Arai Follow-up

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valetz

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So, for those of you who missed the previous thread a question was asked about Arai helmets...

I went off on a rant, I believe it was my longest post to date.

There were two issues,

1) Helmet failed

2) Inability to get replacement parts

Now on the first issue, I had the side cover on my helmet bust before a trip.

And... Then towards the end of the trip the base kit busted (the hardware behind the side cover)

Now I had a nice civil cordial talk w/ Bruce Porter, and this could be blamed on me.

See... I've been using Windex ® to clean my helmet (worked great)

But, this actually crystallizes the plastic & shell, and when it gets behind the side covers, it can do more evil.

He said Plexus is also evil, and to only use soap and water.

The second issue was inability to get parts.

Local shop did not have the parts in stock, (they are supposed to have a repair kit)

Parts at the distributor were on back ordered, and they took several months to get in.

Bruce indirectly admitted that there dealer only approach they had tried had failed. (thus the change in policies)

He also indirectly mentioned that he was frustrated with their distributors and dealers at times.

And that in the near future you would be able to buy replacement parts online directly from Arai.

Moral of the story:

Use only soap and water to clean your helmet (or better yet just water)

Carry spare parts.

Now, all this said, I still think a Multitec is in my future, and if I get one, I will be buying spare parts for that one also.

-bvw.

 

IronMaiden

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I have an Arai that I dropped on the ground on the way to the start of the NWPassage Rally last year. Stopped at the Portland Motorcycle Company and they had quite a box full of parts to repair part under the side panel that covered the hinges for the face shield. They worked for quite a while to get the fix and did not charge me a cent.

I have since bought the Shoei Multitech. Have only used it once so far & have to say that I like it. Very quiet but it did rub on my forehead. The dealer said it would take about 24 hours of wear before it would wear-in. I hope that hot spot goes away on the forehead.

L

 

bmwhd

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I have owned several Arai helmets. In all cases where I've had issues, a quick call to Arai has had replacement parts winging my way in no time, gratis. Was your helmet within the 5 year warranty?

 

Inlaw1

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Using Windex will crystalize the plastic? Never heard that one. I use Glass Plus though. But I have used windex (on the shield, not the helmet) with no problems.

Get a Shoei, they don't have parts that go bad. I've never had one problem with the last 6 over a 16 year period.

 

ShinyPartsUp

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There is an article in Motorcycle Consumer News this issue on helmet care. Most manufacturers recomend soaking bugs off helmet and face sheild with wet cloth, and using mild soap and water with a cotton (they mention old diapers) if necessary. A couple manufacturers said Plexus or Honda polish was ok, most said no. They all agreed window cleaners were harsh (especially if with bleech) and should never be used. Hope this helps somebody.

 

valetz

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I have owned several Arai helmets. In all cases where I've had issues, a quick call to Arai has had replacement parts winging my way in no time, gratis. Was your helmet within the 5 year warranty?
It was an eBay purchase from back when internet sales were Taboo...

So I didn't bother trying to warranty it.

(But yes it was less that 5 years old)

What really burned me was I had listened to Bruce Porter give me the line about:

"Proper fit, Customer Service, Brick and Mortar only approach"

And... when I when I went to the local shop, they didn't have and couldn't get parts.

-bvw.

 

Randy

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I have owned several Arai helmets. In all cases where I've had issues, a quick call to Arai has had replacement parts winging my way in no time, gratis. Was your helmet within the 5 year warranty?
It was an eBay purchase from back when internet sales were Taboo...

So I didn't bother trying to warranty it.

(But yes it was less that 5 years old)

What really burned me was I had listened to Bruce Porter give me the line about:

"Proper fit, Customer Service, Brick and Mortar only approach"

And... when I when I went to the local shop, they didn't have and couldn't get parts.

-bvw.
What seemed like a good idea on paper turned around and bit them in the ass. He's in marketing for a company where he's been employed for more than 20 years (I'm pretty sure). What's he supposed to say 'the idiots at headquarters have this dumb idea...'. No - he's supposed to sell it. What he says still makes sense...for the most part.

The fit...he's right - they will size you properly at a brick and mortar store. The first Arai I had was purchased without being sized. It seemed to fit ok....until I got sized and found out I was a Medium and not a Large. Add the smaller cheek pads and it feels like heaven.

Customer Service...well, if the shop sucks, the shop sucks. Can't polish a turd.

I've never had problems getting parts. Sometimes I got them at my local shops, sometimes online, sometimes calling Arai. But, I never had a problem getting parts. One time I needed a side cover. I went to a shop and they didn't have any in stock, so, they pulled one off of a helmet they had in stock and ordered a replacement. Now that's customer service.

 

drew231506

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My last Arai fell apart right when I bought it. I tried and succeeded in gluing the bottom plastic piece back on but it looked like crap after paying $500 for the helmet. It was a pretty comfy helmet but I don't see why so many people are so pro- Arai. The shield system is crap, from switching them out, raising and lowering, and snapping closed. Then you have the noise...my new Shoei helmet outperforms it in every way.

 

05fjrman

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i've had both arai and shoei, and i would never wear another shoei. i will wear an arai until the day i stop riding. i have an afx, el cheapo, helmet for my communication system, and it's not comfortable at all. the arai fits me a glove, and it's the quietest i've ever worn. but i guess helmets are like jackets, they are very subjective.

 

ejworthen

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I've heard a lot about people having problems with Arai but I can't say that I have. The shields are a little strange to work but after you figure it out it's very easy. It's just not easy to figure out.

It seems to me that noise is a function of how well a helmet flows air. Most noisy helmets seem to have better airflow in my experience, although there are some exceptions.

From what I can tell most Arai helmets seem to be lighter than comparable Shoei helmets. I may be wrong but at least that's my perception.

I agree that Arai has certain less than desirable features but it does have certain features that make them more appealing to me than other helmet makes. I guess it's all depends on what trade offs you are willing to make. Fit, weight, and airflow are what keeps me coming back. I've yet to have any quality problems. I guess if they start occurring then I'll think twice about buying an Arai. Hell, my next helmet just might be a Scorpion EXO since I've heard such good things about them and they cost so little.

One thing I don't understand is the complaint about using Windex and other cleaners. Don't you people read your user manuals? You wouldn't expect your motorcycle to perform perfectly without proper care so why would you expect the same of a helmet? If you don't use the proper cleaners you can expect problems just like if you use the wrong oils and greases on your bike.

 

Thug

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Hey gang

I only clean my helmet and most of the grunge off my bike these days (when out and having a little rest) with water only!!! It will remove all bugs and other guts no worries!

I have a gold iridium visor which I have had for over 14 months now and it still looks brand new, I had a chrome iridium and it started to flake after only 3 months I was using Plexus spray. Ever since I have used water only to clean (A member here mentioned it a while ago) I gave it a try and it works better than anything else I have used and it's free!

A soft cloth and WATER is the go folks! And if your screen is heavily bugged (thick layer of guts etc) soak your cloth and lay it on the screen for a few minutes and spray and wipe with water... clean as a whistle!

 

bmwhd

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I have owned several Arai helmets. In all cases where I've had issues, a quick call to Arai has had replacement parts winging my way in no time, gratis. Was your helmet within the 5 year warranty?
It was an eBay purchase from back when internet sales were Taboo...

So I didn't bother trying to warranty it.

(But yes it was less that 5 years old)

What really burned me was I had listened to Bruce Porter give me the line about:

"Proper fit, Customer Service, Brick and Mortar only approach"

And... when I when I went to the local shop, they didn't have and couldn't get parts.

-bvw.
Yep. I get all my helmets off eBay. It's amazing what you can find there with patience :yahoo:

Still, as long as the date on the chin strap is under 5 years old, Arai will honor the warranty.

BTW, I agree that they need to get their act together, I just wanted to encourage you to call their tech support and have them send you the parts if you can.

 

Fastfar

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Water is the universal solvent...it works so well 'cause it can rehydrate the dried out broken little bug bodies splattered across windscreens and visors, headlights etc. I do use Honda Pro Polish on the fairings, or even Plexus if I must (they don't sell the Honda spray cleaner in Cali due to VOC restrictions) :(

But the glass cleaner products often have some concentration of ammonia which react chemically with many plastics, including polycarbonate, to produce hazing and micro-fractures which lead to a failure of the visor/parts. :eek:

 

flyinlow

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Water is the universal solvent...it works so well 'cause it can rehydrate the dried out broken little bug bodies splattered across windscreens and visors, headlights etc. I do use Honda Pro Polish on the fairings, or even Plexus if I must (they don't sell the Honda spray cleaner in Cali due to VOC restrictions) :(
But the glass cleaner products often have some concentration of ammonia which react chemically with many plastics, including polycarbonate, to produce hazing and micro-fractures which lead to a failure of the visor/parts. :eek:
I just read a few weeks ago that the cleaner is available again in California with a different propellant than before.

 

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