No one pays more attention to the subtle variations and infinite possibilities of the human head shape than Arai.
And even though we know we can never build a perfect shape for everyone, we go to the extra time and considerable expense in a genuine effort to offer interior shapes that allow more people to find a better, more “natural” and comfortable fit than they can get from a helmet line that offers only one shape for their entire line.
This is why it’s important for you to understand all the different aspects of sizing as they apply to helmet brands, models, and, in Arai’s case, different interior shapes.
Understanding Interior Shapes
After many years of listening to riders, we have found that real helmet satisfaction depends on understanding how a helmet is supposed to fit. Most importantly, understanding how proper fit affects helmet performance and satisfaction during everyday riding, and how that comfort depends on the helmet’s interior shape. This is why Arai has gone to the considerable effort to design, create, and offer different interior shapes. (Arai doesn’t believe that real comfort can be achieved by trying to stuff every different head shape into a single helmet interior shape.)
In order to offer the most comfort, a helmet interior must fit snugly around the entire head contour. (This is partly determined by a firm, even pressure felt at all contact points around the liner perimeter, with no pressure points that could become uncomfortable in the future.) Note that having a previous helmet of the same brand, model and size – even if it’s an Arai – may not offer the same fit as a current model or size because the evolution of design and use of new materials can affect the final design and shape.
Attention must be paid to the fit of the model’s shape around the crown of your head – and not with facial fit. (The part that is contacted by a baseball cap’s band, for example, is the crown) Cheek pads in all Arai helmets can be replaced with a size that better suits your facial structure, so the possible need for different cheek pads should only be addressed after the crown is properly sized. All too often, tight OEM cheek pads will result in purchasing a helmet one or even two sizes too big – in effect sizing the face and not the head! The end result will be a loose and noisy helmet, as described above. (Riders with a strong jaw or heavy cheeks should first remove the cheek pads completely in order to not be distracted in determining crown fit.)
Determining Your Interior Shape
How can you determine which of Arai Helmets interior shapes is best suited for you? In general, our interiors for the North American markets have an oval shape orientation (somewhat longer from forehead to back of the head or front-to-back and a little narrow from ear to ear or side to side) because most heads tend to be oblong as opposed to round. Our different helmet models vary slightly based on that general Oval shape to accommodate a much wider fit range.
(Very Long front-to-back, very narrow side-to- side). On this end of the scale, we have the PROFILE model, offering additional forehead room for those who find that most helmets have pressure points in the forehead.
LONG OVAL HELMET MODELS
(Shorter front-to-back and a little wider side-to-side than the Long Oval). This fit package begins the shift from oblong towards round.
INTERMEDIATE OVAL HELMET MODELS
(Even a little shorter front-to-back and a little wider side-to-side). This fit package is represented by our Quantum-2 model.
ROUND OVAL HELMET MODELS
[Press Release and Photos Courtesy of Arai America]