Arai says its Defiant full-face helmet is intended for riders with a penchant for style but who refuse to forgo protection for a little flare. More specifically, the helmet is claimed to have been designed with the ever-entertaining streetfighter market in mind and with a much more aggressive look than its siblings. While not overly brash, the helmet’s design is definitely more boisterous thanks to an IR chin vent that’s larger for better airflow. The front spoiler trim is new and shaped to provide more downforce in addition to less buffeting, whereas the nicely sealing IC-4 intake vents have been enlarged to provide added airflow across the rider’s temples and to cool the wearer’s temporal arteries. Matched to those intake vents is a multi-position ACR-4 exhaust vent that sends air through the helmet when open but reduces drag when closed, Arai says.
The Defiant’s insides are composed of Facial Contour System (FCS) cheek pads that are designed to provide head support and a Dry-Max fabric that’s supposed to be water-resistant but also breathable. A Dry-Cool fabric is used elsewhere, and while we didn’t test the aforementioned fabric’s water repellency, we will say that the Defiant’s cushions were quite comfortable against our cheeks. The pads felt plenty supportive, and the helmet’s intermediate oval shape worked well for our associate editor.
More interesting is that the Defiant’s chin vent (with easily accessed screw for removal and cleaning!) supplied gobs of airflow to the shield area and was easily adjusted between its two positions; we’re not aware, in fact, of a helmet that flows more air than the Defiant when all its vents are ajar. An added bonus is that the lever for each of the vents feels—and looks—bigger than ever, making it extremely easy to adjust the vents while wearing a set of riding gloves.
A diminutively sized pull-down chin curtain allows some noisegenerating air to penetrate the helmet—especially when in the up position. But the Defiant’s front spoiler definitely reduces lift, and the aforesaid wind noise is easily subdued by earplugs. More importantly, the helmet remains exceptionally stable when looking straight, with just a little bit of drag when your head is turned and traveling at high- way speeds, e.g., changing lanes.
The Defiant is available in five solid colors, six graphic designs, and will cost between $619.95 and $759.95, depending on which of those options you like best. A wide range of sizes are available, and we’re positive the ventilation alone is worth the price of admission. As for the more aggressive look, that’s just an added bonus as far as we’re concerned.