Review: Arai Corsair-V—
Made for the Track, Great on the Street

Mar 15, 2015 View Comments by

Review: Arai Corsair-V—
Made for the Track, Great on the StreetArai’s top-of-the-line helmet was designed with professional and amateur racers as well as track day enthusiasts in mind; many of the features that make the helmet suitable on the track also make it street worthy. Before we move on to what makes the Corsair-V a respectable helmet, let’s talk about two of its less-than-flattering characteristics. First, there’s price. With an abundance of great choices on the market, it’s getting increasingly hard to justify purchasing a helmet in the $700-plus category when a very nice lid can be had for half that. Second, Arai’s faceshield removal system seems old and antiquated compared to the plethora of quick release shields now on the market. It works, but the helmet includes an instructional DVD and a special tool to remove the side pods, which strikes me as overly complicated. They say it’s for safety reasons. I say it’s excessive.

Review: Arai Corsair-V—
Made for the Track, Great on the StreetWhere the Corsair really excels is airflow. The helmet has three large forehead vents that channel air across the top of the head and out twin rear exhaust ports. There’s also a two-position chin vent and two small eyebrow slits incorporated into the faceshield. I took the helmet on a mid-October tour of southern Georgia and was unpleasantly surprised by temperatures in the mid-90s. The Corsair-V impressed by keeping my head relatively comfortable in the hot, humid climate. The Arai has the best airflow of any helmet I’ve ever worn, though at the expense of not being particularly lightweight or quiet.

Arai calls the Corsair-V’s interior shape an intermediate oval and since that also describes my noggin, I can confirm that at least for me, the fit is spot on. Of course, if you’re not sure about your own head shape, there’s no substitute for trying on a helmet. With the Corsair, a good fit leads to an extremely comfortable helmet. The interior lining is nicely firm, yet cushions very well with no sore spots or pressure points after several thousand miles worth of use.

The Corsair-V is somewhat short on bells and whistles, which isn’t surprising for a track-bred helmet. There’s no internal sunshield, so you’ll want a tinted visor or sunglasses on sunny days. The adjustable spoiler on the back of the helmet is designed to reduce buffeting. In practice I couldn’t tell a difference riding at street speeds.

The Arai Corsair-V has an outstanding reputation on the racetrack—just count how many Corsairs are seen at a race, likely more than any other single helmet model. Reputation aside, the helmet offers exceptional comfort and ventilation with top-shelf quality.

Colors: various
Sizes: XS-XXXL
Price: $799.95 — $1,009.95 (depending on color)


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About the author

There’s something relentlessly romantic about riding a motorcycle. I’m blessed to know that feeling. With a background in photography and a love for motorcycles, I’m interested in the beauty and honesty of the open road. You’ll find me riding Carolina’s roads on my Suzuki SV650.