Story by Marcus Martellacci//
January 1 2017

The comfort and features this advanced HJC helmet offers has made it my go-to helmet.

We’ve now spent two full seasons with the RPHA (Revolutionary Performance Helmet Advantage) 10 helmet, manufactured by HJC, and have neglected to let you know anything about it. Shame on us for that, because it’s a fantastic piece of kit that regularly appears in the pages of the magazine.

One of the reasons I pick up the RPHA 10 so often when headed on a ride is the carbon matrix shell – at only 1,530 grams, it’s noticeably lighter than most helmets. Also, my noggin in particular is more suited to the intermediate oval shape of this model, which allows a few millimetres of space between my nose and the removable wind deflector. In contrast, a rounded profile helmet usually has my nose mashed against the front.

The RPHA 10 was designed specifically for racetrack use, which is illustrated by features like the aforementioned oval profile, as well as its rear spoiler, snug-fitting silver antibacterial fabric liner and secure One-Touch locking mechanism that’s easy to access with either hand and securely seals the shield to the helmet gasket.

Even the venting system is conducive to high speeds with airflow optimized for a slightly head-down riding position. The two top vents open and close via six-position dials, and the front vent is opened with a large two-position switch. All are easy to use with a gloved hand, and flow a lot of air, which translates into good cooling but more wind noise than you might be used to if you normally use a touring helmet.

My first opportunity to test the RPHA 10 was on a racetrack, where the strengths of the design were obvious. Even as I approached 300 km/h, the helmet felt extremely stable, and the deep cooling channels kept the air moving through the helmet and out the rear vents. An included Pinlock anti-fog insert combined with the optically correct 2D polycarbonate shield system made for clear vision and little fogging, despite high humidity. The Rapid Fire II shield replacement system makes shield changes incredibly easy. Just open the shield all the way, then pull back on the exposed tabs on either side of the helmet. Installation is even easier, requiring the user to simply put the replacement on in the same position and apply only fingertip pressure to click it back in.

As mentioned, this helmet has seen a lot of duty since my first track experience with it, and all of it has been on the road, where I’ve discovered the RPHA 10 makes a solid daily choice. Little things like being able to easily fit a pair of prescription glasses or sunglasses; a good-quality finish that doesn’t chip as soon as it touches the ground; and a removable and washable liner all add to the helmet’s versatility. HJC also includes a very effective chin-mounted wind curtain that clips securely into the bottom of the helmet – so securely, in fact, that I broke it while carelessly trying to remove it without taking off my gloves. Surprisingly, it still works very well, keeping air from entering the bottom of the helmet, and it now serves as a reminder that brute force and ignorance are not always the solution.

The model seen here wears the Buzzsaw graphic, reminiscent of a ninja star or saw blade, and features a pearlescent white and black finish. The RPHA 10 has DOT and Snell M2010 ratings and we’ve found it as low as $279 at the moment – surprisingly little for a lid of this quality, but that has a lot to do with the fact it’s being replaced by the new RPHA 11 and 11 Pro. The new models feature even further reduced weight, twice as many vents, a more compact and aerodynamic profile and several other advances. The RPHA 11 is already receiving rave reviews in the industry, representing the positive evolution of HJC and its premium helmet line. But that doesn’t mean you should overlook the RPHA 10, especially if you can take advantage of a good deal on one of these fantastic lids. Let’s remember, this very helmet was worn by MotoGP racers just a couple of years ago, so it’s still anything but old hat.

The HJC line of helmets can be purchased through a Parts Canada Distributor near you.


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