I noticed substantial improvements wearing the Sy-Max 3 last year, but HJC really ramped up quality with its premium RPHA (Revolutionary Performance Helmet Advantage) series, which includes the MAX flip lid. The acronym may be clunky, but the helmet is a smooth operator. Set the Max next to the Sy-Max 3, and differences become apparent; the Max's paint is more lustrous, and the shell is a different composite blend of "Carbon Fiber, Aramid, Fiberglass and Organic Non-Woven Fabric," allowing for a more compact exterior than the rounder Sy-Max 3. Even the vents and flip-up chinbar have a more precise feel—the Max uses an improved mechanism that employs metal studs on the shell and a spring-loaded clamp in the chin bar. That chinbar locks into place via a centrally located, one-touch closure that seals the faceshield against wind noise.