Arai Pro Shade System Explained

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Marketed as an alternative to the typical internal sun-visor, the Arai Pro Shade System is an externally mounted sun visor that, when retracted, can also act as a peak. The idea behind this is that internal sun visors need extra space to accommodate the retracted position. This means that there is usually a hollow space in the area the sun-visor would retract to, with less liner, shell thickness, or both. Thus, helmets with an internal sun visor are not applicable for SNELL certification due to compromised structural integrity. Arai’s Pro Shade external sun-visor has all the benefits of its internal counterpart, without any of the vulnerabilities.

Fitment and Use

You can easily use the Arai Pro Shade System on most current Arai full-face street helmets. The Pro Shade is comprised of an SAI Max Vison and the attached external sun visor which sits on top of the main shield. The visor includes a Max Vision Pinlock and brow vents at the top. It also features the pivot system needed to attach and operate the Pro Shade. This pivot system allows you to adjust the angle at which the Pro Shade sits.

The externally mounted Pro Shade can be flipped up and down with a gloved hand and locks into place automatically. When the visor is locked into position it ensures that wind pressure will not cause it to drop down, even when you turn your head. To lower the visor, you gently pull it away from the helmet to unlock it, where it can then be lowered and will again automatically lock into position.

Arai Pro Shade System Explained
Pivot points and brow vents
Pictured: Arai Pro Shade System, pivot points and brow vents.

The Positives

Much like other attachments on an Arai helmet, the Pro Shade System is designed to break away in the event of an impact. This ensures that it doesn’t dig into anything and act as a source of rotational force. Since the Pro Shade is located outside of the helmet, you don’t need to worry about it fogging up. It also has great aerodynamic performance and doesn’t rattle due to how effective the locking system is. The Pro Shade System gives you a choice between Smoke, Orange/Red, Blue and Silver tints for the external visor. All parts are also replaceable. Doing so is an easy process, plus there are rubber stops at the top of the visor, meaning it won’t scratch the main shield when you flip it up or down.

Having the Pro Shade visor eliminates the need to carry around two separate visors for day and night riding. It also is much safer than an internal sun visor. This is because internal sun visors require a hollowed out section inside the helmet for it to retract into. The shell size of the helmet also normally needs to be slightly larger to account for the space and extra reinforcement needed for an internal sun visor. By having the sun visor externally mounted, it doesn’t compromise on the helmets shell size or safety.

Even if the Pro Shade sun visor is in the retracted (upmost) position, it still gives great sun protection. This is particularly effective in late afternoons when the sun is glaring in your face, you can dip your head slightly, and there is a huge difference in visibility. This is a great feature the adds a remarkable level of safety and comfort to your daily commute. Thankfully, if you travel on a motorway or any road stretch at high speed, there is no noticeable drag. It almost feels like there is nothing there at all. However, it is not recommended for track use. The aerodynamics are not optimised for speeds at that level.

The Negatives

The Arai Pro Shade System does not block the brow intakes located on the face shield, which works incredibly efficiently. However, due to the small gap that allows this functionality, there are specific times in the afternoon where, with a particular head angle, the sun can glare through the small gap. If you wish to raise the face shield to get some extra breeze in hot weather, the Pro Shade will no longer be available for use, as it raises with the visor. The Pro Shade also does not cover your entire field of view. So even if your vision is shaded in front of you when you glance to the sides to check the mirrors, your view will not be shaded.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the Arai Pro Shade System is an excellent innovation in UV protection and rider safety. Also, it requires no operating mechanism. It can block out blinding rays even while in the retracted position without compromising the helmet’s structural integrity. It is easy to use with no extra fogging of vision and excellent aerodynamic performance with no added noise. Internal sun visors are hard to go back to.

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