Arai Quantic helmet review

‘The helmet that fits like a glove’

by Justin Hayzelden |

The all-new Quantic is Arai’s flagship sports touring model, designed with regular riding and long distance touring in mind. Here’s what MCN’s testers had to say after putting it through its paces.

Tested by Michael Neeves for seven months / 6000 miles

Quality 5/5, Value 5/5

“It gives me a huge amount of confidence”

After putting a gazillion miles on my trusty old Arai QV over the past few years, I’m now wearing their latest touring lid: the Quantic. Launched last year it was the first helmet certified to stricter new ECE R22-06 regulations, that include a test for glancing impacts. I’ve done big miles around the MCN250 in it and bike launches in the rain, shine, gale force winds and sub-zero degree temperatures in the UK to 25 in Spain. It’s proved to be quiet and supremely comfortable every step of the way.

Arai Quantic helmet Diamond White

I still wear Arai’s RX-7V for racing and track tests, which has extra venting and aero, but the Quantic makes more sense on the road. It does without the racier helmet’s top scoops, making it much quieter in the windblast. The lining is velvetier, too making it extra comfortable.

Compared to the old QV the Quantic’s shell is bigger and slightly heavier (up from 1560g to 1650g), but it’s still light and easy to wear. It has a deeper chin bar a new rear spoiler and useful new vents, including one that forms the raised Arai badge. But unlike the QV or RX-7V there are no vents to keep your earplugs in when you’re not using them.

It uses the same visor and mechanism as the QV and RX-7V. I’ve never had a problem with them in the past, but I struggle to pop the Quantic’s visor open, unless I can get my finger up and underneath the visor as I open it. That’s almost impossible wearing thick gloves. During the winter I’ve had to stop to take my gloves off before I can get it open., but it’s not a problem with thinner gloves. Visor changes are quick and easy once you’ve got the knack.

I’ve always worn medium Arais (they’re available from XS to XL) and the Quantic fits perfectly out of the box without any need to change the padding. Its slightly wider base makes it easier to get on and off than Arais I’ve had before, too. It also comes with a Pinlock anti-fog insert and a small bottle of silicone, which you’ll need from time to time to keep the visor moving freely. It also has a built-in (non-removable) chin skirt and quick release cheek pads.

Like all Arais the Quantic is hand built in Japan and beautifully finished (although I’ve manged to chip the paintwork already - gutted), which goes a long way to justify the price. Arai will also service your helmet for free at selected events and race meetings.

I’ve crashed more times than I care to remember in Arais and they’ve saved my bacon every time. So, while I love the way the Quantic feels, fits…and smells, it also gives me a huge amount of confidence.

Pros: Quiet and comfortable

Cons: Visor can be tricky to open with thick gloves

Tested by Richard Newland for five months / 5,000 miles

Quality: 5/5 Value: 4/5

Helmets fall into two main safety categories now – those that are ECE22.06 (the latest safety standard), and those that aren’t. The Quantic is one of only a handful of helmets currently on the market that conforms to the new protection baseline (which sees helmet impact testing at higher and lower speeds than 22.05 and crucially introducing an angled impact test to simulate rotational forces).

Does this mean your 22.05 helmet is no longer safe? Of course not, but with 22.06 we now have a clearer picture of how a helmet will protect us in a real accident.

Arai Quantic ‘Face’ Helmet

The Quantic is a typical Arai evolution, blending only the tech and features they’re happy to introduce with their trademark ‘R75’ shell design ethos. This means no internal sun visor, no sharp styling angles or rigid vents and spoilers. The large rear exhaust/spoiler on the Quantic is designed to crumple or detach in an accident, while the inlet vents are all minimal in scale and design impact, meaning they’re flush to the shell or will shear off, rather than gripping or snagging the scenery (heightening rotational risks).

Despite less visible venting than the RX-7V, the airflow is actually increased through the helmet, keeping you cool on warm days with chin, brow, forehead and top-mounted inlets and multiple exhausts. Despite all the vents, once closed I’ve suffered no water ingress during persistent rain, and you can exclude almost all unwanted draughts on cold days, meaning it’s a great performer all year round.

The MaxVision visor mechanism is the same as the RX-7V, with two recessed levers releasing the smooth side pods and detaching the visor simultaneously. The visors boast an excellent Pinlock aperture, meaning no eclipsed or interrupted view from the wide and sporty-focussed visor aperture.

There’s no doubt the Quantic is best suited for sporty riding positions, as I find the brow vent – cunningly secluded within the Arai logo – does generate wind noise (even when closed) if your head is in an upright touring attitude. Dip your head, and it’s impressively quiet again. Every vent, and the large visor lock lever, are a doddle to use through even the thickest gloves.

The fit and finish are superb, and there are accommodating recesses for speakers if you’re a connected sort of human, while the shell has flat areas on each side to allow easier device fitment. The nose and chin visors are both effective, and while there are no claims to being glasses-friendly, I still find it easy enough to slide my glasses into place.

Stunningly comfortable from the first wear, beautifully finished and boasting top-level safety credentials, it’s one of my favourite helmets of all time. There’s nothing to dislike other than the price tag.

Pros: Lovely quality, superb fit, top-spec
Cons: Brow vent wind noise, the price tag

Other helmets picked by MCN:

HJC R-PHA 70 Carbon
Shark Spartan GT Carbon Skin
Shoei RYD

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