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Af­ter spend­ing three sea­sons spon­sor­ing three-time Motogp World Cham­pion Jorge Lorenzo, HJC Hel­mets surely learned a few things along the way, as you’d ex­pect when your rider is reach­ing 220- plus mph on the straights. It ap­pears that HJC has in­fused many of those de­vel­op­ments into its new flag­ship RPHA 11 Pro hel­met.

Although look­ing out­wardly sim­i­lar to the pre­vi­ous RPHA 10 hel­met, upon closer in­spec­tion the RPHA 11 Pro dis­plays a num­ber of new fea­tures. A new Pre­mium In­te­grated Ma­trix Plus (PIM+) shell in­cor­po­rates a wo­ven blend of car­bon fiber, aramid, fiber­glass, and or­ganic non- wo­ven fab­ric to cre­ate a strong and even lighter struc­ture than be­fore, though there are some key changes. Up front, the eye­port is widened by 5mm on the top edge to al­low a bet­ter field of view in a rac­ing tuck. Out back, the aero­dy­namic spoiler has been re­designed, both to cre­ate bet­ter neg­a­tive pres­sure to pull air out through the top rear vents and to pro­vide bet­ter sta­bil­ity at ul­tra- high speeds.

The bot­tom rim of the shell on each side now has a re­cess cutout (os­ten­si­bly to re­duce col­lar­bone con­tact in a crash), with new rear ex­haust vents work­ing with the re­vamped chin vents and new fore­head vent to help pro­vide cool­ing air­flow through­out the in­te­rior. The Max Air Flow Top Vent shape has been slightly changed, with rub­ber trim on the ven­ti­la­tion ad­just­ment dial con­trols for bet­ter feel and con­trol. A nice bonus is that the RPHA 11 Pro comes with both a clear 2D Flat- Rac­ing shield with an­tifog in­sert lens and a 2D Dark Smoke shield.

Even the re­mov­able/wash­able in­te­rior saw some up­grades, with the com­fort liner now us­ing ad­vanced anti- bac­te­rial Multi- Cool fab­ric for bet­ter mois­ture- wick­ing and quick- dry­ing prop­er­ties than the pre­vi­ous- gen­er­a­tion ma­te­rial. The cheek pads now have emer­gency straps to al­low quick and easy re­moval by res­cue per­son­nel, there are re­flec­tive patches on the rear por­tion for nighttime vis­i­bil­ity, and the EPS liner is equipped with re­cessed speaker ar­eas for Blue­tooth set­ups, along with spe­cial chan­nels for bet­ter com­fort when wear­ing eye­glasses.

Right off the bat, the RPHA 11 Pro feels no­tice­ably lighter than most hel­mets, and our scales con­firmed that feel­ing with the HJC weigh­ing in at 3.2 pounds (1,450 grams), putting it on the lighter end of the hel­mets we’ve tested. Slip­ping on the RPHA 11 Pro re­quires a smidgen more ef­fort due to the snug fit of the neck roll, but the pay­off is bet­ter seal­ing around the ear area for less wind noise. Over­all com­fort was ex­cel­lent, with no pres­sure points on our oval- shaped heads and a def­i­nite im­prove­ment over the pre­vi­ous RPHA 10 model as far as com­fort was con­cerned.

Also no­tice­able be­tween the RPHA 10 and 11 Pro mod­els was the im­proved vis­i­bil­ity in a rac­ing tuck from the wider eye­port. While the 10 cer­tainly wasn’t bad, the 11 has a much big­ger field of view. Shield seal­ing around the eye­port was good with no no­tice­able leaks, and re­plac­ing the shields is quick and easy; sim­ply pull the lever to re­move, and just push in at the pivot point to in­stall. Aero­dy­nam­ics on the RPHA 11 are ex­cel­lent, with no buf­fet­ing or ex­ces­sive noise at speed; turn­ing your head re­sults in some aero drag but not as bad as some hel­mets we’ve tried. Over­all noise lev­els were very good, helped by the snug neck roll.

The only as­pect of the RPHA 11 that didn’t im­press us was the ven­ti­la­tion. While cer­tainly ad­e­quate, con­sid­er­ing this is HJC’S flag­ship model and the com­pe­ti­tion, the vent­ing per­for­mance could be bet­ter. Open­ing up the fore­head and top vents pro­vide some cool­ing ef­fect but not to the same ex­tent com­pared to the class lead­ers like Arai and Shoei. On the flip side, the RPHA 11 Pro is sev­eral hun­dred dol­lars cheaper than its com­pe­ti­tion, and that’s al­ways a plus for many.

The HJC RPHA 11 Pro meets DOT stan­dards and is ECE 22.05 ap­proved, has a five-year war­ranty, and comes in sizes XS to XXL. Solid col­ors re­tail from $399.99, while var­i­ous graph­ics (in­clud­ing nu­mer­ous Marvel Comics and Star Wars char­ac­ter repli­cas) start at $449.99.



Dun­lop Sport­max Road­s­mart III Tires

We’ve got a set of Dun­lop’s lat­est sport­tour­ing tire that is claimed to of­fer bet­ter per­for­mance over the life of the tire. We’ll be re­port­ing soon on that claim.

Held Race-tex Gloves

Is there such a thing as an all- weather glove? Held says the water­proof Race-tex is, and we’ll let you know what we found out.

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