Tandem Trips

REVIEW: Arai Dark Smoke Visor for RX-7 Corsair

Posted in Gear, Reviews by Me on March 17, 2009

Getting blinded by the sun sucks. Squinting all day because it’s really bright out sucks. Glasses sliding down your face while you’re wearing a helmet sucks. Using tools to change your visor sucks. Arai solved all of these problems for me by selling me a replacement visor for my RX-7 Corsair helmet.

I rode with this visor almost exclusively all during 2008. I thought about getting the light smoke version, but I have read that it is so light that it is almost worthless compared to the stock visor. Mirrored and iridium coated plastic scratches really easily. Unlike Wiki, Arai are not going to make a transition visor (aka sun-shift or photochromatic) for any of their products, which surprises me considering how thoughtful they are in all other aspects of what they do) so this leaves us with dark smoke.

This is plenty dark for summer sunset conditions on the super slab when Sol is burning directly into your eyeballs durring your commute west. It’s excellent for daytime conditions until you start getting heavily overcast weather like you have with thunderstorms or tornados. I try to avoid riding in those conditions so it doesn’t bother me.

I have been caught after dark without my clear visor, and this is the biggest problem with opting for dark smoke over light smoke tint. At night it is almost impossible to see more than 20 feet in front of the bike, even with high beems, so you had best have secondary eye protection in the form of driving glasses, clear lense riding glasses, or that clear visor. Otherwise have fun getting bugs in your eyes at speed, or a ticket.

Swapping from clear to dark and back again is easy, but you might want to keep something long, thin, and stiff (that’s what she said) to dig out the levers that release the visor locks. The first few times you make the swap are a little tough, but once the mechanism wears in it’s a breaze. For me this was after the third or fourth exchange.

Generally I am very pleased with the dark smoke visor. Glasses tend to slide down my face and are difficult to get on correctly with the helmet on, forcing repeated adjustments during riding. I think the next purchace will be a pouch to hold the clear vidor for emergency swaps on the side of the road, that is until Arai or someone else develops a transition visor for this helmet.

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