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For years we’ve looked into picking up the Pinlock-brand “ProtecTINT” photochromic (AKA Transitions) inserts for Arai helmets , but A) Arai USA doesn’t recommend them, and as such, B) no U.S. distributors bring them in, even through they’re widely available elsewhere in the world. 

But by a stroke of dumb luck we have acquired a small stash of Arai ProtecTINT pinlock inserts, and are happy to offer them for sale while supplies last. And that’s not just a sales schtick—there’s actually no guarantee we’ll be able to restock these Pinlocks once they’re gone.

Do these turn as dark as Transitions-brand or “ProTint” face shield from Bell, Shoei, or Klim? Definitely not. Nor do they claim to.

To wit, these are clearly marked as “Clear to Light Smoke” transitions inserts, and we feel they achieve that promise. From real-world testing we can confirm these take the edge off glaring sunlight when needed, and of course stay completely clear for night riding.

If you want even more glare protection, you’ll still want sunglasses or a Pro Shade flip-down visor or a dark smoke shield. Or, get a Shoei, which offers full photochromic face shields. 

Why doesn’t Arai USA doesn’t support these transitions shields? The official word is that the level of UV protection offered by the stock, clear Arai Vas-V face shields prevents these Pinlock inserts from fully transitioning. This is the same reason you don’t get sunburned while driving in a car with UV resistant windows.

But in reality, much to our delight, standard Arai face shields *do* in fact let enough UV light through to activate the underlying insert.

We tested this by installing a ProtecTINT Pinlock in a stock Arai, and then consciously keeping the shield down to avoid letting any light get in from underneath while riding on a clear bright day.

Results: We found the stock, UV-resistant Arai face shields let enough UV in through the to transition from clear to a discnerbable degree of tint.

Without the interference of a UV resistant clear shield, these will get darker than when installed in a helmet. But even with the interference, they still darken up enough to appreciate.

While they do not go as dark as a dark-smoke shield, or as dark as Arai’s excellent exterior-mount aftermarket Pro Shade flip-down sun shield system, they do darken up.

And so with proper expectation management, we think this is a viable product for Arai owners.

These Pinlock inserts are Compatible with the Regent-X, the Signet-X, the Quantum-X, Defiant-X (RIP), Contour-X, and Corsair-X.

What's the Catch?

Are there downsides? Sure. Any Pinlock insert can easily get scratched or damaged if, say, you have a habit of storing gloves inside your helmet, etc. The plastic is much softer than the exterior face-shield, so one will need to take extra care with these precious Pinlocks.

Also, the Arai shield system is perhaps the most finicky Pinlock of all helmet brands. Instead of the namesake Pinlock “pins” found on virtually all other helmet brands, Arai helmets use a linear tab, which works, but doesn’t offer the adjustability of an eccentric pin.

Photochromic or not, it already can can take some finesse to get the Arai Pinlock insert’s silicone seal to seat properly, as it snakes around the Arai brow vents on top, and doesn't have much margin of error on the bottom portion of the face shield. If it's out of place by more than a couple millimeters, the seal won't seat properly, which will allow fog to build between the layers.

And over time, we’ve found that Pinlock inserts for any brand of helmet can deform with extended use exposure to the elements. Hence the adjustability of traditional pin-type Pinlock shields, which allow users to add tension to the system to account for shrinkage/deformation.

All that said, when properly installed, these inserts work great.

Keeping glare down while riding a motorcycle in a premium Arai helmet is certainty a first world problem, and we feel the ProtecTINT Pinlock insert for Arai shields is a first-rate solution. 

The Fine Print

This product comes with some disclaimers. Some clearly inspired by lawyers, but all worth noting:

Disclaimer 1: Practical expectations. This is deliberately marked as a “clear to light smoke” transitional visor. It will not turn dark tint. For that you’ll need a Pro Shade, or a dark shield.

Disclaimer 2: The legal mumbo-jumbo. This insert comes with “Track use only” warning, which is to say, controlled environments only. Why? It’s possible for these inserts to “activate” even when it’s overcast, and sunglasses aren’t needed, but the ambient UV light still darkens the shield.

Also, note that most plain clear Pinlock inserts also come with a “Daytime Use Only” disclaimer. Why? Because the insert is effectivel an extra lens the eye has to look through, and at night that can make light refract in funny ways. This is especially true for glasses wearers, who’ll effectively be looking then through three lenses.

That said, and duly cautioned, we feel that the human eye is pretty good at filtering out refracting light. Ride through Times Square at night, you might get some “prisim-ing.” But otherwise, we find the benefit of a fog-free face shield outweighs any slight refraction from a Pinlock insert.

*Here's a refresher video for removal/installation the latest/greatest generation Arai X-Series shields:

 

Pinlock PT insert for Arai VAS-V - ProtecTINT Clear to Light Smoke

Regular price
$79.95
Sale price
$79.95
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The Pinlock ProtecTINT inserts add automatically adaptive tinting technology to any Arai street helmet X-series face shield. Read More Read More

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About The Brand

Arai is a family-owned Japanese helmet manufacturer with a well-earned reputation for building some of the world's best motorcycle helmets. With over 70 years experience in the game Arai helmets help set an industry standard for quality and safety.

More products by Arai

For years we’ve looked into picking up the Pinlock-brand “ProtecTINT” photochromic (AKA Transitions) inserts for Arai helmets , but A) Arai USA doesn’t recommend them, and as such, B) no U.S. distributors bring them in, even through they’re widely available elsewhere in the world. 

But by a stroke of dumb luck we have acquired a small stash of Arai ProtecTINT pinlock inserts, and are happy to offer them for sale while supplies last. And that’s not just a sales schtick—there’s actually no guarantee we’ll be able to restock these Pinlocks once they’re gone.

Do these turn as dark as Transitions-brand or “ProTint” face shield from Bell, Shoei, or Klim? Definitely not. Nor do they claim to.

To wit, these are clearly marked as “Clear to Light Smoke” transitions inserts, and we feel they achieve that promise. From real-world testing we can confirm these take the edge off glaring sunlight when needed, and of course stay completely clear for night riding.

If you want even more glare protection, you’ll still want sunglasses or a Pro Shade flip-down visor or a dark smoke shield. Or, get a Shoei, which offers full photochromic face shields. 

Why doesn’t Arai USA doesn’t support these transitions shields? The official word is that the level of UV protection offered by the stock, clear Arai Vas-V face shields prevents these Pinlock inserts from fully transitioning. This is the same reason you don’t get sunburned while driving in a car with UV resistant windows.

But in reality, much to our delight, standard Arai face shields *do* in fact let enough UV light through to activate the underlying insert.

We tested this by installing a ProtecTINT Pinlock in a stock Arai, and then consciously keeping the shield down to avoid letting any light get in from underneath while riding on a clear bright day.

Results: We found the stock, UV-resistant Arai face shields let enough UV in through the to transition from clear to a discnerbable degree of tint.

Without the interference of a UV resistant clear shield, these will get darker than when installed in a helmet. But even with the interference, they still darken up enough to appreciate.

While they do not go as dark as a dark-smoke shield, or as dark as Arai’s excellent exterior-mount aftermarket Pro Shade flip-down sun shield system, they do darken up.

And so with proper expectation management, we think this is a viable product for Arai owners.

These Pinlock inserts are Compatible with the Regent-X, the Signet-X, the Quantum-X, Defiant-X (RIP), Contour-X, and Corsair-X.

What's the Catch?

Are there downsides? Sure. Any Pinlock insert can easily get scratched or damaged if, say, you have a habit of storing gloves inside your helmet, etc. The plastic is much softer than the exterior face-shield, so one will need to take extra care with these precious Pinlocks.

Also, the Arai shield system is perhaps the most finicky Pinlock of all helmet brands. Instead of the namesake Pinlock “pins” found on virtually all other helmet brands, Arai helmets use a linear tab, which works, but doesn’t offer the adjustability of an eccentric pin.

Photochromic or not, it already can can take some finesse to get the Arai Pinlock insert’s silicone seal to seat properly, as it snakes around the Arai brow vents on top, and doesn't have much margin of error on the bottom portion of the face shield. If it's out of place by more than a couple millimeters, the seal won't seat properly, which will allow fog to build between the layers.

And over time, we’ve found that Pinlock inserts for any brand of helmet can deform with extended use exposure to the elements. Hence the adjustability of traditional pin-type Pinlock shields, which allow users to add tension to the system to account for shrinkage/deformation.

All that said, when properly installed, these inserts work great.

Keeping glare down while riding a motorcycle in a premium Arai helmet is certainty a first world problem, and we feel the ProtecTINT Pinlock insert for Arai shields is a first-rate solution. 

The Fine Print

This product comes with some disclaimers. Some clearly inspired by lawyers, but all worth noting:

Disclaimer 1: Practical expectations. This is deliberately marked as a “clear to light smoke” transitional visor. It will not turn dark tint. For that you’ll need a Pro Shade, or a dark shield.

Disclaimer 2: The legal mumbo-jumbo. This insert comes with “Track use only” warning, which is to say, controlled environments only. Why? It’s possible for these inserts to “activate” even when it’s overcast, and sunglasses aren’t needed, but the ambient UV light still darkens the shield.

Also, note that most plain clear Pinlock inserts also come with a “Daytime Use Only” disclaimer. Why? Because the insert is effectivel an extra lens the eye has to look through, and at night that can make light refract in funny ways. This is especially true for glasses wearers, who’ll effectively be looking then through three lenses.

That said, and duly cautioned, we feel that the human eye is pretty good at filtering out refracting light. Ride through Times Square at night, you might get some “prisim-ing.” But otherwise, we find the benefit of a fog-free face shield outweighs any slight refraction from a Pinlock insert.

*Here's a refresher video for removal/installation the latest/greatest generation Arai X-Series shields:

 

About The Brand

Arai is a family-owned Japanese helmet manufacturer with a well-earned reputation for building some of the world's best motorcycle helmets. With over 70 years experience in the game Arai helmets help set an industry standard for quality and safety.

More products by Arai

Pinlock PT insert for Arai VAS-V - ProtecTINT Clear to Light Smoke

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Pinlock PT insert for Arai VAS-V - ProtecTINT Clear to Light Smoke

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