HJC Development Process
HJC Helmets recently announced the all-new RPS-10, the lightest Snell 2010 helmet on the market, a premium motorcycle helmet that elevates the standards of excellence.
Development of the RPS-10 encompassed more than three years of intensive work, along with substantial capital investment to the HJC manufacturing and testing facilities-including the creation of an all-new full-size wind tunnel that enabled engineers to make the RPS-10 the most aerodynamic helmet HJC has ever produced. During the RPS-10 motorcycle helmet development process, HJC employed CAD design and rapid-prototyping technology to build more than 20 different 3-D prototype samples. Each prototype was then tested in many ways and in many environments-including dynamic tests with an engineer seated on a motorcycle inside HJC’s new 130-mph wind tunnel. Such testing techniques allowed our engineers to measure high-speed aerodynamic performance and interior noise levels at varying angles and riding postures to fine-tune the helmet for reduced aerodynamic drag, maximum stability, minimum lift, minimum vibration and noise, and more. Based on these testing results the prototype would be revised and a next-generation prototype would then be designed and constructed, and the testing process resumed once again. And thus the radical, complex and unique shell shape that defines the RPS-10 was born of untold hours of development work. Note the subtle, complex curves shaped into the upper and frontal areas of the shell and the distinctive lines given to the intake and exhaust vents; these shapes play a major role in controlling aerodynamic airflow. The fact that such complex elements also lend a distinctive look and unique grace to the lines of the RPS-10 happens to be a fortunate byproduct of this feat of engineering. Having created a helmet shape with advanced aerodynamic properties, HJC engineers next aimed at creating a shell that would establish new standards for lightness. Net result: Weighing in at less than 1500 grams (3.30 pounds in small and medium sizes), the RPS-10 is the lightest Snell 2010-approved helmet on the market-mission accomplished.To gain this remarkable degree of lightness, the RPS-10 features Premium Integrated Matrix (PIM) construction, which incorporates three different materials-carbon fiber, aramid fiber and fiberglass-to create a unique woven blend both remarkably strong and noticeably lighter compared to conventional materials. Next, precisely sized segments of the PIM material are carefully hand-laid into a special pre-mold for shaping-a new process developed specifically for the RPS-10. This exacting production method (only six people who trained for a year are qualified to perform this pre-mold process) precisely controls placement of these layers to virtually eliminate unneeded overlap of fibers, which also allows a more precise amount of resin to be used in the forming process, thereby significantly reducing shell weight. The shell is then formed with the use of a new, proprietary blend of resins. The net result is a world-class shell that is more than 100 grams (3.5 ounces) lighter than a shell constructed in a more conventional manner.Moreover, this development process also incorporated testing and feedback from World Superbike Champion and MotoGP star Ben Spies. For example, one element of great importance to Ben is the RPS-10’s shield locking system. He specifically requested that HJC develop this feature since he often turns his head to look around while in the heat of MotoGP racing. And so the RPS-10 has a unique and patented self-locking/center locking system that locks the shield shut in a most positive manner, yet it can be instantly and easily opened with one touch of the finger when desired. This shield system also produces a secure seal that is unmatched, and the shield itself is an optically superior Pinlock-ready 2D Flat-Racing Shield that mounts via HJC’s RapidFireII Shield Replacement System. This simple and secure shield-ratchet system features a spring-loaded feature that firmly retains the shield in place during use. In addition it also provides ultra-quick, tool-less shield removal and installation for efficient operation. Also included with the RPS-10 is a clear, anti-fog Pinlock insert.Within the motorcycle helmet, the RPS-10 incorporates an ultra-plush, premium SilverCool Plus interior that is fully removable, washable and moisture wicking, and it also combats odor buildup with an advanced antibacterial fabric. A special antibacterial ginkgo extract helps fight odor buildup in the lining. Our innovative Max Air-Flow Top Vent yields variable air intake that can be easily adjusted to one of seven click-stop positions to suit riding conditions using glove-friendly rotating dials on each intake vent. And our Advanced Channeling Ventilation System (ACS) gives full front-to-back airflow to flush out heat and humidity. The countless hours of development and testing conducted in the real world and within our wind tunnel were also employed to create a remarkably effective airflow within the helmet. The reward is an increase in ventilation of approximately 50 percent along with a measurably lower noise factor-about 4 dB-over previous designs.Top it all off with an industry-leading five-year warranty on materials and workmanship, and it becomes patently obvious that the new HJC RPS-10 has literally advanced the state of the art in streetbike helmet design.