Arai Ram-X Helmet Review

Testing Arai’s most advanced open-face motorcycle helmet.

The Arai Ram-X in Modern Gray with a blue iridium Pro Shade.
The Arai Ram-X in Modern Gray with a blue iridium Pro Shade.Jeff Allen

For many riders, "open-face" is a four-letter word. After seeing and hearing the terrors of accidents in open-faced or three-quarter helmets for so many years, a lot of us have just signed on to full-faces and written off other lids altogether. But the Arai Ram-X is on another level. This is not your uncle's chopper lid—no, this is a much more protective, comfortable, and modern helmet. The Ram-X integrates many of the technologies we see across Arai's line of full-face helmets, while offering the benefits of an open-face.

For those familiar with Arai's helmet line, the Ram-X is basically its top-of-the-line Corsair-X without the chin bar. Venting is the same, which is among the best of any helmet we've ever tested. The small stabilizing wing on the back of the helmet has been modified to work better with the open-face design, improving stability and reducing fatigue. Our size large helmet weighed in at 4 pounds, though, which puts it among the heavier helmets we've tested. Luckily, because of the dialed-in aerodynamics, the weight is carried well and not too intrusive or fatiguing.

The Ram-X is replacing Arai's CT-Z and XC helmets, making it now the only open-face helmet in its lineup. Unlike both of those helmets, you'll notice the Ram-X does not have the sun peak. Instead, the new helmet is equipped to use Arai's Pro Shade visors, which utilizes an adjustable tinted lens that covers about half the visor to adapt to various lighting scenarios.

Venting on the Ram-X
Venting on the Ram-X replicates that in Arai’s Corsair-X, both of which are among the best we’ve ever tried.Courtesy of Arai

One of the most notable updates on the Ram-X is the new VAS-Z shield system. This pivots at a lower point and keeps the visor mounting point more narrow, making the shape of the helmet smoother and slimmer, and allowing it to slide more easily should it come in contact with the ground. This is achieved through the use of two pivot points, which is where the Variable Axis System gets its name.

The Ram-X is DOT approved and Snell tested. It is offered in XS all the way up to XXL, with a soft and comfortable liner. Large pockets near the ears are ready or you to install a Bluetooth device’s speakers if you desire, and the padding will easily allow riders to wear glasses. Fit is an intermediate oval, so it’s a little bit more round than Arai’s Signet, but not all the way to the Quantum. Arai also offers multiple options to customize the internal fit and get it perfect for you.

The elephant in the room is the helmet’s price tag. At $680, it comes in as the most expensive open-face we’ve tested, but that makes sense when you see Arai utilizing technology from its $850 Corsair-X—after all, the difference is essentially just the chin bar. The new Pro Shade system isn’t for everyone—some people don’t like how it cuts their vision—but I have become a huge fan of the adaptability of it. I find it works well everywhere and, once I got used to it, I stopped really noticing the line that transitions from tinted to clear.