I just ordered a new helmet from Helmet Shop and didn't see anything about not being available over the internet. I hope Arai has changed their mind or I will buy a Shoei. The bike shop wants $569 for a helmet that is $369 on-line.
From what I remember talking to an Arai rep at Daytona you can still buy helmets online. However, they had to have been made before september or october of 2001 or something like that. You can find out by looking on the inside tag of the helmet.
Any reason an older helmet is less effective. I seem to remember reading something about a few years on a shelf not being a safety concern. But I had a friend borrow an older helmet at the drag strip and they wouldn't let him use it because it was Snell 85.
I just bought an Aria over the internet, I had to call around, because Aria's policy now is not to sell helmets over the internet. They were able to sell me a helmet that they had in stock, but if it hadn't been in stock, they couldn't have ordered it for me over the internet. I talked to the Aria rep at Road America at the Super Bike race earlier this year and he said they were not allowing helmets to be sold via mail order because they wanted to make sure people were getting the proper size and were actually able to try them on before ordering. My advice would be to call around and see if any of these big discount parts places have the helmet you want in stock.