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HJC RPHA Max Modular Helmet

February 01, 2013

A Modular Helmet Done Right

Colors: Silver, white, pearl white, matte black, black
Sizes: XS-XXL
Certification: DOT
MSRP: $459.99-$464.99
www.hjchelmets.com

Niguel Williams: I tested the metallic silver HJC RPHA Max modular helmet, which really pops in the sun, and was very pleased. 

Operationally, the helmet worked great. The internal sun shield opens and closes easily even with thick gloves via a large sliding lever. The shield lifting mechanism opens from the center. The chin bar latch is also in the center, and it’s slick and easy.

The fit is more for a round head vs. a long oval. In most popular brand helmets, I’m a XXL, but the RPHA XL was just slightly snug when new and broke in comfortably. The removable cheek pads can tailor the fit, and the liner breaks in quickly. The liner and neck roll have a comfortable satin feel.

The liner doesn’t cover the entire EPS. However, this may add to the helmet’s incredible venting quality. There are only two vents: one on the top and one on the chin bar (and two small extractor vents) but they move tons of air; a torrent flows through this helmet.

The faceshield removes easily. The release trigger looks light in construction, but is durable in use. The factory-installed faceshield is not fog-proof but can be “cracked” slightly to aid with that.

The sun shade does not cut into your nose (the bottom can occasionally be in your field of view depending on head angle). The eye port is wide and the screen is clear; head checks are no problem.

The RPHA Max is also lightweight and very quiet. There’s a chin skirt that aids in the quietness and keeps the chill out. It doesn’t buffet at high speeds. 

There’s not much to dislike about this helmet. A stock fog-proof visor would be nice. It does come with a pinlock system, but the average rider is not going to use it. A very minor complaint is the top vent switch is small and doesn’t give good feel through thick gloves. The only real defect I experienced, although it didn’t affect performance, was the chin vent internals shifted slightly after a few days of normal usage—something covered by the ample five-year warranty.

The only reason to avoid this helmet is if you want graphics. (Although it’s probably safe to assume that few in the market for a modular are interested in flashy graphics.)

This is a quiet, light modular with good attention to detail, phenomenal venting and comfort equal to more expensive helmets. It’s a great all-around helmet for street riders.


Want to be an AMA tester? Email submissions@ama-cycle.org for an application.

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