The new AirWing spoiler on...
The new AirWing spoiler on the back of the Corsair V is claimed to reduce turbulence and buffeting at speed, while the Diffuser system has been redesigned for improved ventilation and easier operation with gloved hands.
Although Arai's top-of-the-line Corsair racing helmet has undergone constant upgrades over the years, it's been some time since the last Corsair model made its debut in '02. There were rumors that Arai was going to wait until 2010 to introduce the latest generation Corsair (the "RX-7" prefix has been dropped from its U.S. label), but according to Arai Americas' Brian Weston, "our MotoGP riders reported that the Corsair V was so much better [than the previous model], Arai decided not to hesitate in bringing this helmet to the market." Using the inaugural Indianapolis MotoGP event as a backdrop, Arai introduced its latest Corsair V model to the press.
While it may appear basically identical to the previous Corsair model at first glance, the new Corsair V features numerous design changes inside and out aimed at improving performance in various areas. The most obvious new feature is the adjustable "AirWing" on the back of the helmet, designed to reduce turbulence and buffeting at speed. The AirWing can be set in five different angles to work with various riding positions, from upright to full race-tuck. The oft-copied Arai Diffuser has also been slightly revamped with enhanced air inlets to increase airflow efficiency, as well as an additional air intake slot in the middle of the diffuser body to accentuate the venturi effect and help "pull" stale air out of the helmet interior. The upper vent toggles (which shut the system in colder weather) are now larger to enable easier operation with gloved hands, and the center top vent has also been redesigned for more air intake.
Working with the top vents are new-design side vent exhaust ports. A sculpted cowling attachment not only helps venting, but also is claimed to greatly increase lateral stability at speed. Also contributing in this area is a new outward-flaring Hyper-Ridge reinforcement band on the bottom of the helmet shell. The ridge is much more pronounced than before, which not only adds shell strength, but also contributes to aerodynamics and results in larger opening at the bottom, which the company hopes will help riders "choose the correct size helmet" due to its easier ingress. Another new peripheral reinforcement band in the shell extends across the forehead area (devised from Arai's Formula 1 racing experience) above the eyeport to enhance structural integrity while maintaining flexibility, low weight and shell size with the company's SNC (Structural Net Composite) construction.
Speaking of eyeports, the Corsair V's opening is 10mm wider (5mm at each side) in order to improve peripheral vision. The faceshield brow vents have also been changed; instead of venting into the forehead area, the new vents direct airflow to the rider's temple area where arterial blood flow can be cooled. The shield itself is not only changed to cover the larger eyeport, but the entire shield, sidepods, and eyeport area have been redesigned to be more flush against the helmet shell for improved aerodynamics. The shield is now recessed enough that small sliders located just above the eyeport are necessary to keep it from contacting the helmet's upper shell when raised.
Arai's Emergency-Release Cheek Pad System introduced on its VX-Pro3 dirt helmet (designed to allow medical personnel to more easily remove the helmet from an injured rider) has now been incorporated into the Corsair V. Prominently marked pull tabs on the cheek pads allow easy removal. The neckroll is now removable and replaceable as well, and has an additional exhaust vent to help internal airflow, while the latest-generation Dry-Cool liner (still removable and washable) has repositioned rear mounting snaps for a more secure fit.
Prices and colors/graphics were still being determined at press time. However, SR was given a Corsair V for testing, and we'll be publishing our results in the next issue. -K.K.