HJC RPHA 70 ST Full Face Helmet

Because I trashed my RPHA Max modular helmet when I went down on the Sportster, I needed to find a new lid. For the last few years I've been wearing a modular helmet (my most recent being HJC's RPHA Max) and had intended to simply buy another one—until I found out it was a discontinued model and the replacement for it was pretty pricey.

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I have liked the value of the HJC helmets, but I didn't want to drop as much as I would need for the new modular replacement for the RPHA Max. Although I liked it, there were some things (like a sometimes annoying whistling noise) that I wanted to try to avoid this go-around. I tried a Shuberth C4, which is supposed to be the quietest modular on the planet, and it wasn't any quieter than the HJC. At least I could hear the same (or at least similar) whistling noise.

I decided I was just going to go full face this time.

I had recently bought an RPHA 11 for my Salt Flats run and it was really comfortable (I'll write a review on that helmet after the race), but it's designed for the tuck and wouldn't be the right helmet for the upright seating position on a touring bike or cruiser. Nevertheless, I really like the features and safety rating in the RPHA line, so I started looking for something designed more for touring or at least sport touring.

I settled on the RPHA 70 ST. I've been wearing it exclusively for the past couple of months and really like it—both in the wind on my Sporty and behind the windshield on the Road King.

The only time I really flipped up the front of the modular was to take a drink from my water bottle while going down the road—something I probably shouldn't be doing anyway—so I decided, if that was the only benefit to the modular I could live without it. So far, I haven't missed it.

I purchased a smoke visor for it, because I liked the dark visor on the Max. And, it comes pinlock ready with a pinlock visor in the box. Riding 12 months out of the year, that's a really nice feature when the wether's colder. It's also vented up the wazoo, meaning, most days when the weather is warmer I can actually feel the air flowing through the helmet across the top of my head. There are also two vents in the front of the helmet. One that blows air on my face, and another one that blows air on my chin. I like it.

The RPHA 70 ST is a quiet helmet compared to the RPHA Max, but I still usually wear earplugs anyway. The reviews I read before I purchased it don't consider it particularly quiet compared to some others, but at just over $350, it feels like a really good bang for the buck to me. I like the materials they make the shell out of, I really like the liner, and although it's a little thing, I like how my ears don't get pinched by my sunglasses inside the helmet.

For all you guys that are already wearing a full face helmet, this probably isn't a revelation, but compared to the modular it's a lot lighter. By a lot I mean, I can feel the difference when I put it on and still feel the difference eight hours later after 400+ miles in the saddle.

The RPHA 70 is a great fit for my head shape (I'm what Revzilla would call an intermediate oval). The XL fits snug without pinching or creating any hot spots. I don't think I'll buy another modular, it's that comfy.

Although I can't recommend the Shuberth (especially for the price and it being in a completely different category and all), this RPHA 70 ST is a no regrets purchase for me. It's a fantastic helmet for the money. I'd do it again.