The new HJC i100 helmet is exactly what I have been hoping to see from HJC. HJC helmets fit my intermediate oval head perfectly, and I am a long-time modular helmet user. I rode wearing the HJC RPHA 90 modular helmet for several years and have been very happy with it. My only issue with it, and most modulars, is that the chin bar and faceshield turn into an unwanted parachute when in the raised position on the freeway. The i100 solves that issue with its fully independent, rotational chin bar.
Previous chin bars are integral with the faceshield, so raising them to take a drink or take a bite of food at freeway speeds meant ducking down behind my windshield. If I don’t, the chin bar and faceshield grab the wind while the chinstrap chokes me. The other issue I have always had with walking around with the chin bar open is that I would inevitably bump the raised faceshield into something, scratching it directly in my sight line.
Although HJC is not the only company offering a full rotation chin bar, the feature is new to HJC, and I like how this one works. The chin bar on the HJC i100 is a separate mechanism from the shield, so it can be rotated to the back of the helmet for riding as an open-face helmet. You still have the faceshield and the inner drop-down sunshield to use when the chin bar is out of the way. A red button on the left side of the helmet locks the chin bar to the full-rear position. The chin bar locks with metal on metal. It is a secure mechanism; you hear an audible click when it closes.
I quickly discovered a minor annoyance with the fully rotating chin bar. Whether the faceshield is up or down, when you rotate the chin bar from front to back or back to front, the faceshield always fully extends. It is very convenient when transitioning from a side street to the freeway; grabbing the chin bar and rotating over the top and into position, automatically locks the faceshield closed. However, coming to a stop on a hot day and wanting the open face position, rotating the chin bar to the rear brings the faceshield down. The faceshield must be raised to get the airflow I was hoping for. Now that I expect it, I just plan for it by giving myself extra distance and time to stop.
While the eyeport is wide open for excellent peripheral vision, the faceshield on my i100 will only latch when pushed down from the top of the shield at the center. The faceshield does have the standard finger ledges on either side of center. However, using them causes the shield to flex sideways, and it will not latch closed.
The shield has three positions, full up, cracked open three-quarters of an inch, and closed. Although I am accustomed to having multiple shield hold-open detents, after several long riding days in the saddle, I discovered that I wasn’t looking for more detents.
To remove the faceshield for cleaning, all that is needed is a fingernail to pull a release tab. Reinserting the shield after removal is easy, too—no tools, fumbling, or dropping of locking mechanism pieces.
The inner drop-down sunshield is taller, top to bottom, than other drop-down shields I have used. It conveniently leaves less of an unshaded area below it, eliminating a common distraction.
I usually wear prescription photochromatic glasses when I ride. Riding into the sun, it was apparent that the i100’s drop-down sunscreen did a better job of reducing glare and brightness than my prescription sunglasses.
By itself, the drop-down sunshield is distortion-free, and the world and the colors of nature look natural. Something about the interaction between my photochromatic lenses and the i100’s sunshield causes the combination to make the world appear to be in a smoky haze. I like the drop-down shield, so I ride with my non-phase-changing glasses.
The interior cheek pads and crown have just the right firmness for a secure fit; they are easy to remove for washing and have a smooth finish that is easy on the face and forehead for all-day riding. Optional cheek pads and liners personalize the fit.
There is a split channel, glove-friendly scoop on top, with a passive three-channel exhaust port at the rear. In the closed position, the chin bar has a substantial front air vent that practically creates an open-air hole in its second detent position. If airflow is what you need, you can always roll the chin bar to the rear, fully exposing your face to the wind.
I usually take a new helmet out on the freeway at about 32 degrees to feel where the air is flowing within the helmet. I have had the HJC i100 all summer and haven’t gotten a low-temp test opportunity. Regardless, the airflow feels good, as I am just as comfortable with the shield down or up, and I typically ride with my faceshield up.
While the HJC i100 modular motorcycle helmet is not noise-canceling, it doesn’t create any wind noise. Its aerodynamic profile doesn’t catch the wind on a head check. I haven’t felt any head buffeting at freeway speeds on my touring motorcycle with a shorty shield and my adventure bike with a medium-height windshield. The HJC i100 does come with a removable chin skirt to help keep the winter air from flowing up your face.
In size Medium, the HJC i100 weighs four pounds, two ounces (1878 grams). Its weight is evenly distributed, and I was surprised it crested four pounds. The i100’s three shell sizes are made from HJC’s Advanced Polycarbonate and come in helmet sizes from XS to 2XL.
Riding in the Northwest, about seven months out of the year, the optional Pinlock lens is a necessity, as it keeps the faceshield fog-free. There’s also an optional mirrored faceshield and differently tinted sunshield. The HJC i100 is prepped to accept the Smart HJC Bluetooth 10B and 20B intercom systems.
I have been riding with the HJC i100 modular motorcycle helmet all summer, and I really like it. I love the rotational chin bar, so pushing the faceshield from the top to lock it is a minor annoyance compared to the comfort, airflow, balanced weight, and great inner drop-down sunshield. The big deal is the fully rotational chin bar; it works smoothly and securely. With it open, I can take a drink or a bite of a snack without contorting my body to duck behind my windshield. The HJC i100 is my new favorite modular helmet.
HJC i100 Helmet Fast Facts
- Sizes: XS – 2XL
- Shell material: Polycarbonate
- Safety certification: DOT
- Colors: White; Black; Semi Flat Titanium; Hyper Silver
HJC i100 Helmet Price: $320 MSRP (+$10 for 2XL)