FIRST things first, we have a few admissions to make before we dive head first into our review of the HJC RPHA 11 Carbon Bleer MC5 helmet. You see, this author hasn’t tested a HJC product before, nor ridden with full carbon fibre head protection.
What a way to be initiated into both though, with HJC’s striking looking RPHA 11 premium sport helmet. Designed with an aerodynamic shell structure for extreme performance at maximum speeds, the carbon fibre outer shell is lightweight and shock resistant.
The HJC RPHA 11 Carbon Bleer MC5 helmet is ECE 22.05 approved which means it is good for road or track use. Weighing in at a claimed 1250 grams, it is literally feather light. It is the most lightweight helmet we have ever experienced.
The carbon fibre is aesthetically beautiful and one of the things we like most about this helmet. We ride a range of bikes from various manufacturers, across different styles and colours, and the RPHA 11 Carbon Bleer MC5 is versatile enough to suit them all.
Whether on a Hayabusa, a Pan America or a Trident, the HJC RPHA 11 Carbon Bleer MC5 looks the business. It is worth noting this helmet also comes in two other colour variants, the MC4H and MC1, which have green and red highlights respectively.
Fit and finish is what should be expected of a premium helmet. The internal padding feels great and is snug, the chin strap and shackle are supportive and look to be of good quality.
In our experience, we have found fitting helmets to rider’s heads a subjective matter and probably the issue that this reviewer was most nervous about. But from the moment we popped the helmet on, we knew it was a match that was meant to be.
The HJC fitted perfectly and felt great, right from the get go. The lining inside the HJC RPHA 11 Carbon Bleer MC5 is completely removable and washable too, and features emergency release cheek pads, if the worst should occur.
Being someone who rides in glasses, there is plenty of room for those to fit comfortably as well, without any signs of the helmet sitting loosely or conversely, being overtight in any areas.
Range of view was good when riding and we trialled both visor options, clear and dark, before deciding the dark visor was the choice for our everyday riding needs.
Swapping over visors is relatively easy to do, which is handy if you need to change on the fly. The visor simply clicks in and out of place and can be changed in about a minute. A pin-lock is also included to assist with fogging issues in colder temperatures.
Again, this is easy to fit and after watching a YouTube quick guide we had ours in place in less than five minutes. There is a centre locking clasp for the visor too, which is extremely handy for track days and more enthusiastic riding.
It is very easy to engage and release while riding and secures the visor nicely. Apart from the dark visor and pin-lock, the HJC also comes with a soft helmet bag and some stickers. It’s also Smart HJC compatible.
Developed with Sena specifically for HJC, it’s a Bluetooth communications system. Available in 20B (higher spec and capability) and 10B spec, they are designed to be installed on various HJC models and are sold separately.
We had read a lot online about noise issues with carbon fibre helmets so were wary of that during testing. We’re happy to report that noise was not an issue for us in a range of conditions and speeds, and on different road types.
The only time we noticed a slightly annoying whistle was with the visor up on the freeway, and our head was turned about half way between the straight on and blind spot, checking for other vehicles. That’s a genuinely small niggle though.
Ventilation is excellent and the Carbon Bleer features adjustable vents below the visor and above it. There are two spots on top of the helmet which are easily adjustable as well, and all positions can be adjusted on the fly with just one hand.
In addition there are another four ventilation spaces without adjustment, so even in warmer weather airflow is good through the helmet.
Overall, the HJC RPHA 11 Carbon Bleer MC5 helmet is an excellent road and track unit, that offers premium quality without compromise. Prices range between the mid-to-high $900 mark, so it’s worth shopping around to get the best deal.
Our test product was provided by HJC Helmets. Exhaust Notes Australia has not been paid to review this product.
Pros – great all-round helmet; super lightweight; looks good; comfortable; plenty of safety features; optional integrated 20B Sena communications system.
Cons – 20B Sena communications system should be available as a package deal.