Gear / Parts HJC IS-17 Motorcycle Helmet Review

HJC IS-17 Motorcycle Helmet Review

HJC IS-17 Helmet Review

We are beginning to see more helmets with integrated sun shades, and HJC Helmets has reacted to the onslaught by releasing its latest model of this type—the IS-17. Priced between $180 (plain white or black) and $200 (Intake graphics), the new HJC IS-17 is a helmet marketed to the masses.

For that, you get an Advanced Polycarbonate Composite outer shell on the IS-17, with standard expanded polystyrene foam inside to cushion your head from impacts—we don’t test that, but it is DOT-approved.

Inside there’s a SuperCool Moisture-Wicking Interior (fully removable for cleaning). It’s not an ultra-plush liner, but it is quite comfortable. The helmet slipped on my head easily, and is shaped to avoid hotpots and pressure points. Daylong rides in warm and cool temperatures were no problem, and a decent amount of air flows through the closable vent on the crown of the helmet.

The latest Pinlock-Prepared Faceshield has been reinforced on the IS-17, and gives you a nice, clear, and consistent view ahead. As the name implies, you can add Pinlock accessories to your taste. The clear faceshield is claimed to be offer 98% UV protection (so you don’t need sunscreen) and has an anti-scratch coating. It’s also easily removed and replaced without tools—HJC calls the system RapidFire II.

An interesting feature on the IS-17’s faceshield is that it locks in the lower center. It took a few tries to get used to engaging and disengaging the latch. However, once I got it down, it was easy to do with gloves on, and I like that security. Well done.

Inside, the IS-17 has an improved sun visor—called the One-Touch Integrated Sunshield. While not fully optically correct (though close—some may not even notice), the visor is not overly dark, yet has enough shading to handle the still-powerful late-season summer sun in Southern California.

The big upgrade is the operation of the interior visor. Before, the sun visor was clunky to push into place. Even worse on the previous version, when you pushed the spring-loaded button on top of the helmet to retract it, the sound inside the helmet was not unlike a mousetrap going off in your ear. The IS-17 system is nicely damped, can be easily operated with a gloved hand, and, while not quite silent, not the least bit annoying—kudos to the designer of that feature.

With the One-Touch Integrated Sunshield, the HJC IS-17 isn’t as light as a standard full-face helmet, but the balance is good enough that you’re not likely to notice. Again, this helmet can be worn all day in comfort, thanks to a nice interior, good fit, and the way it sits on the head.

A worthy upgrade to the IS series, the new HJC IS-17 is an excellent choice for riders looking for a moderately priced helmet with the convenience of a built-in sunshield. Five shades of gray (from white to black—the $190 Metallic-Silver version is shown) are available, as well as the Intake graphic, which is available in five different color combinations.

Photography by Kelly Callan

Don Williams
Don Williams
With 50 years of riding experience, Don Williams is a fan of all kinds of motorcycles. He enjoys sport bikes, cruisers, dirt bikes, touring bikes, adventure bikes, dual sport bikes, and rideable customs. Ask Don what his favorite bike is and he will tell you, "Whatever bike I'm on."

BMW Motorrad International GS Trophy Comes To Europe For 2022

For the first time since its 2008 debut, the BMW Motorrad International GS Trophy competition will be held in Europe. Located above the northeast...

Ultimate Motorcycling Editor’s Letter, March 2021: Vive l’automatique!

Testing the 2021 Honda Rebel 1100 DCT for this issue reminded me of something fundamental—motorcycles need to be accessible to new riders. Although we’ve...

Lieback’s Lounge: FTR—The Savior From Winter Misery?

When I found myself cleaning the tire treads on my Multistrada 1200, I knew the winter madness had returned.

2022 Triumph Bonneville Speedmaster First Look: New Fork and More

The 2022 Triumph Bonneville Speedmaster gets a more responsive motor with additional midrange power from the vertical-twin 1200HT engine. The powerplant also meets Euro...

Avon Tyres + Blood Bikes = Motorcycles Saving Lives

We’ve all heard of blood banks, but this is the first time we have heard of blood bikes. Leicestershire & Rutland Blood Bikes is...

2021 Moto Guzzi V7 Stone 100th Anniversary First Look

Back in December, we gave you a first look at the new 2021 Moto Guzzi V7 lineup. The big news was an increase in...