Arai celebrate 40 years at the Isle of Man TT races with parade lap and special RX-7V Evo helmet

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Arai have been celebrating their 40th anniversary of supporting the Isle of Man TT races this year, marking the occasion with a special helmet and a parade lap in the middle of the two-week road racing festival.  

The Japanese helmet brand are the official helmet partner of the event and began equipping riders around the 37.73-mile course in 1984, when their products were worn by five-time winner Brian Reid, and 26-time winner, the great Joey Dunlop.  

Joey’s iconic yellow and black design would go on to become one of the most recognisable liveries of all time, with Arais worn by a number of top class riders ever since. This included Ian Hutchinson when he made history in 2010, becoming the first rider to win five TTs in a week.  

Joey Dunlop racing at the Isle of Man TT

They also continue to be used by the Dunlop dynasty, with Joey’s nephew, 26-time winner Michael Dunlop using them for much of his career – including this year. 

“The Isle of Man TT has been a special place for Arai since the 1980s,” said CEO Michio Arai. “The unique challenges presented by the TT are like no other race in the world, and it is an honour for us that so many of the world’s best road racers choose Arai for their protection.”  

Arai themselves marked the occasion with a limited edition RX7V Evo design – something they’ve done for the past 15 TTs. On top of this, riders past and present took part in a parade lap on Saturday, June 1 with Arai Europe Managing Director, Akihito Arai giving the starting signal. 

Riders taking part in the parade included Lee Johnston, who was ruled out of racing at this year’s event due to a leg injury. Fan favourite, and 12-time TT winner Bruce Anstey also took part in the event.

Alongside supporting the riders, Arai also bring a large pop-up service centre to the event run by helmet technicians from across the world. Based in the upper paddock, they are able to check the fitting of helmets, replace parts, fit tear-offs, and more – all free of charge regardless of where a rider sits on the grid.

A selection of Arai lids at the 2024 Isle of Man TT

On just one night of practice, anywhere between 50 and 70 Arai RX-7V Evo helmets could pass through the doors, in need of a refresh.  

“At the start of the TT, the guys will bring their helmets and there’s a lot of fitting to be done,” Arai technician Colin Walker, who also replaces visors during live sessions, told MCN.  

“You could have a helmet all year for circuits and it’s grand, and then you come here and it’s totally different,” he continued. “The helmets are all cleaned, and tear-offs are put on the visors. Solos go all left, and sidecars go left, left, right, or right, right, left.” 

Arai Techs working at the 2024 Isle of Man TT

The reason for this difference is due to the preferred vantage points on the course where a sidecar passenger might want to remove a tear-off and where their hands might be placed on the outfit at the time. 

“It’s always nice when the riders come in and they’re grateful for everything you’ve done,” Arai colleague Kyle Howarth added. “Like Colin said, it’s a nice feeling to be a part of this actual event. Just to be a part of it is amazing, really.”