The first thing I noticed about the RPHA 11 Pro was how light it is. It weighs significantly less than helmets in the same price bracket, as well as helmets that cost over $200 more. HJC offers three shell sizes, but in each size the RPHA 11 weighs in at just over three pounds. I was also surprised that an extra tinted visor and an anti-fog visor insert are included.
The RPHA 11 was comfortable right away. It’s an intermediate oval design, which is what fits me best. The antibacterial fabric is soft and the break-in period was short compared to other helmets. As with most modern helmets, the linings are easily removable for cleaning and reassembly is a breeze. The RPHA comes with pre-cut speaker reliefs, so installation of most communicators will also be simple. You’ll be able to hear those speakers well since the RPHA 11 Pro is one of the quietest helmets I’ve worn. The silence is no doubt due to its time under development in a wind tunnel, in addition to features such as active visor retention.
This helmet is equipped with the features you’d expect from a $400 one, such as quick release visors and a chin curtain, but it excels in some areas more than others. For example, the ventilation is outstanding. I was particularly impressed by this since I’m usually stuck deciding between quiet or cool. The RPHA 11 has cleverly designed ducts that direct air around your noggin as opposed to vents that blast air onto one small spot.
One of the few drawbacks I’ve found is that the vents work so well that I often find myself pulling over to remove my helmet and fish out small bugs that have made their way in through the top ones for a free ride. The upside here is that the main vent wheels used to open or close the vents are rubber-coated and easily manipulated with a gloved hand. They also have positive detents that allow you to adjust the airflow effortlessly, so you’ll be able to close them quickly when you ride through a cloud of gnats.
HJC RPHA 11 Pro
The HJC RPHA 11 Pro is one of the top choices for MotoGP racers and touring riders alike. An aerodynamically refined shell, improved rear spoiler design, ACS "Advanced Channeling Ventilation System", an added forehead vent, greater field of view, a redesigned face shield gasket system and both clear and smoke tinted optically-superior Pinlock-ready 2D flat-racing shields are just a few of the features of this "RoadRUNNER five-star" helmet.
As is becoming more frequent with helmets in this price range, the RPHA 11 Pro also comes equipped with emergency cheek pad releases. Thankfully, I’ve yet to test how this helmet holds up in a crash, but I can tell you that it’s DOT and ECE 22.05-certified.
The RPHA 11 Pro is not perfect, however. The last detent for the visor is too loose and the visor will be pushed shut at speeds above what you’d see in parking lots. Also, unlike the top vents, the other vent sliders are very small and can be hard to actuate with anything but the most lightweight gloves.
Frankly, it’s difficult not to just rave about this helmet. The few drawbacks it does have are minor and easy to live with. If HJC keeps making helmets of this caliber for the price they’re selling them, I’ll never buy another brand again.
Colors: Black, semi-flat black, semi-flat titanium, white, various custom color schemes