Arai Chaser-X full face crash helmet review

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Arai Chaser-X: Arai’s mid-level all-rounder motorcycle helmet.

Arai’s Chaser-X motorcycle helmet is designed to be a mid-level helmet (one step up from the entry-level Arai Axces III) that’ll work on a range of sports-touring motorcycles and is suitable for everyone from commuters to tourers.

It’s a key helmet for Arai as it’s a (relatively) cheap way into Arai ownership yet it offers many features found in their more expensive helmets.

On the surface, it’s unmistakably Arai. But have they cut corners with the Chaser-X?

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

It’s fair to say that Arai has applied all their latest construction and design expertise to the Chaser-X to make it as safe a helmet as they know how.

As with all Arai helmets, it uses what Arai call ‘super fibres’ in the construction of the shell which are essentially high-grade glass fibres set into their latest resin mix – termed ‘Z Mixture’ by Arai (sounds like Dr. Nefario works at Arai!?).

They also focus on making the helmet particularly strong in a ring around the helmet to help it better absorb impacts – imagine a pudding basin helmet around your head going above the ears and above the brow, and that pretty much covers where this strengthened ring goes.

And like all Arai’s, the Chaser-X is designed to be externally as round as possible to help with aerodynamics and ‘glance off’ – the idea that a rounder helmet is less likely to dig-in and rotate during an accident, causing further head and neck injuries.

And once all that’s done, they produce the Chaser-X in three shell sizes so you should get just about the right amount of helmet shell and padding for your head size.

That’s all fine. But does it all work? 

The answer is a resounding… yup.

In recent times, when independently tested by SHARP, their cheaper helmets (a relative term!) haven’t scored so well. However, over the last couple of years, they’ve done much better with their last four helmets scoring an average of 4.5 out of 5 stars.

So it was no surprise that the Chaser-X – which shares the same helmet shape and construction with the latest crop of helmets – scored a very respectable four stars (out of five) when tested by SHARP.

And in the US, the Chaser-X (called the DT-X over there) has recently been Snell 2015 tested and certified too.

Which means you should be putting your head in a very safe place if you decide to buy an Arai Chaser-X. Just make sure you get the fitting bang on because that’s the number one way to ensure you’re getting the best out of your head protection, whatever the helmet.

Helmet Noise

(more about helmet noise)

Arai’s designed the Chaser-X to be relatively quiet, with its rounder helmet form and an aerodynamically designed chin curtain, made to keep noise ingress to a minimum.

It seems to work reasonably well too. One owner said opening the chin vent can create a bit of noise, but most owners seem to think it’s quieter than average helmet.

Ventilation

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The Chaser-X Diamond White showing the large rear inlet/exhaust vent

The Chaser-X has masses of inlet and exhaust vents.

The chin vent is two-position allowing you to direct air around the chin area or onto the back of the visor to help with demisting.

And as usual – and uniquely with Arai helmets – there’s a couple of brow vents to take air around the temple area.

Both the crown and rear vent are new to the Chaser-X though in that both act as inlet and exhaust vents – even when the inlet vent is closed.

They channel air through the EPS liner and, unlike most systems that use a network of channels in the EPS lining to circulate air, the Chaser-X pushes the air out through holes in the lining leaving it to circulate round via the channels in the removable comfort lining instead.

Once it’s done its job, the air exits the helmet via any one of five exhaust vents.

The word from owners is that the vents are easy to find in gloves and that ventilation is effective.

Visor

Like most Arais, the Chaser-X uses Arai’s VAS or variable axis system visor. Essentially, that means rather than pivoting at one point, the visor pivot point moves as the visor is opened or closed. They did this mainly to allow them to lower the visor mechanism so it doesn’t interfere with the peripheral belting system used to construct the helmet, so isn’t really any benefit for the visor mechanism itself.

As usual for Arai helmets, the Chaser-X has removable side panels covering the visor pivots and quick release system. That quick release is a bit more fiddly than many systems but, according to owners, it’s something you’ll get the hang of pretty quickly.

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Chaser X in Finish graphics

To remove the visor, you open up the visor and there’s a couple of small levers in front of the side panels. Push those back and the panels pop off – don’t worry, they’re tethered to the helmet so you don’t lose them. You then push down on the visor and it pops out of each side.

Unlike many visors that are just a shaped piece of polycarbonate, the Chaser-X visor itself is a complex thing.

First off, it’s Pinlock Max Vision ready and comes with a Max Vision insert in the box. That’s got your antifog sorted.

It’s also got those two-position brow vents actually as part of the visor. They mate up with the brow vent channels above the visor aperture to take air into the temples.

And it’s a nice wide visor too with some owners saying it’s the widest visor aperture they’ve come across.

And finally, there’s the latest incarnation of Arai’s visor lock to the bottom left – close the visor with a push and it’ll auto-lock; push the lever up and it’ll unlock and open the visor.

Again, quite a few owners commented that the lock takes time to get the hang of, but after a while and a bit of practice, it works OK.

Comfort & Sizing

The fitment of the Chaser-X is medium-oval which means it should suit most people. Many Arais have traditionally been long and thin so this medium oval shape should mean it fits more riders.

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The Chaser-X Tough range are available in hi viz yellow (above) white, red and blue

It’s made in three shell sizes and fitment sizes XS-XXL.

The lining is removable and washable and made from antimicrobial and moisture wicking materials.

But it’s the ability to tailor the fit that really grabs your attention.

Obviously, having a comfortable helmet is important. No one likes to ride for hours with a seam digging in or a pressure point giving you a headache. But it’s also important for safety – a well fitting helmet that’s reasonably tight but without pressure points is also a helmet that’ll work well during an accident.

So Arai has made the padding in their latest helmets very customisable indeed. If you buy a Chaser-X but find it’s a little tight in some areas, there are 5mm ‘peel away’ panels you can remove in the cheek pads and around the temples to help create the best fit for your head. And if that doesn’t quite do it for you, then you can buy replacement cheek pads in a range of thicknesses so you can get the fit just right.

And, according to loads of owners, the whole system works a treat. It feels plush and soft and, providing you’ve got the right head shape (and get the right fit) then it should be all-day comfortable.

That includes for riders with glasses. The Chaser-X has a glasses groove in the lining and it works very well, making it easy to put your glasses on while you’re wearing the helmet and riding without pressure points.

The helmet isn’t the lightest helmet around – in fact it’s above average weight for a full face helmet (and about 100g heavier than a typical fibreglass helmet) – but none of the owners we saw comments from complained that it feels heavy while a couple said it feels light – so I guess it’s all relative!

Looks & Graphics

Arai helmets are often fairly muted in their design options, but the Chaser-X is slightly different, available in a large range of solid and graphic designs as well as race reps.

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Arai Chaser-X in Shaped graphics

As per most Arai crash helmets, there’s a diamond (gloss) white and black and a frost (matt) black. There’s also their Shaped, Tough, Competition and Finish graphics which are more conventional Arai designs as well as the swirly Style graphics in either black or pink.

As for the race replicas, there’s a nice pair of Colin Edwards designs and a classic Schwantz 95 design.

To find even more designs as they come out – and the latest deals – please click through to our recommended retailers where you’ll find the latest helmets from retailers who’ll really look after you.

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 Chaser-X Video

First off, a 4m video from the official UK Arai channel introducing you to the Chaser-X, followed by a 3m video giving you a look round its features.

Other stuff – fasteners, audio, weight, warranty, build quality

The Chaser-X is secured with a double-d ring fastener.

There’s speaker pockets inside the lining and space on the side for the control unit, so it should work with most universal-fit bluetooth communicators.

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Chaser-X Competition in black/white

It weighs a little above the average weight of a full face helmet at around 1.6kg (or 3.6lbs) and it comes with a lengthy 5 year warranty. However, given most Arai’s have legendary build quality, hopefully you’ll never need it.

Overall/Summary

Looking at the checklist of features the Chaser-X shares with its (even more) expensive stablemates, there’s very little indeed been left out with the Chaser-X.

OK, an Arai is probably never going to be the best value helmet in the world; a hand made helmet never will be. But with Arai, you’re paying for exclusivity and build quality as well as a helmet where no expense has been spared.

So it’s expensive – but the Chaser-X really delivers as a helmet. It’s both ECE certified and SHARP 4 star safety rated, meaning it should give you excellent protection when it matters.

And as a helmet to live with, it offers excellent levels of comfort and great ventilation. And that visor – once you’ve got the hang of the lock and quick release – gives lots of vision along with a Pinlock anti-fog and sun shade in the box. Plus it’s even quieter than the average helmet.

All in all, if you’re looking for a more exclusive all-rounder helmet, then the Chaser-X really delivers and is well worth checking out.

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.

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Ever popular Frost black version of the Chaser-X

Good Alternatives to the Arai Chaser-X?

There’s plenty of alternatives to the Chaser-X because it’s a quality all-rounder helmet. Unless of course you’re only after an Arai in which case take a look at the Arai Axces III which is a tad cheaper still than the Chaser but more suited to longer, narrower heads. You can check out all our Arai helmet reviews here.

First off, there’s the SHARP 5 star HJC FG-ST; that’s a lot cheaper than the Arai, has a sun visor, Pinlock Max Vision included and is an all-round great helmet.

You should also check out the AGV K5S – a cracker of a helmet that’s SHARP 4 star safety rated, has a sun visor and again is loads cheaper than the Chaser-X.

Or if you want to look at a helmet from another of the big boys, how about the Shoei NXR? SHARP 4 star safety rated, low noise and with great ventilation, it’s a lovely helmet with a five year warranty.

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.

REVIEW OVERVIEW
Safety
Comfort
Noise
Features
Value
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