Arai XD4 Review – 2021 Guide

Troy
| Last Updated: April 2, 2021

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Arai is well known as one of the best motorcycle helmet manufacturers, whether you’re touring, off-roading, racing on a track, or a sports enthusiast.

We're taking a close look at the Arai XD4, a touring helmet that also received racetrack safety certification, making it different from many other touring helmets on the market.

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • Fully washable, removeable, and replaceable inner
  • Large side cowl vents are sculpted for ventilation
  • Shaped for excellent aerodynamics
View Latest Price →Read Customer Reviews

PROS

  • Comfort
  • Aesthetics
  • High Quality
  • Peripheral Vision
  • Good Quality Air Ventilation

CONS

  • Rain Getting into Helmet
  • Lift Without a Windscreen

Specs and Dimensions 

Helmet Configurations:

  • Weighs 3.66 lbs

  • Available in 8 sizes

  • Available in 4 shell sizes, with standard and options available

  • Helmet interior shape is an intermediate oval

  • 3 cheek pad thickness available, depending on helmet size

Main Features 

With an improved shell shape for better aerodynamics at higher speeds, the Arai XD4 has a comfort headliner, with a 5mm peel away temple and cheek pads that help to get a better fit. The interior is fully removable and washable, including the comfort liner, cheek pads, and chinstrap covers.

Other comfort features include the Dry-Cool material that does just that, keeps you dry and cool. The chin vent has more intake ports, the cowl vents on the side are larger to improve ventilation, and exhaust ports have been added to the top vents, all of which allow for better airflow.

Everything about the XD4 dual sport helmet speaks to keeping the rider comfortable for extended periods. While the helmet is for touring, it passed the more rigorous safety standards that are normally only seen for helmets used on racetracks. So, not only can you be assured of your comfort while on the streets, but you can also know you’re wearing one of the safest helmets on the road.

The Arai XD-4 sets the standard for safety, quality, and comfort and does so for such a low price point, without cutting corners. While you might not get all of the bells and whistles of one of Arai’s top of the line helmets, you’re also not marketing to the same consumer. 

The helmet comes in five color selections, including two black, two white, and a grey version. They all look great, and we think choosing a color will be harder than choosing to purchase the helmet itself.

Pros

Here are some pros:

Good Quality Air Ventilation

When it comes to helmets, quality air venting is one of the top criteria for many riders. Not only does the ventilation cool you down, making the ride more comfortable, but it also keeps condensation from building up inside the helmet and on your face shield, obstructing your view. Many people report that the Arai XD4 has good quality air ventilation. The upgrade of the ventilation system has paid off with this version of the helmet.

Comfort

The interior shape of the Arai XD4 is an intermediate oval, which is what the majority of people fall under when it comes to head shape. So, it's no surprise that so many people find the helmet extremely comfortable, even after long rides. With many helmets and shell sizes, in addition to features such as the peel away cheeks and temple pads to find a better fit, Arai goes that extra mile to ensure your comfort. 

Peripheral Vision

Many customers were surprised at the peripheral view after purchasing the Arai XD4, which is unrivaled by many other brands. 

The field of vision opens up without obstruction, allowing the rider to see more than in many other helmets, making the ride safer and more comfortable.

High Quality

Just holding the Arai AD4, you can tell that it is a premium quality helmet. Running your hand over the helmet and examining it at close range, you can see all the care and craftsmanship that goes into making each Arai helmet. Each mold is handmade, and so is each helmet, using the best materials. 

When it comes to Arai, there is no mass production of their products. They produce their products the same, whether for their sponsored drivers or someone ordering off their website.

Aesthetics

While aesthetics may not be as important as safety and comfort, it still matters to many people, and this helmet sure is aesthetically pleasing. We can see why Arai considers it a sports helmet and not just a touring helmet. Who wouldn’t want to go a little faster wearing this? Available in five colors, each one looks just as pleasing as the other.

Cons

Here are some cons:

Lift Without a Windscreen

Multiple people report getting some lift if they don’t have a windscreen on their bike, especially when turning their heads. The lift is reported as being very minimal to be quite substantial and has caused some neck pain in some individuals. However, it is important to mention that not all people report this, and some have had no ill effects. There appear to be no lift issues when facing forward.

Rain Getting into Helmet

There is more than one report that rain gets into these helmets, some causing more problems than others. Some people have complained that it is just dripping down their backs, while others complain that it has caused their face shield to fog up completely, causing major issues.

What Types of Riding is the Arai XD4 Best For?

The Arai XD4 is a dual-sport helmet, meaning that it is rated for more than one purpose. In this case, it is for touring and track use due to its Snell M2020 certification. It was originally a touring helmet.

We would say that the Arai XD4 is best for street riding. Whether you’re touring or getting a little sporty, being on the street is the best advantage for this helmet. Sure, it’s cool that it has the Snell M2020 certification, which seems to be the gold standard when it comes to helmet safety standards, but there are better track helmets out there for you to use.

Street Use Helmets

Helmets made for street use are manufactured with comfort in mind. They are thinking about someone who is going to be riding for 60 minutes or longer.

They also contain more padding and protection for the head in case of crashes.

Track helmets tend to be narrower, with less peripheral vision. They are to be worn for only short periods and take impacts at lower speeds than street helmets.

What Do I Need To Know Before Buying the Arai XD4? 

Before buying an Arai XD4, there are a few things you need to know.

Sizing

Making sure that you get an accurate size of your head by measuring above your ears and eyebrows. Looking at Arai’s sizing chart will help you determine your inner helmet size. Unless you try one on, you can’t be positive on the sizing. If you are unsure, especially when it comes to shells and padding thickness, call customer support to help you out.

Read Reviews

We tried to bring you the best information we can, including from multiple sources, but it’s always good to look at reviews. You may find some information that refers to your situation specifically. For instance, in a review between two specific helmets, a gentleman liked one over the other only because he was a smoker and could smoke without taking his helmet off. We wouldn’t have thought to mention that as it doesn’t apply to us.

Make Sure It’s in Your Price Range

Research helmets in your price range only. Don’t fall in love with a helmet, only to find out that there’s no way that you can afford it.

Shoei Hornet X2 vs Arai XD4 - Comparison Overview 

When it comes down to a face-off between the Shoei Hornet X2 and the Arai XD4, the first hurdle is the head shape, even though both are intermediate oval. Many people found themselves to be one or the other. Those who found they could wear both preferred the Aria's comfort and one main factor was the noticeable difference in weight. Between the two, the Shoei Hornet X2 was just too heavy. 

Arai edges out Shoei with the extra safety certification, as the Hornet X2 is only DOT rated. Both are considered a dual-sport, the Arai XD4 is one of the best ADV touring helmets on the market, and the Shoei Hornet X2 is the optimal balance between on-and-off-road form and function. 

Each manufacturer has taken a different approach when it comes to materials used for its shells. Arai’s helmet is made with polycarbonate, while Shoei’s uses hand-laid interwoven layers of fiberglass with organic fibers and resin. 

It’s hard to pick a true winner between the two, and, again, it’s going to come down to which one fits your head shape better. Aside from that, the biggest difference is in the weight, with many of the features being quite similar.

Photo credit: motorcycledaily.com

How to Clean an Arai Helmet

After every ride, wipe down the helmet with a microfiber cloth, including the sweat from the inside of the helmet. If you use sunblock, make-up, or hair products, you may want to pull out the cheek pads and headliner and give them a quick rinse in the sink. The buildup of these products can become difficult to remove after a while.

When cleaning the face shield, make sure to remove it and only use warm water or a neutral based cleaner, and a microfiber cloth to prevent any damage. Lay the wet microfiber cloth across the face shield to soften the bugs and debris, making cleaning easier. Once cleaned, adding a carnauba wax will help protect the lenses.

About once or twice a season, you will want to do a full strip-down wash, removing all of the interior parts, including headliner, interior lining, and cheek pads to give them a thorough wash. Be sure to refer to the video below for a full overview of what was just described. 

Conclusion 

We took an in-depth look at the Arai XD4 motorcycle helmet, providing you with the pros and cons, as well as what others had to say about it. This helmet’s safety standards go above and beyond what is necessary to be on the road, and you can tell that Arai carefully built it with comfort in mind.

People Also Ask

If you're looking for Arai XD4 helmets, you might have some questions that we haven't answered yet, and you may not be able to find them on the company’s website. The following questions may help you make a final decision on whether to purchase the Arai XD4.

Is the Arai XD4 Worth it?

If you ask this question to most people who own this helmet, they will quickly answer you with an enthusiastic yes. For the price you are paying, you get a handcrafted helmet that exceeds road safety standards with many comfortable and convenient features. We believe the answer is yes, the Arai XD4 is worth it.

Who Makes the Arai XD4?

ARAI, a third-generation, family-owned company based out of Japan. When Mr. Arai was a young man, there were no helmet manufacturers based in Japan. He decided to start his own since Japan was a closed market, and it was hard to come by a good one.

Photo credit: webbikeworld.com

When Was Arai XD4 Created?

The Arai released the XD4 in 2012, which came six years after the initial release of the original XD version. As it has currently been eight years with the XD4 version, and it’s safe to say that this one is more popular than the previous one. Customers continue to be happy, and sales continue to occur, making the XD4 one of Arai’s most popular choices.

How To Open The Vents on Arai XD4

Opening the vents on the Arai XD4 is simple. You just need to push on the switch or lever on each of the vents to open. When the shutter inside is open, the air is directed inside to the mouth to allow for fresh air inside the helmet. To close the vents again, do the same maneuver, pushing the switch or lever in the opposite direction.

What Does Arai Mean?

Japan founded Arai in 1926, making it the oldest helmet company in the world. Before starting Arai the company, Arai the man was a hatmaker and motorcycle enthusiast. Once he began operating his own company of helmet making, he never looked back.

Troy

Hi, my name’s Troy. I started riding motorcycles with Clay mid-2020 and soaking up his vast knowledge of bikes. I have been writing for a few years and decided it was a good time to start writing about what I’m passionate about - motorcycles. No matter how bad your day is, a bike will always make you feel better, that’s my motto.