Review: Arai XD-4 Helmet

Review: Arai XD-4 Helmet

My Arai XD-4 arrived neatly packed in bubble wrap. As I pulled it from its box, the Depart Black/Silver Frost paint scheme was even more impressive in person than in pictures.

The smell of fresh paint and new, unsoiled padding wafted up into my nostrils. The only thing that compares to the smell of a new helmet is that of a new set of tires.

Pulling it on, the XD-4, a wildly popular dual sport-style helmet, had that classic Arai fit. The patented oval design cradled my skull with even snugness and unequaled comfort.

Relatively lightweight and well constructed, the XD-4 represents the upper echelon of head protection. After all, it is given the the serious task of preserving your head and all your accumulated thoughts and memories, so skimping on this most essential of equipment is not up for debate.

The Functionality

Underway, once the face shield came down, the helmet quieted down the engine, road, and wind noise substantially. With the heat of summer having arrived, the helmet’s ventilation was a welcome attribute, offering several channels for air to pass through and over the scalp, as well as a nose piece vent that feeds air directly into the nostrils.

These channels are all controllable, with variable settings to adjust to temperature and personal preference. You can, of course, also cut the airflow off completely.

I was most impressed with the sun visor. Despite the fairly large surface area to shield the eyes from the sun, the visor has a high-flow peak that allows wind to pass through effortlessly even at seep.

At freeway speeds the helmet remains impressively stable, with no threat of catching the wind. This design also directs air into the front vents. In fact, I’ve become such a fan of the sun visor, I often use the XD-4 for sport touring rides.

It grants the wearer a wonderful tool against the sun, which helps avoid squinting and thus reduces fatigue. Additional closable vents built into the face shield allow you to adjust venting and also helps prevent fogging.

The Details

The fully removable interior is replaceable and washable, with FCS cheek pads featuring  5mm peel-away layers for custom fit. The side/temple crown pads provide an additional 10mm of interior width if necessary.

I did find changing the face shield to be more difficult than necessary. It requires removing the four plastic screws that also hold the visor.

It can be a hassle to change from dark to clear shields, especially if you’re caught out by fading daylight. Remember to use a properly sized tool (a screwdriver or a coin) to avoid rounding out the somewhat soft plastic slots.

The Arai XD-4 is an exceptional helmet. It functions flawlessly and with absolute comfort. And, as an Aria, you can be sure you’re wearing one of the most advanced helmets on the market.

A great looking design, the XD-4 is available in a wide range of colors.  

MSRP: $769.95