This is my second RX-7V and I have nothing but praise for it. This is my sole lid, and it’s the exact same helmet that you see top racers such as Pedrosa, Crutchlow, Vinales and Rea wearing each weekend. I love this helmet and with good reason too – it’s truly all-day comfortable, and the non-itch lining does a good job of keeping my scalp dry and sweat free. Its performed faultlessly on a three-day trackday at Jerez and the brilliant combination of powerful and effective visor vents and Pinlock means you’ll never suffer with misting, and the retractable chin spoiler is a neat, well-thought out touch. This lid features Arai’s new visor change mechanism, which is far easier to master than the old system, and I know this lid will look after me in the worst case scenario – I threw my GP down the road when I came off at speed and slid some 110m down the road, smacking my head hard in three different places. The shell took a proper battering but everything worked as it should and I didn’t get so much as a headache. This new lid features a new, smoother outer shell, a longer diffuser, a new, bigger visor tab and a new interior. The new outer shell is a result of Arai’s philosophy that a smoother shell offers the best protection through its enhanced ‘glancing off’ properties – the theory is that a smoother shape spreads the impact load across the whole helmet and thus helps reduce the amount of energy transferred to a rider’s brain in a spill. The shell itself is 30g lighter than the outgoing model, thanks a mainly to the new resins used, and there is now 3mm extra space around the rider’s mouth and chin. This focus on ‘glancing off’ has seen the RX-7’s visor pivot lowered by 24mm to allow Arai to keep the shell of the RX-7V completely smooth above the test line of the Snell standard, further improving impact performance. The new helmet also sports a prominent visor tab, which Arai has carried over from its F1 programme. The system is much chunkier than its predecessor, which makes it easier to use with gloved fingers. Arai’s slogan is ‘there is a difference’ and they’re right. This is very much a top of the range lid, and it’s worth every penny of its hefty price tag.