Arai Profile Alternative

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by sparkymcgee, Feb 5, 2013.

  1. sparkymcgee

    sparkymcgee Been here awhile

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    My last two helmets have been Arai Profiles. They fit well and are comfortable. However, I don't want to spend that kind of money anymore, so I'm looking for a cheaper alternative that meets all the same safety specs. I am also intrigued by the internal retractable sun visors. The quieter the better also.

    Any suggestions?
    #1
  2. StuartV

    StuartV Motorcyclist

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    I wore every model of Arai (and only wore Arai) for over 20 years. A year and a half ago, I discovered the Bell Vortex. It is the first helmet I found, in all that time, that was as comfortable to me as my Arais.

    I now also have a Bell RS-1, which is equally comfortable.

    The Bell Star is a different shell shape and not comfortable to me.

    Also, the main reason I have not worn my Arai since I got the Vortex is the Bell Transitions shield. It gets dark in sunlight. No more carrying a spare face shield for me and no need for one of those janky internal tinted visors.

    Besides having the Transitions shield, the best thing about the Bells is the price. Street on the Vortex is $180. The RS-1 is higher and, to me, not worth the extra money. Unless, as I did, you find a closeout deal on a NOS RS-1 for $199. I wanted a second helmet anyway and the extra $20 was worth it to get a "cool" graphics paint job instead of plain black.

    Both of these helmets are DOT and Snell approved, I believe.
    #2
  3. pgh

    pgh Adventurer

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    I went from a Profile to a Signet Q. I believe it's a couple millimeters longer front to back. Fit me better actually.
    #3
  4. 10/10ths

    10/10ths Road Trip Fool

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    ....Profile to Signet-Q.

    Worth the money.
    #4
  5. StuartV

    StuartV Motorcyclist

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    As far as I can tell, the Arai Signet is even more expensive than the Profile. So, how exactly do these last two posts answer the OP's question or help him in any way??

    As I said before, I've had Arai Signet, RX7, Astral, Profile, Quantum, and probably some other models they've had over the years that I can't remember now. They were all super comfortable and nothing else I tried was even close - except some Shoeis, which were close in comfort (to ME), but not close enough to get me to switch, even though they were less expensive.

    Now, Bell is making the Vortex and RS-1, which are JUST as comfortable (to ME) as any Arai I've had (and without having to buy thicker cheek pads, which I always had to do on my Arais). And they offer a photochromic faceshield, which Arai does not. And these helmets are half to a third the price of an Arai.

    So, unless an Arai is comfortable to you and none of these Bells are comfortable, I don't see how you can say the Arai is "worth the money." They definitely used to be, to me. Now, they are definitely not worth the money. Given that I can't get a photochromic shield for an Arai, I wouldn't even buy a new Arai for the $180 I can get a Bell Vortex for.

    A comfortable helmet with a quick-change tool-less faceshield that gets dark in sunlight trumps any helmet that is not comfortable or does not have such a faceshield. For me, anyway.

    Of course, I suppose this is really the wrong site to be calling anybody out for spending excess money on stuff based on the name brand or "cool" factor. :evil :rofl
    #5
  6. 10/10ths

    10/10ths Road Trip Fool

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    ..with a GS and two other machines in the garage.:rofl
    #6
  7. Hikertrash

    Hikertrash Long timer

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    Nolan N90 fit similar to my XD3 and it had a flip down sunscreen.
    #7
  8. richarddacat

    richarddacat best jelly roll in town

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    :lurk

    So you're looking for the fit of a Profile and the price of a Arthur Fulmer, yea, I'm in.
    #8
  9. Jim K.

    Jim K. Long timer

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    I've been very impressed with my current HJC . After years of being dedicated to Shoei, the prices became just too much. I'd call the HJC about 95% of the Shoei quality for about 45% of the price.
    #9
  10. lucas123

    lucas123 Been here awhile

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    The Icon Alliance is another choice.
    Long oval shape. Arai-esque look and features like a shield that locks in the same spot as Arai, and side pod covers.
    #10
  11. 10/10ths

    10/10ths Road Trip Fool

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  12. StuartV

    StuartV Motorcyclist

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    Exactly! The handicapped are ALLOWED to crack on other handicapped....

    Oh, and that's a GS plus 3 1/2 other machines in the garage. Though, admittedly, 1 1/2 gixxers are about to be sold off... :D
    #12
  13. VascoMerlin

    VascoMerlin He'll Stab Your Cat

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    The Arai Signet Q was the replacement for the Profile. It is the same helmet as the Arai RX-Q, just longer front to back.
    If you would like something similar, but cheaper:
    The Bell RS-1 would be a good fit.

    But, (and I tell this to all our customers) if a Signet Q (or a Profile) fits you comfortably, nothing else sold can compare. Nothing else is as long an oval with the same forehead clearance. Sorry.
    #13
  14. StuartV

    StuartV Motorcyclist

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    See post #2 above.

    A Profile is very comfortable, to me. And a Bell RS-1 and a Bell Vortex are both equally comfortable. To me. As in, I wear any of them for 12 hours straight (or longer) and have no pressure spots or discomfort.

    Just because the Bells are less expensive than an Arai does NOT mean they are any less good. Arai are ridiculously overpriced (in my opinion - which is borne out by being able to buy other helmets that meet the same safety specs and are just as comfortable, for 1/4 the price).
    #14
  15. sparkymcgee

    sparkymcgee Been here awhile

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    So based on Stu's advice (thanks!), I ordered the Vortex from Revzilla on Wednesday. I was shocked to find the helmet at my door on Thursday. Normally I wouldn't purchase a helmet online, but Revzilla has such an easy and liberal return policy, I figured I'd give it a go. I also read a number of other reviews online before taking the plunge.

    Upon inspecting it, there was a very minor scratch on the visor near the top edge, but I can't see it with the helmet on, so I'm not going to worry about it. I'm sure I'll do worse to it in the first few days I own it (my luck).

    I wore it for 15 minutes or so last night while watching TV and it felt fine. A little snug in the cheek area, but I like snug and it will break in I'm sure.

    This morning I wore it for the 30 minute commute to work. I quickly noticed a couple of things. There was what felt like hard spot in the back of my head (kind of like the foam was pushing against me in one area more than others). I also noticed that my neck was getting a bit more cold wind against it than with my Profile. By the end of the commute, the foam issue was no longer noticeable.

    I was worried about the noise level as it was rated noisier than the Profile, but when I got on the freeway, I was pleasantly surprised by how quiet it was. It is actually quieter than my Profile at least in the lower frequencies. My Profile seems to have a lot of buffeting noise, where the Vortex has almost none. There is the higher frequency hissing of course, but no louder than the Profile. I also noticed that the helmet is much more stable when turning my head to check traffic. The Profile's visor would always crack open if I turned my head at 80+mph.

    Speaking of the visor, the Vortex visor mechanism is far better than the Profile's IMO. I never liked the friction adjustment on the Profile. I also hated the removal and re-installation process. I always felt like I was going to break the release levers when removing it and then by the time I fought the visor back on to the helmet, it had fingerprints all over it. The Vortex is the easiest removal and installation I have ever used. There were some raindrops falling and I noticed that they "slid" right off the visor to the side almost instantly without leaving any trace. I don't know if it is because it was new or if they coat it with something, but I liked it. Also, no fogging to speak of, but I didn't have any long stops at lights where I would normally notice it most.

    All in all, the Vortex is a tremendously better value than the Profile. You get DOT and Snell approval, comfort, quiet, and easy visor change. For $180 vs $500 for the Profile.

    Now I just have to add some ugly reflective stickers so the idiots can see my dome in traffic.
    #15
  16. StuartV

    StuartV Motorcyclist

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    Excellent, sparky!

    You mentioned some things I also like about my Bell helmets, that I neglected to mention. So, +1 on that! Especially how much nicer it is to change the shield on the Bell versus the Arai. Of course, with the Transitions shield, I don't have to ever change my shield anyway. Only remove it occasionally for a more thorough cleaning. And no Arai side plates to lose. Bonus!

    I'm glad it worked out for you! Oh, and if you decide you want thinner (or thicker) cheek pads, you can order them and they are way cheaper than Arai cheek pads, too!
    #16
  17. sparkymcgee

    sparkymcgee Been here awhile

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    Pretty sure I'll spring for the photo shield soon. Any special considerations on taking care of it?
    #17
  18. StuartV

    StuartV Motorcyclist

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    Not really. Read the instructions that come with it. I just use dish soap or cleaner that is specifically for faceshields to clean mine.
    #18
  19. richarddacat

    richarddacat best jelly roll in town

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    So, Sparky, how's your new Bell helmet holding up. Still fit as well as an Arai?
    #19
  20. richarddacat

    richarddacat best jelly roll in town

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    Guess Sparky has burnt out. :lol3

    Currently shopping to replace my old Profile with broken parts. The Bell RS1 fit very well, the Vortex not so much and the quality was evident with the RS1.
    May go with either the RS1 or the Signet-Q.

    As far a a cheaper replacement, the Vortex at $179. would be my choice but Arai has spoiled me. You definitely get what you pay for.

    Well see. Here's a good link for helmet shopping;

    http://www.webbikeworld.com/motorcycle-helmets/motorcycle-helmet-shapes.htm
    #20