HJC RPHA Max Align Helmet
Great Helmet with a Few Quirks
This is a GREAT helmet. I find it extremely comfortable to wear all (I've spent 17 hours in a single day in it with zero complaints), it looks great, breathes well, and has some good features like the pinlock sheild and sun visor. It's very light, especially for a modular, and very quiet.
There's no ear pockets for a headset, which seems like a ridiculous oversight in this segment. I had to cut some of the impact liner away to fit my speakers in, which means the sound has to travel through the cheek pad and chin strap. With the volume maxed out on my Sena headset it's just adequate at highway speeds.
The other issue is riding in the rain. I can't figure out where it comes from, but water splashes all over my chin and face when in the rain. I have tried covering any seam, vent, chin opening I can find, and it still happens. It will splash on the inside of the visor as well. This means if you wear glasses (like me), you'll have water droplets on 3-4 surfaces to try and look through, and you can only wipe one clean.
August 17, 2015
Big Improvement over previous helmet
I purchased the RPHA Max to replace my Scorpion EXO900 which was showing signs of age by some of the plastic pieces breaking. Decided on the RPHA Max after reading reviews on several sites and watching the videos. I wanted the PinLock feature and also wanted to return to the top-mounted sun-visor control.
I wear a size Large normally and that's what I ordered but was a bit concerned that reviews said this helmet ran small as I am on the high end of the Large sizing chart for this helmet (23 1/4) but it fit perfectly.
The latching mechanism is night and day more precise and easier to open and close than the Scorpion and the front locks with just a "snick" rather than the "clunk" of the Scorpion. It was so easy and smooth that I wasn't sure I had it latched properly.
The top vent works great and I can feel airflow over the top of my head even at lower speeds. I don't feel a lot of airflow from the front vent though.
Visibility is very good, I haven't installed the PinLock yet but even without it the shield does not fog as easily as the Scorpion did. The black latch in the center of the shield is a bit distracting if you ride with the shield in a higher position but not terrible and not very noticeable at all in the closed or city (slightly open) position.
There are no recesses for helmet speakers but I didn't consider that a bad thing as they generally aren't placed optimally for my ear position anyhow. I installed the SENA SMH10 with no problems and cannot feel the helmet speakers at all.
This helmet is WAY more quiet than the Scorpion was.
My nit-picks are that the sun visor is not dark enough. Seriously it's difficult for me to tell whether it's even down sometimes. Also I am a little paranoid that the rear vent holes just go straight through to the interior with no screening/mesh to cover them and look like an ideal place for a bee to crawl into. But I've had a previous "bee-in-helmet" experience so maybe I'm just over-sensitive to that. I blocked them on the inside with some adhesive backed mesh anyhow. It didn't seem to affect the airflow.
Overall very pleased but it loses a star for the sun visor and the vent holes.
August 10, 2015
A Good Starter Modular
This is my first proper helmet since starting riding, and it felt really good. However, as the days went on, I realised more and more small issues with it, though none being dealbreakers. Earphones cutouts were a little too small and shallow and a tad high up, pressing on my temples after fitting a Sena 20s. Small adjustments solved that. After a full year of use, mechanism becomes a little cranky but still very usable and it was not noticed until a change to a new higher-end modular. Love the sun visor with the snap release for a quick keep of it entering tunnels. Shield and lens-locking mechanism is very smooth and intuitive. Overall a good modular for new riders to have a feel and enter the market on modulars at a lower price point.
July 20, 2015
Priced right for a quality helmet
The RPHA-Max is slightly higher priced than most of the HJC line up, but some features are worth paying extra for. Better composite material (carbon fiber and fiberglass epoxy), lightweight, great ventilation, quiet noise level, wide range of vision, pinlock shield (comes with helmet),chin curtain, and overall comfort. I justify paying the increased price of the helmet due to the fact that it was noticeably lighter than the Sy-Max III (which was the original helmet of choice- with previous helmet being the Sy-Max II). Improvements could still be made to the RPHA Max--better cut out area for in-helmet speakers and a sun visor with less distortion. Overall, you are getting a well made, lightweight helmet, priced considerably less than high end name brand helmets. And yes, I would purchase this helmet again.
July 6, 2015
Good Deal, Great Features
The RPHA Max has a lot of great features, but you pay for them. I'd say it's a very good value, but if the price point is too steep, look at the HJC Sy-Max III.
June 15, 2015
This is my third HJC helmet and the second consecutive one that has left me less than satisfied. It is comfortable, lightweight, and water resistant. The helmet kept my head dry and comfortable for an entire day of riding in the rain. However, with the helmet providing a dry noggin it now needs a lube job and is very noisy while opening the face shield and flip-up. My biggest source of dis-satisfaction comes from a constant rattling sound at freeway speeds. Thankfully, I wear earplugs.
June 8, 2015
Fantastic helmet at a decent price = excellent value
Well I had an HJC CL2 Max in 4X for my large head, but when the lining wore in it became too loose. There was too much movement and wind noise in the helmet so I decided I needed to get a good replacement helmet. Since I wear glasses and based on my riding needs I liked the convenience of another modular helmet.
Willing to spend around $500 I started looking at Nolan, Shoei, and even tried on the Schuberth. The Nolan I tried on was pretty comfortable as was the Schuberth. The Arai was not as comfortable and I did not get a chance to try a modular but tried a conventional full face helmet. Then I tried the HJC RPHA full face helmet. Very comfortable and confirmed the right size I needed - 2X. Based on that experience in a local store I shopped around online for the HJC RHPA Max Align and found it at Revzilla for a decent price. It arrived in less than a week in great condition.
This is a great helmet. The fit was snug at first and is still somewhat snug after a couple of weeks, especially in the cheeks. The rest of the fit was PERFECT for my head.
Ergonomics for this helmet is fantastic. Peripheral vision is much better than with the CL2 Max, and the shape of the sides of the base is such that I can even turn my head to the side more than I ever could before.
Ventilation is great because there is a clear air gap between the top of the liner and the inner surface of the shell. I can even feel the air swirling around up there and moving my hair! The chin vent also allows a lot of air in (even a tiny fly came in once!), and the lining fits closely around the neck so that all the incoming air is pushed out through the rear vents for a nice through-flow. The supplied chin curtain seals off the bottom front of the helmet nicely against the underside of my chin, which is great for noise but traps the warm breath-air below the nose deflector. I like the fact that the chin curtain is attached to the chin bar and just clears the point of my chin without help. Perfect.
The sunshade visor works as designed and has 3 positions, none of which hit my glasses as with some other helmets - major win, since I don't have prescription sunglasses (and could not really be bothered to be switching.
The shield with supplied Pinlock works perfectly - as expected - slick one finger operation to open and snaps shut easily. It swings up fully and is easy to remove and reinstall from the helmet.
I had a Pinlock on my previous helmet and liked it so much that it was a requirement on the next helmet. While I get no fogging on the shield, the nose deflector causes my glasses to fog up on cool mornings and cracking the shield does not help much. No problem though - just pulled off the nose shield and the problem went away.
I transferred my Sena SMH10 system over from the old helmet to the RPHA Max. The cushions were easy to remove and reinstall. The speakers fit in the recesses but were partially blocked by a part of the padding. I feared that would mean muffled sound. Not so. The Sena never sounded better and louder than it does now, and with a fuller music sound. The difference between the old and new helmets was NIGHT AND DAY. I still have to tweak the settings for the phone though, since my wife said I sounded muffled. Granted I was doing 65 mph plus at the time.
I also stuck a GoPro mount on the right side of the helmet and was able to find curvature that suited the curved stick-on base mount. Works well when recording footage.
Weight-wise - the Max Align is not as light as the 2X full face RPHA helmet I tried, which was feather-light - just a little heavier than the Schuberth! But it was still lighter than the CL2 Max.
As for noise - quieter than the CL2 Max that's for sure but I have not worn any other helmets other than these so I have no idea how quiet it is supposed to be. All I know is that at 70 mph on the freeway (where it is usually a bit windy) I can still hear my radio through the Sena speakers, despite hearing a fair bit of wind noise. At least the wind does not appear to be rushing up and in from around my neck! Maybe the Sena is adding to the wind turbulence and the noise but since that is a "must have" on my helmet, I have to live with that.
The graphics are very nice with white, grey and black - good for visibility, along with the reflector on the liner at the back of the neck to aid with visibility when headlights shine on it from behind.
All in all, an excellent helmet for a decent price. Good quality construction, and great value for the money. Buy one!
April 20, 2015
A good choice
The helmet fits well, is reasonably quiet and lighter than most modulars. I like it. The one annoyance is that the visor clip is distracting with the visor partially open. That being said, I am happy with the helmet overall.
June 1, 2015