RPHA stands for Revolutionary Performance Helmet Advanced, and the RPHA series is HJC’s top-shelf models. The most recent addition to the line is the RPHA 91 modular motorcycle helmet with a Premium Integrated Matrix EVO shell made from a blend of materials that includes carbon-aramid, carbon fiber, glass fiber, organic nonwoven fabric, and linen fiber, all of which contribute to enhanced shock resistance and light weight. A size Medium weighs 3.8 lb.
The RPHA 91 includes several thoughtful features, such as large, paddle-like air vents. They aren’t as hidden as the vents on other helmets; however, since operating the vents requires simply sliding or rocking a large paddle, they’re much easier to use than the smaller mechanisms found on many helmets.
Reaching up and sliding the vent on the top of the head or rocking the chin intake is effortless even with gloved hands, and there’s no searching and feeling to find them. The temple vents are operated with a slide and are much smaller, but I almost always leave them open.
Another nice feature on the RPHA 91 is the drop-down sunshield. Plenty of modular helmets have sunshields, but some of them don’t come down far enough. The RPHA 91 solves that problem with an adjustable sunshield. Removing the plate on the left side of the helmet reveals a three-setting switch. The switch allows you to set how far down the sunshield drops, and if it’s set to the lowest level, the sunshield also slides away from the face so you don’t have to worry about it bonking your nose on the way down. Dropping the sunshield to the middle position suited me the best.
HJC also made the flip-up chinbar more convenient on the RPHA 91. Although the chinbar doesn’t flip completely around to the back of the helmet like on the HJC i100 (see the HJC i100 review here), it can still be worn in the flipped-up position while riding, although doing so inevitably sacrifices some safety as it leaves your face vulnerable. HJC accomplished this with two design elements. The first is that, with the chinbar flipped up, there is minimal space between the chinbar and the top of the helmet, meaning wind won’t get in between and pull the helmet up. The chinbar also locks in the opened position so it won’t move or drop down during a ride. The lock mechanism is a little tricky to work with gloved hands but not impossible. I wouldn’t try to lock or unlock the chinbar while actively riding, but it’s easy enough to do if I have a few seconds at a stop light.
Other useful features include a neck roll that helps reduce wind noise, speaker pockets and channels to run wires for a comms system, and a Pinlock-ready faceshield (a Pinlock anti-fog insert is included). The RPHA 91 comes in XS-2XL in Black, White, Matte Black, Grey, Semi Flat Titanium, Semi Flat Anthracite, Semi Flat Metallic Blue, and three graphic colors starting at $549.99.