Review of the Arai Signet-X (Arai QV-Pro Europe): street/sports touring crash helmet

arai-signet-x-helmet-featured

Review of the Arai Signet-X: the street/sports touring crash helmet from Arai.

The Signet-X is the long awaited replacement to that stalwart of their helmet range, the Signet-Q (or Quantum ST as it’s called in Europe).

It’s central to their range because it’s a street helmet that’s designed to work just as well for a quick jaunt down the shops on your Versys as a day-long sweep over the mountains on your K1600.

And it’s long-awaited because it’s designed to fit riders with longer, narrower heads; i.e. folks who struggle to wear most helmets that are made to suit medium oval heads. If that’s you, then not only will it mean there’s another option for you when you’re buying a new helmet, but it’ll mean more comfort and potentially more protection from your helmet (see safety section below).

So read on for the full SP on the Arai Signet-X…

  • Arai’s street-biased full face helmet

    arai-qv-pro-full-face-crash-helmet-black-frost-black
    Frost black version of the Arai Signet-X with PSS sun shield fitted
  • Designed for longer narrower heads
  • Fiberglass shell
  • Includes Pinlock Max Vision
  • Excellent comfort and ventilation
  • DOT & ECE certified
  • Snell 2015 approved (US)
  • SHARP 5 star safety rated (UK)
  • Sizes XS-XXL
  • Expect to pay around $615-$870

Looking to buy an Arai?

We recommend both Revzilla (PA) and Rocky Mountain ATV/MC (UT & KY) for outstanding service. Please click either link to see their full range and latest deals or see here for more info about our recommended retailers.

Safety

Despite Arai’s undoubted commitment to making a helmet that works at the very pinnacle of helmet performance (and retails at the peak of helmet prices!) – and despite the fact that Arais are DOT and ECE certified; and most, including the Signet-X, are Snell tested and approved – they’ve never performed quite as well as some brands in SHARP tests.

Well, maybe times they are a changing? Because first Arai’s latest, greatest sportsbike helmet the RX-7V scored a maximum 5 star rating in the SHARP test labs. And now the jury’s returned on the Signet-X – and I’ll be damned if it didn’t go and get a five star rating too!

I’ll not go into the whys and wherefore’s of why Arai hasn’t historically done so well when their helmets are tested (though I do exactly that here!) – but it’s great to see Arai beginning to walk the walk.

And if the SHARP score is just a number to you, it also looks like Arai has thrown every safety feature and top quality manufacturing technique in the book at the Signet-X, to make it as effective a motorcycle crash helmet as possible. Here’s what they’ve done.

arai-signet-x-crash-helmet-flourescent-yellow-rear-viewFirstly, they use multiple shell sizes. For the Signet-X it seems like they’ve used 3 shell sizes which tallies with Arai blurb that they produce a separate shell for every two fitment sizes.

That’s good for helmet fitment (getting your helmet to fit just right is vital for optimal helmet safety) as well as for looks.

Also, the shell on the Signet-X is the same shell that’s used in Arai’s top of the range sportsbike/racing helmet the Corsair-X (though with slightly different venting).

It’s what Arai call their PV SNC2 shell (just in case you’re interested) and it uses their latest rounder, smoother helmet shape – called R75 – that’s designed to improve ‘glance-off’ performance during a crash.

That means they’ve tried to make it slippier and less likely to dig in and rotate on impact to you and me.

To help that along, they’ve designed all the sticky-out bits like vents and side pods to snap off during an impact. After all, the last thing you want during an impact is your helmet digging into the road, rotating the helmet and passing that rotation through to your brain and neck, right?

arai-signet-x-crash-helmet-place-blue-side-view
Place color scheme – also available in frost black and red

Then there’s the shell construction itself. It’s a multi-layered fiberglass shell that Arai says is designed for tensile strength along with flexibility; and it’s backed by a multi-density internal EPS liner. That multi-density polystyrene liner is there to offer improved absorption properties over single density EPS.

Onto the strap – Arai use double-d ring fasteners as they’re proven to be effective fasteners, requiring re-adjustment with every fit (which is potentially a good thing – as long as the rider’s diligent enough to tighten it correctly each journey) and they’re a must when visiting a race track in some countries too.

Finally, if you do have an accident, the Signet-X has Arai’s version of EQRS (emergency quick removal system). Pull the bottom red tabs underneath the helmet and out come the cheek pads, making it easier for the emergency services to remove your helmet without further injury to your neck.

Hopefully, you’ll never need it – but better to have it there than not.

All in all, the Signet-X should be about as safe a place as any helmet on the planet to stick your head.

Helmet Noise

According to the official Arai blurb, they’ve made big steps to reduce helmet noise.

They say new thicker internal padding coupled with their carefully-designed chin curtain both help to reduce helmet noise.

And to some extent they’re right. A couple of owners have said that the big ole chin curtain does stop wind and noise coming up from below. And there is quite a bit of padding inside the helmet too to cut noise ingress there.

Only, a couple of owners who were used to the helmet the Signet-X replaced – the Signet-Q – reckoned the newer helmet is actually a bit noisier.

And while some Signet-X owners say their helmet is nice and quiet, just a many people say it’s not that quiet at all.

All of which means we’re going to rate the Signet-X as about average for noise suppression.

Which also means you should always wear a decent set of ear plugs when you ride in one. But then you should always do that with any helmet you ride in, now shouldn’t you?!?

arai-signet-x-crash-helmet-white-rear-view
Rear view of the Signet-X showing exhaust vents and spoiler

Ventilation

Single chin vent, double forehead vents (with individual open/close sliders), quadruple rear exhaust vents with two mounted under the rear spoiler and two lower on the sides.

Nothing too unusual there, though Arai do say it’s an improvement from the old Signet-Q’s system that’s designed to improve air flow and give better adjustment (there’s a theme here isn’t there?!?).

Well the old Q had some cracking ventilation – and Arai are right in that the Signet-X does too with just about every owner we came across saying it works really well. Though note, if you ride in colder places, you’ll need to fit the included Pinlock anti-fog to keep your shield clear.

Shield

The shield system on the Signet-X is designed to integrate more closely with the helmet shell – all helping to make that shell smoother and rounder.

Included in the box is a Pinlock Max Vision 120 anti fog insert (that’s Pinlock’s biggest, bestest version of their insert).

And as usual, the shield features a lock and quick release shield system for when you want to whip it off and clean it.

A few owners reckon that the shield lock takes a bit of getting used to at first, but it can be unlocked/opened in one movement when you get the hang of it – though some wonder why you should have to in the first place.

Likewise that shield removal system. You need to pull off the plastic side pods first before doing some weird contortion on the shield to get the shield out. Again, once you’ve practiced once or twice, you start to get the hang of it, but you’ve gotta question why you should have to when most makers seem to make much simpler, equally effective shield removal systems.

And finally with the shield, a couple of owners said that it’s nice and wide, giving great peripheral vision.

arai-signet-x-crash-helmet-aluminium-silver
Aluminum silver version

Comfort & Sizing

Comfort is something Arai do very well. And they claim to be upping the ante once again with the Signet-X.

They reckon there’s a newer, deeper and more snuggly comfort liner than ever, made from an anti-microbial material called Eco Pure.

That’s also designed to keep the lining as close to the skin’s ph as possible. Because you’re worth it. Or something.

Aside from all this touchy feely stuff, Arai have thrown in all their usual tricks at making a helmet fit as well as possible too… (as usual, that’s once you’ve made sure you’ve bought exactly the right size in the first place, and as long as you’ve got a longer, narrower head; because that’s who the Signet-X’s designed for. If that’s not you, take your fatter shorter heads (sometimes called medium ovals) over here).

To tailor the fit, there are 5mm panels in the cheeks, ear cups – and now the temples – that can be added or removed. You can of course buy others from Arai to tailor the fit even more.

arai-signet-x-crash-helmet-place-black-frost-rear-view
Place black frost design

And then there’s the spring-loaded cheek pads. They use foam ‘springs’ to gently push the lower part of the pads against the jaw to make it even snugglier and womb-like than ever before.

BUT, I hear you cry, DOES IT ALL WORK?!

The good news is – YES IT DOES!

Signet-X owners say it’s one of the plushest most comfortable helmets they’ve worn with several longer-headed owners saying discovering the Signet-X range has saved the day for their motorcycling futures.

So, get the right size and you should find your Signet-X to be all-day comfortable.

And if you wear glasses, there’s a glasses groove in the lining of the Signet-X too so glasses shouldn’t be a problem either. Hurrah!

Looks & Graphics

Unusually for Arai, they’ve gone (relatively!) bonkers with the number of graphic options available. There’s the usual plain solid colors like matt/gloss black, white, silver (or aluminum silver as Arai calls it), and there’s also a high viz fluorescent yellow version along with the snazzy Place (in grey, blue or red) and striking Stint designs (see top image)

We’ve stuck a few of what we think are the best designs up and down the page, but pop over to our recommended retailers using the links below: they’ll drop you onto their Arai helmets pages so you’ll be able to see the latest designs and offers.

Best places to buy an Arai crash helmet?

We've chosen two of the best places to buy from - whether it's an Arai or any other helmet/gear.

Revzilla are based in Philadelphia and offers outstanding service (at the time of writing 9.75/10 at Reseller Ratings) 30 day refunds and free shipping on orders over $39.99 to 48 states.

Rocky Mountain ATV/MC are in Utah and Kentucky, score 4.9/5 at Google Customer Reviews, offer free shipping to 48 states on orders over $75, 45 day no quibble returns and will pay for shipping if it doesn't fit right.

Both are recommended retailers for quality of service and if you buy from either, we get a small sum from the sale at no extra cost to you - a massive THANKS! (it's how we finance the site).

Click to visit Revzilla
Click to visit Arai at Revzilla
Click above to visit Rocky Mountain ATV/MC
Click above to visit Arai at Rocky Mountain ATV/MC

Arai Signet-X videos

First up, a 7m look over the Signet-X from Cycle Gear.

Second, a slicker vid showing the QV-Pro (what the4 Signet-X is called in Europe) featuring Arai poster boy Jonny Rae. He loves his Arai’s – but do you think it’s a heart-felt admission… or maybe that he’s reading from an auto-cue at the end? Bless 🙂

Other stuff – communicators, buffeting, warranty

arai-qv-pro-full-face-crash-helmet-black-frost-black
Frost black version of the Arai Signet-X with PSS sun shield fitted

Arai say they’ve worked hard to make the Signet-X work with communication systems. That includes generous speaker pockets that don’t ‘affect comfort or fit’ as well as extra room in the chin area for a mic. Don’t expect a recess in the EPS lining though – it’s just a removable panel in the comfort lining. We’ve not heard anyone moan about the lack of space though so it should be fine.

For stability and anti-buffeting, they’ve also included a small rear spoiler, there to help airflow and improve stability. According to owners, the aero is very good with little buffeting going on, even during shoulder checks.

Finally, all new Arai’s come with a 5 year manufacturer’s warranty.

Alternatives to the Arai Signet-X?

If you’re in the market for a top of the range full face helmet but don’t want something designed for super sportsbikes, then it can be tricky. Most top of the range helmets are designed for track riding (if that’s what you’re after look here) but if you’re very much wanting a road-focused helmet, here’s a selection of favourites:

First, there’s the SHARP 3 star rated Shoei GT Air. It’ll come in quite a bit cheaper than the Signet-X but it’s got great build quality, sun visor and great ventilation – with an optically correct shield.

If you do want an Arai and you’re riding a naked bike, you might also want to check out the Arai Defiant. That’s a composite fiber, Snell 2015 and SHARP three star helmet designed especially for owners of naked bikes that has excellent ventilation.

For maximum protection, you should also check out the SHARP 5 star rated AGV GT Veloce, that’s a light and comfortable helmet with a wide shield. Most of these alternatives are lots cheaper than the Signet-X too.

Looking to buy an Arai?

We recommend both Revzilla (PA) and Rocky Mountain ATV/MC (UT & KY) for outstanding service. Please click either link to see their full range and latest deals or see here for more info about our recommended retailers.

Definitely want an Arai?

Here you'll find all our Arai crash helmet reviews and previews including full face, flip-up and open face helmets.
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