Arai Axces III crash helmet.

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The Arai Axces III – Arai’s all rounder fibreglass full face helmet.

With all their MotoGP and F1 experience, not to mention over 90 years of making helmets, Arai are one of the best-known and well-respected helmet makers in the world.

The Axces III is Arai’s entry-level crash helmet, designed for both sports and touring bike riders.

It’s based on the shell of the old Arai Chaser V and shares both its construction and ventilation (which was very good).

So, if you’re after a (relatively!) inexpensive way into Arai ownership, then the new Arai Axces III might be a way in.

Here’s what the new Arai Axces III offers:

  • Full face fibreglass helmet
  • Double-d ring fastener
  • SHARP 3 Star safety rated
  • Only sold in Europe (so far)
  • Wide visor
  • Sizes XS-XL
  • Replaced by the Debut and Profile V
  • Expect to pay £299-£440

Looking to buy this Arai?

It's been discontinued for a while now, but you could still find it on Amazon UK the last time we checked. Please click the link and you'll drop straight onto their Arai helmets pages (then use site search).

Safety

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Frost black Arai Axces III showing off that lovely round R75 shape common with lots of Arais

SHARP testing

The Arai Axces III is constructed from what Arai call ‘special fibres’ which is their version of fibreglass. It also features their peripheral belt tech – that’s a specially lightened and strengthened area running from the top of the eye port around the helmet to strengthen the helmet and reduce the need for thick shock absorbing lining around the top of the eye port to help improve vertical visibility.

And while you’ve gotta respect Arai’s attention to detail and undoubted commitment to making helmets that perform as well as possible, the tested safety results are not always as great as I’m sure they’d like.

arai axces III 8.5ms sharp test
8.5m/s impact test on Arai Axces III courtesy of sharp.dft.gov.uk

The Chaser V family of helmets, on which the Axces III is based, scored a (relatively) lowly three stars when tested by SHARP. And when SHARP tested the Axces 3 in 2020 it scored three stars too. Which is OK but not great.

If you look at the 8.5 m/s test result graphic, you can see that it’s performing badly on the side impact attenuation which is really not what you’d expect from an Arai.

Other safety features

OK, it didn’t do so well when SHARP tested it, but there are other design features that contribute to safety – including a nice wide visor aperture for improved peripheral vision, double-d ring fastener, plus Arai’s commitment to producing rounder-shaped helmets that give better ‘glance-off’ performance – what Arai call their R75 helmet shape.

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Properly classy Axces 3 Line in black and gold

On this last point, it sounds good on their bumf and the reasoning behind having a helmet shape that ‘glances off’ seems sensible. But SHARP testing does include an oblique ‘glance off’ test using a 45 degree anvil covered in sand paper to replicate a surface that will ‘grab’ the helmet on impact – like a road. So it’s not like their tests won’t catch great performing helmets in this department – they will.

Ventilation

One of the Arai Chaser V’s strong points was excellent ventilation. And since the Axces III is based on the Chaser V helmet design, we’d expect the Axces to do well here too.

It doesn’t look the trickest config at first glance – a single chin vent and single forehead vent all venting through to a twin rear exhaust port underneath the rear spoiler and smaller ports towards the bottom. Oh, and there’s Arai’s visor vents pulling some air behind the visor. But if it’s anything like as good as the Chaser, you should be happy.

Visor

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This one’s the Axces 3 Sensai design

The Axces 3 has what Arai calls its SAI wider aperture visor giving wider than normal peripheral vision.

It also features their well regarded quick release visor system and, even though it has a visor with a couple of vent holes in it to help with ventilation and de-misting, it’s both Pinlock anti-fog ready and comes with a Pinlock Max Vision in the box. If you want to read more about Pinlocks, check the article links in the panel to the right (bottom if you’re reading on mobile).

Comfort & Sizing

The Arai Axces III is made in three helmet shell sizes which is great for looks and safety.

The interior is mostly fixed in place though – which is a bit unusual for a helmet at this price point. Most helmet liners these days are removable for washing.

However, it does have replaceable cheek pads. This means if you buy an Axces and it doesn’t fit quite right, you can tailor the fit by replacing your cheek pads with thicker/thinner ones.

Like most Arais, you’ll find they fit longer rather than rounder head shapes best.

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Frost white Axces III

Looks & Graphics

At the time of typing, there’s only the launch graphics available so be sure to check the links to our recommended retailers below to see the latest designs (and prices).

Of course, if you’re after a plain gloss black or white these colours are always available on launch and throughout the lifetime of a helmet. They’re called ‘diamond’ colours with the Axces III and there’s also a matt black Frost version available too.

Best place to buy this Arai?

It's been discontinued for a while now but you could still find this helmet on Amazon UK when we last checked. Click the link to drop through to their Arai Helmets page (then use search) and if you buy from them, we get a small sum from the sale at no extra cost to you - a massive THANKS! (it's how we finance the site).

Shop for Arai helmets at Amazon

Arai Axces III Video

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This design’s called ‘Flow’

Other Stuff – audio, build quality, warranty

The Arai Axces III has universal speaker pockets in the lining so it should fit most bluetooth kits – though the bottom of the shell has mouldings on it if you’re intending to stick your bluetooth to it. So beware.

Build quality on Arai helmets is usually outstanding – which is probably part of the reason that all Arais come with their standard 5 year warranty (that should last the lifetime of the helmet).

Overall/Summary

The Arai Axces 3 is a welcome addition to the Arai range – replacing both the popular Chaser V and the Axces 2. However, it’s now been superceded by a couple of helmets like the Profile V and Debut which are more widely available.

It’s basic in terms of advanced features – stuff like sun visor or EQRS for example are missing on this entry level helmet. It’s pricy too, and it didn’t score amazingly well when safety tested by SHARP.

But for your money you’re getting a premium brand and MotoGP heritage – plus that excellent Arai build quality. And if it fits your head shape (narrower rather than wider) and you like the idea of riding Arai, then there’s no reason to think you’ll be anything less than delighted with an Axces III.

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Another reserved but classy Arai paint job. This one’s the Dual

Crash Helmet Buying Guides

For (hopefully!) other useful information to help you when buying your next helmet, check our various guides - or have a look at our top helmet lists where we've got the top 10 rated helmets overall and best budget/safest/full face/flip-up helmets.

Good Alternatives to the Arai Axces III?

Even though this is Arai’s entry-level helmet, it’s not cheap. And at this price point, there’s lots of competition clamouring for your money.

For something a little unusual, how about a Kabuto RT-33? That’s Kabuto’s sporty composite fibre helmet that gets four SHARP stars for safety, has great ventilation, comfort and noise-suppression.

We also love (and so do owners!) the AGV Corsa. That gets top marks from SHARP for safety, is light, has a wide, optically correct visor and can be had for about the same money as the Axces III.

Or have a look at the HJC FG-ST and save yourself a few bob. It’s a SHARP 5 star, fibreglass all-rounder helmet with sun visor and Pinlock Max Vision in the box. It can also be picked up for about half the price of the Axces – which is a bit of food for thought (or juice for the tank!).

Of course, a lot of us will toy with the idea of buying a flip up helmet these days, so we’ve thrown a great performer into the selection here. Shark’s Evo One modular is SHARP 4 star safety rated, has a sun visor, comes with a Pinlock Max Vision in the box and is a smidge cheaper than the Axces.

Looking to buy this Arai?

It's been discontinued for a while now, but you could still find it on Amazon UK the last time we checked. Please click the link and you'll drop straight onto their Arai helmets pages (then use site search).

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.

2 COMMENTS

  1. I have just bought an Arai Axces 3 after not having owned an Arai since 1989, First impression is how comfortable it is, second impression is how little they have improved since the last one 30 years ago, I am a very disappointed tbh, the visor fogs up very quickly and I have had to buy a pin lock insert otherwise this helmet would be unusable in winter time, there is not ratchet on the visor so it just slams shut over 30/40mph. the ventilation is good but vents are impossible to use with winter gloves, oh and it is not a quiet helmet either the wind howls around my ears, for £300 I expected a lot more. I will not be buying another one.

  2. I have one of the Arai axces 3 helmets and think the are great but I would say that I have more of a rounder rather than longer shaped head and this is the only helmet that fits me perfectly so would have to disagree with their opinion on the fitting but they may just be me.

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