Arai produced the first motorcycle helmet in Japan, nearly a decade before the Snell standards were created. That history continues under the same family ownership over the past 60+ years.
At Arai, we think of ourselves as being in the helmet business, which is very different than being in the helmet market. Arai does not simply produce helmets to compete against other brands in the market, Arai produces helmets we believe offer tangible benefits to the rider – that is our business; our passion.
In the helmet market, helmets have become a fashion item. Arai strives to remain in the helmet business, creating helmets that focus on the fundamental function of a helmet – protection. Of course, its appearance must be desired by the market, but the old saying – form follows function – has never been more true than when speaking of head protection.
Impacts of riders vary greatly in force, speed, and the angle. This makes it difficult to learn what is appropriate for a helmet to cope with in such impacts. There is no literature available, or specific education existing either, that will help.
Standards set the bar for impact protection, which all manufactures must meet, but leave the “how” up to the manufacturer, each choosing its own path for design & construction. At Arai, we don’t start by checking market trends or the latest style, we reach back to our 60+ years of experience in the extremes of racing and everyday crash damage examples, which have led us to understand that radical changes in design and construction do not always improve head protection, and believe the most reliable way to achieve gains in protection is by accumulating proven advancements on various components of the helmet, one by one, even if they are not immediately visible.
Each improvement may not do very much by itself. But when these are accumulated, the synergy between multiple improvements will have a great effect. We have experienced this many times. That’s why we believe that every improvement counts. Over a long period of time we have been accumulating such improvements one by one, in the consistent pursuit of gains in protection. One key principle we have come to understand is the combined benefit of energy absorption as required by the standards, and energy avoidance by means of Arai’s round/smooth/strong shell glancing past impact energy, minimizing how much is sent into the helmet, and as a direct result enhancing absorption capacity.
Of course, Arai also knows that there are limitations to what a helmet can do, while there are no limitations to how much energy an impact can have, but we have never given up our pursuit of gains in protection. For over 60 years since its founding, Arai has been devoted to improve the level of head protection and seeking ways to achieve this in our way. Being motorcycle riders ourselves, our nature has been driving us to do so.
The helmet market always changes — for better or for worse. Whatever the circumstances or trends, we have never neglected our main priority of improving head protection. This is the secret of how Arai has come to stand out above the others.
Our core values and dedication make the difference in protection. It’s an expression of who we are – the consistent pursuit of gains in protection.