Monday, October 03, 2022

ARC Roadster BelAir Helmet - Unboxing and Review

It's time to replace my 5 years old Givi helmet (primary user is my family) and a quick trip to Sentul motorbike town leads me to a brand locally known as ARC. It is not foreign to many local riders and the price point has always been pocket friendly. My initial plan was to replace it with another Givi (model is M30.3) with double visor but the pricing was about RM300. Which is a bit steep for a helmet that is worn once or twice by the kids and wife. We don't put a price on life (or head), so I was ready to commit to the White Givi M30.3 and that was when I decided to see what else were there on the rack with certification and most importantly, made in 2022 (helmet has lifespan)

Click Here For The Unboxing Video

The sales person at the shop was really helpful and brought a few helmets for our viewing and trying. The ARC Roadster caught Missus' eyes as it was simple and yet striking in design. The other two (Gracshaw and SGV) were put aside as we prefer something with micro-lock and not Double-D rings to secure the helmet chin strap. The ARC Roadster priced at RM250, which is slightly cheaper than Givi M30.3, and to our surprise the manufacturer is having a promotion and has placed the price of RM180 for a limited time. It was a no brainer decision then.
FS-720 in XXL

What it comes with
  • Box
  • Microfiber mixed polyester drawstring helmet bag
  • Helmet
  • Clear visor (installed)
  • Sunvisor (installed)
  • ARC tag
  • Hex-key to tighten/remove the visor
A bag, A helmet, A one-sheet instruction, A hex key and well, a box

I was hoping for a 40 pages manual. I love to read them

First Feel
The finishing is pretty good. Color (White) was even and with Red lining which were made of silicon. Not entirely sure why, as I am sure this will degrade fast especially for people that rides under the weather most of the time. But I put trust that the manufacturer will make it last the useful lifespan of the helmet (which is max 5 years). 
XXL @ 62cm - Fitting is slightly different compared to the same measurement Givi XL @ 62cm

Air-vent on the top via sliding mechanism

A nice touch with "Bel Air" which gives the impression of exclusivity. Silicon textured finishing. There is two smallish airvents at the bottom left and right

Rear View - White with Red-stripes gives really good look

ECE and JPJ sign off

Side view with visor down

The inner liner was good. I would say I was surprised it was textured and removable for washing. The cheek pad was thick, a good indication for both protection and sound (wind) isolation. I do ride with ear plugs if the journey is longer than 30mins.

Pretty good quality liner.
One other reason for choosing this ARC Roadster is because it comes with the sunvisor - this is singlehandedly a must have for me. Riding into sunlight or sunset is tough. Worse if it rains (well, it does rain and still have the sun shinning back at us). While it is missing a Pin-lock insert, you can get a generic liner to manage any fogging if you ride a lot in the rain.

With main visor up and sunvisor down
D-Rings or Ratchet system?
I much prefer micro-ratchet
The traditional system uses the Double-D ring, which requires a bit of work to get it secured. I've used both of them and has been spoilt by the micro-ratchet system which is easy to use and fast to remove. The structure of the system looked solid and doesn't seems like it will disengage not on purpose. Same reason why I invested in a Nolan N91 which is a flip-up and locks securely. You do not want the buckle to fail (or the flip to open) when you fall. Tested and secured system. Like them.
The Visor and locks
Anti-Scratch visor and with UV protection 
The Notch
If there is one thing that can be improved for the more premium feel is that the visor flipping system should have micro-adjustment which meant it will be secured at any position and not flip up or down depending on the wind-pressure. I noticed the ARC system uses a simple "lock-notch" which is automatically engaged when you press the visor down - and to move the visor up/open, you will need to put some pressure on the this lower left part and push up outward and upward... after a few practices, it became easy.
lower diffuser at the bottom of the helmet
Something that I was surprised to see was the diffuser at the bottom of the helmet. Some may think it's some pattern, but I believe these were well thought off to diffuse the air and keep the head stable and not tired in a long ride. The bottom of the visors too, has a notch that resemble an aerodynamic lip that will lend stability. ARC failed to capitalize on these features!

Time to peel the stickers off and lets go for a ride!

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