After revamping its top-of-the-line Corsair-X helmet two years ago, and its Quantum-X and Signet-X duo last season, Arai focuses its attention on casual motorcyclists with its more affordable but still Japanese-made DT-X helmet. Positioned alongside the Vector series, the DT-X boasts many of the nifty features of the up-spec versions, including the VAS shield, improved interior, and ventilation.
Like the Corsair-X, the DT-X employs an intermediate-oval head form similar to the Corsair-X. This serves as a happy medium between the narrow head friendly Signet and the more common— at least by American standards, round oval of the Quantum-X. Some riders, myself included, will have noggins compatible with all Arai lids, and this DT-X is no different. Of course the cheek pads and crown liner are all removable and can be swapped out with thicker or thinner versions for a more customized fit.
These pads are covered in an anti-microbial material that’s soft to the touch and can be easily washed by hand or inside a front-loading wash machine. They are also compatible with many Bluetooth communication devices. One strike however: the chin strap covers are sewn in so you can’t remove them for cleaning. The neck roll is also fixed.
Arai believes that a smooth exterior shell shape better protects the head in a serious accident by reducing the propensity for the helmet to get caught on an object and potentially transfer more energy into the precious one-piece, multi-density EPS (expanded polystyrene) liner. That’s why Arai designers shy away from more contemporary, angular designs.
The shell is made from a combination of laminate materials (Arai terms it Peripheral Belt-complex Laminate construction [PB-cLc]) and proprietary adhesives to make the helmet strong and light. The position of the VAS shield pivot mechanism is repositioned nearly an inch lower contributing to extra reinforcement in the temple areas. Although complicated-looking, the mechanism is easier to use than before making face shield swaps quicker and easier. The shell is both DOT and Snell approved.
Excellent air flow and ventilation are hallmark features of the DT-X, just like the rest of its full-face family. The top center vent has an intake and exhaust port designed to push air when in an upright riding position. Drop your head and the rear center vent comes into play and is flanked by two more vents — all of which feature easy-to-reach plastic levers to control airflow, even with gloves. It’s top-notch ventilation does come at a cost— with this helmet being a tad noisier than we remember experiencing with the more expensive Quantum/Signet/Corsair.
An auto-tinting Transitions-style visor remains absent. Instead, Arai offers its Pro Shade visor which incorporates a flip-down tinted half-shield component atop the clear shield that affords the best of both worlds for those who ride both day and night. More conventional light and dark smoke visor options are available as well as colored or mirrored options. The standard clear visor doesn’t come with a Pinlock-insert which is another cost cutting trick and the chin curtain is also a small up-charge.
Small gripes aside, the DT-X is another fine helmet from Arai. The brand is still premium however, and even with its entry-level standing MSRP isn’t far enough away from its big brother. Compared to the older, simpler Vector 2, the DT-X is a clear upgrade. But if you’re dead set on running a Pinlock visor and appreciate a fully removable interior then you’ll be happier spending a little extra on one of Arai’s higher-level lids.