HJC i10 Motorcycle Helmet Test: Snell Approval and More
Since the debut of the high-end RPHA line six years ago, HJC has been consistently upgrading its extensive range of helmets. HJC has repositioned itself from being a maker of inexpensive helmets to being known for its high-value helmets.
The RPHA helmets remain at the top of the line, and the features that make those motorcycle helmets so good have been trickling down to helmets in lower price ranges. The new HJC i10 is a perfect example of a high-value helmet, coming onto the market starting at just $150 MSRP.
Intended as a replacement for the highly successful, long-running CL-17, the HJC i10 is an impressive basic helmet, as it has more than basic features. Right away, you’ll see that it is a Snell 2020 approved helmet, which many riders consider to be essential for headwear. Next, it has an array of intake air vents. Additionally, it is ready for the upcoming Smart HJC Bluetooth system developed with Sena that will be available as an option starting at $140.
Putting on the HJC i10, you will immediately notice that it has a plush interior. It softly envelops your head, giving you a sense that your head is well cared for. This soft fit has the crucial advantage of making the HJC i10 a quiet helmet.
A big attraction of the RPHA line is that they are quiet helmets. The HJC i10 brings that feature to an inexpensive price point. A quiet helmet is something that can be appreciated by riders who ride with earplugs or open ear canals.
The plush interior does have cutouts in the top, and that lets the three closable intake air vents do their job. You can definitely feel the air flow through the two top vents, with the small center forehead vent being less effective. The rear exhaust venting is always open.
There is also a large vent opening in the chinbar of the HJC i10, which does the double duty of bringing in air on a warm day and reducing fogging on chilly rides. It works, and there are Pinlock posts in the faceshield for those who ride in conditions that make fogging difficult to prevent.
The faceshield itself seems optically correct, with no strange distortions. The eyeport gives the rider a broad peripheral vision, which is highly important for any street-focused motorcycle helmet. The faceshield can be removed and reinstalled in seconds, without tools or instructions.
To keep the faceshield in place, there’s a locking latch front and center that can be released easily, even when wearing winter gloves. When moving the faceshield up, there are four detents for keeping it partially open between full-open and closed. The detents are very distinctive, so it’s not the smoothest process.
There are slits in the padding that makes it easy to slide in the temples of eyeglasses or sunglasses. You will need sunglasses with the HJC i10 if you run a clear visor, as there is no internal sunshield.
HJC uses a standard double-D ring to secure the helmet on your head, with a button to retain the end of the strap. It worked as expected.
I found the fit of the HJC i10 to be a bit tighter than other HJC helmets of the same size. So, if you are right on the edge between sizes, you will want to consider going up a size. As always, have any helmet professionally fitted in person by someone who has been appropriately trained. For me, I’m a Medium, and I am sticking with the Medium i10.
When you’re paying $150 for a Snell helmet, there will be a few compromises. You’re getting a plastic outer shell, and it isn’t exactly a lightweight at three pounds, 10.1 ounces for a Medium. Fortunately, the balance of the HJC i10 is good, so it doesn’t feel fatiguing. There are also no buffeting issues, which further reduces wear-and-tear on the rider over a long ride.
If you can do without a high-end name or shell material, the new HJC i10 helmet provides Snell protection and a nicely finished helmet—the Semi Flat Metallic Blue helmet we tested looks great. The interior is all you could ask for, it’s a quiet helmet, and the venting is efficient. Most impressive is that you can get this much protection and comfort for $150.
Action photography by Kelly Callan
HJC i10 Fast Facts
- Sizes: XS-3XL
- Accreditations: DOT and Snell 2020 (3XL is DOT-Only)
- Colors: Semi-Flat Metallic Blue; Semi-Flat Metallic Black; Semi-Flat Metallic Anthracite; Black; White (graphics options to come)
- HJC i10 Prices: $149 MSRP for White and Black; $155 MSRP for Semi-Flat