Arai Corsair-V Test

Designed after Idemitsu Honda Team Asia’s Moto2 racer Takaaki Nakagami, the Arai Corsair-V Nakagami helmet’s ultra sleek design – complete with the Greek “Laurel Wreath” –  commands the attention of both fellow track day riders and spectators alike.

The same can be said of all the latest graphics offered on the Corsair-V, which receives the R75 shape update – a redesign that is now used across Arai’s entire helmet line.

I tested the new Corsair-V (Roman numeral for five, not the letter V) lid at a recent back-to-back track day weekend at Pennsylvania’s Pocono Raceway with Absolute Cycle Experience. That Saturday’s event – although not ideal weather-wise – was the perfect chance to give the lid its debut in the wet.

Some fogging issues aside, once I cracked open the faceshield a smidgen, it cleared up in time for me to see my braking marker. Whew, close one!

Once the sky cleared, a dry line formed and we started to have some real fun at warp speed on Pocono’s FUSA circuit, which utilizes the 9-degree banked Tunnel Turn and part of the back straight.

First thing’s first – let’s lose the clear shield for the cool, dark smoke tinted faceshield. As a not-so-frequent Arai user, it took a few frustrating tries and failed attempts to smoothly do the swap. But, after a while it became second nature even to the most mechanically challenged (aka yours truly).

Hitting speeds of up to 160+ mph on Pocono FUSA’s back straight aboard my Suzuki GSX-R750, the Arai Corsair-V was buttery smooth on the real-life wind tunnel test, with no buffeting issues nor excess wind blast thanks to the newly redesigned recessed faceshield and side covers as part of the R75 upgrade.

This revamping puts the shield much more flush with the shell. The five-position air foil at the backside of the shell (all the way in the “down position” for high speed runs) assists in smoothing airflow over top of the helmet. Also, a total of nine air ports allow for plenty of ventilation, even on the hottest days.

Two of the most noticeable improvements are:

  • The two ducts located above the open eyeport of the shell channel the rushing wind away from the rider’s eyes and reroutes it towards the temples.
  • The base of the Corsair-V shell is flared out a bit more, not only making the fitting and removal easier, but also assuring a proper fit from day one. Due to this, there’s not much of an uncomfortable break-in period.

The Arai Corsair-V also features quick-removable cheek pads so the shell can be lifted off the rider’s head with hardly any resistance or extra stress on the neck or spine (one of the smartest features of the new design from a medical and safety standpoint).

At 3.65 pounds (size medium), the Arai Corsair V is the lightest, most comfortable helmet I’ve ever worn. Priced at over $800 for the Corsair V featuring the Nakagami graphics, it’s not inexpensive, but you get what you pay for, and then some.

For additional information on the Corsair-V and other Arai products, visit AraiAmericas.com.

Jeffrey Bugno is a guest tester for UltimateMotorCycling.com. A former CCS and WERA racer, he is currently a track coach with Absolute Cycle Experience and Team Pro-Motion. He also founded Moto Tech Cycle with a fellow racer.