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Review: Arai RX-7V, the last Arai’s evolution

Reviews and tests 3 August, 2015

We analyze...

The Arai RX-7V is the last evolution of the brand’s flagship helmet, the RX-7. It’s a complete remodelling on the previous model, the RX-7GP, that aims to improve safety but maintains the design and the excellent performances characteristic form the most sportive Arai helmet.

At first sight, the RX-7V doesn’t look too much different form the RX-7GP. But side by side, we start to see big differences between them. And that’s because important elements like geometries and materials have been changed in the RX-7 shell.
Relocating the visor pivot has been Arai engineers’ main work. It’s a key point, because it means a complete redesign of the shell. The visor pivot is situated 24mm lower than in the RX-7GP, wining in “clean” zone, without elements disturbing helmet security in case of impact. The idea behind this change is maintain the original concept of a smooth shape, the most efficient way to absorb and disperse the energy of a crash and also improving the possibility of “glancing off” this energy, as each helmet has a limit on force absorbing capacity.
This picture clearly shows how the RX-7V screen mechanism (right) is 24mm lower than the RX-7GP one (left).
The new design efficiently improves Arai’s R75 design, based on a constant radius shell: the new V is much smoother than the GP, especially in the frontal and visor area.
There’re also changes in shell material, now incorporating PB SNC² resin, that mean a 30 grams reduction in the overall weight, now standing at 1620gr for M size.
After the remodelling of the shell, there’s more space for the ventilation conducts. And Arai have taken advantage to improve overall air flow in 11%. Changes are notable: top diffusers are two centimetres longer and the closing systems now have three different position compared to the previous ‘on/off’ systems. So now you have more air circulating inside, but there’re also more adjustment possibilities.
RX-7V air intakes close up, totally new compared with the previous RX-7GP.
The chin and visor air intakes are still present, but the fastener is softer to operate. Arai have also optimized the air flow that goes from the visor frontal area to the sides. Talking about the exits, the lever system is maintained as closing system, but both exists are closer to the centre of the shell.
As we saw before, the new visor pivot line has forced to redesign the shell, but also all the visor mechanism: the new 24mm lower pivot impeded a complete visor opening. For this reason Arai has created the ‘Variable Axis System’ (VAS), a system where the screen have four different anchorage points instead of the standard two. With this system, the anchorage points are “mobile”, creating a new trajectory that allows visors’ complete opening. This variable axis reminds us from the elliptical trajectories for chin guards used in modular helmets like the Nolan N104.
Lateral view: we can appreciate the the new VAS-V-IC screen, more rounded than the past one.
Consequence of these changes the visor’s mechanism is also more compact but has won in usability. Now we have a lever that -pressing inwards- releases the holders, allowing us access to visor’s fast changing system; no tools needed al all. The screen is also completely new, the VAS-V-IC model, curvier compared to the previous used in the GP. Arai includes the anti-fog Pinlock system with the purchase of the RX-7V, but it comes dissembled.
Talking about the visors lock/open tab, Arai have also improved usability in this point. Now it has a security lever that impedes casual opening. When closing it, we’ll hear a double ‘clank’, a sound that indicates that you have completely closed the screen. If you want to open it, push the lever upwards, release and then you can proceeded to opening. Is a step forward in safety but also makes it handier.
The visor fastener is also new, now more practical and safer.
Inner materials are also completely new. The padding is made in a new fabric calles ‘Eco-pure’ that have antibacterial treatement. Like in other Arai models, it features de ‘Peel Away’ system, where the chinpads can be regulated thanks to 5mm foam layers. So we can search for the best fitment quitting or adding foam layers.
The design ‘Facil Contour System’ is also present, so pads distribution is very similar to the previous models, just changing certain elements to gain comfort when putting or quitting the helmet. Now there’s more space between our mouth and the chin, and there’s also more room to accommodate the Emergency Extraction System -that allows chinpads removal without quitting the helmet- and earpads, improving intercom speakers site.
Arai RX-7V inner padding, with more mircoperforated zones.
There’s a gain in microperforated zones. The upper padding is totally different, a single piece of foam that doesn’t let you see the EPS, as occurred in the RX-7GP. In order to improve ventilation, this padding is totally microperforated. The fastener is a double d-ring system, as is mandatory in a helmet homologated for track use.
Emergency extraction strap (upper left), double D ring (lower left) and the bottom (right).
Arai has made an important step forward in usability and security in the new RX-7V. Keeping the high performances offered by the most Premium model of the brand, key point have been redesign but keeping the classic lines of the RX-7 and the sporty sensations and the overall quality finish.

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