HJC RPHA 11 PRO Helmet Review

John Burns
by John Burns

Long known as a reliable maker of high-quality helmets that are still affordable, HJC moves one more step closer to the premium lids with the RPHA 11 PRO.

Updated May, 2021

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.

The RPHA 11 PRO has been superseded by the RPHA 11 Carbon as HJC’s top-line racing helmet. It has all the same features in an even lighter, stronger carbon-fiber shell than the Integrated Matrix Plus of the older RPHA 11 PRO tested here. Along with that upgrade, the suggested retail price has gone substantially upward, to $530 – $600. Ouch… The good news is that the Pro is still being produced, in a crazy cast of graphics including an Otto Minions replica, licensed from Universal.

Other developments include new compact and aero-designed SMART HJC 20B and 10B Bluetooth communication systems co-developed with SENA, and tailored specially for HJC helmets.

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.

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 race helmet 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.

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.

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.

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.

Table of Contents

RPHA 11 Carbon Bleer

Bleer and Nakri are the two basic graphics available in the RPHA 11 Carbon. We don’t know who comes up with the nomenclature?

Bottom Line

  • Superlight and aero


In addition to the current line-up of 11 Pros, there are still plenty of RPHA 11 Pro helmets available at discount, including this Cal Crutchlow replica.

Bottom Line

  • Fantastic lid for the (discounted) money

HJC RPHA 11 Pro/ Carbon

+ Highs

  • Very light
  • Very comfortable and aero
  • High eyeport great for track riding

– Sighs

  • Carbon prices have crept up there…
  • Not quite the cachet of Arai or Shoei
  • Who cares?


Are HJC helmets any good?

HJC makes good helmets and great ones. We wouldn’t ride around a race track at over 150 mph in anything less than a great one. Any helmet with a genuine DOT sticker on it is far better than no helmet at all; ones that also pass the Euro ECE standard, like the 11 Pro and Carbon, are even better

What does HJC helmets stand for?

HJC stands for Hong Jin-Crown Corporation, a South Korean manufacturer of helmets for motorcycles and racing founded in 1971.

Which HJC helmet is the best?

For racing, the RPHA 11 Carbon is top-of-the-line. But the company makes a full range of helmets for all kinds of riding. For everyday and touring use, we’re big fans of modulars – and HJC’s latest is the i90.

HJC RPHA 11 PRO Specifications

Price$450 – $600
SizesXS, S, M, L, XL, XXL
Shell sizes 3
Colorstoo many to list, along with distinctive Marvel, DC Comics, and a bunch of other licensed graphics

Additional resources

MO Tested: HJC RPHA 90 Helmet Review

HJC CL-Y Youth Helmet Review

HJC RPHA MAX Modular Helmet Review, Take 2!

HJC CS-R3 Helmet Review

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John Burns
John Burns

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2 of 7 comments
  • V8-Snail V8-Snail on Apr 26, 2017

    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.

    • See 3 previous
    • FoolMotard FoolMotard on Apr 27, 2017

      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 DickRuble on Apr 26, 2017

    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.