1. Value: HJC, the number-one manufacturer of helmets in the world by volume, says it has developed a high-quality helmet line with a lower price point than current top-shelf helmets. The three-piece series is called RPHA, which stands for Revolutionary Performance Helmet Advanced. HJC is backing its quality claims with a five-year warranty.
2. Improved ventilation: Premium helmets incorporate efficient ventilation systems, and the full-face flip-up MAX is no exception. At highway speeds, you can actually feel the vents working. But, like some other helmets with large chin vents, don’t be surprised if a bit of tiny debris sneaks past the opening and into your eyes. This became problematic when I discovered that the spring-loaded, drop-down internal sun shade only retracts when I push the release button atop the shell. Typically, these cool, jet-pilot-like sun shades slide up and out of the way if I press on the bottom of the shield. It’s not a huge problem unless you have $#!! in your eye.
3. Quiet: HJC alleges that the MAX registered 84 decibels at 62.5 mph during wind-tunnel testing, which it says involved a real person on a real motorcycle. In actual use, the MAX is quieter than some of the more-expensive, solid-chinbar helmets that I’ve been wearing recently, with none of the rattle and shake commonly experienced with cheaper modulars.
4. Lightweight: Modular helmets tend to be on the heavy side. HJC made weight a top priority and developed what it calls “Advanced PIM” (Premium Integrated Matrix), which consists of four different kinds of fibers, all hand-laid in three shell sizes. The actual percentages of carbon fiber, aramid, fiberglass and “organic, non-woven fabric” fibers used for the production of each shell are proprietary.
5. Full line: In addition to the DOT-approved MAX modular, the new HJC series includes full-face and motocross designs, the DOT/Snell-approved RPHA 10 and RPHA X. All three helmets are available at retailers now.
The HJC RPHA MAX helmet is available in XS-XXL sizes and five colors: White, Silver, Pearl White, Matte Black or Gloss Black. MSRP for solid colors is $459.99 and $464.99 for the metallic or matte versions.