Many motorcycle helmet companies have set their sights on becoming the number-one manufacturer in the world. Having held that position for many years, HJC considers this preeminent rank as more of a challenge to continue striving forward rather than an accomplishment to be savored.
Case in point: The challenge presented by the new construction techniques required to produce the innovative RPS-10.
For years, the HJC plant has been well regarded as one of the premier motorcycle helmet manufacturing sites in the world. However, in order to achieve the goal of making the RPS-10 the lightest Snell 2010-approved helmet on the market, a completely new method of helmet manufacture had to be devised.
The answer lay in the creation of an innovative, extra step that would be added to the manufacturing process, one that incorporates a pre-molding technique to carefully locate and shape the layers of lightweight and strong Premium Integrated Matrix (PIM) material with exacting precision.
The degree of precision was so demanding that it could not be automated; only the human eye and hand could make the necessary judgments to meet such a rigorous standard.
A similar but automated process would have to allow so much leeway for production tolerances that the desired degree of weight savings could not be realized.
In the end, it took more than a year to develop and perfect this single manufacturing technique, and of the hundreds of people employed at the HJC motorcycle helmet manufacturing plant, only six are qualified to perform this pre-molding process that is so integral to the creation of RPS-10 shells.
Would any other motorcycle helmet manufacturer invest so much time and concerted effort to achieve such a goal? That’s difficult to say. But at HJC, the end result-the new RPS-10-certainly justified the extraordinary means spent to find a better way to create a premium helmet.
HJC’s design center also contains one of the most comprehensive testing labs in the industry. Not only does the lab allow dynamic testing for European and SNELL standards, but it also contains special tests devised by HJC to ensure quality and durability.