Nicky Hayden swore by Arai helmets from his early days as an amateur racer throughout his professional career. Now Arai and the Hayden family are releasing the latest in a long line of replicas made famous by the 2002 AMA Superbike and ’06 MotoGP world champion.
Applied to the top-of-the-line Corsair-X, the Nicky-7 graphic is based on the Starline design that the Kentucky native used in the first five rounds of the 2017 Superbike World Championship, minus the Red Bull logos related to the title sponsor of the Ten Kate-led Honda team.
“Nicky definitely took a lot of pride in his relationship with Arai and personally put a lot of input and time into the designs,” Tommy Hayden said. “His helmet was very important to him. As a family, we felt it was right to continue with Nicky’s replicas to keep his legacy alive, especially for his many fans.”
Snell 2015 and DOT approved, the Arai Corsair-X Nicky-7 helmet comes in XS–XXL sizes. Suggested retail price is $979.95, which includes a clear Pinlock anti-fog shield insert. Other replicas in this model include Maverick Viñales, Mick Doohan, and Shinya Nakano.
Another dirt-tracker, Ted Boody Jr., was the first American to wear an Arai helmet in competition. “We signed a contract, and he won the first race wearing our helmet,” Arai CEO Michio Arai told me two years ago when I visited the factory in Japan. “That was at the Houston Astrodome. We still use the name ‘Astro.’”
Paying homage to Hayden’s off-road roots, Arai is also offering a Nicky-7 in the VX-Pro4 ($749.95; XS–XXL). Tommy and Roger Hayden are also lifetime Arai wearers. The “Tommy Gun” replica was offered in several colors. Roger won three races and finished second overall in points in the 2017 MotoAmerica Superbike Championship.