Arai VX-Pro4: Great quality, good ventilation, bit heavy?


Arai MX-V enduro motocross dirt motorcycle helmet review.

The MX-V is Arai’s top of the range dirt helmet which Arai says has been designed using feedback from its sponsored riders in the worlds of motocross and enduro.

arai MX-V block dirt helmet side view
The Block graphic’s available in coloured version too

The improvements Arai says they’ve made over their outgoing helmet is they’ve extended the length of the peak to give better protection, improved ventilation and moved the chin vent gubbins to the outside of the helmet to give more space inside the chin bar.

The Arai MX-V has a fibreglass based composite fibre shell using a range of special fibres and construction techniques that Arai is keen to point out have been developed and honed across the decades and their helmets are made by hand in their Japanese factory.

And the good news is that the DOT version of the MX-V (called the VX-Pro4 in the US) has been Snell 2020 certified. That’s probably a slightly different construction to the MX-V helmet available in UK/Europe but hopefully gives some indication that the MX-V will offer good crash protection should the worst happen.

Obviously, proven protection is vital – but there’s a ton more you want from your motocross helmet in terms of functionality and to make it easy to live with and useable on a day to day basis.

So here’s the lowdown on what the Arai MX-V offers and what owners/riders think of their helmets.

Best places to buy an Arai MX-V?

Please click below to visit the Arai MX-V helmets pages at our recommended stores and Amazon. And if you buy from one, we get a small sum from the sale at no extra cost to you – a massive THANKS! (it’s how we finance the site).


The Arai MX-V is a high quality and well-liked motocross helmet. It’s been developed alongside pro motocross and enduro riders and performs well in many of the areas that serious dirt riders need: we expect protection levels to be high, ventilation is good and comfort’s excellent.

And so is the quality of the helmet; materials, fit and finish are all first rate and a testament to the hand-built and hand-QA’d nature of Arai helmets.

arai MX-V stanton dirt helmet rear view
Stanton graphic MX-V

Of course, when you’re taking your motorcycle off road, you need to know your helmet will protect you well. The US version of the MX-V is Snell certified and there are EQRS cheek pads – though it does lack some of the latest features such as a slip plane liner (like MIPS) to protect against helmet rotation; and a collarbone-friendly design. It’s a heavier helmet too, tho owners don’t seem to notice it.

Overall, folks who use an Arai MX-V seem to love it for the quality as well as functionality and they’re willing to pay a premium price for it. There are some excellent alternatives around (see section at the bottom of the page) but if you’ve got the budget and like what it offers, we’re sure you’ll be happy with an Arai MX-V.


(more about helmet safety)

There’s a good few things to note about the protection offered by the Arai MX-V.

First up is that Snell M2020 safety rating. That was scored in the US using a DOT version of the helmet rather than the ECE version that’s available in the UK/Europe – and it’s always unclear how different the helmets are. But tested certification is always a good thing to see and hopefully it also gives a hint that the MX-V will also offer decent protection if you suddenly find yourself faceplanting the dirt.

The helmet shell on the MX-V is a fibreglass/composite shell that’s hand-formed by Arai – hence the heftier price tags of Arai helmets. Arai adhere to a philosophy of making rounder helmet shells as they say that helps the helmet stop digging into and rotating – damaging the rider in the process. It’s what Arai calls their R75 shape which sounds good on paper though I’ve never seen any actual science behind this claim (lord knows I’ve looked) so I personally take it with a pinch of salt. Still, I guess a rounder helmet shape won’t hurt so there’s probably no harm in it either.

Having said it’s a rounder shape, there is of course a big ole chin guard sticking out front of the MX-V, though Arai do say they try to keep it shorter than most for just that reason; and with the MX-V they moved some of the filter/grill mechanism outside the helmet to help give a bit more room inside the chin bar while the external part can break off in an accident.

Take a look at our Best Motorbike Helmet Top 10s to find your next helmet too...


In fact, all those external bits and pieces – the peak, exhaust vents and chin bar inlet – are designed to break off under impact and reduce the likelihood of rotating the helmet and damaging the rider. And if you do break anything, you can buy them all as replacements if you need to.

arai VX-Pro4 white dirt helmet side view
Plain white version

There’s no MIPs style rotation protection system inside the MX-V (but again, I’ve yet to see any independently verified data to show MIPs actually helps reduce injuries either!) and there’s no collarbone-protecting bottom edge like you see in many other dirt helmets these days.

But there are EQRS quick release cheek pads in there which are always good to see, especially on motocross helmets. And the helmet’s secured in place using a tried and tested double-d ring fastener which is standard fitment on track helmets of all kinds these days.

Lengthening that peak to give the rider more protection from roost is undoubtedly a good improvement too, as long as it doesn’t bring its own problems with aero etc. (see below)

All in all then, Arai does have a good reputation for making protective helmets. And because of Arai’s improving reputation for good safety levels (and because one version of the MX-V has been tested and certified by Snell in the US), we reckon you’ll be able to trust it’ll give the protection you need.

Helmet Noise

(more about helmet noise)

Motocross helmets do tend to be noisier than regular full face helmets. Let’s face it, riders in dirt helmets don’t tend to be riding as fast as street riders so why would they be? Plus, offroad riders have more of a workout than most riders which means they sweat more so need more ventilation, and more vents means more noise.

arai VX-Pro4 frost black helmet rear view
Frost black MX-V

And that’s the case with the Arai MX-V; it’s got lots of ventilation holes along with that large eyeport for goggles which makes for loads of ways for noise to get into the helmet. Plus one or two owners reckon that peak can make a bit of a noise as well, depending on how your bike affects the aero, and your riding speed.

It’s not really any noisier than most motocross helmets, just that it’s not quiet either. It shouldn’t be a problem if you’re usually riding off-road, it just might be a pain if you do most of your riding on the road – in which case you might prefer a convertible adventure helmet or consider pushing in some decent ear plugs to quieten things down.


(more about helmet ventilation)

Good ventilation’s important on a motocross helmet. And the good news is that owners seem to reckon the Arai MX-V vents pretty well.

In the chin bar, there’s a triple vent which ventilates the mouth area, and it’s covered in a stainless steel mesh which covers a removable/washable foam filter. That vent can be opened/closed using a slider inside the chin bar and the whole slider can be removed to get access to the filter to clean it out.

A couple of useful links…

All our Top 10 best helmet reviews
Helmets with integrated bluetooth systems

Up top, there are a pair of forehead vents – again closeable – that take air through the shell to circulate around the head and exit the helmet via a pair of top-rear and side vents. Arai has shaped the aero on the peak to direct air through to those forehead vents and they also say the rear exhausts are shaped to pull air through the helmet and improve ventilation.

arai VXPro4 chin bar grill closeup
Close up of that ‘external’ chin bar vent covered with stainless mesh

The consensus among riders seems to be that it vents well, just not quite as well as some of the latest competition (such as the Bell Moto 10 or the 6D ATR-2).

Goggles and Peak

The eyeport on the Arai MX-V is slightly smaller than some comparable helmets, with several owners saying that you might have to remove your goggles’ nose guard to get them to fit. We didn’t come across anyone saying they actually failed to get their goggles in there, plus it seems to be broadly agreed that there’s good all-round visibility in the MX-V, but some owners agreed that the eyeport is smaller than normal…

Unlike the peak that’s been extended in length for the MX-V to give more shade and better protection from rocks and dirt. Because it’s larger, they’ve had to tweak the aero some to try and make sure it doesn’t pull your head around in the wind. If you look up, it will catch air but as long as you’re not going silly fast, owners seem to rate it.

arai VXPro4 top of helmet
Top view showing ‘break off’ ventilation covers and peak.

There is a slight adjustment available if you want to raise or lower the peak – loosen a single screw and it tilts a little. And Arai has sensibly coated the underneath in dark paint to keep glare to a minimum on lighter colours.

Like all the other external plastic bits, it’s designed to break off in an impact rather than cause head rotation. If you do break one, you can buy a replacement and don’t have to junk the helmet (though they do cost around £90).

If you are looking to wear goggles with your MX-V, the sides and rear of the helmet have been designed to keep the strap in place so you should be OK on that front.

Comfort and Sizing

(more about comfort and sizing)

Arai MX-Vs are available in sizes XS-XXL. And according to owners, they fit about true to size – so no need to go up or down a size when ordering one.

arai MX-V resolute dirt helmet side view
Resolute graphic Arai MX-V

Inside you’ll find the usual high quality Arai liner: it’s a ‘dry-cool’ liner which is designed to quickly wick moisture away from the rider.

And like most other Arai liners, it’s very adjustable to help you tailor the fit as closely as possible to your head. There are peel away panels to help increase/decrease the cheek pad thickness and there are a range of replacement panels if you ever find it’s not quite right.

The comfort liner is fully removeable and washable and there are EQRS cheek pads in there to help get things out even more quickly.

We found lots of MX-V owners talk about how plush the liner feels and how hugely comfortable their helmets are so if comfort’s particularly important to you – and it generally is for most of us – then you should be fine with the MX-V, as long as you’re a medium oval to neutral fitment.

Looks & Graphics

Arai helmets tend to be pretty conservative in their looks. The MX-V dirt helmet is slightly different though. Its overall form is dominated by the usual Arai R75 rounder headshape, but because it’s a dirt helmet with a roost guard and longer chin bar together with lots of snap off air vent covers, it hides that rounder shell shape well. Most are then smothered in the usual range of replica graphics and it looks pretty much as funky as the wildest dirt helmets out there.

Graphics include the Block, Slash, Resolute, Stars and Stripes, Stanton and Scoop. And if you’re after a plain helmet there’s a Pearl Black, Frost Black and Plain White.

To find any more, please click the links below that’ll drop you straight onto the Arai MX-V pages at some of our recommended stores.

Best places to buy an Arai MX-V?

Please click below to visit the Arai MX-V helmets pages at our recommended stores and Amazon. And if you buy from one, we get a small sum from the sale at no extra cost to you – a massive THANKS! (it’s how we finance the site).

Arai MX-V Video

Here’s a rotating Stars and Stripes (Dark) to ogle at!

Other stuff – fasteners, bluetooth, weight, build quality, glasses, aero, warranty


Like most motorcycle helmets used in sport, the Arai MX-V comes with a double-d ring fastener.

Bluetooth Headset

If you like to listen to music or chat while riding, the good news is that there is room for some slim speakers inside the Arai MX-V. OK, there aren’t any specific speaker pockets, but if your speakers are slim enough, according to some owners there is room to get them inside without too much struggle, though you might be able to feel them against your ears.

We heard from one Arai MX-V owner who said they fitted a Cardo Packtalk Slim in their helmet without a problem and it worked well for them.

arai MX-V stanton dirt helmet rear view
Stanton graphic


Probably one of the main drawbacks with the Arai MX-V is weight. Arai helmets have always tended towards the weightier side of the scales and the MX-V is no exception. It weighs in around 3.6lbs (1.65Kg) which is on the heavier side for a motocross helmet.

Having said that, while some riders seem to have been put off buying a MX-V because of it, several owners said you don’t really notice the weight while riding; and others also reckon that weight gives them confidence that its well constructed.

Build Quality

In fact, it’s that build quality that’s one of the biggest reasons for Arai helmet ownership – and it’s the same for the MX-V. It’s a hand made helmet and the materials, fit, paint and finish seem to make for happy owners with stacks of them saying how great it is on the MX-V.

arai MX-V stars and stripes dark motocross helmet side view
Arai MX-V stars and stripes dark


If you’re a glasses wearer, you should be fine with the MX-V too. While there’s no specific glasses grooves in there, several owners we came across say theirs fit comfortably into place with one saying how refreshing it was to find their glasses sat in just the right natural position rather than being squeezed into place and forced to sit at an angle.


It might be quite a rounded shape, but Arai has worked on the aero on the MX-V in a number of ways. While that peak has been lengthened, they’ve sculpted it to reduce lift and let air pass through it as well as channel some air towards the front air vents. To the rear, the vent cowls create a small pocket of reduced air pressure to help draw warm air out of the helmet and improve ventilation.

And while that peak will catch the air if you look upwards, at anything below highway speeds, owners say it works well and doesn’t buffet around.


Like all Arai helmets, there’s a 5 year warranty against manufacturing defects (7 years from date of manufacture as found inside the helmet).

Crash Helmet Buying Guides & Top 10s

For (hopefully!) other useful information to help you when buying your next helmet, check our various Motorcycle Helmet Buying Guides - or have a look at our Top 10 best helmet lists where we've got the top 10 best rated helmets overall along with Top 10 Best Budget/Top 10 Safest/Top 10 Best Full Face/Top 10 Best Modular/Flip-up/ Top 10 Best Sportsbike/Track helmets.

Good Alternatives to the Arai MX-V?

bell moto 10 spherical mips dirt helmet pro circuit front view
Bell Moto-10

Bell helmets have a great track record in making dirt helmets. The old Moto9 was good and the Moto-10 is arguably even better. It’s around the same price as the Arai, it’s heavyish (though slightly lighter than the Arai) but it’s great venting with a larger eyeport, carbon fibre shell and latest Snell certification.

shoei vfx evo josh grant motocross crash helmet side view

The Shoei VFX-WR is an accomplished helmet. With its MEDS rotation protection system, Snell rating (US helmet), great ventilation and highly rated comfort, it’s also slightly cheaper than the MX-V too.

6D ATR-2 Strike motocross helmet side view
6D ATR-2

6D helmets are known for their slip-plane liners too – and their ATR-2 is no exception. It’s been developed alongside pro racers too and is known for it’s comfort and all-round performance.

Arai XD-4

Finally, if you need a lid that’ll work well on the highway as well as the dirt, you might want to check out the Arai XD-4. It’s an adventure helmet that converts between a road and dirt configuration so you can have the best of both worlds.

Best places to buy an Arai MX-V?

Please click below to visit the Arai MX-V helmets pages at our recommended stores and Amazon. And if you buy from one, we get a small sum from the sale at no extra cost to you – a massive THANKS! (it’s how we finance the site).

Star Ratings

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arai-mx-v-enduro-motocross-dirt-motorcycle-helmet-reviewThe Arai MX-V is a great motocross helmet. Developed alongside pro riders, it's known for its good ventilation and excellent comfort. Downsides are the price, the weight (although owners don't seem to mind) and that slightly small eyeport. Other than that it's a great performing helmet that's Snell certified (DOT version) and - according to owners - a joy to use and own.


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