Arai CT-Z Open-Face Helmet Review

Arai's next generation open face helmet is awesome

Arai CT-Z with dark smoke shield, open face motorcycle helmets

Arai CT-Z with Dark Smoke Shield

Buy the Helmet
Buy the Shield
Morgan Gales

I pull no punches when it comes to talking about helmets. I used to rock non-DOT, vintage and open-face helmets all the time, style was my priority, but a few crashes and many thousands of miles later, you will be hard pressed to find me pulling my head into anything other than a high quality full-face. Until very recently, that is. The CT-Z from Arai is not your average open-face helmet, in fact I would put it smack dab in the middle of an open-face and a modular. The full shield and larger coverage of the helmet are safer and more secure than most 3/4 helmets, and with the dark shield and visor it's darn good looking, too.

The cheeks of the CT-Z cut in a little more than your average 3/4-face helmet, providing more coverage and thus, more protection. The visor on the CT-Z also extends further than most open-face helmets, covering me all the way down to my chin. If I was to go down face first, there is still some protection there.

Arai CT-Z with dark smoke shield
Arai CT-Z with dark smoke shieldMorgan Gales

The visor works pretty well when you head into the sun, but it could be a little bigger. This is something you don't typically see on street helmets, and I have never fully understood why not. Riders on and off road have to head into the sun, so why is it only typical on adventure helmets? Well, thanks for mixing things up, Arai.

The upper ventilation system mimics that of the Corsair V, which works very well. And as you may have guessed, a bit of air gets in through the bottom of the visor, but not enough to make it unwearable in the cold. A smaller front vent also sends air straight to the temples, keeping you cooler at your pressure points.

Arai CT-Z with dark smoke shield
Arai CT-Z with dark smoke shieldMorgan Gales

Like all Arai helmets, the CT-Z is DOT and Snell approved, not to mention the rigorous testing that Arai does on their own. While I have grown accustomed to full-face helmets and the comfort/ protection they provide, it’s nice to be able to rick an open-face for certain occasions, and one that looks darn good at that.

At $620, it's definitely a top-shelf helmet, but that comes with top-shelf features. It's comfortable, quiet, and comes with the five-year guarantee that all Arai helmets do. If you've spent time in an Arai, you know why it's worth the extra buck. If you haven't, try it sometime-- you'll see.

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