Today, the name Arai is synonymous with racing. The Japanese helmet brand has a presence in virtually every form of motorcycle racing, from motocross to the vaunted MotoGP Championship (and within the ranks of auto racing as well). Regarded as an innovative company that revolutionized safety helmet technology through its founders’ passion for racing, Arai has earned the loyalty and devotion of some of the world’s elite riders.
Many of the Arai family of racers, past and present, are known for signature paint schemes. They have been honored with stylish re-creations, creating a wildly popular line of race replica helmets that celebrate the company’s devotion to protection.
Where It All Began
Arai Helmet is a three-generation family-owned Japanese company that specializes in manufacturing high-quality motorcycle helmets. Its mission is simple and has remained unchanged since it was founded by Mr. Hirotake Arai in the 1950s—protection without compromise.
Hirotake, an avid motorcyclist, was well aware of the potential dangers of his chosen hobby. He wanted a helmet to protect himself while riding. However, Japan was a closed market at the time and importing a proper motorcycle helmet was not possible. Hirotake, a hatmaker by trade, resorted to wearing one of his company’s construction helmets, which eventually led to his designing a motorcycle-specific helmet. Initially undertaken just to produce a limited run of units for himself and his motorcyclist friends, the one-off concept blossomed into an entirely new direction for the company.
Buoyed by Hirotake’s firsthand experience in what suited road-going motorcyclists, Arai created its first motorcycle-focused helmet, officially entering the Japanese market in 1952. The company enjoyed steady growth, expanding to North America in 1963. Hirotake’s son, Michio, having spent time in America expanding his education, saw the motorcycle market gaining significant momentum stateside and, in the 1970s, helped establish Arai Helmet’s presence in the U.S.