy.” I currently own a Corsair-X, but the Regent-X has been high on my possible purchase list for a secondary helmet. So I was very much thrilled when I was presented with a chance to review the Regent-X.
Arai Regent-X: Design, Fit & Shape
The signature-smooth round R75 shape which Arai claims “glances off” impact energy and mitigates rotational energy hasn’t changed. The major difference, however, is the 5mm wider bottom and plush new interior.
Together, they make this helmet the most comfortable helmet I have ever worn.
Head Shape and Sizing
Regent-X is an Intermediate Oval, considered the most common of helmet shapes. Sizing is available in XS to XXL.
My own head circumference is 55cm (21.65inches), and a Small fits nicely on my head without adjusting any paddings.
The Regent-X’s plushy interior itself may accommodate a broader range of head shapes and sizes, and replacement cheek pads with different thicknesses are also available for further fit adjustment.
My small Regent-X weighs 3.4lbs (1.54kg), which is about 2oz(57g) less than my Corsair-X. With Sena 50s and Arai Pro Shade visor, it weighs 3.86lbs (1.75kg) – still on the lighter side.
Overall, the helmet feels well-balanced – I didn’t feel any pressure or tension in my neck or shoulder, even after the relatively long ride.
Donning and Doffing
I was pleasantly surprised that the mere 5mm (0.2 inches) wider bottom made the helmet that much easier to put on and take off. The foam on the cheek pads is very soft and compressible so, unlike the Corsair-X, it doesn’t feel like you are pulling a bank robber-style tight stocking on or off your face. Because of this ease of donning and doffing, I often prefer the Regent-X to my Corsair-X, especially on hot days.
Arai Regent-X: Interior
The Interior is amazingly plush, and the brushed nylon fabric used for liners is very soft. Stitching is even and precise, which indicates that even though this is an entry-level helmet for Arai, Regent-X is a high-quality premium helmet. The picture above that Arai uses to illustrate their FCS (Facial Contour System) describes how this helmet feels; it is snug but not tight, and the interior padding naturally follows the shape of the face. My head feels comfortably cradled and well protected.
Cheek pads and head liner are removable and washable. However, the padding at the top of the head, chin strap covers, neck roll, and chin curtain are not removable. Even though Arai’s helmet cleaning video shows that you can wash the helmet with some liners attached, maintenance would be much easier if the top pad was able to come out.
On par with the newer helmets, the cheek pads have a slight recess for comm system speakers. However, they do not have emergency cheek pad pull tabs. Also, unlike other more expensive Arai Models, Regent-X doesn’t have a 5mm peel-away layer on the cheek pads for convenient fit adjustment. Replacement cheek pads with different thicknesses are available at extra cost if necessary.
Instead of the ubiquitous plastic snaps, the head liner is attached to the EPS layer with three velcros; two above the eyebrows and one on the back of the head. It also has two wings or flaps that go underneath the cheek pads to secure the liner. Reattaching the liner is not difficult, but I prefer plastic snaps over velcros because you can reattach the liner back to exactly where it was every time. The side pockets on the upper side provide access to the peel-off form layer for fit adjustment for the temple area.
The new neck roll design is shorter to reduce weight. In addition, the front ends of the neck roll sit behind the cheek pads, and it doesn’t have those annoying tongue tabs to insert into cheek pads. This makes reinstalling the cheek pads effortless. Thank you, Arai.
Arai Regent-X: Visor
Regent-X has a VAS-V Max Vision shield. The VAS (Variable Axis System) has a 10mm wider eyeport opening than Arai’s old SAI shield system and provides good peripheral vision. The visor that came with the helmet has excellent optical clarity with no distortion and is Pinlock ready; however, the Pinlock insert is not included.
Visor Removal / Installation
When I had Arai’s Vector 2, changing the visor was a bit of a hassle. Arai’s redesigned visor removal /installation system is such a welcomed change.
To remove the visor, lift the shield fully open and push in the sidepod release lever. It will release the pods which are tethered on the helmet. Then close the visor till the brass pin on the side of the visor aligns with the red dot. Voila! The visor is removed.
The process of installing the visor is the reverse of the removing process. First, align the brass pin on the red dot with the visor slightly open. Then open the visor fully until the brass pin goes into the track and snap on the side pod upper hook first.
You may have to tinker with the sidepod a little while reinstalling, but overall, I found the process very easy.
Visor Mechanism and the Latch
I like that the visor doesn’t conform to a fixed position – it stays at any position between fully open to fully closed while at normal riding speed.
However, I have mixed feelings about the VAS latch system. I like how it seals the visor tight or keeps it very slightly open, but it takes a bit of practice to lift open the shield. After you release the latch, you have to pull the tab outward slightly to lift the visor. It is not a deal-breaker, but it is a bit of an annoyance.
Visor Water Leakage
I had a chance to ride in the light rain with this helmet. It was a rare occurrence during my summer in San Diego. However, the rainfall was very light, so I did a mock rain test in my shower. The photographer was laughing uncontrollably during this photoshoot, but I can attest without a shadow of a doubt that the rubber seal on the visor is water-tight. Just remember to close the brow vents!
Arai Regent-X: Ventilation
The Regent -X has almost the same vents design as the RX-Q. It has two crown vents, two brow vents, and a chin vent. There are also six exhaust vents; three under the rear duct, two on the rear side, and one on the neck roll. All the exhaust vents stay open, which I suspect may get chilly in the winter. Unfortunately, I haven’t had a chance to wear this in below 60F weather so far, but I will update my review as soon as I have a chance.
As for air intake, the most effective one is the chin vent which has two open positions. When it is half-open, the air flows directly to the mouth and face. When it is fully open, the air flows upwards to the shield to mitigate the fogging. From my experience, this works ok, but it is not as effective as having a Pinlock insert on your visor.
The rocker switches to open or close the crown vents are small, but I find them easier to manipulate than the usual slider type. However, the intake volume of air from these vents may be minimal. As a result, I never feel the cooler air coming in as it does from crown vents on my Corsair-X. That being said, overall, the ventilation of the Regent-X is more than satisfactory. My head doesn’t get too hot even though you do not feel direct air coming in other than from the chin vent.
Out On The Road
At the time of writing this, I have ridden about 1000 miles wearing the Regent-X, including plenty of freeway miles. I commented earlier that this helmet is probably the most comfortable helmet I have worn. I mean that on the road too. Helmets are protective gear that you ride with, so if it is not comfortable during the actual ride, it is not a good helmet.
At lower to mid-speed, I barely feel any air resistance with the Regent-X. I am very impressed with how aerodynamic it is for an entry-level helmet. However, when I reach 55mph(96.6km/h), I start to feel a slight drag – though not at an uncomfortable level. You probably will not notice if you do not wear a racing helmet regularly (like some of us do).
Arai claims that the new chin curtain design and small foam in the rear side exhaust vents diminish the air turbulence and further reduce wind noise. Unfortunately, I do not have a good comparison to test the validity of these claims, and the noise level of the helmet is a highly subjective matter. But I will say that the Regent-X is quiet at any position. I wore this helmet without earplugs, and the wind noise was very much at a tolerable level. Opening or closing the crown vents doesn’t seem to affect the noise level much, either.
The Regent-X is available in five solid colors and nine graphics. I received Modern Gray, which looks very trendy – though it is not the color I would wear for a night ride without adding high-viz paint or decal. The paint and finish of the helmet are excellent, which demonstrates Arai’s attention to detail as a hand-crafted premium helmet manufacturer.
Arai Regent-X: The Final Verdict
I really enjoyed testing this helmet. The interior is amazingly comfortable, and the ease of putting on or off the helmet is exceptional. It lacks features like peel-off layers on cheek pads for fit adjustment, and the interior is not fully removable. It would have been nice if the Pinlock insert was included also. However, I thought the Regent-X was very quiet, with sufficient ventilation. Although I may not wear it on the track, I would happily wear this helmet on commutes or spirited rides on the twisties.
- Very comfortable
- Donning and doffing is easy with a wider opening
- Plushy interior
- Recess for a speaker system
- Easy removal/installation of visors
- DOT and SNELL M2020 certified
- Good ventilation
- Not all liners are removable.
- No peel-off layer on cheek pads for fit adjustment
- Pinlock insert is not included
- It takes a little practice to open the visor
- Product page: Arai Regent-X
- Price when tested: USD$ 559.95 (Solid Colors) / $689.95 (Graphics)
- Made in: Japan
- Sizes: XS, SM, MD, LG, XL, 2XL, 3XL
- Colors: 5 Solid / 9 Graphics
- Safety Designations: DOT, Snell
- Review Date: July 2021