When the time came to replace my race-spec Arai RX-7 after a crash at the track, I wanted to try something a little more street-oriented. Most of my riding is on the street on a variety of motorcycles, but I do make the occasional visit to the racetrack as well. The goal was to find something up to it all, and the Chaser-X has proved remarkably good at this.
There are many things the Chaser-X shares with the range-topping RX-7V, including a similar anti-microbial inner lining material and Arai’s new variable axis visor system. Pull it over your head and it feels just as premium, with a remarkably balanced feel that effectively hides its 1,548gm weight.
The Chaser-X also offers Arai’s trademark facial contour cheek pads that fit comfortably against your face, and the fit can be fine-tuned by thin layers of foam that peel away from the headliner. I find that most Arai models fit me differently (which is why you absolutely must try them on before purchase) and in the case of the Chaser-X, the head area was a bit too tight at first. The peel-away pads helped, but if you’re looking for more, Arai also sells a number of different sized headliners to make sure you get the fit you’re looking for.
On the outside, the Chaser-X immediately comes across as more compact than the RX-7 and I like this. I also absolutely love the Shaped Red graphic design, despite initial apprehension that the helmet looked a bit boring in images. But Arai has a way of working with colours and textures in its graphics and the orange in this scheme absolutely pops in person. It helps make this an attractive design, but without being as loud as a typical race replica graphic. Overall quality is fantastic, right from the paint finish to the feel of the materials, and you are left with no doubt that this is a top-shelf helmet.
Ventilation is impressive, especially from the two-stage jaw vent, and Arai’s trademark brow vents, built into the visor, channel the air through ducts above the head. The single vent on the top does a decent job, but there is a noticeable reduction compared to the almost breezy feel that comes with the RX-7V, which has three intake vents on top. On the plus side, the Chaser is much quieter, especially at urban speeds, but earplugs become necessary when riding on the highway.
The Chaser-X is a sport-biased helmet and I’ve found that it works well enough on the track too. Unless you’re a professional racer or a track-day refugee, I think this helmet makes for a more rounded performer than the RX-7V. Of course, the Chaser does lack some of the RX-7s features – namely Arai’s latest, peripherally belted, outer shell technology, as well as the emergency-release cheek pads. But like all Arais, the Chaser-X conforms to the company’s stringent in-house testing that far surpasses the mandatory European ECE 22-05 standard, which this helmet is also certified to.
Rs 51,000 might seem like a lot for a helmet, but it’s up to Rs 34,000 less than the top-spec RX-7V. Crucially, it is the full Arai experience and makes no significant compromises. An absolute recommend.
Price: Rs 51,000