Home Forums Tech Talk Arai Japanese helmets & also Sa2010 vs 2015

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This topic contains 9 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  TJ Koyen 1 year, 4 months ago.

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  • #55785

    Samir Shah
    Participant

    Does anyone have experience with the Japanese market Arai helmets? Maybe the helmet painters here might know this.

    My 13yr old needs a new helmet. He is currently in an Arai Vector2, that is getting too small. and we’ve decided to stick w/ Arai. His head is exactly 57 inches, so a Medium should be good. We’re looking at the GP-6S. We were waiting for the SA2015s to come out before getting a new one, and they are out now, so it’s time to get one.

    I’m Indian, my wife is Chinese, and my son has a decidedly round head shape as a result, in my opinion.

    The US (and European and Aussie) market GP6s Arai’s are supposedly ‘long oval’ shapes. The Japanese one is supposed to be for the Asian market and ’round’.

    So, on paper, besides being a whole lot cheaper, the Japanese grey market Arai should be a better fit for my son. However, there are no returns on these, and there is no way to try them, so I need to be sure.

    If anyone has compared both Japanese and US Arais in the same size (and specifically GP-6S), I’d love to hear your opinions on the shape and fit differences. Also, any internal differences? Are both liners and pads fixed or removable? etc.

    On a secondary note, the SA2015s are here in the US, while the Japanese ones are still SA2010. I was initially going to wait for the SA2015s, because painting them costs a bomb, but now I am reconsidering.

    The SA2010s will be good for 5 more years, and since my son is 13, theoretically good till he moves to cars.

    Should I be changing helmets every 5 years anyway? Do things wear out, like the plastic shell from UV or something, or is it just funkiness from sweat that is the issue?

    If there is a technical/structural reason to change helmets every 5 years or sooner, the SA2015 option (ie amortize the paint job over 10 years instead of 5 years) becomes moot.

    Thank you for the input.

    Samir

     

    #55799

    Samir Shah
    Participant

    No one with this experience?

    We found this guide.  http://www.revzilla.com/arai-helmet-shape-guide

    We went to a motorbike store and tried on a Vector-2, and an RX-Q.

    The RX-Q is their roundest bike helmet, and it fit my son much better than the Vector-2, which rubbed on the sides. The Vector-2 is likely to fit like the US spec GP6. So we managed to verify that a rounder helmet shape would be better for us.

    I ordered the Japanese spec Gp6s.

    Samir

     

    #55800

    TJ Koyen
    Moderator

    Hi Samir,

    It’ll be fine. I myself, as well as many of my customers, have bought the Arai helmets direct from Japan for the Asian market and they fit nearly identical. I own an Asian market one and an American market one and they ARE slightly different in fit, but it’s almost not noticeable.

    It’s all the exact same helmet, as all Arais are made in Japan anyway, but it’s just a slightly different interior padding shape to accommodate the different head shapes for the different markets. When I worked at Trek/Bontrager, we did the same thing for our bike helmets. It’s amazing how many different head shape profiles they have on file…

    The interior cheek pads on all Arai GP/SK model helmets are removable, allowing you to buy different cheek pads to get a more customized fit if you feel it’s necessary.

    There aren’t really structural or cosmetic changes from the 2010s to 2015s. Most companies chose to just update to the new SAH standard on SA rated helmets to properly accommodate HANS posts according to the Snell standards. You should be replacing helmets every 3-5 years depending on how much you use it. UV, sweat, and wear and tear means that the lining and EPS foam (interior padding) breaks down over time. Not to mention the interior gets pretty funky after a few seasons of sweating into it. The shells are all fiberglass/carbon/kevlar so they aren’t the weak link, it’s the interiors and such. As a painter, I try to replace every 2 years or so, but that’s just because I just want to keep painting helmets for myself!

    Buying the 2010 is a great deal at the moment because the rating is still good for 10 years after the printed date, so until 2020, which you should be replacing by then anyway. Mine that I just finished this year for myself is a 2010.

    Driver/Coach/Wrench : Innovative Performance/Exprit
    Owner : Oktane Visual - www.oktanevisual.com
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    #55806

    Samir Shah
    Participant

    Thanks TJ. It’s good to hear that the cheek pads are replacable. We kept the Vector 2 (small) going by doing just that (as well as the head liner), but its just a tad small now, as he grows.

    Does the interior padding have foam that can be removed to further optimize the shape (and make it rounder)?

    Thanks,

    Samir

    #55807

    Walt Gifford
    Participant

    I’ve noticed Bell helmets are round shaped.

    Gif

    FAA certified jet engine and aircraft technician,
    Nicholson Speedway class champion 2001,
    Yamaha KT100 Service Center,
    41 years karting experience

    #55815

    TJ Koyen
    Moderator

    Thanks TJ. It’s good to hear that the cheek pads are replacable. We kept the Vector 2 (small) going by doing just that (as well as the head liner), but its just a tad small now, as he grows.

    Does the interior padding have foam that can be removed to further optimize the shape (and make it rounder)?

    Thanks,

    Samir

    Samir,
    No, only the cheek pads are removable.

    The Asian fit should be rounder, as I remember mine being slightly tighter on my forehead. I would imagine it is going to fit fine. Remember when you get it and he first tries it on, it should be pretty snug but it will break in a little bit after some use and fit more comfortably.

    Driver/Coach/Wrench : Innovative Performance/Exprit
    Owner : Oktane Visual - www.oktanevisual.com
    www.facebook.com/oktanevisual
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    #55823

    Samir Shah
    Participant

    Gof, he tried a Gp2 and did not like the way it fit.
    Samir

    #55860

    Walt Gifford
    Participant

    I know, them helmets don’t fit anybody lol.

    FAA certified jet engine and aircraft technician,
    Nicholson Speedway class champion 2001,
    Yamaha KT100 Service Center,
    41 years karting experience

    #55865

    Samir Shah
    Participant

    Amazing, I ordered the Japenese Arai helmet on Friday night, and it has arrived already!

    Samir

    #55886

    TJ Koyen
    Moderator

    Asia ships quick! Any time I’ve ordered something from Japan/China, it’s gotten here within a week.

    Driver/Coach/Wrench : Innovative Performance/Exprit
    Owner : Oktane Visual - www.oktanevisual.com
    www.facebook.com/oktanevisual
    www.instagram.com/oktanevisual

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