ARAI HELMET FIT HOW TO PROPERLY FIT AN ARAI HELMET HOW TO GET THE RIGHT SIZE AND FIT PREFERRED METHOD FOR FITTING A HELMET The Importance of Proper Helmet Fitting Over the years, we have found that satisfaction with a helmet - any helmet - starts with your understanding of the importance of fit - understanding how proper size and fit affect how a helmet performs during everyday riding, and how rash or uninformed purchasing decisions can affect that performance. First Things First Unless this is your first motorcycle helmet, you probably feel you already know how to size and fit one. But even if you’re one of the very rare ones who actually can, we most strongly encourage and advise you to read and understand this piece because its points have come from Arai’s unequaled experience of over half a century of designing, building and fitting helmets! And no other helmet company can match that level of expertise or experience no matter how they may try to dance around or diminish it. While getting the proper size and fit on something as important and personal as a helmet can occasionally even be difficult in person in a store, this difficulty can be greatly compounded when your only contact is via phone, fax or e-mail and there is no hands-on, in-person help with the fitting process. This is why, with little or no actual firsthand knowledge at your disposal on how to size and fit a helmet, Arai sincerely encourages you to not make this decision lightly. (Any price savings are soon negated by having to wear a helmet that feels and fits wrong every time you put it on!) To understand the extreme importance of size and fit, you need to shift your thinking. Shift it away from the concept of a helmet being a “shiny painted thing” and concentrate on its main job as an “ENERGY MANAGEMENT SYSTEM” - a device to manage the energy of an impact. To do this job effectively it is absolutely essential that it fits correctly. For this reason, we advise you in the strongest way to be sure to read and follow the “HOW TO PROPERLY FIT AN ARAI HELMET” guide below. It gives you Arai’s preferred method for fitting a helmet. THE PREFERRED ARAI WAY OF FITTING A HELMET The Visual Examination Begin with a visual examination of your head shape, performed by someone you trust. Head shape? Yes, because head shape can be as important to a proper fit as head size. • Is your head round or long? Does your eyebrow area protrude from your forehead, or is it level with it? • Does your forehead protrude, or is it flat, or does it slope back from the brow? • Is the back of the head “pointed” or flat? Do you have a lot ot of hair, a little, or none? • Are your cheeks full, even with your facial structure, or sunken? A common problem with riders who have a full face, jaw, or cheeks is the mistake of fitting their faces instead of their heads. So they wind up choosing a larger size in order to get the helmet on past the face.The problem is compounded again in a mail-order/Internet purchase because there is no one-on-one helmet fitter to help. ©2006 Arai Helmet Americas, Inc. Remember, first get your correct head size. You’ll yell and scream that the measured-size will “never fit”, but respectfully, we’ve heard that before. Instead, when you order your helmet, consider ordering one of Arai’s optional thinner-cheekpad sets for your model. Swap the pads to the thinner ones – and Bingo! (We cover how to fit a full face in the following pages. ARAI HELMET FIT HOW TO PROPERLY FIT AN ARAI HELMET THE ROLE OF HEAD SHAPE IN FITTING AN ARAI HELMET: As said, the shape of the head – the relationship between length and width – is as important as head size in properly fitting a helmet. For this reason Arai offers more than one interior shell shape, as follows: Long Oval Shape On this end of the scale, we have the new Arai Profile model, offering additional forehead room for those who find that most helmets have pressure points in the forehead. Very long front-to-back, very narrow side-to-side. Intermediate Oval This next fit package comes in our RX-7 CORSAIR model, which begins the shift from oblong towards round. A little shorter front-to-back and a little wider side-to-side. Round Oval This last fit package is shared between our Quantum-2 and Astral-X models. However, because the Quantum-2 has a fully removable liner and the Astral-X has a non-removable head liner, side-by-side fit comparisons can reveal a personal preference for one over the other. Even a little shorter front-toback and a little wider side-toside. Arai’s Motocross and off-road helmets – the VX-PRO and new VX-PRO3 - as well as our three-quarter open-face helmet models - the Classic, SZ/m, and Series - do not share the multiple-fit packages. These are built on a single-fit package that runs in the middle of the shape range. ©2006 Arai Helmet Americas, Inc. ARAI HELMET FIT HOW TO PROPERLY FIT AN ARAI HELMET ARAI HELMET FITTING The Measurement Measuring your head is next, the starting point for the sizing procedure. Due to varying shapes, heads that are apparently the same size when measured by a tape may not necessarily fit the same size helmet. You are trying to find the longest distance around your head, at eyebrow level, above the ears. It may require several different attempts to establish the longest possible measurement, but it is absolutely essential to getting the right fit. NOTE: Be sure to use an accurate measuring device, like a cloth tape measure that shows inches (in) and centimeters (cm). You can get one cheap at any fabric store. TRYING ON THE HELMET Even if you have performed the above steps correctly, and use that information to order your helmet via mail order or the Internet, there are some final steps to follow when you receive it. Remember Arai’s exclusive *A NO-HASSLE, NO-FEE HELMET EXCHANGE IF THERE IS A SIZE OR FIT PROBLEM WITH YOUR INITIAL MAIL ORDER OR INTERNET PURCHASE. Snug vs. Loose A helmet that slips on easily may offer an initial impression of comfort and proper fit, but after time can become too loose and move around on your head, allowing more wind noise to get in and also causing more discomfort and fatigue as you struggle to keep your head from getting buffeted in the wind. Like a properly-fit pair of shoes, a helmet needs to settle in over time, so be sure to consider this “relaxing” of the interior when buying your new helmet. Your initial fitting goal, then, should be for a snug fit. SIZE SELECTION SIZE XXXS XXS XS S M L X XXL XXXL SHELL SHAPE* I/O R/O R/O L/O I/O I/O I/O I/O I/O L/O RX-7 SERIES QUANTUM SERIES ASTRAL SERIES SIGNET SERIES CLASSIC SERIES SZ/m SZ/RAM II PRO SERIES XD PROFILE SERIES COMPARISON (HEAD CIRCUMFERENCE) XXXS XXS XS S M (49-50 CM) (51-52 CM) (53-54 CM) (55-56 CM) (57-58 CM) L XL XXL XXXL (59-60 CM) (61-62 CM) (63-64 CM) (65-66 CM) Note that head circumference measurements should be used only as a starting point to determine your helmet size. Final judgment should follow actual test fitting of one or more of Arai’s various interior fit packages to determine the best possible fit "for you"! ©2006 Arai Helmet Americas, Inc. ARAI HELMET FIT HOW TO PROPERLY FIT AN ARAI HELMET ARAI HELMET FITTING Checking Horizontal and Vertical Movement 1 While you’re wearing the helmet, look carefully at the way it fits. Check to see if the cheek pads are in contact with the cheeks. Is there excess pressure on the cheeks? In most Arai models the cheekpads/earcups can be removed to verify the fit around the crown of the head if necessary, and replaced with thicker or thinner units to fit the face better. If there is a problem in the fit around the facial areas, you should consider completely removing the cheek pads, and then fit alternate cheekpad thickness until the proper comfort level is achieved. You may choose, in the case of a particularly broad facial structure, to remove the cheekpad set completely to get your head into the interior of the helmet to prove that the circumference is correct. Then, address facial fit by adjusting the thickness of the cheek pads. 2 Look for gaps between the temples and the crown padding. Check the back of the helmet where the neckroll makes contact with the neck. Does it touch at all? Or is it pushing the helmet away at the rear, causing it to roll down over the eyes in front? After you have made your visual check, grab the helmet in your hands, one hand on either side, and try to rotate the helmet from side to side. Note any movement of the skin while doing this, as well as the amount of resistance to movement while you hold your head steady. The helmet padding should not slide easily over the skin, but should pull the skin in the direction of rotation. Retention Check WARNING: This test may be a little uncomfortable, but it’s very important! Put the helmet on and tightly fasten the chin strap. Then, while holding your head steady, reach over the top of the helmet and grab the back of the helmet’s bottom edge with one or both hands and try to roll the helmet forward off your head. If it comes off, or comes close to coming off, it is too large or it is not the proper fit. ©2006 Arai Helmet Americas, Inc. 3 Next, check movement up and down, again noting skin movement and resistance. If there was little or no skin movement in either the vertical or horizontal tests, and/or the helmet moved very easily, the helmet is too large. A properly-fitted helmet will cause the skin to move as the helmet moves – and the wearer will feel as if evenlydistributed pressure is being exerted around the head. NOTE: Helmets are a little like boots, in that they will break-in a bit. For this reason, the best approach is to have a helmet that initially fits as snug as can be. ARAI HELMET FIT HOW TO PROPERLY FIT AN ARAI HELMET ARAI HELMET FITTING Pressure Point Check Unfasten the chin strap and remove the helmet. Immediately after the helmet has been removed, observe coloration of the skin at the forehead and cheeks. A reddening of the skin in a small area may indicate a pressure point. Pressure points sometimes are not noticed for several minutes, or even hours later. They sometimes cause headaches, and are at the least, uncomfortable. If you notice a pressure point, or if you experience discomfort there while wearing the helmet, it's too small or is the wrong interior shape. Before going to a larger size, try one or more of the other Arai interior shapes in the same size to see if the pressure points are relieved. WHEW!: That’s it. If it all sounds a little too much like work, please remember one thing from back in the beginning: You are fitting an Energy Management System. One that should be as comfortable, and fit so well, that it seems to disappear on your head. Something you can wear all day with little or no lapse in comfort and fit. That is the Arai experience. And it’s worth the effort. If other helmet companies don’t go to all this effort to insure your satisfaction, maybe you should wonder why? IN CLOSING No one pays more attention than Arai to the subtle variations and the infinite possibilities of the human head shape. And even though we know we can never build a perfect shape for everyone, we make a genuine effort to offer shapes that allow more people to find a better and more comfortable fit – which we think is much better for the rider’s comfort than trying to shove everybody’s head into a single interior shape! Where To Buy? All of the above reasons are why we prefer helmets to be purchased locally, in person, in a store, where you can make a hands-on decision about the helmet you’re going to have to wear! This is why we think it’s important to understand all of the different aspects of sizing and fit as it relates to brands, models and – in Arai’s case – interior shapes. Buying Online Or By Mail Order Registered Arai e-dealers® have agreed to work with Arai in an unprecedented campaign to make every effort to get you the right fit in your new Arai. If you find it impossible to visit your local dealer to buy your Arai in person, and therefore choose to buy online, we strongly urge you to look for a Registered Arai e-dealer – the only Internet retailers authorized to sell Arai helmets. ©2006 Arai Helmet Americas, Inc.
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