(Daytona, FL) Arai Helmets has announced a new Kevin Schwantz "Restyle" Replica retro-graphic helmet as a mid-season addition to its 2009 Helmet Line. Not surprisingly, the most immediate reaction came from the former World 500GP champion's racing school. The Schwantz Racing School, which now operates out of Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, AL, said the new Arai will now be the official student helmet at the school.
Available on Arai's popular Vector model, the new Schwantz replica is scheduled to reach North American retail dealers in the July-August timeframe. The helmet's design reprises Schwantz's most famous replica graphic and includes the large "34" on the back, his competition number for most of his career.
The new Schwantz Replica will be available in sizes XS to XXL, at a suggested retail of $634.95.
The Arai Vector was introduced in 2007. It was created specifically as a less-is-more design for the rider "who doesn't want or need all the bells and whistles, but who still wants that extra level of handmade comfort and fit that only an Arai can deliver," said Brian M. Weston, Arai Americas' Director of Operations.
The Vector's shape follows Arai's latest generation, hand-formed "organic" shell design philosophy. The helmet is shaped to conform more closely to the human head shape, thereby making it both look and feel more natural, and "flow" through the air with less turbulence. Arai's distinctive Hyper-Ridge reinforcement band along the bottom of the Vector's shell adds reinforcement and shell strength. The company says its experience also shows that strengthening the bottom also helps to significantly lower the helmet's center of gravity, contributing to a better overall balance and making the helmet rest easier on the rider's head.
Its shell uses Arai's clc (Complex Laminate Construction) composite, employing its aerospace fiberglass-based technology to achieve a strong, flexible shell in a lightweight package. In concert with the shell, Arai's EPS liner, a hallmark of every Arai including the Vector, is made like no other in that it is comprised of multiple EPS densities molded into a single piece. Arai pioneered this technology over 20 years ago and, to their knowledge, they are still the only helmet offering a single-piece hybrid liner and its unique benefit: the direct-fused contact area that each EPS cell shares with it neighboring cells creates a mutual support - as one is crushed under impact, the surrounding cells assist with the energy absorption.
Ventilation is handled by four oversized vents: one intake, and three exhaust vents under the rear wing vent. The two vent controls front and rear are larger for easier gloved-hand operation, and each has three-position settings for better airflow control. The Vector also has a removable cheekpad design unique to the model.