4. Arai Corsair-X
Arai isn’t shy about claiming that the Corsair-X is the most advanced helmet the company has ever produced. The Japanese company, which started making helmets in 1949, has put the best of everything into the race-focused Corsair-X. Updates start with a new composite shell that’s smoother and features better materials, making this the strongest shell the company has ever produced. Efforts went into focusing on ‘glancing’ – the act of the shell bouncing off a surface at speed – rather than direct impact. In this way the helmet disperses the impact rather than having to absorb it, which decreases force to the head.
A new shield system is easier to use and better protects the temple areas by allowing Arai to increase the shell size. New ducting is said to increase airflow by 11 percent. Graphic options are slick including race-replica Pedrosa, Hayden and Freddie Spencer models.
Protection, thy name is Arai. Prices on the Corsair-X range from $996-$1,169 CAD.
5. Sena Smart Helmet
Sena Technologies, known for its Bluetooth communication gear for motorcycling and extreme sports (helmet communication systems and action cameras are their bread and butter), introduced its first helmet at AIMExpo. And true to the company’s strength, this ain’t no ordinary helmet.
Sena has designed an Intelligent Noise Control system within its helmet that uses a pair of muff-style headphones to block out ambient sound for a quieter ride on the road. The company claims that sounds below 100 dB are quelled significantly, while important noises like horns and sirens are still audible. Listen to your music and receive phone calls through the built-in speakers, and if you need to hear your external surroundings, an ambient button allows you to do just that.
Sena farmed out the building of the helmet itself (nobody would tell us who built it), but of particular note is that the carbon fibre shell is standard. The design looks slick. Sena expects the Smart Helmet to be available for purchase in early 2016. Pricing has yet to be announced.
6. 6D Helmets ATS-1
6D is bringing its one-of-a-kind shock absorber helmet technology from the off-road world over to the street side of things with the new ATS-1. Three years in the making, the ATS-1 is highlighted by 6D’s ODS system (Omni-Directional Suspension), which uses several isolation dampeners that sit between two EPS liners (see cutaway of helmet below). The two layers can compress while the dampeners act as a ‘suspension’ between them to manage and disperse energy on impact.
The ATS-1 is DOT and ECE 22.5 certified, the shell is made up of ‘aerospace carbon’ according to 6D, and the company paid particular attention to ventilation and aerodynamics in building its first street-focused helmet. Pricing starts at $895 USD and helmets are expected to ship to dealers in March.