Arai Chaser-X: Arai’s new entry-level all-rounder motorcycle helmet
Arai has just released it’s new Chaser-X motorcycle helmet, designed to offer a more entry-level helmet (one step up from the 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?
- Full face composite fibre helmet
- Multi-adjustable lining
- ECE, DOT and Snell certified
- Pinlock Max Vision (insert included)
- Double-D ring fastener
- Weighs 1.6kg (3.6lbs) – slightly heavier than average
- 5 year warranty
- Expect to pay £399-499
Looking to buy an Arai?We recommend Sportsbikeshop (UK) or GetGeared (UK) for outstanding service and free helmet delivery (UK), or FC-Moto (Ger) for the biggest range. Please click any link to see their full range and latest prices.
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.
So will it all work?
The answer is… probably. 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. And given the Chaser-X shares more in common with these more recent helmets, we’d expect it to do pretty well too.
In the US, the Chaser-X (called the DT-X over there) has recently been Snell 2015 tested and certified too.
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.
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 it’s probably something you’ll get the hang of pretty quickly.
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.
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 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, effective and simple to get the hang of.
Comfort & Sizing
The fitment of the Chaser-X is medium-oval which means it should suit most people. Arai’s have traditionally been long and thin so this medium oval shape should mean it fits more riders.
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.
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.
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 is based in the UK and offers outstanding service (9.8/10 on Trustpilot) including 365 day refunds. They may not be the cheapest but are our recommended retailer for quality of service. FC-Moto widely offer the widest range and score a decent (8.7/10 on Trustpilot) - and are based in Germany. If you visit them, search the helmet name to find a helmet because their site navigation is a bit tricky to use. GetGeared is another recommended UK retailer, with a no-quibble 365 day returns policy and scoring 4.8/5 on eKomi. Please click any picture below to visit their Arai helmets page where you can see all the latest colour schemes and prices. 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).
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.
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.
Looking at the checklist of features the Chaser-X shares with its more expensive stablemates, there’s not much been left out with the Chaser-X.
If you’re after a solid all-rounder helmet that’ll work just as well commuting as a holiday in the hills, and if you’re looking to enter the world of Arai, but aren’t too keen on spending a ton of dosh, then the Chaser-X might well be a good option for you and is very much worth checking out.
Crash Helmet Buying GuidesFor (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 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.