HJC boosts tech on new helmets

CERRITOS, Calif. -  HJC in late September revealed three lids that are not brand new helmets but, rather, improvements on previous designs.

With 40 engineers and designers working on everything from the high-end RHPA series, as worn by MotoGP star George Lorenzo, to price-friendly low-end helmets destined for South East Asia and South America, HJC inserts a lot of features and manufacturing techniques.

The new IS-17 is a reflection of some of the higher-end technology. This polycarbonate helmet is 150 grams lighter than the previous model and may be 50g to 60g lighter than its competitors. Much of the weight loss is the result of a lighter, smaller shell that allows a smaller ratchet system and a narrower shield.

Also new this year is a central visor locking system, which eliminates the flex generated by a side closure and gives a tight, even seal.

Aerodynamics on the new IS-17 have been improved. A slight downdraft is generated by a “kick” on the front of the helmet shell, creating downward pressure that pushes the helmet more firmly onto your head while in an upright position.

The bottom edge of a helmet is the biggest contributor to interior noise. To address this, the IS-17 has streamlining along the bottom edge to break up turbulence and reduce noise.

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HJC also has improved the interior sunshade, with three open positions. The actuator that raises and lowers the sunshade has been designed to operate more smoothly. Unlike the older model, the sunshade is equipped with dampers to make shutting less jarring than before.

The visor is Pinlock-ready, with an anti-scratch coating, and has 98 percent UV protection. The helmet is lined with HJC’s SuperCool moisture-wicking, anti-bacterial, and washable material.

The helmet is made with two shells and three EPS liners. It’s available in sizes from XS-2XL and is priced from $179 to $199.99, depending on color and graphics.

The CL-16 has been HJC’s best selling helmet – in fact, its sales alone exceed the sales of some manufacturers’ entire lineups. When introducing the next generation CL-17, HJC has been careful to retain the features that make the helmet so popular and add those that will improve its performance and value. To that end, the company has retained the Pinlock-ready face shield and Rapidfire shield replacement system. (continued)

What’s been changed for the CL-17 is the styling and graphics -- both more aggressive -- plus improved aerodynamics and venting. The bottom edge is now curved to avoid collarbone incidents, and the rear of the bottom has been lifted to clear the collar.

Four vents have been added to the existing model’s six for a total of 10 vents. Wind tunnel testing confirms that the new design and vents improve airflow and the dispersal of heat from inside the helmet.

The SuperCool interior has also been improved to work better with the new venting and exhaust system, and does a better job of retaining fresh air and wicking away moisture. As with the IS-17, the liner for the CL-17 is antibacterial and washable.

The CL-17 helmet is priced from $139.99 to $149.99 depending on color and graphics. Sizes range from XS-5XL, and the helmet is both DOT and Snell (with the exception of 3XL-5XL) approved.

Finally, the FG-X is a Kevlar/fiberglass composite Snell- and DOT-certified motocross helmet that retails from $189.99 to $199.99. Weighing only 1,450 grams, it features a wide eye port for bigger goggles, and is said to be neck brace-friendly.

The helmet features HJC’s SilverCool interior, which is both washable and antibacterial, and comes in three different graphic designs with five different colors. It also has interchangeable cheek pads and liners.

HJC will be releasing an additional two new helmets in spring 2014 and then three additional models next fall. HJC is distributed by Castle SalesHelmet House and Sullivans

Press images courtesy HJC