September 3, 2009 at 1:24 pm #3394
Decided I needed to replace my HJC FS-10 helmet — checked out NewEnough.com and found a nice deal on the HJC CL-15. Arrived in just 2 days and I was happy to wear it on my commute this morning. I liked being able to lift the chin bar up at stop lights, but I was even more impressed with the improved sight lines on each side compared to the FS-10. Much easier to see back and to either side when looking to change lanes. Feel much safer!September 3, 2009 at 4:14 pm #22176
The CL-15 is a huge downgrade from the FS-10. It uses a lower-grade shell, lower quality materials, and essentially lower-end everything. Right now HJC offers 4 different trim levels:
FS series (which includes the Sy-Max II, FS-10, and FS-15), which is made from the highest-end race grade materials HJC offers. It is the best in safety and features among the HJC line. Prior to the Introduction of the FS-10 the FS series was the AC series.
Next step down we have the IS-series, which offers many of the high-end features of the FS-series and all have retractable sun shields, but use lower-end build materials found on the CL series to cut costs. Because the design of the sun shield mechanism prevents the helmet from passing SNELL tests, these helmets are DOT approved only, but are still fine helmets.
Third on the list is the CL series, which includes the CL-Max, CL-SP, and CL-15. These are budget helmets that are still Snell approved but barely. They use respectable quality materials but that’s what you get at this spot in the budget.
Finally we have the lowest-end helmets they make, the CS-series, which use absolute bottom of the line materials and are only DOT approved, but not SNELL.
Also, in case you guys weren’t aware, the Joe Rocket RKT101 helmets are actually rebadged CL-SP helmets just with their own paint work and a different liner.
My first helmet was an HJC CL-15 and I can honestly say that after I upgraded from that to my Shark RSR2, i will never be able to go back down to a low-end helmet like that again. The FS-series, however, is worth considering…
By the way, you should look up stuff on the SHARP helmet safety board. They rate how helmets perform in safety tests. As of right now the only brands that can consistently make at least 4/5 star ratings in their tests are Shark, AGV (even their lowest end Stealth and S4 models rate a 5 star rating), and Bell.September 3, 2009 at 5:05 pm #22180
Thanks for the summary of the different helmets. However, I would argue there is more to rating the safety of a helmet than crash tests. I prefer a full-face helmet with better peripheral sightlines.September 3, 2009 at 5:24 pm #22182Moto JParticipant
It looks like my helmet is a HLC Sy-Max, from 2001. Sy-Max is the only marking I can find on the liner. Any info about it?September 3, 2009 at 6:53 pm #22184
The Sy-Max is a very good helmet, a step up from the CL-Max and predecessor to the Sy-Max II. Here’s what you should know:
Before the current lineup layout, HJC had 3 different trim levels: The AC-series which were their top of the line models and used an aramid reinforced carbon shell. The models in the AC series were the AC-3 half helmet, AC-12 full face helmet, and Sy-Max modular helmet. When the FS line replaced the AC series (which was only a very minor update), the Sy-Max II (called FS-Max overseas) replaced the Sy-Max. Some people say the Sy-Max is better than the Sy-Max II because the II’s have the built in sun visor which while being a nice feature weakens the EPS of the helmet.
Of course back in 2001 HJC wasn’t as big as they are now. They used to be known as the “poor man’s Shoei” because all their designs back then were cheap knockoffs of Shoei helmets like the Syncrotec and X-SP II. Nobody took the brand seriously back then.September 3, 2009 at 10:38 pm #22188eonParticipant
Is that Motorcyclist Magazine article online at all? I would be interested in reading that. SNELL recently announced their new 2010 standard and their press release had a condescending tone towards ECE standards.
“Europeans street riders do not have access to Snell levels of protective performance. Like it or not, they must wear helmets meeting the ECE 22-05 standard, even though the ECE 22-05 standard may, in some regards, offer less protection than even the DOT standard.”
The gist of the new SNELL standard is that it encompasses both SNELL and ECE standards. If your helmet passes the new standard then you can sell it worldwide, something not possible today. It’s easy to see they are aiming for world domination here. I don’t have a problem with that but I just wish they were less snooty about it.September 3, 2009 at 11:19 pm #22189September 4, 2009 at 1:20 pm #22193JackTradeParticipant
For the links.
Looks like after getting hammered by the Hurt report crowd, Snell’s feeling a little touchy. Gotta love twisting the knife by telling the Euros their standard is worse in some cases than DOT…I’m sure that went over well.September 4, 2009 at 4:29 pm #22194
Yup, Especially considering that the ECE standard is considered to be possibly the very best.September 5, 2009 at 8:49 pm #22204RabParticipant
I wear the budget-priced HJC CL-15 too. I got it for about $80 a year or two ago after having previously owned an AC-11 (HJC’s high-end helmet at the time).
Having researched the subject prior to my purchase, I believe that the CL-15 would protect my head in a crash as well as anything else on the market; at any price.
The only reasons I can see for buying a more expensive helmet would be:
(a) Improved comfort (maybe, although I’ve no complaints).
(b) Reduced wind noise (although I always wear ear plugs anyway).
(c) Better venting.
(d) Fancy designs (I couldn’t care less).
(e) Bragging rights (mine’s more expensive than yours).
If (e) means a lot to you, you can buy a set of Shoei stickers for your helmet for a few dollars I’m told.
There’s a Pinlock equipped visor and insert available for the CL-15 which stops visor fogging (100%).September 7, 2009 at 12:38 am #22216
Thanks, Rab. I will look into the Pinlock equipped visor and insert.September 7, 2009 at 1:30 pm #22228Sangria7Participant
I have the CL-15 and I would rate it as an “ok” helmet. Compared to many other helmets that I owned, it is bulky, noisy, and the ventilation is minimum. I agree with Weapon, that the FS10 is a better helmet overall – but in the end you will be deciding whats better for you.
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