— Track & trail helmet test —
Many of us UTV enthusiasts started out on dirt bikes and/or ATVs and still ride, so we need an off-road-style helmet. For more than three decades Arai has been a pioneer in helmet design and fit for more comfort and safety. Arai’s new VX-Pro4 off-road helmet is an evolution of the VX-Pro3, with a smooth (instead of ridged) shell and a compact chin bar based on the R75 Shape concept. The shorter chin bar is less likely to catch and dig into dirt during a crash. The new VX-Pro4 is Arai’s top-shelf, full-face, off-road helmet with five graphics styles, plus solid white and black frost and in sizes XS–XXL.
The VX-Pro4 has a new peak, or visor, that is 14mm longer and 5mm wider for improved roost deflection. Knowing this creates lift at higher off-road speeds, Arai compensated with larger air outlets. The chin bar has an exterior stainless-mesh grill that is removable for cleaning. There are also inlet vents under the visor. The Dry-Cool interior liner has vent channels, and side-port cowlings and a rear-duct center brace supply cooling airflow and also act as goggle-strap locater. There are 11 vent holes in the shell, with two under the visor that have three-position covers (closed, half open and full open). The VX-Pro4 has Arai’s Facial-Contour System featuring foam-spring support in the cheek pads. There is also an Emergency Release System for the cheek pads with new placement of the release tab, and the neck roll is also removable for cleaning.
For maximum performance, the VX-Pro4 shell is precisely assembled from multiple propriety components, including Super Fiber, which costs six times as much as standard fiberglass and has 30-percent more tensile strength and penetration resistance. The CLC (Complex Laminate Construction) is another high-cost operation that results in more strength in the intermediate-oval shell. There are also rubber port liners and a nose protector.
WHO IT’S FOR:
Anyone who values their head while taking big chances in or on an off-road vehicle. Many short-course UTV racers protect themselves with high-end off-road helmets and goggles with tear-offs. The Arai VX-Pro4 comes with a five-year warranty too. While the MSRP is pricey, Cycle Gear carries it for $548.95 to $557.95, while Rocky Mountain ATV/MC lists it for $548.96 to $665.96.
The eyeport is large and accommodates a wide variety of goggles, and the VX-Pro4 comes in stylish Spike, Bogle, Shooting Star, Day and Nicky-7 graphics packages. We got the Shooting Star Blue XXL for testing. The VX-Pro4 is very comfortable to wear for long periods, and it vents well, even with the under-visor vents closed. The visor is well-shaped and even has a black anti-glare sticker on the underside. Arai also has cheek pad sets ($46.15) from 12mm to 35mm for fine-tuning the fit; the XXL comes with 25mm pads.
While expensive, the Arai VX-Pro4 is a high-quality helmet with great fit, style and venting. It’s DOT- and Snell-approved and is loaded with appealing features like the adjustable top vents and rear/side vent covers. The vented visor is also nice and doesn’t create lift at speeds up to 90 mph. It also draws praise from non-riders for its great looks.