Just a few days ago, HJC Europe posted three new helmets in their lineup, however, there was one anticipated model that didn’t make it to the list just yet, the HJC RPHA 12.
The three new models that were introduced on the HJC Europe website include RPHA 71, RPHA 91, and RPHA 31. I didn’t expect HJC to go with a comms system that is i̶n̶v̶a̶s̶i̶v̶e̶ much bigger than the outgoing Smart HJC system, but here we are. The new models all get ̶w̶a̶r̶t̶s̶ plates on the left side of the helmet in order to install the control panel for the comms device, which would limit comms device compatibility for more standard comm units like Cardo or Sena’s offerings.
Short rant aside, the new releases left me wondering where the RPHA 12 was. When the RPHA line was first introduced about 10 years ago, HJC didn’t quite figure out the naming scheme just yet. The RPHA 10 was the first premium full face from the brand, then you got the RPHA ST, then the RPHA Max. So, HJC slapped some numbers to match the RPHA 10, and in the process, the brand updated its premium single-visor sport helmet and called it the RPHA 11.
Now, HJC’s RPHA model names match up quite nicely. You get the RPHA 1, 11, 31, 71, and 91, but now the actual helmets are mismatched because the 11 is the oldest one there and still using the old layout, visor latch in the middle, no comms system plate, and the old PIM+ shell.
All of this makes us wonder what the RPHA 12 will look like. Maybe the RPHA 31 carries hints that could be the new venting scheme and the top and rear aerodynamic profile of the RPHA 12. The look of the chin bar is still a mystery, however.
If you look at the back half of the open-face RPHA and compare it to the current RPHA 11, you’ll see a lot of similarities and a few evolutions to the venting layout. There are other details like the transparent hits on the top vents, a design cue borrowed from the HJC F70. Then we have others still like the location of another rear exhaust vent which is a similar location to one found in the RPHA 1. Then the top vents, sans a brow vent, have a very similar shape and open-and-close switch.
So two-thirds of the RPHA 31 looks like an evolved RPHA 11. Will the RPHA 12 get a similar look? Perhaps or perhaps not. HJC's still making colorways for the RPHA 11, so it might still not be the time for 11 to be shelved yet. These speculations are all brought on by observation, however, and HJC still has no official reveal for the RPHA 12. Still, things are looking good and I can't say that I'm not excited for the next RPHA sport helmet.