Gear / Parts HJC Sy-Max II | Moto Helmet Review

HJC Sy-Max II | Moto Helmet Review

No More Blowing Kisses

As a full-face motorcycle helmet wearer, I’m used to chastely blowing my husband a kiss from under my helmet as I head off to work in the morning. But, that was before I started wearing HJC’s Sy-Max II. The Sy-Max II features a single-button chin bar/faceshield release that allows me quickly pop up the front of the helmet, even after I’ve slipped my gloves on.

Not only does this make it easy to get a real goodbye kiss, this convenient feature is immensely useful. At short stops, such as fill-ups at gas stations, I don’t always want to pull off my helmet, even though communication through it is difficult and can be intimidating to some people. If I need to go inside to pay, or purchase a drink, flip up the helmet and show off a friendly face.

Another favorite feature of the HJC Sy-Max II is the integrated interior sun visor. I usually ride with a clear visor, squeezing sunglasses inside my helmet for the morning commute into the sun, and pocketing them for the ride home in the dark. The smoke-tinted visor can easily be moved into place by sliding a gloved hand across the top of the helmet, from back to front. Should my ride take me through a tunnel, or down a dark alley, I simply push the release button on the top of the helmet and the visor snaps up.

The Sy-Max II has a comfortable fit for my head, and though well-padded with removable crown and cheek pads, there is more personal space between the visor and my face than other helmets. Peripheral vision is excellent, as is the clarity of the visor, though with no anti-fog feature, I have to crack my visor at stops in chillier weather. Two air vents, at the chin and forehead, channel air when flipped open. As one would expect, the HJC Sy-Max II is noisier, chillier, heavier, and less-sturdy than an equivalent one-piece full-face helmet, but to enjoy the flip-up feature and integrated dark interior visor, this is a trade-off that many will find acceptable.

Location photography by Jonathan Beck

Ron Lieback
Ron Lieback
One of the few moto journalists based on the East Coast, Ron Lieback joined the motorcycle industry as a freelancer in 2007, and is currently Online Editor at Ultimate Motorcycling. He is also the author of "365 to Vision: Modern Writer's Guide (How to Produce More Quality Writing in Less Time).

2021 Indian Challenger Lineup First Look: Photos, Prices, and Colors

The performance-oriented Challenger bagger lineup from Indian returns for 2021, with three models to choose from. All three 2021 Indian Challenger models get the...

2021 GasGas Motocross Lineup First Look (Specs and Photos)

When under Spanish ownership, GasGas was never known as a motocross brand. However, under the guidance of Pierer Mobility AG and Bajaj Auto—the owners...

2021 Indian Chieftain Lineup First Look: 3 Big-Inch Baggers

There are three baggers in the 2021 Indian Chieftain lineup, with just a few changes to the motorcycles this year. There are new colors,...

2021 GasGas Trial Lineup First Look (8 Fast Facts: 3 TXT Racing Models)

The first GasGas motorcycles of the Pierer Mobility AG and Bajaj Auto era have arrived. Those who were expecting wholesale redesigns of the line...

Lieback’s Lounge: This Will All Pass [Thoughts on Simic and Motorcycles]

There is a menace in the air Of tragedies in the making. These lines are from "Late September," written by the American minimalist poet Charles Simic....

Racing Classic Motorcycles: First You Have to Finish by Andy Reynolds [Review]

Author Andy Reynolds’ new book, Racing Classic Motorcycles: First You Have to Finish, is about a man livin’ the classic motorcycle racing dream—with some...