Arai DT-X full face crash helmet review

Arai DT-X: Arai’s mid-level all-rounder motorcycle helmet.

Arai has just released it’s new DT-X motorcycle helmet, designed to offer a more entry-level helmet that’ll work on a range of sports-touring motorcycles and is suitable for everyone from commuters to tourers.

It’s a key helmet for Arai as it’s a (relatively) cheap way into Arai ownership yet it offers many features found in their more expensive helmets.

On the surface, it’s unmistakably Arai. But have they cut corners with the DT-X?

Looking to buy this Arai?

We recommend Revzilla (PA) for outstanding service and free shipping, and both Rocky Mountain ATV/MC (UT & KY) and 2 Wheel (CA) for great service backed by outstanding online reviews, free shipping and free returns. Please click any link to drop onto their Arai helmets pages or see here for more info about our recommended stores, including T&Cs.

Safety

It’s fair to say that Arai has applied all their latest construction and design expertise to the DT-X to make it as safe a helmet as they know how.

As with all Arai helmets, it uses what Arai call ‘super fibers’ in the construction of the shell which are essentially high-grade glass fibers set into their latest resin mix – termed ‘Z Mixture’ by Arai (sounds like Dr. Nefario works at Arai!?).

They also focus on making the helmet particularly strong in a ring around the helmet to help it better absorb impacts – imagine a pudding basin helmet around your head going above the ears and above the brow, and that pretty much covers where this strengthened ring goes.

And like all Arai’s, the DT-X is designed to be externally as round as possible to help with aerodynamics and ‘glance off’ – the idea that a rounder helmet is less likely to dig-in and rotate during an accident, causing further head and neck injuries.

And once all that’s done, they produce the DT-X in three shell sizes so you should get just about the right amount of helmet shell and padding for your head size.

That’s all fine and dandy. But does it all work?

The answer is a resounding… yup.

In recent times, when independently tested by SHARP, their cheaper helmets (a relative term!) haven’t scored so well. However, over the last couple of years, they’ve done much better with their last four helmets scoring an average of 4.5 out of 5 stars.

So it was no surprise that the European version of the DT-X (called the Chaser-X over there) – which shares the same helmet shape and construction with the latest crop of helmets – scored a very respectable four stars (out of five) when tested by SHARP in the UK.

And as well as being both DOT and ECE (European) certified, the DT-X it’s also Snell M2015 tested/approved too.

All of which means you should be putting your head in a very safe place if you decide to buy an Arai DT-X. Just make sure you get the fitting bang on because that’s the number one way to ensure you’re getting the best out of your head protection, whatever the helmet.

Helmet Noise

Arai’s designed the DT-X to be relatively quiet, with its rounder helmet form and an aerodynamically designed chin curtain, made to keep noise ingress to a minimum.

It seems to work reasonably well too. One owner said opening the chin vent can create a bit of noise, but most owners seem to think it’s quieter than average helmet.

Ventilation

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The DT-X Diamond White showing the large rear inlet/exhaust vent

The DT-X has masses of inlet and exhaust vents.

The chin vent is two-position allowing you to direct air around the chin area or onto the back of the shield to help with demisting.

And as usual – and uniquely with Arai helmets – there’s a couple of brow vents to take air around the temple area.

Both the crown and rear vent are new to the DT-X though in that both act as inlet and exhaust vents – even when the inlet vent is closed.

They channel air through the EPS liner and, unlike most systems that use a network of channels in the EPS lining to circulate air, the DT-X pushes the air out through holes in the lining leaving it to circulate round via the channels in the removable comfort lining instead.

Once it’s done its job, the air exits the helmet via any one of five exhaust vents.

The word from owners is that the vents are easy to find in gloves and that ventilation is effective.

Shield

Like most Arais, the DT-X uses Arai’s VAS or variable axis system shield. Essentially, that means rather than pivoting at one point, the shield pivot point moves as the shield is opened or closed. They did this mainly to allow them to lower the shield mechanism so it doesn’t interfere with the peripheral belting system used to construct the helmet, so isn’t really any benefit for the shield mechanism itself.

As usual for Arai helmets, the DT-X has removable side panels covering the shield pivots and quick release system. That quick release is a bit more fiddly than many systems but, according to owners, it’s something you’ll get the hang of pretty quickly.

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DT-X in Finish graphics

To remove the shield, you open up the shield and there’s a couple of small levers in front of the side panels. Push those back and the panels pop off – don’t worry, they’re tethered to the helmet so you don’t lose them. You then push down on the shield and it pops out of each side.

Unlike many shields that are just a shaped piece of polycarbonate, the DT-X shield itself is a complex thing.

First off, it’s Pinlock Max Vision ready and comes with a Max Vision insert in the box. That’s got your antifog sorted.

It’s also got those two-position brow vents actually as part of the shield. They mate up with the brow vent channels above the shield aperture to take air into the temples.

And it’s a nice wide shield too with some owners saying it’s the widest shield aperture they’ve come across.

And finally, there’s the latest incarnation of Arai’s shield lock to the bottom left – close the shield with a push and it’ll auto-lock; push the lever up and it’ll unlock and open the shield.

Again, quite a few owners commented that the lock takes time to get the hang of, but after a while and a bit of practice, it works OK.

Comfort & Sizing

The fitment of the DT-X is medium-oval which means it should suit most people. Arai’s have traditionally been long and thin so this medium oval shape should mean it fits more riders.

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The DT-X Tough range are available in hi viz yellow (above) white, red and blue

It’s made in three shell sizes and fitment sizes XS-XXL.

The lining is removable and washable and made from antimicrobial and moisture wicking materials.

But it’s the ability to tailor the fit that really grabs your attention.

Obviously, having a comfortable helmet is important. No one likes to ride for hours with a seam digging in or a pressure point giving you a headache. But it’s also important for safety – a well fitting helmet that’s reasonably tight but without pressure points is also a helmet that’ll work well during an accident.

So Arai has made the padding in their latest helmets very customizable indeed. If you buy a DT-X but find it’s a little tight in some areas, there are 5mm ‘peel away’ panels you can remove in the cheek pads and around the temples to help create the best fit for your head. And if that doesn’t quite do it for you, then you can buy replacement cheek pads in a range of thicknesses so you can get the fit just right.

And, according to loads of owners, the whole system works a treat. It feels plush and soft and, providing you’ve got the right head shape (and get the right fit), it should be all-day comfortable.

That includes for riders with glasses. The DT-X has a glasses groove in the lining and it works very well, making it easy to put your glasses on while you’re wearing the helmet and riding without pressure points.

The helmet isn’t the lightest helmet around – in fact it’s above average weight for a full face helmet (and about 3-4oz heavier than a typical fiberglass helmet) – but none of the owners we saw comments from complained that it feels heavy while a couple said it feels light – so I guess it’s all relative!

Looks & Graphics

Arai helmets are often fairly muted in their design options, but the DT-X is slightly different, available in a large range of solid and graphic designs as well as race reps.

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Arai DT-X in Shaped graphics

As per most Arai crash helmets, there’s a diamond (gloss) white and black and a frost (matt) black. There’s also their Shaped, Tough, Competition and Finish graphics which are more conventional Arai designs as well as the swirly Style graphics in either black or pink.

As for the race replicas, there’s a nice pair of Colin Edwards designs and a classic Schwantz 95 design.

To find even more designs as they come out – and the latest deals – please click through to our recommended retailers where you’ll find the latest helmets from retailers who’ll really look after you.

Best place to buy this Arai crash helmet?

Please click below to visit the Arai helmets pages at our recommended stores. And if you buy from any store, we get a small sum from the sale at no extra cost to you - a massive THANKS! (it's how we finance the site).

Arai DT-X Video

First off, a 4m video from the official Arai channel introducing you to the DT-X (called the Chaser-X in Europe), followed by a 3m test ride video from Rider’s Domain (now rebranded to Rocky Mountain ATV/MC) giving you a look round its features.

Other stuff – fasteners, audio, weight, warranty, build quality

The DT-X is secured with a double-d ring fastener.

There’s speaker pockets inside the lining and space on the side for the control unit, so it should work with most universal-fit bluetooth communicators.

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DT-X Competition in black/white

It weighs a little above the average weight of a full face helmet at around 3.6lbs (or 1.6kg) and it comes with a lengthy 5 year warranty. However, given most Arai’s have legendary build quality, hopefully you’ll never need it.

Overall/Summary

Looking at the checklist of features the DT-X shares with its (even more) expensive stablemates, there’s very little indeed been left out with the DT-X.

OK, an Arai is probably never going to be the best value helmet in the world; a hand made helmet never will be. But with Arai, you’re paying for exclusivity and build quality as well as a helmet where no expense has been spared.

So, it’s expensive – but the DT-X really delivers as a helmet. It’s both DOT certified and Snell/SHARP 4 star safety rated, meaning it should give you excellent protection when it matters.

And as a helmet to live with, it offers excellent levels of comfort and great ventilation. And that shield – once you’ve got the hang of the lock and quick release – gives lots of vision along with a Pinlock anti-fog in the box. Plus it’s even quieter than the average helmet.

All in all, if you’re looking for a more exclusive all-rounder helmet, then the DT-X really delivers and is well worth checking out.

Crash Helmet Buying Guides

For (hopefully!) other useful information to help you when buying your next helmet, check our various guides - or have a look at our top helmet lists where we've got the top 10 rated helmets overall and best budget/safest/full face/flip-up helmets.

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Ever popular Frost black version of the DT-X

Good Alternatives to the Arai DT-X?

There’s plenty of alternatives to the DT-X because it’s a quality all-rounder helmet. Unless of course you’re only after an Arai in which case take a look at the Arai Axces III which is a tad cheaper still than the DT-X but more suited to longer, narrower heads. You can check out all our Arai helmet reviews here.

First off, there’s the SHARP 5 star HJC FG-ST; that’s a lot cheaper than the Arai, has a sun shield, Pinlock Max Vision included and is an all-round great helmet.

You should also check out the AGV K5S – a cracker of a helmet that’s SHARP 4 star safety rated, has a sun shield and again is loads cheaper than the DT-X.

Or if you want to look at a helmet from another of the big boys, how about the Shoei NXR? SHARP 4 star safety rated, low noise and with great ventilation, it’s a lovely helmet with a five year warranty.

Looking to buy this Arai?

We recommend Revzilla (PA) for outstanding service and free shipping, and both Rocky Mountain ATV/MC (UT & KY) and 2 Wheel (CA) for great service backed by outstanding online reviews, free shipping and free returns. Please click any link to drop onto their Arai helmets pages or see here for more info about our recommended stores, including T&Cs.

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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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