HJC RPHA 90S CARBON LUVE Modular Helmet
I had a fantastic motorcycle trip planned from South Australia to Far North Queensland, Phillip Island and finally back home, which meant there were some 8,000 km of road riding. For this, I wanted a new riding kit… first on the list was a helmet.
I decided a modular helmet was best, to allow me to still drink and eat while on the go, quickly slip on my reading glasses and easily show my face to converse with people, all whilst keeping my helmet on.
Having never worn this style before, I chose to try the helmet on, in-store, rather than buy it online. I wanted to be shown the features and make sure it was right for me.
I settled for the carbon fibre HJC RPHA 90S Carbon Luve modular helmet in matt silver with graphics.
Features, out of the box:
- Removable scratch-resistant outer visor, Pinlock® ready
- Anti-fog Pinlock® shield
- Sunscreen inner visor
- Stop-wind chin guard
- Helmet bag
RPHA, phonetically pronounced rip-ah, stands for Revolutionary Performance Helmet Advantage, which is to do with the helmet’s dual-use certification. The shell is constructed from Premium Integrated Matrix.
The carbon fibre shell makes it one of the lightest modular helmets on the market, but at 1,500 g net weight, it is still heavier than a full-faced helmet because of the opening mechanism and safety locks. It meets the ECE 22.05 Standards and is one of the safest modular helmets on the market.
So, what helped me choose this helmet over other big named brands?
The reduced weight is a good feature and when I slipped it on, it felt beautifully plush and comfortable, a must for long hours of riding.
To put on a modular helmet, the chin piece must be up as when closed, the neck roll is a lovely close fit. The removable lining is anti-bacterial treated and HJC uses MultiCool, a system that is moisture-wicking, breathable and along with a chin curtain, reduces wind noise.
Modular helmets are reportedly noisier than a full-faced helmet, but I found this to be the quietest helmet I have worn so far… and I’ve worn many crash hats!
There’s a streamlined, built-in cavity at the back of the helmet, ready for the SMART HJC Bluetooth System, worth about $209 for a single unit. I installed my own Bluetooth intercom with a built-in camera.
A big feature of this helmet is it allows for eyewear to easily slide in. Most important!
The tinted inner sun visor is scratch and UV-resistant and moves up and down by a sliding mechanism at the bottom left of the helmet. Sometimes, I fumbled to locate it when riding but anything out of view is difficult isn’t it!
Removal of the outer visor is performed using the RapidFire TM System, which is fancy speak for a couple of quick-release, pull-down levers on either side of the visor. It comes set up for Pinlock®, an anti-fog shield, which I need as I must be a heavy breather.
Seriously, Pinlock® is a must-have feature for foggy conditions and worked a treat on some of the days when thick fog appeared out of nowhere.
The outer shell ventilation system consists of one inlet on the chin and one on the top with a rear exhaust vent. The vents are adjustable even with a gloved hand. I could feel the airflow quite well when riding in the hot and humid conditions of Queensland.
So, what about the modular part?
A single button at the front of the chin bar releases the front and once open, the chin bar locks firmly in the open position.
It is designed to be ridden with the face open, though I chose not to ride over 50 kph. This was for my assurance, as speed increases the air pressure around the helmet which can compromise protection and safety.
The chin strap has a 100% non-rust ratchet-type closure. I’m not a huge fan of this kind of closure, preferring a double-D ring, but it certainly felt solid and secure.
As for colours, there’s a range of colours, graphics and sizes. I settled on matt silver-black, which is just as well, as by sheer chance, it matches my new motorcycle!
Be aware that if you are buying overseas, there are two versions of this helmet. Australia/Europe have the ECE Standards version whereas the US has the DOT version. I suggest you check before you buy.
Being in the higher performance range made by HJC, the retail price for this helmet in Australia is roughly $800.
Ultimately, when road-tested this helmet worked as expected and was never a problem to use.
I loved it. I give this HJC a big thumbs up on their modular range.
By Mary Knightsriders
The popular Helmetlok carabiner style helmet lock with T-bar extension designed for ratchet straps, will not fit the HJC. The thickness of the T-bar is too big to slide through the ratchet slot. Instead, I used my Rocky Creek GearLok with a cable which meant I could secure my helmet and jacket to the bike.