HJC RPHA-10 Sportbike Helmet Test (Jorge Lorenzo, Ben Spies)
HJC’s new RPHA-10 helmet is part of the RPHA series developed to cover the middle ground between its more value-priced helmets and the premium helmets currently on the market.
The RPHA series feature HJC’s Premium Integrated Matrix construction that blends three different materials – carbon fiber, aramid fiber (Kevlar), and fiberglass – that results in a helmet that is remarkably stronger and lighter compared to helmets made with conventional materials.
The RPHA helmet series also has features such as a liner with cooling and antibacterial treatment, interior pads, a liner that is removable and washable, the anti-fog Pinlock system, and a no-tools faceshield design. The helmet’s style is that of a racing helmet – a slightly narrower face shield both vertically and horizontally compared to most street bike helmets–with sleek, clean lines for high-speed airflow.
The RPHA-10’s faceshield is a 2D type primarily used for racing purposes, as this type has only a single horizontal curve. This allows tear-off films to be stretched across the main surface without warping and inducing visual distortion. The helmet’s graphics selection ranges from MotoGP World Champion Jorge Lorenzo and World Superbike Champion Ben Spies replicas to solids in blacks, white, and yellow.
A key requirement for my daily riding in the North Texas summers is that airflow needs to be effective. Although other helmet manufacturers claim their models have good airflow, the HJC RPHA-10 can actually be felt while riding even with air temperatures in the high 90s and low 100s, especially across the top of the head.
The airflow management is handled by two areas: A chin bar vent that fully opens or closes via a sliding door along with vents on the helmet’s top that are adjusted using a pair of thumb wheels, which are easily operated, even with gloved hands.
For much cooler temperatures the HJC RPHA-10 comes with a rubber nose shield a soft cloth chin curtain to help reduce cold air flowing into the helmet’s interior. The nose shield is an insert that is placed inside the chin bar and behind the face shield. The chin curtain fastens under the chin bar and the bottom edge of the helmet.
For anti-fogging management HJC’s faceshields come with plastic posts to attach the Pinlock device to the face shield and the RPHA-10 has the clear shield included that needs to be installed by the rider. For those not familiar with the Pinlock device, this device has proven to be very effective for keeping the face shield’s interior clear no matter how cold and damp the outside air becomes.
Wearing the RPHA-10 helmet on a daily basis that involves commuting and errand-running routes, I have found this model to be easy to fasten and unfasten, a snug fit without any pinch zones, easy on the neck muscles due to the helmet’s lightweight 3.5 pounds (per postal scale for a Large), and minimal buffeting in windy conditions.
Lifting the face shield via its center catch is fairly easy and positioning the face shield into one of five positions is straightforward since each position has a definitive catch point.
As for routine maintenance removing the liner and cheek pads for cleaning is fairly straightforward due the plastic snaps and tabs that smoothly engage and disengage. Additionally, removing the face shield for a thorough cleaning or replacement is simple due to levers on each side that push back to unlock the face shield from the helmet.
My only criticism of the helmet is that positioning the faceshield should be smoother, instead of the somewhat stiff resistance that is used.
Overall, the HJC RPHA-10 is my favorite pure-sport helmet in my inventory, especially for the summer and early fall season in the North Texas area. I definitely appreciate airflow and comfort for my daily commuting and plan on keeping this helmet in my “must wear” list.
HJC RPHA-10 Models/Price:
- Jorge Lorenzo Replica: $550.
- Ben Spies Replica III: $500. Ben Spies Monster Replica II: $550.
- Ben Spies Monster Replica I: $550.
- Graphics: $400.
- Solids: $360-365.