Review of the Arai QV-Pro (Arai Signet-X in the US): street/sports touring crash helmet

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Arai QV-Pro in Stint design with PSS sun visor

Review of the Arai QV-Pro: the street/sports touring crash helmet from Arai.

The QV-Pro is the long awaited replacement to that stalwart of their helmet range, the Quantum ST (or Signet-Q as it’s called in the USA).

It’s central to their range because it’s a street helmet that’s designed to work just as well for a quick jaunt down the shops on your Versys as a day-long sweep over the mountains on your K1600.

And it’s long-awaited because it’s designed to fit riders with longer, narrower heads; i.e. folks who struggle to wear most helmets that are made to suit medium oval heads. If that’s you, then not only will it mean there’s another option for you when you’re buying a new helmet, but it’ll mean more comfort and potentially more protection from your helmet (see safety section below).

So read on for the full SP on the Arai QV-Pro…

    • Arai’s street-biased full face helmet

      arai-qv-pro-full-face-crash-helmet-black-frost-black
      Frost black version of the Arai QV-Pro with PSS sun visor fitted
    • Designed for longer narrower heads
    • Fibreglass shell
    • Includes Pinlock Max Vision
    • Arai Pro Shield System (PSS) included
    • Excellent comfort and ventilation
  • SHARP 5 star safety rated
  • Snell 2015 certifed (US)
  • Sizes XS-XXL
  • Expect to pay around £499-£670

Looking to buy an Arai?

We recommend Sportsbikeshop (UK) or GetGeared (UK) for outstanding service and free helmet delivery (UK), or Motoin (Ger) for quality service and decent prices (even with the current £-€ exchange rate). Please click any link to see their full range and latest prices.

Safety

Despite Arai’s undoubted commitment to making a helmet that works at the very pinnacle of helmet performance (and retails at the peak of helmet prices!) – and despite the fact that Arais are ECE and DOT certified and most, including the QV-Pro, are Snell tested and approved – they’ve never performed quite as well as some brands in SHARP tests.

Well, maybe times they are a changing? Because first Arai’s latest, greatest sportsbike helmet the RX-7V scored a maximum 5 star rating in the SHARP test labs. And now the jury’s returned on the QV-Pro – and I’ll be damned if it didn’t go and get a five star rating too!

I’ll not go into the whys and wherefore’s of why Arai hasn’t historically done so well when their helmets are tested (though I do exactly that here!) – but it’s great to see Arai beginning to walk the walk.

And if the SHARP score is just a number to you, it also looks like Arai has thrown every safety feature and top quality manufacturing technique in the book at the QV-Pro, to make it as effective a motorcycle crash helmet as possible. Here’s what they’ve done.

arai-signet-x-crash-helmet-flourescent-yellow-rear-viewFirstly, they use multiple shell sizes. For the QV-Pro it seems like they’ve used 3 shell sizes which tallies with Arai blurb that they produce a separate shell for every two fitment sizes.

That’s good for helmet fitment (getting your helmet to fit just right is vital for optimal helmet safety) as well as for looks.

Also, the shell on the QV-Pro is the same shell that’s used in Arai’s top of the range sportsbike/racing helmet the RX-7V (though with slightly different venting).

It’s what Arai call their PV SNC2 shell (just in case you’re interested) and it uses their latest rounder, smoother helmet shape – called R75 – that’s designed to improve ‘glance-off’ performance during a crash.

That means they’ve tried to make it slippier and less likely to dig in and rotate on impact to you and me.

To help that along, they’ve designed all the sticky-out bits like vents and side pods to snap off during an impact. After all, the last thing you want during an impact is your helmet digging into the road, rotating the helmet and passing that rotation through to your brain and neck, right?

arai-signet-x-crash-helmet-place-blue-side-view
Place colour scheme – also available in frost black and red

Then there’s the shell construction itself. It’s a multi-layered fibreglass shell that Arai says is designed for tensile strength along with flexibility; and it’s backed by a multi-density internal EPS liner. That multi-density polystyrene liner is there to offer improved absorption properties over single density EPS.

Onto the strap – Arai use double-d ring fasteners as they’re proven to be effective fasteners, requiring re-adjustment with every fit (which is potentially a good thing – as long as the rider’s diligent enough to tighten it correctly each journey) and they’re a must when visiting a race track in some countries too.

Finally, if you do have an accident, the QV-Pro has Arai’s version of EQRS (emergency quick removal system). Pull the bottom red tabs underneath the helmet and out come the cheek pads, making it easier for the emergency services to remove your helmet without further injury to your neck.

Hopefully, you’ll never need it – but better to have it there than not.

All in all, the Arai QV-Pro should be about as safe a place as any helmet on the planet to stick your head.

Helmet Noise

According to the official Arai blurb, they’ve made big steps to reduce helmet noise.

They say new thicker internal padding coupled with their carefully-designed chin curtain both help to reduce helmet noise.

And to some extent they’re right. A couple of owners have said that the big ole chin curtain does stop wind and noise coming up from below. And there is quite a bit of padding inside the helmet too to cut noise ingress there.

Only, a couple of owners who were used to the helmet the QV-Pro replaced – the Quantum ST (or Signet-Q in the US) reckoned the newer helmet is actually a bit noisier.

And while some QV-Pro owners say their helmet is nice and quiet, just a many people say it’s not that quiet at all.

All of which means we’re going to rate the QV-Pro as about average for noise suppression.

Which also means you should always wear a decent set of ear plugs when you ride in one. But then you should always do that with any helmet you ride in, now shouldn’t you?!?

arai-signet-x-crash-helmet-white-rear-view
Rear view of the QV-Pro showing exhaust vents and spoiler

Ventilation

Single chin vent, double forehead vents (with individual open/close sliders), quadruple rear exhaust vents with two mounted under the rear spoiler and two lower on the sides.

Nothing too unusual there, though Arai do say it’s an improvement from the Quantum ST‘s system that’s designed to improve air flow and give better adjustment (there’s a theme here isn’t there?!?).

Well the ST had some cracking ventilation – and Arai are right in that the QV-Pro does too with just about every owner we came across saying it works really well. Though note, if you ride in colder places, you’ll need the included Pinlock anti-fog to keep your visor clear.

Visor

The visor system on the QV-Pro is designed to integrate more closely with the helmet shell – all helping to make that shell smoother and rounder.

But it also comes, in Europe at least, with their PSS Pro Shade System – that’s the slightly quirky sun visor that sits on top of the main clear visor (see top image).

That can be adjusted to act as a sun peak or dropped down so you look through it.

Quite a few owners say it works really well – despite looking a bit odd – but hey, if it’s included in the box, it’s worth giving it a whirl, right?

Also included in the box is a Pinlock Max Vision 120 anti fog insert (that’s Pinlock’s biggest, bestest version of their insert).

And as usual, the visor features a lock and quick release visor system for when you want to whip it off and clean it.

A few owners reckon that the visor lock takes a bit of getting used to at first, but it can be unlocked/opened in one movement when you get the hang of it – though some wonder why you should have to in the first place.

Likewise that visor removal system. You need to pull off the plastic side pods first before doing some weird contortion on the visor to get the visor out. Again, once you’ve practiced once or twice, you start to get the hang of it, but you’ve gotta question why you should have to when most makers seem to make much simpler, equally effective visor removal systems.

And finally with the visor, a couple of owners said that it’s nice and wide, giving good peripheral vision.

arai-signet-x-crash-helmet-aluminium-silver
Aluminium silver version

Comfort & Sizing

Comfort is something Arai do very well. And they claim to be upping the ante once again with the QV-Pro.

They reckon there’s a newer, deeper and more snuggly comfort liner than ever, made from an anti-microbial material called Eco Pure.

That’s also designed to keep the lining as close to the skin’s ph as possible. Because you’re worth it. Or something.

Aside from all this touchy feely stuff, Arai have thrown in all their usual tricks at making a helmet fit as well as possible too… (as usual, that’s once you’ve made sure you’ve bought exactly the right size in the first place, and as long as you’ve got a longer, narrower head; because that’s who the QV’s designed for. If that’s not you, take your fatter shorter heads (sometimes called medium ovals) over here).

To tailor the fit, there are 5mm panels in the cheeks, ear cups – and now the temples – that can be added or removed. You can of course buy others from Arai to tailor the fit even more.

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Place black frost design

And then there’s the spring-loaded cheek pads. They use foam ‘springs’ to gently push the lower part of the pads against the jaw to make it even snugglier and womb-like than ever before.

BUT, I hear you cry – DOES IT ALL WORK?!

The good news is – YES IT DOES!

QV-Pro owners say it’s one of the plushest most comfortable helmets they’ve worn with several longer-headed owners saying discovering the QV-Pro range has saved the day for their motorcycling futures.

So, get the right size and you should find your QV-Pro to be all-day comfortable.

And if you wear glasses, there’s a glasses groove in the lining of the QV-Pro too so glasses shouldn’t be a problem either. Hurrah!

Looks & Graphics

Unusually for Arai, they’ve gone (relatively!) bonkers with the number of graphic options available. There’s the usual plain solid colours like matt/gloss black, white, silver (or aluminium silver as Arai calls it), and there’s also a high viz fluorescent yellow version along with the snazzy Place (in grey, blue or red) and striking Stint designs (see top image)

We’ve stuck a few of what we think are the best designs up and down the page, but pop over to our recommended retailers using the links below: they’ll drop you onto their Arai helmets pages so you’ll be able to see the latest designs and offers.

Best places to buy an Arai crash helmet?

We've chosen some of the best places to buy from - whether it's an Arai or any other helmet/gear.

If you want piece of mind when you buy, SportsBikeShop are based in the UK and offer outstanding service (9.8/10 on Trustpilot at the time of writing) and 365 day refunds. They have some of the most competitive prices around and are our recommended retailer for quality of service too.

Motoin have decent € prices and give great service (4.8 on eTrusted Shops at the time of writing) - and they're based in Germany. Note if you buy from Motoin you'll have to add shipping charges on top if you're outside Germany.

GetGeared are another recommended UK retailer, with a no-quibble 365 day returns policy and scoring (at the time of writing) 8.9/10 on Trustpilot.

Please click any picture below to visit their Arai helmets page where you can see all the latest deals and designs. And if you buy from any, we get a small sum from the sale at no extra cost to you - a massive THANKS! (it's how we finance the site).

Click to visit Sportsbikeshop
Click to visit Arai at SportsBikeShop
Click to visit Get Geared
Click to visit Arai at Get Geared
Click to visit AGV at Motoin
Click to visit Arai at Motoin (then use site search)

Arai QV-Pro videos

Both of these are provided by Arai Europe. First, a slightly clunky but informative video taking you through the features of the QV-Pro.

Second, a slicker vid featuring Arai poster boy Jonny Rae. He loves his Arai’s – but do you think it’s a heart-felt admission… or maybe that he’s reading from an auto-cue at the end? Bless 🙂

Other stuff – communicators, buffeting, warranty

arai-qv-pro-full-face-crash-helmet-black-frost-black
Frost black version of the Arai QV-Pro with PSS sun visor fitted

Arai say they’ve worked hard to make the QV-Pro work with communication systems. That includes generous speaker pockets that don’t ‘affect comfort or fit’ as well as extra room in the chin area for a mic. Don’t expect a recess in the EPS lining though – it’s just a removable panel in the comfort lining. We’ve not heard anyone moan about the lack of space though so it should be fine.

For stability and anti-buffeting, they’ve also included a small rear spoiler, there to help airflow and improve stability. According to owners, the aero is very good with little buffeting going on, even during shoulder checks.

Finally, all new Arai’s come with a 5 year manufacturer’s warranty.

Alternatives to the Arai QV-Pro?

If you’re in the market for a top of the range full face helmet but don’t want something designed for super sportsbikes, then it can be tricky. Most top of the range helmets are designed for track riding (if that’s what you’re after look here) but if you’re very much wanting a road-focused helmet, here’s a selection of favourites:

First, there’s the SHARP 3 star rated Shoei GT Air. It’ll come in quite a bit cheaper than the QV-Pro but it’s got great build quality, sun visor and great ventilation – with an optically correct visor.

If you do want an Arai and you’re riding a naked bike, you might also want to check out the Arai Rebel. That’s a composite fibre, SHARP three star helmet (and Snell 2015 certified) designed especially for owners of naked bikes that has excellent ventilation.

For maximum protection, you should also check out the SHARP 5 star rated AGV GT Veloce (that’s a light and comfortable helmet with a wide visor) and the X-Lite X-702 GT, that’s another light weight helmet that’s quiet and with good ventilation. Most of these are lots cheaper than the Arai too.

Looking to buy an Arai?

We recommend Sportsbikeshop (UK) or GetGeared (UK) for outstanding service and free helmet delivery (UK), or Motoin (Ger) for quality service and decent prices (even with the current £-€ exchange rate). Please click any link to see their full range and latest prices.

Definitely want an Arai?

Here you'll find all our Arai crash helmet reviews and previews including full face, flip-up and open face helmets.

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1 COMMENT

  1. My old daily RX7 was due for replacement so I purchased one of these that was on offer.

    First of all the fit. The helmet is a snug fit but due to the pockets to allow for communications devices near the ears you can feel the space around this area. Not really an annoyance as such, just feels different.

    Secondly, noise! Unfortunately there appears to be plenty of this. Not sure if it’s due to the pockets mentioned above, but certainly the Pro Shade system doesn’t help. When the sun visor is lowered things are better, with it raised and when riding as speed you can defintely notice more noise.

    Thirdly, vision/viros. The Pro Shade system seems like a good idea, and saves me getting caught out with a dark visor after the sun has gone down. When lowered it doesn’t cover the whole area you see through and you notice the line going across with the unshaded piece of the visor. At the moment I’m tempted to switch to a normal visor. The catch Arai now use for the visor seems to be slightly harder to operate and needs more force than the older type. Sometimes not a quick operation when riding along.

    Fourth, fit. I also have an RX-7V. I ordered the small of the QV-Pro. It fists much the same but the pockets near the ears make it feel different and initial thoughts are that it feels like the helmet puts more pressure on the top of the head. I’ll let mine settle a bit before looking at changing the padding.

    Fifth, quality. This is up to the usual Arai standards and it feels like a quality item in terms of the meaterials used.

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