Arai DT-X: Review

The DT-X comes to motorcyclists with the promises that are inherent in Arai’s X line of helmets. This means that the construction has to be top of the line, materials have to be uber-premium and the function of the helmet needs to be such that you forget it’s there. After Arai sent the DT-X over for review and I was able to put some miles on with it, I am able to attest that those promises were kept.

The question I asked myself when I first start riding with the DT-X was “Why would you opt to spend more for the Signet-X or Quantum-X?” The DT-X has the key components, with the Vas-V shield giving you much improved removal and visibility over older Arai helmets. It is has the Peripheral Belt Construction Arai calls PB-cLc, which sounds quite sciencey but ultimately makes the DT-X incredibly strong. It oozes build quality with every little piece feeling solid, thought-out and beautifully hand-crafted.

Then there’s the functionality of the helmet when riding. Loads of airflow, almost too much at times (I’ll hit on that shortly). The cutouts for speaker pockets are always appreciated, and when you’re fitting speakers you have the perfect opportunity to dial in the fit of the helmet even more with pull-away foam pieces for tailoring the fit.

The sum of these features adds up to one hell of a helmet, that on its own would be lauded for its expert craftsmanship. But we’re talking about an Arai here, and being north of the $500 mark as well as having that X in the name brings higher levels of scrutiny.

The obvious items that Arai cut out to bring the cost of the DT-X down were not including a Pinlock and chin curtain (which you do get with the Corsair-X, Signet-X and Quantum-X). This is really a minor gripe though, because for around $60 you can add these items in and still save some money over the aforementioned models. What you can’t purchase for the DT-X are emergency removal cheek pads. This is one of those things that will eventually become a given in all helmets, but for now the DT-X gets shorted this feature and it’s a personal decision on how important it is to you as a rider.

Another personal preference is airflow, which is most likely dictated by your locale. I could never get the DT-X to stop flowing air, even with all the vents closed. This was never an issue while riding in temps from 85 down to 50 degrees, but once temps got into the 40s and the air had a certain sting to it, it was. The culprit was the chin vent never quite completely cutting off air flow.

Minor gripes, like too much air flow in cold temps, are where you’ll find yourself with the DT-X. You’ll be searching for faults, because Arai simply doesn’t make inferior gear. What they’ve built with the DT-X is a helmet that you can save a little cash on, then add on a few extras if you choose. Ultimately the DT-X is a logic-based purchase because it will perform in nearly every aspect of riding you’ll throw at it. Whether you’re touring, canyon carving, or headed to the track, the DT-X will hold its own.

Photos Via: Essential Moto

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