Arai DT-X Helmet Review

Arai's newest full-face helmet, the Downtown X

arai dt-x
Testing the new Arai DT-X in white with the Pro-Shade systemDrew Ruiz

At first glance, it’s simple: it looks like an Arai. The round shape of Arai helmets is instantly recognizable but not without its purpose. While other manufacturers look at MIPS or new systems to try to control the initial twist that happens when a helmet collides with the ground, Arai sticks to their tried and true method- a shell shape that will graze off of obstacles and never have to deal with that sort of torsional impact to begin with. The Arai DT-X takes the proven technology and safety that Arai has been known for over the years and applies it to an all-new “Downtown,” inspired lid with a little bit lower price point, designed for just about anything you can do on two wheels.

Joining Arai’s lineup as the most affordable of the new “X” helmets: the Signet/ Quantum-X($679.95 – $839.95) and the top-shelf Corsair-X($849.95-1059.95), the DT-X shaves a little off the price tag, but still sits in the mid-high pricing tier at $589.95-$729.95. While the DT-X shares some similarities with the Vector-2, Arai’s current lowest priced full-face) the good people at Arai thought that this lid varied so much from the Vector that it had become its own helmet entirely.

arai dt-x
Arai DT-X in blackArai Helmets

If you aren’t familiar with the background of Arai Helmets, their history is definitely worth noting. Now in the third generation of Arai family ownership, their number one goal remains the safety of their riders. Any person on the assembly line has the authority to pull a helmet off and deem it unfit, and they take pride in doing so knowing that they have prevented a potentially sub-par helmet getting into the hands of a consumer. You may have also noticed that many of the world’s best racers wear Arai helmets, and there is no difference between these helmets and the ones put out on the shelf at your local moto shop—every Arai is made to the same impeccable safety standard.

With the new helmet, Arai has integrated their Variable Axis Shield system, which means that use of their Pro-Shade is available with this one. While some people find the different tons distracting, I have found that the tinted upper works very well to block the sun while still allowing me to view my gauges unimpeded down below. When I don't want to use the shade, it can also work well as a sun visor while not catching too much wind or being inhibiting.

Arai Dt-X
Morgan in the Arai DT-X on a 2017 Triumph ThruxtonDrew Ruiz

The DT-X experiences virtually no buffeting at speeds up to about 80mph, but I did start to notice some strain after that. The helmet cuts the wind just about as well from straight on as it down with slight turn to look through mirrors, and of course, better when tucked. The helmet feels lightweight and unrestrictive.

Ten vents adorn the DT-X, but the only ones I really felt were the front/ mouth vent and the brow/ visor vents. The test day on these helmets was very hot and humid, and while I left the top intake and exhaust vents open the whole time, you would find me pulling it off in a hurry at most stops. When we would get moving again, the front vent worked very well to cool my face down but I could barely notice the difference with the top vents open or closed. Compare this to the higher end Corsair-X with notably good venting.

The interior fit of the DT-X is an intermediate oval, but feels just a little longer to me than the fit of the Corsair. In a large Corsair, my long oval head had my nose popping out through the visor, whereas I can fit in a large DT-X much more comfortably. How snug the helmet fits you has a lot to do with the amount of noise you hear while riding, and though the Signet does fit me a little better, I found the noise level to be about the same- both quite low. At speeds over about 80mph, like the buffeting, I have noticed that things get a bit louder.

The shape of the eye hole on this helmet is awesome. It’s wide and open, but most importantly, close to the head on top, which means you have a large range of vision even while tucked. The width comes in handy when lanesplitting here in California, making it easy to throw quick glance to either side and catch your mirrors.

At $590, it’s not the cheapest helmet on the shelf by any means, but that was never Arai’s goal. It’s Arai’s goal to keep their riders safe, and this helmet does that, offering their most important technologies at a more approachable price point. Sure it’s a little out of its element when you pick it up and go fast, but as far as a daily commuter helmet goes, this thing is great.

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