HJC America President George Hong introduced a wide range of new helmets and graphics today at HJC’s American headquarters, including the new Graffiti Lorenzo graphics for the company’s flagship RPHA 10 helmet. Reproducing the graphics on the helmet worn by Yamaha’s MotoGP Champion Jorge Lorenzo at the Grand Prix de Catalunya 2013, the Lorenzo Graffiti was designed by Spanish artist Anna Vives of Catalunya, who suffers from Down’s Syndrome. At $590, it is the most expensive helmet/graphic combination in the HJC line-up.
For more practical tastes, the CL-17, IS-17, and FG-X Series helmets are of great interest. Additionally, HJC Helmets has hired Troy Lee Designs alum Dwayne Vance to upgrade and update the graphics on the helmet, and his influence is already visible in a highly positive way.
The HJC CL-17 is a polycarbonate composite shell helmet that runs $140 for solid colors, and $150 when graphically enhanced—and there are 14 styles to choose from, many with the new impressive badge-like HJC logo that replaces the staid oval logo that is decades old. Technical features on the CL-17 include a Pinlock-ready shield with RapidFire no-tools replacement, improved venting over the CL-16 it replaces, less noise (the bottom of the helmet is redesigned), and a SuperCool interior that flows more air over the scalp and wicks away moisture. The CL-17 is DOT and Snell approved and available in sizes XS-2XL. For those with the largest heads, the DOT-approved CL-17 Plus is available in 3XL and 5XL.
Updating the IS-16, the new HJC IS-17 has a all-new look with more aggressive styling, as well as an improved one-touch interior, integrated sunshield. On the IS-16, the sun shield retracted noisily. The IS-17 gives the rider a choice of three positions, and has a damping mechanism to quietly return the sunshield to the up position. Running $180 in solid colors (including matte black and the new anthracite) and $200 for any of five graphically enhanced IS-17s (the Intake Line), the IS-17 has a center locking outer faceshield (taken from the RPHA line), a removable/washable SuperCool interior, and reduced weight.
Off-roaders, and adventure riders who prefer a full-on dirt bike helmet will be interested in the new $200 FG-X helmets ($190 in black, matte black, or white). With cheek pads and inner liners that are fully interchangeable regardless of shell size, off-road riders can fine-tune the fit to their preferences. Using a Kevlar/fiberglass shell, the FG-X is DOT- and Snell-approved, yet keeps its weight down to a claimed 1450 grams in the medium size. Airflow is guaranteed by the Advanced Channeling Ventilation System, and a large eyeport allows the rider to use the goggles of his choice. Again, the graphics are aggressively updated and fully contemporary.
Other helmets in the HJC line also received graphic updates, with Vance promising more experimentation with designs and colors in the future. The new graphics, plus the CL-17, IS-17, and FG-X helmet combined for an impressive Fall showing from HJC Helmets, a company that sells more helmets than anyone in the United States and clearly committed to continuing that success.