The HJC CL-17 sits just above the Korean manufacturer’s entry-level line-up of full-face helmets, but offers a number of features seen in more expensive lids. After a month’s usage across a range of conditions, I’m quite impressed with what HJC has to offer in this sub-Rs 10,000 helmet.
The design is a more sober, rounded theme compared with some of the sportier models like the FG-17 and RPHA11. The helmet here features the Striker graphic with bright green shapes on a black base, offset by thin streaks of white. Towards the rear is an HJC logo encased within a shield that reminds strongly of the Autobot logo from the Transformers movie series. The paint quality is good for a helmet at this price point.
Ventilation is quite effective, with vents in the chin and brow areas that can be closed, as well as two sliding vents at the top of the helmet. An integrated spoiler at the rear houses two small venture-style vents that help suck hot air out of the helmet. Overall airflow is quite high, which helps keep the rider cool, but the helmet gets very noisy at high speeds.
Out of the box, the helmet gets a removable breath deflector that is designed to reduce visor fogging on cold rides. The visor itself doesn’t get an anti-fog treatment that’s offered on more expensive models and it is quite prone to fogging, despite the breath deflector. Fortunately, the visor is equipped with posts to accommodate a pinlock insert – a simple plastic lens that sits on thin rubber gaskets, creating a tiny air gap between the visor and itself. Pinlock lenses are some of the best anti-fog solutions available, but at around Rs 2,000, they aren’t cheap. The visor promises 95 percent UV protection and an anti-scratch coating. It also comes with a quick-release mechanism that enables easy cleaning. A small black switch on the left locks the visor into place when it is fully closed, preventing it from flipping open at high speeds. The pinlock posts, quick-release mechanism and visor lock are all high-end features, but we’d have liked a smoother open-close mechanism for the visor.
The CL-17 features a fully removable and washable interior. The fit is snug and the fabric material feels soft against the skin, but feels quite hot on sunny days. HJC has also given the anti-microbial treatment, from some of HJC’s more expensive helmets, a miss. This means the inners can get a bit smelly if they get wet. Thankfully, a quick wash will get rid of this.
The CL-17 is DOT safety rated, and conforms to the stricter standards of the USA-based SNELL foundation. When you factor in all the features and the safety rating, the CL-17 is highly impressive, making it an easy recommend for those looking for a helmet at this price.
Price: Rs 9,000