I just want to say that I have 3 helmets right now since I just bought a new HJC RPHA-10. I have a Shoei Multitec from years ago that I wore up until the spring of 2014 and while nothing was wrong, the helmet was just too old (7 years old). I bought an HJC CL-17, making it my first "budget"/low-end helmet since owner a Raider years ago. I did have an RF-1100 for a year before a friend borrowed my helmet for a long group wide and went down and with money being tight, I "settled" for the CL-17.
I was debating earlier this spring between an RF-1200 (since I've had a Shoei before and I liked it), Bell RS-1, or the RPHA-10 since they were all close in price and after trying them on, the RF-1200 didn't really fit my head too well but the RS-1 and the RPHA-10 were perfect for me, a better fit than the CL-17 which broke in and was a bit too large now. But with a small baby, I decided I just got my HJC CL-17 so I stuck it with the CL-17 until I saw a price I couldn't pass up as mentioned above.
I'll do a first thoughts review now and maybe in mid-September I'll do another follow-up. If you do mind, feel free to move along
. Also, everything will be rated on your basic 1-10 scale trying to be as objective as possible. Rating
- Using your basic 1-10 scale or my own MMA scale. 1=
Deplorabe. They couldn't pay me enough to wear it regularly (unless it was in the 3 figure range lol, then I'd consider it). A "Kenneth Allen" 3=
Pretty bad. I would not buy it, again, unless I was paid, I will skip on this helmet/feature. A "Shungo Oyama" 5=
Average, maybe I'd buy it again and maybe I wouldn't depending on the circumstances. I think we all know what a 5 is or what average means. A "Phil Baroni". 7=
Pretty good, or above average. I would likely buy it again or the feature is something I could live with and not complain much. "A Heath Herring/gate keeper." 10=
Cream of the crop, the holy grail. The "Royce Gracie of the 90s or Fedor of the early/mid 2000s or GSP of the late 2000s and early 2010s. Simply put, cannot be defeated. Price
The RPHA-10 is now available at a few places for $199 on closeout which is ridiculous and a deciding factor in my purchase. This helmet, when it first came out, had an MSRP $359-$554 depending on the graphics with the Ben Spies and Jorge Lorenzo Replicas being the most expensive one. Most places are still selling them at $300+ for just the solids, ahem *RevZilla*. So to be able to nab a supposedly great helmet at 50% off was just too good of a deal to let it pass by. 9.5/10
or Anderson Silva- Those PEDs helped a bit/ Safety
Isn't this the reason we get these things? Well, it's a day old and only 65miles on the noggin so I'll just get to the stats and go to the next area of interest. SNELL M2010 and DOT certified. 8/10 simply because it is not ECE R22.05
or Robbie Lawler Fit/Comfort
The helmet is obviously a bit more of a race fit helmet but I assume most of us have worn an race fit helmet before. Snug but man this one fit like a glove. Within seconds, I didn't even notice I was wearing it if not for one thing, that I will get to in a bit. I would say this helmet fits more of a neutral shape, some say round but it is not round like the CL-17. Definitely more neutral or maybe even slightly on the more narrow oval/intermediate oval than a true round. Love the fit, the liner felt better than I remember from trying it on a few months ago; the liner is very plush and just has a great quality feel to it. Feels like a soft pillow all around my head the moment I put it on and then it disappears completely, figuratively speaking. I tried on my CL-17 and the Multitec and there was a big change. It also feels better than my old RF-1100 as well.
The only thing that reminds me I am wearing a helmet, and is a slight nuisance at the moment, is that I feel like something is pressing on my right ear ever so slightly. I am hoping that after a few weeks, it will break in and that will go away. No pain but feels like my ear lobe is being folded in a bit even though it is not. 7.5/10
or Michael Bisping/ Face Shied/Vision
The eye port here, vertically is just average if you look at just the dimensions of the. The width of the shield is above average. With that said, there's a difference when you put it on and actually look through the eye port. Unlike my modular Shoei and the CL-17, I can actually see more
vertically in this helmet than my previous 4 helmets (RF-1100 included). I'm not sure because I measured the vertical visor size and it's basically the same as my CL-17 but once it's on, I can barely see the top of the visor. It's really in the way the helmet sits or wraps around my head. It allows me to see more than my other three helmets. The width is exceptional as well. I can see my nearly my entire peripheral vision with little hindrance. I almost have to turn my head to see the sides of my visor, or the edge of the helmet.
Outside of what I consider outstanding vision, it comes with a pinlock ready shield AND a free clear pinlock insert. No need to spend another $30 or more for an insert although a light smoke would've been my preference. 9.5/10
or Prime motivated BJ Penn Ventilation/Airflow
Again, I wish I had my RF-1100 so I could compare but I don't and so this is where it gets a bit washy. The ventilation and airflow on this is excellent, much better than the Multitec and CL-17. Immediately I could feel the airflow from the top vent, free air just coming in. I want to say the top ventilation was, at the very least, as great as the 1100 but I'm going off what I remember from over a year ago. My head feels massive air coming in and I mean that by helmet standards.
With that said, the lower vent feels very substandard. I haven't been on the highway much so maybe at high speeds for a distance and my mind will change but as it stands, very substandard. I felt the 1100 had more air flowing through the chin vent and the CL-17 DOES have a bit more airflow as well. Because of that, the rating will go down quite a bit. If it was just based on the top vent, it'd be a 9. All things considered, still more airflow than the CL-17 but not quite as much as the RF-1100 and slightly above average. 7/10
or Frank Trigg Noise Level
Oddly enough, maybe it's the shape of my head but this helmet is noisier than the RF-1100 and my CL-17. It's about the same as the modular Multitec. I was a bit disappointed and this is one area that I don't think will get better with time. Even though it has a great chin curtain, the air doesn't seem to seal around my neck well and that's where the air enters. I've taken my hand and put it around my neck (like a single hand chock) and it's eerily silent and I don't feel like my neck is that thin so I'm not sure why. This is the one true knock on this helmet and will receive my lowest rating although I wear ear plugs if I ride longer than 10 mins on the highway. 5/10
or Shonie Carter Weight
This is where this helmet really excels and could be seen in the comfort/fit section; there's a reason it's so comfortable and while the liner plays a huge role, the weight or lack thereof is equally important. As I mentioned earlier, immediately after putting it on and feeling that soft plush feel, the helmet sort of just vanishes. The vision is great, liner wonderful, and helmet so light that I literally didn't feel the helmet. I must say that I've have never owned a CF helmet so I am not sure how that would feel and I know that would likely be lighter but I looked at the stats this morning and sure enough, I was not deceived by my senses or that new gear feeling. My XL came in at 1576grams/3.47lbs
. While I don't have my RF-1100, I do have the stats available online. The RF-1100 in XL is 1746grams/3.85lbs
. The HJC CL-17 in XL came in at 1754grams/3.87lbs
. While the numbers seem small, I really do feel a HUGE difference. 9/10
or Chuck Liddell
Overall: I was hesitant to get another HJC due to the CL-17 feeling like just a decent helmet but nothing special like my two previous Shoei helmets. This RPHA-10 changed my mind completely. I honestly don't believe I could get anything at $199 and get all the things I got here. Overall, I would have to give the helmet 8/10
or Johnny Hendricks
If you want a helmet for $200 or less and not worry about it feeling less than "premium", this is definitely the one to get. I will update this in two weeks and see how things go.
PS, my heart feels like this helmet is a 9.5 mainly due to how great of a deal it was but my head stabilizes things and tells me it's an 8 right now after 65 miles and two days.