HJC has been in the motorcycle helmet business for nearly half a century and over that time they have continually developed and refined their helmet offerings to meet the demands of the motorcycle public. No matter what kind of motorcycle riding you are into HJC has a helmet that will suit your needs and preferences as they offer everything from half helmets to motocross helmets and modular motorcycle helmets. If there’s one area where the company really shines, it’s with their extensive lineup of fullface helmets. From high-end, race-oriented helmets to extremely budget friendly, HJC covers the gamut. Actually, it’s the company’s more budget friendly CL-17 line that is one of the most popular amongst the entire brand. The CL-17 helmet isn’t popular just because it’s one of the least expensive, it’s popular because it offers a ton of bang for the buck and delivers just about everything a rider could want in a fullface motorcycle helmet
When searching for a new fullface motorcycle helmet, there
are a lot of features and characteristics that riders look for such as fit and
comfort, styling, protection, and ease of use to name a few. The CL-17 scores
high points for all those categories without scoring high on the price scale. The
price ranges between $139.99 to about $174.99 depending on the color/graphic
Fit and Comfort
One of the biggest (literally) draws to the CL-17 is that it
can comfortably fit a wide range of head shapes and sizes. This fact is
especially appealing to those who have really large heads and have a hard time
finding a helmet that they can slide into without feeling like their head is in
a vice. The CL-17 is available in sizes XS all the way up 2XL and then the
CL-17 Plus goes from 3XL to 5XL. Yup you read that right 5XL! Not too many
helmet manufacturers cover that wide of range of sizes. In fact most only offer
up to 2X or 3XL and HJC goes two more sizes beyond. To put that into better
perspective, the typical 2XL helmet is for head that measure about 63-64cm
around while 3XL sizing is for 65-66cm head shapes. HJC’s 2XL and 3XL CL-17
helmets meets those same dimensions and then the 4XL steps up to cover 67-68cm
sized heads and the 5XL is for heads that measure 69-70cm.
The CL-17 is comprised of an advanced polycarbonate composite
shell that comes in three shell sizes to coordinate with the wide size range.
Inside the shell is a multi-density liner that comes in two sizes. The EPS1
covers the XS to medium range and the EPS2 is for the large to 5XL helmets. There
are different sized (thickness) liners and cheek pads that come with the
different helmet sizes. Liner sizes are interchangeable only within the same
EPS size. The cheek pads on the other hand vary in thickness from 40mm to 17mm
and are interchangeable amongst all the EPS liners/helmet sizes. What does this
mean for you the consumer? Basically, no matter what size your head is you can
change out the internal padding to fine tune the CL-17 to better fit your
Aside from fitment, another aspect that makes a motorcycle
helmet comfortable is internal temperature regulation. The CL-17 has been
designed to keep your head as cool as needed with easy to reach and manipulate
venting on the front of the helmet and exhaust vents at the sides and rear to expel
hot air. There’s a chin vent just below the center of the face shield that can
be closed by flipping the lever up or down with your thumb. At the center of
the brow is a forehead vent that can be slid left and right to open and close
the airflow. Just above that is a pair of large oval shaped vents hidden under
streamlined housings. These vents can easily be manipulated by simply sliding
your hand forward or backward across the tops of the housings.
Along the cheekbone are two mesh vents and underneath the
spoiler at the back are vents that are always open. These exhaust ports help
draw air through the helmet to keep constant airflow so that the air in the
helmet is always fresh.
The CL-17 has a very streamlined profile that helps give it a nice overall look. It’s not an extremely aggressive looking helmet like some of the outlaw style helmets that have become popular. It’s also not excessively bulky to where you’ll look like Marvin the Martian when wearing it. The spoiler on the rear of the helmet not only helps with airflow but also give the helmet a race-oriented look.
When it comes to picking out a helmet in the CL-17 family you may find it extremely hard to make a decision. There six solid color options and more than 15 graphics/colorways to choose from including a handful of Marvel comic characters such as Captain America, Hulk, and Punisher.
The CL-17 is DOT and Snell M2015 approved. The advanced
polycarbonate shell helps keep the helmet rather lightweight but also does a
great job of protecting you upon initial impact. It should be noted that the
CL-17 Plus helmets (3XL-5XL) are only DOT approved. The face shield is
extremely durable to withstand flying debris and prevent scratching. It also
blocks 95% of UV rays to help keep your eyes protected from harmful light. To
prevent the face shield from creeping up when riding at high speeds the CL-17
has a shield lock that you simply flip with your finger to lock or unlock.
Speaking of lock, the face shield is Pinlock ready. All you
have to do is purchase a Pinlock insert (sold separately), slip it onto the
face shield, and you’ll be riding fog free.
Ease of Use
Lastly, one great feature about the CL-17 is that the Rapid
Fire Shield Replacement System makes it extremely easy to replace or swap out face
shields. All you have to do is lift the shield to gain access to the triggers
on each side and then give them a gentle push. The triggers unlocks the shield
and it pops right out. Then to install a new shield you just line the shield up
and push the sides in and the triggers lock it into place.
If everything mentioned here hasn’t convinced you that the
CL-17 may be a great budget option motorcycle helmet for you then please come
visit us at Chaparral Motorsports and try one on. You’ll be impressed.