Hirotake Arai: A rider himself 

The focus on safety is typical for Arai through the many years of the brands existence. The founder of the company, Hirotake Arai, was a hat maker, but although a really enthusistic rider. 

In the fifties there were no helmet manufacturers in Japan and as Japan was a closed market, it was very difficult to obtain a proper helmet. No legal standards, no manufacturers but after a few spills Hirotake Arai knew he wanted a good helmet for his own safety and later also for a couple of friends. It was the start of Arai as a helmet manufacturing business. The next thing was to develop his own testing standards and testing equipment, as no legal standards existed. As a hat maker he knew that people have all different heads, creating a need for a perfect fit of the helmet.

It’s important to notice that Hirotake Arai’s intention was not to start another commercial business, but to create helmets that were able to protect his fellow riders. It is this drive that is still within the Arai company to this very day.


November 18, 1905

Hirotake Arai, the founder of Arai Helmet, Limited was born in Tokyo as the eldest son of Yuichiroh Arai who manufactured the hats for government office and authorities.


 

1937

Hirotake Arai established the factory in the city of Ohmiya, Saitama and started manufacturing business for headgears.

 
 

July 22, 1938

Current president, Michio Arai was born as the eldest son in Tokyo.

 

1948

Arai Sewing Company was established to manufacture T-shirts and blouses for export.

 
 

1949

Manufacturing headgear started with the construction of workers’ helmets.

 
 

1950

Hirotake Arai developed manufacturing helmet shells by heat forming with resins.

 

October, 1950

Arai Hirotake Shoten, Co., Limited was established in Ohmiya, Saitama.

 
 

1952

Hirotake Arai began manufacturing first FRP (“Fibre Reinforced Plastics”) helmets in Japan.

 
 

July 7, 1952

Arai Hirotake Shoten, Co., Limited became licensee of Japan Industrial Standards (JIS) for construction workers’ helmets as the first manufacturer in the helmet industries.

 
 

October, 1952

Arai Hirotake Shoten, Co., Limited started supply of headgears to professional off-road motorcycle racers as the first Japanese “motorcycle helmets”.

 
 

1956

Arai Hirotake Shoten, Co., Limited started production with the new trademark “HA” (HA came form the initials of the president’s name Hirotake Arai).

 
 

1958

HA started production of motorcycle helmets consisting of FRP outer shell and EPS inner shell that is still common standard for helmet construction today.

 
 

1959

Hirotake Arai established “bag moulding” for manufacturing FRP shell with 2-piece, open-close, metal moulds, and the first open face helmet was designed and made with this manufacturing method.

 

1962

Michio Arai came back from the United States and joined Arai Hirotake Shoten, Co. helping his father’s business in the export division.

 
 

January, 1963

HA produced the first Snell certified Japanese helmet.

 
 

April, 1963

HA started export business for the United States’ market through USA distributors.

 
 

August 14, 1964

HA became licensee of Japan Industrial Standards (JIS) for motorcycle helmets.

 
 

March, 1967

Model R-6M was certified to Snell 1968 standard. First Japanese made full face model was introduced.

 

October, 1971

New trademark, “Arai” was designed and registered.

 
 

1972

Introduction of the movable chin piece.

 
 

1973

“Arai Hirotake Shoten, Co. Limited” changed to “Arai Hirotake, Co., Limited”.

 
 

November 16, 1973

Akihito Arai, son of current president Michio Arai, is born.

 
 

1977

Arai started motorcycle-racing support with a few Japanese professional motorcycle racers.

 
 

December, 1977

Arai Helmet (USA), Limited was established.

 
 

1978

Japanese emperor conferred decoration upon Hirotake Arai.

 
 

1979

First helmet model for exclusive off-road riding was introduced.

 
 

1980

One-touch, open-close face shield mechanism was developed and introduced on the market. Basic construction of this machanism became common in helmet industries later.

 

February 28, 1983

Arai Helmet (Europe) B.V. is established at Hoevelaken, The Netherlands.

 
 

1983

Freddie Spencer won the World GP 500cc Road Race Championship as the first World Champion with Arai. Arai Racing Service introduced.

 

1984

Arai starts sponsorship of Formula One drivers (Keke Rosberg).

 
 

1985

Introduction of the eyebrow ventilation in the visor.

 

June 14, 1986

Company founder Hirotake Arai passes away and Michio Arai takes over his father’s company as the President of Arai.

 
 

December 1, 1986

Current company organisation was established, and its name was changed from “Arai Hirotake, Limited” to “Arai Helmet, Limited”.

 
 

1986/1987 season

26 out of the 28 Formula One drivers wear Arai.

 
 

October, 1988

Arai introduces AdSis (Advanced Shield Instalation System) at the German Cologne show, being the first to offer visor change without the need for tools.

 

1990

First, of annual recurring, Arai Importers Meeting.

 
 

June, 1990

Patented Super AdSis (SAL visor system) was applied as further developed version of AdSis.

 
 

1993

As the first helmet manufacturer Arai introduced a full 5-Year Limited Warranty.

 
 

1995

New premises of Arai Europe opened.

 
 

1996

Introduction of the RX-7 model. First model with the Diffuser ventilation system. This model set a new benchmark in motorcycle helmets.

 

1998

Arai Paintshop established.

 
 

1999

Arai ranks highest in the first J.D. Power and Associates U.S. Motorcycle Helmet Satisfaction Study.

 
 

2003

Introduction of the limited edition Chikara model honouring 20-Years anniversary of Arai Helmet (Europe) B.V.. Introduction of the Removal Assist Hood.

 

2005

Carbon fibre helmets mandatory in Formula One. Arai introduces its first carbon fibre helmet at Magny Cours: the GP-5 RacingCarbon (only available for Formula One drivers).

 

2006

Opening of the Arai Inspiration Centre (AIC), Hoevelaken, The Netherlands.

 
 

2006

Patented PB-SNC® Construction developed for the special Formula One helmets.

 
 

2006

I ntroduction of the VX-3 off-road helmet. First helmet with the Emergency Release System.

 
 

February 2008

25 Years Anniversary of Arai Helmet (Europe) B.V.. Akihito Arai and Ingmar Stroeven appointed as managing directors of Arai Helmet (Europe) B.V..

 

2008

Introduction of Arai’s first carbon fibre car helmet model for commercial use: GP-6 RacingCarbon.

 
 

2008

Introduction of the new benchmark helmet model in motorcycling: RX-7 GP. First motorcycle model with the wide view SAI visor and the Patented PB-SNC® Construction.

 
 

2009

As first manufacturer Arai introduced the Max Vision visor on the market.

 
 

2010

More than 50% of the Formula One grid and 30% of the MotoGP riders use Arai.

 
 

2010

Introduction of Arai’s first carbon fibre motorcycle helmet model for commercial use: RX-7 RacingCarbon.

 

May, 2011

For the 13th consecutive year Arai ranks number 1 in the J.D. Power and Associates U.S. Motorcycle Helmet Satisfaction Study.

 
 

2011

Arai introduces the Quantum with factory fitted SAI Max Vision visor with brow vents.