How much you spend on a motorcycle helmet largely depends on how much you value your skull and its contents. You can drop as little as $50 or as much as $300-$500 for a top of the line consumer model.
HJC Helmets tend to run to the higher end of that price range, but a recent test of two of the manufacturer’s latest models proves they’re worth every cent.
We got our hands on – and our heads into – two of the new HJC RPHA line. The RPHA X is an off-road helmet with a full face design minus a shield. The RPHA 10 is a full face helmet for street riding with a generous face shield.
The RPHA X packs Advanced Premium Integrated Matrix Construction with a mix of Carbon Fiber, Aramid, Fiberglass and Organic Non-Woven Fabric. The result is a helmet that’s surprisingly light for its size.
The large vision port under the extended, removable sun shade allows for either sunglasses or full off-roading goggles. HJC’s Advanced Channeling Ventilation System includes adjustable air intakes for front to back airflow in hot conditions.
Since it’s designed for heavy duty outdoor use off-road – more exertion-based riding, the Cool4ever interior is moisture wicking, odor free and anti bacterial. HJC even treats the interior fabric with Ginkgo extract.
Of course, the RPHA X is DOT Approved and comes in XS-XXL with a five-year limited warranty.
The RPHA 10 shares most of the constructed features of the RPHA X with the exception of the open vision design. Instead, the 10 offers HJC’s RapidFire Shield Replacement System. Basically, it’s a quicker easier way to replace your face shield with a new one or a tinted model. As HJC puts it: “Simple and secure shield ratchet system provides ultra-quick, tool-less removal and installation for efficient operation.”
The HJC Pinlock-prepared 2D Flat-Racing Shield offers a one-touch open/close locking system that seals tightly in moments – keeping your hands on the bars.
After wearing both of these helmets in action, it’s clear that all of that technical wizardry combines into a helmet that’s both secure and comfortable. While most of the HJC features seem focused on temperature and ease of wear, it’s Carbon Fire-fused construction provides superior protection in a possible collision.
The fit is snug, but not restrictive. But all of that weight management in material and design makes that secure sensation around your head light enough to guarantee carefree protection.
They do retail north of $300 each, depending on the outlet. So, these new HJC units might be for the more devoted motorcyclist – though they provide an elite option for any rider.