HJC RPHA 11 PRO Helmet

Editor Score: 90.0%
Aesthetics 9.0/10
Protection 8.5/10
Value 9.5/10
Comfort/Fit 9.0/10
Quality/Design 9.0/10
Weight 9.5/10
Options/Selection 9.0/10
Innovation 9.0/10
Weather Suitability 9.0/10
Desirable/Cool Factor 8.5/10
Overall Score90/100

HJC’s new top-line full-face helmet is here, and it is a pip, Alice. Long known as a reliable maker of high-quality helmets that are still affordable, the RPHA 11 PRO moves HJC one more step closer to the premium lids. And while its price tag has bumped up accordingly, $449.99 for this helmet still seems like a bargain.

HJC’s first RPHA helmets got here in 2012, featuring its Premium Integrated Matrix Plus (PIM+) construction for a really light shell, smooth aerodynamics and comfort. The RPHA 11 Pro supersedes it, still using that carbon fiber/aramid/fiberglass/organic non-woven fabric shell, and now adding an enlarged eye port in a more aerodynamic shell (HJC has its own wind tunnel).

Another thing that’s really nice when you’re going that fast or for a long time is light weight, and this one’s got that going on for it too: 3 pounds, 3 ounces says my local postal scale, compared to 3 lbs, 8.5 oz for a new Arai Corsair X I brought along for comparison. I think that’s 11% lighter.

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And before COTA, I packed this one along to ride in on the new Ducati Monster 797. I packed contact lenses too because I knew it was going to rain, and you know what a problem rain, mist, and looking through two layers of plastic can be. As luck would have it, the shield sealed so well I had zero leakage inside, and the breath diffuser kept me from fogging up, too. A little snap deal at the middle bottom of the shield seals it positively closed, and it’s easy to pop open when you want fresh air. Oh yeah, the RPHA 11 Pro comes with a clear shield and a dark one (and an anti-fog insert I failed to insert before the damp Ducati ride). A chimp could change the shields.

To be perfectly honest I didn’t realize HJC had sent me its latest and greatest until I was riding a CBR1000RR down the long back straight at COTA the other day, and noticed as I was hunkered down “behind the Perspex bubble,” as the old Brit announcers used to constantly announce, I could totally see where I was going thanks to the new higher eye port. Which is nice when you’re going that fast and not sure exactly which is the right direction. The helmet is super-snug and stable in 150-mph breezes too.

To be perfectly honest I didn’t realize HJC had sent me its latest and greatest until I was riding a CBR1000RR down the long back straight at COTA the other day, and noticed as I was hunkered down “behind the Perspex bubble,” as the old Brit announcers used to constantly announce, I could totally see where I was going thanks to the new higher eye port. Which is nice when you’re going that fast and not sure exactly which is the right direction. The helmet is super-snug and stable in 150-mph breezes too.

Venting? Yes of course, starring HJC’s new and improved Advanced Channeling Ventilation system, and now with a new forehead vent. There’s another pair of vents on the chinbar you can open and close. Overall I give this one a solid B for airflow. Not bad but not the best.

 These rotary intake vent controls on top, complete with wee rubber tires, are one example of RPHA attention to detail. Easy to feel and adjust with gloves on.


These rotary intake vent controls on top, complete with wee rubber tires, are one example of RPHA attention to detail. Easy to feel and adjust with gloves on.

When it comes to fit, though, which is the most important thing in a helmet for me, this one is right up there with the best – somewhere between the classic Shoei RF1200 and I have to say, slightly above the intermediate oval Arai Corsair X (Arai’s best attempt at fitting my Scottish/Irish/German mongrel head), whose retail price is about twice that of the HJC.

Cheek pads come in 5mm increments to allow a custom fit, and pop out easily in case of emergency. (They don’t pop back in so easy.) Of course it’s all anti-fungal wicking and all that, and there are recesses for speakers.

Cheek pads come in 5mm increments to allow a custom fit, and pop out easily in case of emergency. (They don’t pop back in so easy.) Of course it’s all anti-fungal wicking and all that, and there are recesses for speakers.

I’ve had no problems not finishing MotoGP races because of any helmet malfunctions so far, and no complaints from HJC’s sponsored rider Jonas Folger on his Tech 3 Yamaha either. The roughest thing about this helmet is its nomenclature; RPHA 11 Pro SKYRYM is quite a mouthful.

Easier maybe to go with one of the other RPHA 11 Pro graphics packages, of which there are a slew, including this Boba Fett that Toni Elias is wearing in MotoAmerica Superbike this year.

Easier maybe to go with one of the other RPHA 11 Pro graphics packages, of which there are a slew, including this Boba Fett that Toni Elias is wearing in MotoAmerica Superbike this year.

All the RPHA Pro 11s are DOT- and ECE-approved, come in sizes XS to 2XL, and have a five-year warranty. Prices range from $409.99 for solid colors up to $599.99 for your Boba Fetts and other Marvelous creations.
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  • Rob Bandler

    Hey John- How would you rate the plushness of the interior? I am an Arai fan, and also like the feel of the Shoei helmets, but recent HJCs are not anywhere near as plush and comfortable in my experience.

    • john burns

      ahh, maybe 0.4 notch less plush but perfectly acceptable in my book. This one fits me really good so to me it’s super comfy.

  • Auphliam

    Do they fit pretty true to size? I have the unenviable honor of residing right smack dab between Med and Large. If a particular lid runs small, I have to try a Large. If it runs large, a Med. Some brands just don’t feel like they fit, regardless which one I choose. Great stuff when shopping for a new helmet…and don’t even get me started on shape 🙁

  • mick kay

    You know what’s cool? Of all the crappy, ugly helmets being made you can’t just buy a full faced one with the Italian Tri-color design on it. You would think AGV might come up with something seeing as it’s their logo and all. Go figure. Guess I’m just not a marketing genius so what do I know. Saves me money not having to buy anything I suppose.

  • John Woods

    Another site has this on its “5 Quietest Motorcycle Helmets” list, what did you think of the wind/noise protection?

    • john burns

      it’s really quiet and aero. and light.

      • Jim_Axel

        Was it also quiet when you were driving the ducati monster?

  • James Muhammad

    The numbers had me in a Large but I went with a Medium in September. I haven’t worn the helmet much but have noticed that it’s well broken in now and I’m looking for a solution to make it tighter in some areas to abate the chinbar from coming back towards my lips. My first ride with the helmet was also in the wet and the anti-fog insert is REQUIRED. There are some slow speed times when I feel the ventilation is poor and reach for the adjustments to find them already open.

  • D H

    Lost the SNELL rating compared to the original RPHA. this suppose to be the top of the line helmet, and it will not be acceptable on most track day in the US.

    • john burns

      Really? I don’t think I’ve ever had anybody check mine at a track day.

      • D H

        Just because nobody check it doesn’t mean it’s acceptable per the actual rule. And yes they did check at the http://racelegal.com (should try this fun stuff at Friday night). I didn’t go to any track day in the last 5 years, but Fastrack Rider used to state Snell requirements (not really sure they did anymore), yes I don’t remember ever been stop for helmet before but is not the point is it?! Obviously HJC made their new helmet line passing lower rating than before. My RPHA 10 has Snell rating why not now?

        • john burns

          well it does have ECE sticker on it also, which also is accepted by every racing body in the world.

        • FoolMotard

          ECE is not a “lower” rating than Snell, they just have different specific requirements, all of which have different pros/cons. For what it’s worth, I’ve heard that Snell has gone overboard with emphasizing the rigidity of the outer shell, but helmets that are too rigid can be less safe for the human head inside them. Of course, each crash is unique, but I’m personally more inclined to trust the ECE rating than Snell, and I currently wear the RPHA 10 Pro. As a side bonus, I think that switching to ECE allowed them to make the shell smaller (RPHA 11 looks quite a bit more compact when compared to the RPHA 10/Pro).

  • DickRuble

    3lbs 8.5oz!! for the Arai Corsair X.. Wow.. if you’re dumb enough to spend $800 for that, you really need no helmet. My HJC CL12 XXL from 1999 weighs … 3lbs 9oz.. And I paid a cool $100 back then. Still in good shape.. Ventilation is ok, never had water in it, and I’ve been in downpours, has chin forehead vents and the air flow is good… and it’s SNELL and DOT approved. It fits perfectly.