ARAI-X-TEND

Reviewed by: Marc Wheeler for 6000 miles RRP: £349.99

Cards on the table, I’ve long been an Arai man and I’ve also had several of the brand’s jet style SZ range, doing many thousands of miles in them over the years. So when the X-tend was launched at last year’s Milan show I had to give it a go.

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The X-tend is something of a halfway house between the SZ and a full face helmet. I have to admit that the extended check pads give a slightly greater feeling of security and completely eliminate life at speeds well above what would be the norm in a cruiser/commuter helmet. As with all Arai helmets, the finish is brilliant and as I am a perfect, out of the box, medium size the comfort is superb from day one.

With hindsight I did a slightly silly thing when I chose the X-tend’s maiden voyage as a week long, 2500 mile, touring holiday in California. But with dark visor fitted to protect from the glare of the sun, and removed when it rained (yes, it sometimes rains in California) it handled everything thrown at it. And it’s that visor change that raises the only slight niggle. Unless you run two sets of side pods you need a small Phillips head screwdriver to carry out the swap.

More info: www.whyarai.co.uk

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Ross Mowbray

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