HJC's range topping sports helmet, the RPHA 11, comes in a dizzying array of designs, from race inspired graphics to Marvel movie tie-ins. Certified to ECE 22.05, it's packed with features that make it just as practical on the street as it is a performer on the racetrack. MCN's Senior Writer and track addict Dan Sutherland has been putting one to the test.
1. HJC RPHA 11
I love wearing track-focused helmets on the road, I always have. I don’t care that they might be a bit noisier, or lack a drop-down sun visor. They look the dogs and give me an unparalleled feeling of safety when I’m riding. I’ll sacrifice a bit of comfort for that. However, unlike some sporty lids, this HJC RPHA 11 provides racetrack cool with bags of daily usability, meaning you can have your cake and eat it.
Rated to ECE22.05 standard, it has a wide visor aperture, plenty of vents and plush internal padding; making it a comfortable daily helmet you can also ride flat out with when on track. It’s also available in loads of colours, including a range of film tribute colour schemes. It's stable at high speeds, which reduces fatigue during sessions. You also get a good view of the track ahead when you’re tucked in and at 1350g, it’s relatively light, meaning big days in the saddle are completed without any pain in your neck.
There’s a neat chin curtain to keep the wind off and a wonderful finish. This ‘Texen MC3 Yellow’ design is new for 2022 and looks wonderful – especially with a dark visor installed. The gloss white is particularly good; full of metallic sparkles that glint in the sunlight. However, it is a pain to keep clean. The bug splats of a quick summertime ride show up clearly and it takes a lot of scrubbing to remove – especially inside the upper forehead vents, which are operated by a simple wheel system.
What’s more, it comes as standard with a Pinlock and a dark smoke visor, and the soft cheek pads are quick release in the event of an emergency. You can also see the visor mechanism through the clear visor, making removal and installation and a doddle. It does get harder with a black visor installed, but it’s still easier than something like an equivalent Arai.
Unfortunately, it’s not all been good, and the central visor catch is really hard to open with a gloved hand on the move. It’s also stubborn to lock shut and quite often I’ll ride without doing so, leaving space for a small channel of air to get in and blast your eyes and nose. Further to that, on days where I’ve been taking the helmet off regularly, I have sometimes found certain lugs that hold in the cheek pads can work their way loose and just need popping back in.
Still, it’s much cheaper than some other mainstream sports lids on the market, so I could probably live with a few niggles.
• Stable at speed
• Looks good
• Great value
• Stubborn visor lock
More sports bike helmets
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[Read our review of the Shoei X-Spirit
3. Arai RX-7V Evo
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4. AGV Corsa-R
[Read our guide to the best AGV
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