Review: Arai Contour-X

Review: Arai Contour-X

Arai has a new helmet for 2023, aimed at the sport-touring crowd. The Contour-X promises increased comfort and less weight, all the while delivering a high level of protection. The helmet also features better venting, intercom accommodation, and easier ingress.

Like the Regent-X, the Contour-X is wider at the base than other Arai helmets by 5mm to reduce squeeze when donning and doffing the helmet. I’ve never been one to complain about the snugness of my limited-edition IOM TT Corsair-V, but the Contour-X does seem to slip on and off a little easier.

Around its base, the Contour-X features a reshaped Hyper Ridge with a flatter side area, which makes fitting communication devices easier. The removable brushed nylon interior is odor-resistant, while the neck roll incorporates a pocket for stowing your communicator’s excess wiring.

The visor mounting system is obviously lower on the Contour-X than on my Corsair-V due to the Variable Axis System, which increases the area between temples by a claimed 24mm. A quick measurement of the eye port on both helmets confirms this.

A total of 13 ventilation ports move air through the helmet. The Contour-X features a filtered chin vent with a three-position sliding mechanism in lieu of the fold-down vent on other Arai helmets. The new vent supposedly moves a greater air volume, but the design doesn’t seem as aerodynamic. The iconic Arai logo on the forehead is now a raised (3.5mm in depth) vent feeding two 10mm intake ports. Arai claims that at only 30 mph, the new vent increases airflow by 40%. New intake ports on either side of the logo vent are of the three-position, teardrop variety.

At the rear of the helmet is a new spoiler, designed to vent air from the inside and smoothen airflow over and around the helmet. The spoiler was tested at claimed speeds of up to 180 mph, but don’t think it’s strong enough to work as a handle for carrying the helmet. The spoiler, like all exterior pieces, is designed to break away on impact. I’ve been riding an unfaired motorcycle while wearing the Contour-X and it’s remarkably steadfast against headwinds.

The stock face shield on the Contour-X is Pinlock friendly, and Arai includes an anti-fog insert with the helmet. I chose to upgrade to the Pro Shade System ($96.65) because I’m tired of having to switch between dark and light shields. So far, I’m really enjoying the flexibility of raising and lowering the shade as necessary. Surprisingly, the shade doesn’t seem to cause any additional buffeting in either position. I’m also glad to see Arai installed a proper chin curtain to keep wind from entering from the bottom and drying out my eyes.

The Contour-X’s fitment is an intermediate oval and it is available with Arai’s assortment of interior fit packages. In the hierarchy of Arai helmets, the Contour-X slots in right below the Corsair-X.

Base Solid: $739.95
Premium Solid: $749.95
Regular Graphic: $889.95
Replica: $899.95