Snell Approved Quality At DOT Price
The single most critical element of motorcycle riding gear is the helmet. Yet so many states don’t even require riders to wear one, and too many riders will don an untested, non-approved “skull cap” rather than protect their grey matter with a quality lid. Hey, I won’t besmirch your freedom to choose- if that’s all your brain bucket is worth to you, it’s your life.
But if life and cognizance are rather critical to you, as they are to me, a quality motorcycle helmet is a must. The problem is, superior protection comes at a superior price, a concern in these uncertain economic times that might be difficult for some. So where can you find high quality at an affordable price point? I found the HJC i10 line of motorbike helmets, and I think they might fit the bill, literally.
Out of the box. Love it already.
HJC has been developing and manufacturing high quality motorcycle helmets since 1971. They are the top-selling motorcycle helmet company in the United States, have been since about 1992. HJC is one of the few helmet manufacturers that utilizes their own wind tunnel testing complex, testing every design for aerodynamics, ventilation, noise, etc. Pretty impressive.
So when we procured this beautiful i10 Robust model, to match the 2022 Yamaha XSR900 we had for a long-term test, we could tell pretty quick HJC has a winner in their i10 line. I first noted the overall lightweight design, how easy it was to pull on and off yet how snugly it fit my cranium. The padding and interior construction is superior to others I’ve owned over the years, and to be honest, this is the first Snell-approved helmet I’ve ever owned (Snell M2020). I walked around in it for a couple of hours the first day to get comfortable with it around my lumpy noggin.
Pairs nicely with Yamaha’s 2022 XSR900.
On other helmets I’ve owned over the years, the ventilation systems often don’t seem to make much of a difference to me. Not so with this HJC model. The first few times I rode with it, I opened the top vents and immediately noticed cool air flowing over the top of my scalp. In the summer heat, that was a welcome surprise. They call it their “Advanced Channeling Ventilation System (ACS)” and it is actually functional and felt inside the helmet. I like it.
One thing I don’t like is the lack of a chin curtain, which would help mitigate wind blowing right up in your face and eyes. Some riders might like that, but I have a propensity for dry eyes, so a chin flap would help mitigate that. I believe they have one as an option that can be ordered for it, which I’ll probably do. With a nice slot for glasses/sun glasses built in, that also helps me diminish the turbulence in my face.
Quality and comfort with the interior construction, and built to work with their Bluetooth communicator (sold separately).
For a helmet that allows the rider to hear outside sound so clearly, the HJC i10 Robust is amazingly quiet(er) at speed, even when riding a motorbike with no windshield or fairing. So often, I have to wear earplugs to protect my hearing while out riding, but found the noise reducing construction in the i10 is effective enough that I don’t notice wind roar in the helmet while at speed as much. That is a welcome rest from the loud ringing I too often have endured after a ride over the years.
In one way, I like the ease of opening and snapping shut with the visor clip in the front center, yet when I rode with the face shield partially open, the black latch was a distraction due to its central location. Life is full of trade-offs, I suppose. Oh, the face shield is 95% UV protected, and can be easily replaced with their “RapidFire” tool-less replacement mechanism on either side. The i10 Robust is also prepped to accept the HJC 10B-20B Bluetooth communicators, if you roll that way.
Some scuffing from my unfortunate “crash test”.
As a final note- I had the unfortunate opportunity to “crash test” the helmet, out on a ride recently. Negotiating a left-hand turn onto a side street, as I was tipping in and looking ahead through my turn, suddenly I hit a patch of undetected gravel/sand, and low-speed lowsided on my left side. My head slapped the pavement, I cracked a bone in my left wrist, the XSR900 sustained a few scraped bits, but neither of us the worse for wear. The helmet thankfully saved my cranium and face from road rash and deeper damage. Again, a good quality helmet is worth the investment for your brain bucket. So worth it.
This HJC i10 Robust lives up to its name. A well-rated helmet at a great price point.
For more on HJC helmets, find them here at Cycle Gear-