If you have read my report on the Corsair-X helmet it becomes readily apparent that I am a hard core Arai fan. Further, the Corsair-X is the best Arai I have ever had. In addition to the helmet, I also have three of their VAS-V Max Vision Replacement Faceshield visors to review and the results have been very interesting.
However, before the report, there is all the fun of fitting the visors. On the Corsair-X the side pod covers have to, ever so gently, be prised off with a little lever and the new visor located on the pivot mechanism.
To be honest, the idea of taking the side pods off my brand-new, $900 helmet freaked me out and so I whizzed the helmet down to an Arai dealer, which is conveniently near to me, and let them do it.
I don’t think that I’m the only one too big a woosie to go playing with his brand new, gleaming, super premium helmet because Arai has produced this very helpful little training video to help the faint of heart:
Maybe Arai should provide whale songs or herbal sedatives to calm Corsair owners down so they are tough enough to tackle visor changing.
The Corsair-X comes with a clear visor standard and this is fine, as far as it goes, in that it is highly scratch resistant and optically perfect. The problem is that even in an English summer, the light is always at a shallow angle and so glare off the road is a constant nuisance.
As for Arai’s dark tint visor, I can see this working well in strong sun where there is sufficient light to bring contrast to imperfections in the road, diesel spills or pedestrians in camo gear intent on committing suicide. Unfortunately, we don’t do much in the way of really strong sun in England and so this did not work for me either.
So, like Goldilocks who needed her porridge at just the right temperature, I tried the light tint visor – and found perfect happiness. The light tint visor kills glare dead – absolutely brings it to an end – so I have full vision of all the things intent on killing me.
At the same time, it transmits sufficient light to provide good vision even in conditions where you wouldn’t think it would, or should for that matter. For example, I raced in the rain with the light tint and felt very comfortable. On one lovely summer evening, I just kept riding our Ducati until it was completely dark – and I could still see safely.
In fact, it is so versatile that I actually thought it was photosensitive but Arai said no, it was merely a case of my eyes adapting to the conditions.
Maybe that’s the hidden secret. No matter how hard you try, the dark visor is too dark to allow things to be seen in poor light.
Similarly, unless you screw up your eyes, the clear visor will not keep the sun from being blindingly bright on a SoCal summer’s day – which is why Arai offer the Pro-Shade for road only riders. However, the idea of a visor which doubles as peak holds no attraction for me at all – absolutely none!
This is why the light tint visor is the only one I wear now – for road riding and racing.
I’ll conclude this report with a comment about Arai’s new visor retaining system which is borrowed from their Formula 1 car experience. The visor is now lifted with a little catch that has to be physically raised to release it.
As a result, the visor opening is then much more fluid and controlled than of old. This has a hidden benefit which will probably get me banned by Arai if I tell you. Regardless, here we go. The visor can be left just off the latch and this hugely increases the air flow in wet conditions and simply stops all misting. I have raced in the wet like this and, despite breathing heavily inside the helmet, I had no problems.
Equally, I would not, and cannot, recommend that you do the same trick on the road for all the obvious health and safety reasons caused if the visor accidentally lifts and so on. So, ride with your visor latch clipped down at all times – and forget I even mentioned this little stunt.
Arai VAS-V Max Vision Replacement Faceshield
MSRP: $57.45 – $102.45
Color: Clear, Light Tint, Dark Tint, Blue Mirror, Green Mirror, Red Mirror, Silver Mirror
Sizes: One size
Warranty: Five-year limited warranty