Date Reviewed - January 2019 Reviewed by - Ella Price - £500-600
At a price of between £500 and £600, it would be fair to expect a lot from Arai’s Tour X4 and in this it does not disappoint. Of course, the safety ratings are remarkable which should be expected from an expensive motorbike helmet. Despite technically being a full-face model, this touring motorbike helmet is also as versatile as it gets; with different combinations of parts you are able to create a motocross, sports and touring helmet too. The Arai Tour X4 has used Arai’s own innovative technology to create a strong shell, extremely comfortable fit and superb ventilation system. The Tour X4 even has a wide range of colour options, so despite a couple of minor flaws it really is a very impressive motorbike helmet.
Arai create some of the safest helmets in the world, and the X4 is no exception. It's been DOT, Snell and ECE approved, which is exactly what you want to hear when you're spending so much on a helmet. Unfortunately, the X4 has not yet been SHARP tested so we can't provide a score for that, however Arai consistently achieve a score of 3 or higher in their safety SHARP tests, so you can assume the same for this motorbike helmet too.
If you're concerned about the safety of this helmet, there's no need to be. Arai have created the shell out of CLC (complex laminate construction) which is multiple layers of high-grade fibreglass that prevent bending and breakage, making the shell much more durable. Arai sell this helmet in an impressive 5 different helmet shell sizes! This is a pretty large amount of shell sizes to offer, with other similar helmets only coming in 1 shell size. Arai certainly realise how important it is to have a well-fitting helmet on.
Ventilation is where the Arai Tour X4 really shines. The Tour X4 has an amazing number of vents compared to its full-face competitors. In total the Tour X4 has twelve vents. There are three chin vents, two cleverly placed brow vents and two top vents all combining to create a significant amount of air input. This means the user can rest assured that they will remain sufficiently ventilated throughout their journey. There are also four rear exhaust vents plus a large collar vent, creating a system that transports air extremely efficiently throughout the motorbike helmet. All input vents are easily closable which is a huge plus and not often found in other motorcycle helmets, even offering a re-assuring ‘click’ sound to let you know when they are fully closed. This means that ventilation and therefore temperature can be controlled by the user, leaving them capable of travelling in all weathers and climates in total comfort.
The visor on the Arai Tour X4 is impressively wide, which helps a lot with peripheral vision. This is perhaps one of the most important features of the Tour X4 for another reason. Due to this and the good number of removable parts such as the peak and visor, the Tour X4 is extremely versatile. By removing the visor you can create a motocross helmet, by removing the visor and peak you can create an open front motorbike helmet, and by removing just the peak you can create a great full face touring helmet. The visor itself is also contoured to the shape of the helmet, making it more aerodynamic. It isn’t a quick-change visor unfortunately, however it is Pinlock ready which is a must- have in order to reduce fogging and maintain full visibility. Arai have also utilised their strong visor lock for the Tour X4 which is a great feature.
If you need to change the visor, it might be a bit of an issue seen as it's not quick-change, however you shouldn't need to remove it very often. Since the X4 is a motocross helmet, it comes with an aerodynamic peak which helps to shade the riders eyes from the sun, while also stopping dirt hitting the visor/goggles. If you're not familiar with motocross helmets, the peak is designed to break if you have an accident, so they're not very sturdy. If you want to travel at high speeds, take the peak off, as they can become pretty distracting
You may be thinking that the Arai Tour X4 must really fall behind in the wind noise category due to its significant number of vents, however Arai have managed to keep noise levels at a surprisingly low level. This is a real feat that not many other motorbike helmet manufacturers could accomplish. General noise levels can also be easily improved by removing the peak which can begin to vibrate at high speeds. Overall the wind noise is at an average level which is inevitable with such an effective ventilation system, but there are easy ways to solve this problem for example by taking ear plugs with you. This is the case for most full- face motorbike helmets.
The Arai X4 excels once again in comfort levels. As you would expect from a motorbike helmet in a higher price bracket, the interior is nothing short of luxurious. Arai have again used their own innovative technology, this time to enhance comfort levels. They include fitting and facial contouring systems consisting of carefully sculpted cheek pads with additional spring; giving a nice firm fit.
The lining itself has several 5mm removable foam panels in the cheek and side- of- head areas, which can be taken out to improve the fit. As is often the case with Arai motorcycle helmets, you also have the option of buying replacement cheek pads to improve the fit even further. The foam pads themselves are covered by a Dry Cool material which is a moisture wicking fabric that’s also comfortable to have on your face. All internal features are removable and washable which is another must have. In terms of sizing, the Arai Tour X4 is available from XS to XXL which is great range of sizes.
The sizing itself is medium oval which is a pretty universal standard and will fit most head shapes. Finally, this motorbike helmet doesn’t disappoint either in its exterior colour options. As usual, with most motorbike helmets the solid colour options are cheaper and the Arai Tour X4 offers plain gloss white, plain gloss black or matte black. There are more detailed designs available too but they’re a little more expensive, such as Move which is a striped design, Mesh and Desert which are self-explanatory.
To conclude, despite a couple of minor negatives, the Arai Tour X4 really does have some fantastic features that make it worth its higher end price. Arai have used their own innovative technology such as their complex laminate shell structure, facial contouring fitting system and impact resistant form, which really make it stand out from its competitors. Plus, they have made sure this motorbike helmet is extremely versatile with a number of different removable parts helping to create a helmet that could suit a wide variety of activities. Team this with the outstanding intricacy of its ventilation system and you have a very impressive product, deserving an eight out of ten rating in the higher price motorbike helmet category.