Arai ventured into the vintage-inspired helmet market in 2020. Spurred on by popular neo-retro models such as the Ducati Scrambler, Yamaha XSR900, and Kawasaki Z900RS, motorcycle gear makers also adopted the throwback themes. The Concept-X filled that niche for Arai, but in true Arai fashion, the firm found a way to improve on the lid in 2023.
To meet Europe’s latest ECE 22.06 helmet safety regulations, Arai needed to demonstrate that the nostalgic model could withstand the rotational forces from an oblique impact. The result was the Concept-XE, and the variant joins Arai’s lineup with equal parts classic and contemporary.
The Japanese helmet house starts off with a hand-laid PB e-cLc composite fiber shell. The brand’s proprietary peripheral belt reinforcement and trademark R75 shape (curve radius 75mm) maintain Arai’s stringent protection standards.
An exposed VAS-VC shield system may seem out of character for the fastidious manufacturer, but the mechanism captures the vintage look. It also preserves Arai’s “Glancing Off” feature by lowering the visor pivot to accentuate the helmet’s smooth shape. The shield itself benefits the rider with a clear, fog-less view through the Pinlock Max Vision-equipped lens.
A fixed chin spoiler may test the Pinlock insert’s fog-fighting ability, but the ventilation system sends oncoming air through an adjustable chin inlet and two brow intakes at the top of the visor. Rear air extractors pull the fresh air through the helmet's vent channels. To maximize comfort, the Concept-XE also touts a removable/washable antibacterial and hypoallergenic liner with FCS face-contouring cheek pads.
Protection never takes a backseat with Arai, though, and the Concept-XE's five-density EPS foam proves as much. In normal use, a double-D chinstrap ensures a snug fit while an Emergency Release System (ERS) helps responders safely remove the helmet in the direst circumstances.
Arai offers the Concept-XE in sizes XS-XXL, with three shell sizes splitting the range. The XE will arrive in six graphics and four solid colors, but Arai hasn’t yet disclosed the helmet’s price or availability.