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Author Topic: Review HJC CL-17  (Read 845 times)
gurock1
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« on: January 29, 2018, 10:35:16 PM »

I ended up buying an HJC CL-17 helmet on Saturday in St Louis and I thought I should review it after the first 400 miles.  This begins with the fact that I scheduled a business meeting in St Louis on Saturday afternoon along with chores in the Illinois counties outside Chicago for Friday.  I'd looked at the weather and there was an extremely warm spell forecast for Friday through Sunday which was why I scheduled myself like this so I could have an excuse to ride the bike for business.

So Friday I packed up the FJR and ran my chores in DuPage, Will and Kane counties of Illinois and caught I 55 for St Louis Friday afternoon.  It was a wonderful and uneventfull ride to St Louis and I had a hotel room at the St Louis airport Hilton for Friday and Saturday night ($51.00 all in per night on Priceline).  I got to the Hilton and checked in. While I was unpacking the bike I left my Schuberth S2 in an unstable position and it feel to the sidewalk from two or so feet up, falling face shield down.  The face shield hit the concrete and the plastic that keeps the left side attached to the helmet broke.  That made the face shield unusable and I didn't want to ride two days without one.

Saturday morning I called Gateway BMW as I knew they sold Schuberth, hoping that they might have the face shield.  They didn't have it and they told me that they didn't sell inexpensive helmets.  They are just the nicest people.  When they didn't have it and knew I wanted an inexpensive helmet for the way home they sent me to a Japanese dealer a few miles away called Donaldson's, telling me that serving the customer was more important then making a sale.  At Donaldson's I tried on a number of less expensive helmets and found that the HJC Cl-17 was by far the best feeling of the lot.  They had something called a Vega for about $70.00 and when I tried it on I hated the way it was.  They had the bottom Scorpion helmets, but I just don't like them to much and they were near to $150.00.  As much as I know a pretty lot about helmets I had been ignorant about HJC helmets.  So because it felt the best and was the only cheap helmet to be Snell I thought it was a good idea.  BTW cheap being about $145.00 all in for a slate silver colored one.

To the details, finally, The helmet is made to fit a more round head rather then oval which is good for me, but not everyone.  They put a very plush comfortable set of pads in, but not like Schuberth or Arai, but much better than other inexpensive helmets like Scorpion.  The face shield is made of the extra thick more optically correct plastic which is very nice.  The vents flow a lot of air and work very simply.  The face shield adjustment and change mechanisms are very well made and thought out, maybe the best of any helmet I ever owned.  It gives me a very bit of a hot spot after a half hour on the forehead, but I bought the helmet very tight as the sales clerk was fitting it properly to me.  By the time I got to Chicago on Sunday it was sufficiently broken in not to bother me on a whole tank ride from Litchfield, IL to Joliet, IL (about 175 miles.  Also the face shield is made to accept a pinlock, but it's not included, and the helmet is made to take a chin curtain but it's an extra not included with the helmet.  All in all it's a very fine helmet for the price point it's at, especially if you have the more round shaped head.

BTW, any weekend that I can go riding and get paid for doing it is like I died and went to heaven.
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EZMark
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« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2018, 03:34:06 AM »

Did you get a superhero or Star Wars version?
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gurock1
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« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2018, 05:08:14 AM »

I should have!  They had the Captain America version in my size, but it's a funny color and I just couldn't quite mentally go there.  Since I was going to St Louis for a business meeting shouldn't I be able to deduct the helmet?  I bet Capt'n America wouldn't think it's OK.
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Carolyn
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« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2018, 07:01:35 PM »

Did you skip the motorcycle museum inside Donnelson's?  Its kind of cool.  A lot of dirt bike stuff, but has other motorcycle related stuff too.  Worth the stop.
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gurock1
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« Reply #4 on: January 30, 2018, 07:06:23 PM »

I did, but I took the time to sit a few of their bikes which was a lot of fun.
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sirkitrider-2
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« Reply #5 on: January 30, 2018, 07:42:46 PM »

HJC, in my case HJC CL-II, are great moderately priced helmet.  Esp. for those well rounded head types:-)
I'm on my 3rd or 4th one.

I suppose it is my ignorance ... but I never understood how a $300-500 was better than a $150 helmet???

Sirkitrider
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John 3:16
gurock1
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« Reply #6 on: January 31, 2018, 12:24:58 AM »

It's not your ignorance.  Many times the differences aren't worth the money.  On the other hand if you wear and hold the Shuberth helmet then you wear and hold the HJC CL-17 you can tell differences.  That's keeping in mind that the HJC is maybe the best helmet I ever looked at in it's price class.  The differences all revolve around comfort.  How the liner is made, face shield quality, noise levels, features like sun shields and such.  Most of these things are comfort and not safety.  I can also tell you that it's very possible to be the idiot who spends a lot of money on a helmet that never fits right and was just a mistake. 

I've really gotten a little helmet crazy over the years and I've owned an Arai, Schuberth, two Shoei, maybe six Scorpions, three Shark, and now the HJC in the last maybe four years.  Before you think I'm just a fool with money, I have to say that I bought each one in a close out of one kind or another and never paid more then $300.00 for any one helmet.  The Shoei GT Air maybe a favorite with the FJR crowd, but I never cared for it.  The Shoei Quantum fit me better, but didn't impress me much.  The Arai Defiant didn't impress me that much either and I thought the eyebrow vents were a worthless PITA.  The Shark RSRs I've had were great, but Shark has stopped making them.  The Scorpion EXO 1100s that I've had worked great for me and on closeouts I could get them on line for $150.00.  I do really like the Schuberth S2.  It's just the most plush, quiet, comfortable helmet that I've warn.  It's worst attributes are that all Schuberth helmets have a kind of fish bowl design, which makes them greatly quiet, but also is very funny feeling as you are trying to pull it on your head, and that the excellent mechanism for the sun screen can get broken by putting a Sena on the helmet, so it must be done very carefully and that the communicator is in a little more awkward position.

You're not ignorant at all, it's more that I'm a god awful gear whore, and you're a more normal logical person.
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EZMark
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« Reply #7 on: January 31, 2018, 06:27:07 AM »

They had the Captain America version in my size, but it's a funny color and I just couldn't quite mentally go there.
I agree, they should have made it a darker blue.
I love the look of the Iron Man helmet, but it uses the IS-17 helmet, not the CL-17. Not only am I not a fan of that model but it doesn't come in a big enough size for my huge melon.
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jdbrot
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« Reply #8 on: January 31, 2018, 07:41:22 PM »

I like their Star Wars helmets, wish they would do that on a modular.
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EZMark
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« Reply #9 on: February 01, 2018, 05:54:10 AM »

I like their Star Wars helmets, wish they would do that on a modular.
They have an open face that looks like an X-wing pilots helmet.
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ozark
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« Reply #10 on: February 01, 2018, 02:18:11 PM »

Being the only helmet I've found to comfortably accommodate my fat head the CL-17 has been my go to helmet for years, plus the Pinlock shield works well for cold weather riding.  I give it and just ordered another for the 2018 riding season.
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gurock1
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« Reply #11 on: February 02, 2018, 12:20:26 AM »

Ozark, the reviewers tend to agree with you.  They say that this is one of the last helmets made to accommodate the round head shape.The Arai Profile use to be a go to helmet for people with a more round head shape, but the stopped making that a few years ago, then the Arai Quantum, but I think they stopped making that helmet too.  I think that this CL-17 of HJC may be the last decent helmet made to accommodate the round head shape.
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sirkitrider-2
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« Reply #12 on: February 07, 2018, 06:38:29 PM »

It's not your ignorance.  Many times the differences aren't worth the money.  On the other hand if you wear and hold the Shuberth helmet then you wear and hold the HJC CL-17 you can tell differences.  That's keeping in mind that the HJC is maybe the best helmet I ever looked at in it's price class.  The differences all revolve around comfort.  How the liner is made, face shield quality, noise levels, features like sun shields and such.  Most of these things are comfort and not safety.  I can also tell you that it's very possible to be the idiot who spends a lot of money on a helmet that never fits right and was just a mistake. 

I've really gotten a little helmet crazy over the years and I've owned an Arai, Schuberth, two Shoei, maybe six Scorpions, three Shark, and now the HJC in the last maybe four years.  Before you think I'm just a fool with money, I have to say that I bought each one in a close out of one kind or another and never paid more then $300.00 for any one helmet.  The Shoei GT Air maybe a favorite with the FJR crowd, but I never cared for it.  The Shoei Quantum fit me better, but didn't impress me much.  The Arai Defiant didn't impress me that much either and I thought the eyebrow vents were a worthless PITA.  The Shark RSRs I've had were great, but Shark has stopped making them.  The Scorpion EXO 1100s that I've had worked great for me and on closeouts I could get them on line for $150.00.  I do really like the Schuberth S2.  It's just the most plush, quiet, comfortable helmet that I've warn.  It's worst attributes are that all Schuberth helmets have a kind of fish bowl design, which makes them greatly quiet, but also is very funny feeling as you are trying to pull it on your head, and that the excellent mechanism for the sun screen can get broken by putting a Sena on the helmet, so it must be done very carefully and that the communicator is in a little more awkward position.

You're not ignorant at all, it's more that I'm a god awful gear whore, and you're a more normal logical person.

Thanks for the input gurock1.     Well,  I do wear $25 drawers.  Ex-Officio ... life changing comfort for every day, and riding, and golfing. And extremely durable.  The first two pair I bought I've worn for 6 six years ... on and off.:-)     I can afford that level of increased comfort ... but sadly not a $300 more comfortable helmet.

Sirkitrider
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