HJC IS-17 Full Face Crash Helmet Review


The HJC IS-17 is the replacement to the popular IS-16. It’s been designed to be a bit of a jack of all trades, for riders of all types of road bikes and with features that the modern rider will find useful thrown in; from integral sun-visor and Pinlock anti-fog insert to wind-tunnel tested shell design to reduce noise and buffeting that’ll also be good for the odd track day or two.

But the problem with trying to be all things to all people can be that you end up pleasing no one. Can the HJC avoid the trap? Here’s a quick clue – by jingo it can!hjc-is-17-crash-helmet-front-view

  • 5 Star SHARP safety rating (maximum score)
  • Very comfortable
  • 1.55kg (average)
  • Polycarbonate shell
  • Sizes XS – XXL
  • Typical price range: £120-£170
  • NOTE: the IS-17 has now been phased out and replaced by the HJC C70. To find a great alternative, please visit our HJC main review page or check out on of our top 10 helmets lists.


First off, safety. As we always say, if you’ve gotta wear a helmet, you might as well wear one that’s been proven to be safe.

The HJC IS-17 is advertised as having an ‘advanced polycarbonate composite’ shell, but there are no more details about exactly what the polycarbonate is composited with. Either way, whether it’s just plain old polycarb or something a bit more hi-tech, it’s been been tested by SHARP and rated as a (maximum) 5 star helmet. This means it is among the highest rated helmets around and should offer great protection in an accident. Nuff said – top marks for safety – can’t get better than that.

hjc IS-17 fluorescent green crash helmet
HJC IS-17 in Fluorescent green. It might not look much different from other lids, but it’s a very slippery profile to reduce noise and buffeting.

Helmet Noise

Of course helmet noise is subjective and depends on how noisy your last helmet was, but most owners are happy about how quiet the IS-17 is (but do read owner comments at the bottom of this post). HJC have recently invested in a wind tunnel and the results show in the IS-17 as it has a new slippery shell with vents and sliders with a lower profile meaning there’s less to catch the wind and create noise. But the majority of owners reckon it’s a relatively quiet helmet. We still recommend you ride with ear plugs if you’re going any distance – but unless you come from a helmet that was particularly known for noise suppression, you should find all’s good with the IS-17.

Crash Helmet Sizing

There’s no information been published about the number of helmet shell sizes HJC have produced for the IS-17 – usually the more the better – but with this lid coming in at such a low price, we’re assuming it’ll be one, maybe two. As for fitment, it’s available in sizes XS-XXL (53-64cms). If you’re unsure how you can tell if a helmet fits you – check here.


With an internal sun visor in the way, there isn’t space for any of the usual brow/forehead vents, which can be a problem for full face crash helmet ventilation. However, HJC seem to have overcome any problems with the IS-17. There’s a big central chin vent, a crown vent and three exhaust vents to the side and rear of the helmet. To help out, there’s also an integral breath deflector to help keep your breath away from the visor and your face. All these work very well with owners saying it’s great for keeping your head cool in the summer and, more importantly for us Brit bikers, fog-free in the rain and cold weather.

hjc IS-17 Genesis crash helmet
Rear view of the HJC IS-17 Genesis showing rear/side exhaust vents.

The central vent pulls air up and across the visor while the forehead vent brings air into the top of the lid and through the now ubiquitous channels through the internal shock-absorbing EPS liner to keep the head cool. The air is then pulled out of the rear of the helmet through the rear exhaust vent. All vents are designed to be closed off and their sliders/openers are sturdy and easy to use with gloves.

The only fly in the ointment is that some owners report that even with vents closed, air can leak in, making for a draughty helmet (thanks for this info commenters below). That said, most owners praise the IS-17’s ability to keep the visor clear and the head cool which means it broadly scores highly for ventilation.


HJC have worked hard on the visors and seem to have got things (almost) spot on. The IS-17 comes with a Pinlock-ready, UV repellant, anti scratch main visor and an integral drop-down sun visor. Taking the main visor first, it’s interesting because it has a slight recess in the inside of the visor that will fit a Pinlock anti-fog insert. Pinlocks usually sit on the inside of the visor and so are slightly raised from it. HJC & Pinlock have decided that it’s a better idea to form the main visor with a recess to allow the insert to fit flat – a system that’s called Max Vision. It’s also slightly larger than regular Pinlocks offering a better field of view that’s obscured less by the edges of the insert.

That’s also shown on the visor opening and closing mechanism. There’s a central tab on the visor that clicks the visor locked when it’s down – and owners seem to like it. It stops the visor opening up when you’re hoolying along – not that it’s a problem on many other helmets who do very well without a visor locking mechanism. It does help when keeping the visor cracked open on it’s lowest defog setting as well though, allowing a small amount of breeze in when needed. A couple of owners had a problem with the ratchet being a little too ‘soft’ – it’s OK when it’s fully closed or open, but intermediate positions can be a problem with this soft ratchet not being strong enough to keep it there. One owner reckoned the central locking tab is quite large too so it can get in the way of your vision if the visor’s half way up. That’s probably not a problem for many riders, but if you like to ride with your visor half way up, this might not be the right helmet for you.

The last thing to mention about the visor is that it has HJCs Rapid Fire II visor removal system. This is awesome. Just push a little lever below the visor pivot and the visor’s released. To replace it, just push the visor in place and it seats with a click. Job done – even with one hand. You can check out how well it works in the video below.

Onto the sun visor. You lower it with a slider on the top of the helmet and retract it with the press of a button. It’s spring-loaded so it’ll snap back up instantly which makes it easy to use and is a good safety feature. Some helmets with spring-loaded retractors are pretty basic and the visor bangs back up. The IS-17’s is shock-absorbed so it’s quieter and nicer to use. The only complaint some users have is that it’s not sun-dimmed enough. I’m assuming it’s dimmed down to the legally allowable level but have no way of verifying this. Apart from that, and the fact that it can mist up on cold days (which is the same for all sun-visors) it’s universally liked.

hjc IS-17 Mission crash helmet
Side view of the mean and moody IS-17 Mission.


There’s new internals for the IS-17. It has what HJC call their Supercool moisture wicking interior – that’s full removable and washable and is anti-bacterial; which is very similar to the features of most of the best-performing helmets. What all that stuff means is it’s designed to be comfortable, to help with ventilation, to pull moisture away from the head and to be fully removable and washable. There’s also a range of replaceable cheek pads available which are a great way to get the fit of the helmet just right. So HJC tick all the right boxes, but what’s it actually like in reality?

Well, when people talk about the HJC IS-17, they almost universally say it’s comfortable. Very comfortable. Folks don’t really talk about great wicking and how easy it is to wash – but they’ll moan about feeling too hot or they couldn’t wait to get the lid off. And in the IS-17s case, everyone says how it’s better than their previous lids (granted, most are stepping up from really budget lids) and that they’ve ridden all day in it without a problem. It also has a glasses-groove incorporated into the sides of the lining so is great to easily slip glasses on and off with the helmet in place.

All in all, we reckon you’ll be pleased at how comfortable the IS-17 will be. Check this link for other crash helmets that are reported as being really comfortable (or click the feature tags to the right)


Here’s a video of some guy who really likes the IS-17 (mostly because he’s trying to flog em, granted)

Other stuff – fasteners, audio, weight

The IS-17 comes with a double-d fastener in the UK, meaning that it’s eligible to wear an ACU Gold Star sticker for trackday use (though if that’s important to you, make sure you check with your retailer before buying because it also comes with a micrometric fastener in some parts). It’s also very friendly for folks wanting to add communicators to their lids as owners reckon there’s bags of space behind the chin guard for a mic and space near the ears for ear phones. One final note is that weight and buffeting are reported as top notch. The lid weighs in around 1.55 kilos which is about average weight for a full face. And finally, because this latest generation of HJCs have been wind tunnel tested/designed, it’s very slippery from every angle, meaning buffeting has been reduced.

HJC IS 17 helmet Metal pearl white ryan
IS-17 ‘Metal’ Pearl White Ryan (no idea!) showing of its ‘I’ve been designed in a wind tunnel’ looks and sun visor slider.


From all the comments we’ve found across the interweb, there aren’t many nay-sayers. It’s a feature packed helmet that’s well-built with good finish and that’s packed with useful, well-thought-out design features. Not only that – it also scores a maximum for safety – and while it’s not exactly a budget helmet, for the price (around £120-£170 at the time of writing) it represents very good value for money. Oh, and I nearly forgot – it comes with a free Pinlock anti-fog insert! All of which makes it a great package and well worth looking at if you’re in the market for a new low-price lid.


Even though the IS-17 represents excellent value for money, there are some great alternatives around. The Shark Race-R Pro Carbon is another 5 star rated helmet that’s wonderful for comfort and scores either average or well in almost every category. Having said that, it’s over twice the price of the HJC – though if you’re looking after something a bit more exclusive, it’s worth checking out. If you’re looking for a crash helmet in the same price range as the HJC, then the Nolan N86 can be found for around the same price if you look hard enough (or check out our crash helmets on sale section where you’ll find some of the best deals around the web). The Nolan performs well in every respect – but just not quite as well as the IS-17. It’s a lovely helmet though and well worth a look.

To see reviews on other helmets, click our crash helmets review section. For other four or five star SHARP rated crash helmets, choose from the menu at the top or the tags to the right.

If you’ve any experience of the IS-17, we’d love to know what you think in the comments section below. Nice one.

More HJC crash helmet reviews/info?

Visit our HJC page to quickly browse all our HJC helmet reviews including all the latest safety-rated full face and modular/flip up helmets.

Star Rating

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hjc-17-full-face-crash-helmet-reviewWhat can we say. SHARP 5 star rated for safety, integral sun visor, all day comfort, reasonably quiet - and good value for money. One or two niggles coming to light but overall, very well done HJC!


  1. Owned this one for about 4 years.

    It is absolutely not a quiet lid – by far the loudest helmet I have ever used. I unfortunately bought into the marketing hype about it being “wind tunnel tested”. The visor clip has broken several times, no option to replace other than buy an entire new visor. The visor does not seal properly after replacement, letting in even more noise. The pads have worn out quite quickly which turned a lid that was average (at best) for comfort to one that is now entirely uncomfortable.

    5* SHARP rating for the money is undeniably excellent value though, however I dont think I will rush to buy a HJC in the future.

  2. I’ve owned the Is 17 for a few years now and very happy with it. I have noticed in the last couple of weeks that I have lost the button that pushes the inner visor forward. would you know if this is something I could buy please.

    • Hmm, not sure tbh Steven. It’s an older helmet now so it might be tricky. Last I heard, HJC were distributed in the UK by Oxford Products (useful if you’re in the UK that is! )so they’re probably the best place to start as if anyone’s got stock of spare parts it should be them. Good luck! https://www.oxfordproducts.com/contact.

  3. Read Bernoulli principle to fix air noise DIY, or try head neck sleeve, correct size cheek jaw pads, MORE IMPORTANTLY correct size and placement and angle of wind screen. So it stops funneling air into your face. That always helps.

  4. Had this lid for 3 years. Recently been doing more long tours and would not recommend for any long highway or fast twisty routes. I’m developing tinnitus as wearing this is like riding with a storm around your head at anything over 120km per hour (maybe less) and I wear good quality mouldable earplugs, which aren’t really helping. Good for a first helmet or if you are a city rider who doesn’t get up to speed so much. Never had any build quality issues and think it is probably good value at its price point.

  5. Had this helmet for a couple of years. Never really had a problem with it while around town and shorter rides, however I’m now doing 2000km 4 day tours. Long distance at anything over 80kmph is deafeningly loud, even with good quality ear plugs. Looking at ways to reduce the noise or a change to a new helmet (Shoei GT Air looks good) as I’ll lose my hearing soon.

    No other issues. The visors always been fine, internal visor no issues either and it’s a good price point for this type of helmet.

    I’ll add that this is my first helmet so have no basis for comparison, however I do know that my ears are suffering from tinnitus for a few days after rides.

  6. Nice comfy helmet, but a bit noisy. Also, as per comment above, VISORS are a disaster. I bought the helmet in February and have gone through 3 visors. I am NOT buying a 4th. At €50 each PLUS €30 replacement Pinlock. I’ve now spent more than the value of the helmet on visors in one season. I’m not buying anymore visors. Looking for a new helmet now.

  7. hjc is 17
    broken sun visor clip weak design and no spares available
    wind noise is horrible 50mph+ in all vent positions
    but the real concern is the sharp D ring with has frayed my neck strap
    contact hjc about it they said contact oxford
    oxford want me to post it to them with no guarantee or repair but i dont have a spare and use 6/7 days

    vents are good
    visor all good
    good fit and comfy

    would never buy HJC again

    customer services non existent

    very disappointing

    • Cheers Stewart – but you can rest assured there’ll never be paid reviews on here (ever!). I think it’s because if you have the helmet and feel massively different from the review, you feel compelled to comment. If you don’t, you won’t. Either way, whatever the comment – negative or positive – as long as they give a bit of insight, that’s fine by me and I’ll publish them. The review is based on online research, though I subsequently bought one myself (money where my mouth is and all that!) and personally think it’s a cracking helmet for the money.

  8. Worst helmet ever if you buy one start buying spare visors the front locking clip breaks if you try closing the visor while the lid is on your head you will break it .

      • Mine broke this week, just under 3 years old.
        I’m talking to Infinity, who I bought it from, to see about a warranty replacement for the clip, as clearly a manufacturer or design fault – it’s not been abused.

  9. Gotta agree with the majority… Great helmet, REALLY noisey… Ear ache after 60 kms (into a 200 kms ride)… This is my first bike too, so it’s not a relative or subjective review… This helmet is loud.

  10. I have just replaced my HJC ST- FG with the IS-17 as it was around the same £120 bracket, I love the fit of the 17 and it seems to be a good quality well built helmet, and also with a 5 star safety rating. I like the big visor and also the ratchet sun visor mechanism.
    It fits my head in all the right places and feels comfortable………

    However when I got over 50mph I thought my head was going to explode with the noise. The ST-FG is fairly quiet until around the 70 mph mark but the IS-17 is terrible. (I honestly thought they would be similar but no way)
    I ride with ear plugs but even those couldn’t keep the noise out.
    I bought this to do a 3000 mile tour later this year but even though it has ample space to fit a communication unit you would never hear anything.
    I might as well have spent the money on fuel instead.

    I am feeling quite annoyed right now as obviously I cannot return a used crash helmet.

    Stay clear unless you only potter around.

    • Thanks for your thoughts mate. Just underlines once again how a lid that’s quiet for one person is deafening to someone else! I regularly use an IS-17 and find it pretty quiet – works with my bluetooth a treat too!

    • As an update to the above review. I can now say that the review was based on riding my Yamaha Fz6 s2. I tried the helmet while riding my Honda Fireblade and the noise issue disappeared.

      So it would seem it’s a great helmet for a sports bike and less so for a more upright bike.

      PS I didn’t take the IS17 on the bike tour, I used a different manufacturers helmet and it was perfect.

  11. Nice helmet, I have owned it for 12 months, it is incredibly loud, the wind noise and roar is shockingly bad, how the review can say that users have reported it as being quiet must be because they were all stone deaf.
    Its getting replaced and will be going in the bin where it belongs.

  12. Well after all of these positive reviews, yes the helmet is comfy, yes the internal visor is awesome, the ratchet clip is great, its light and looks great, BUT, it is probably the noisiest helmet I have ever owned, I am selling it, the $60 dollar full face aldi helmet that I bought last year absolutely kills it with quiet noise levels, I just bought the hjc-is17 because it was built a lot better

  13. Well I bought a new gsf1250 and a new IS17 to go with it. 10 months later i went down in gravel at motorway speed. Totalled the bike on the rock wall, broke 7 ribs, collapsed lung, ripped up shoulder broken foot, so i was lying there coughing up blood into my helmet which had a hole in it, i didn’t even have a headache. My boots saved me from getting burnt on the exhaust pipe i was stuck under, and my leather gloves had been scuffed right thru. So a good helmet, great boots and gloves. They did their job. Here in new zealand we have very coarse asphalt.
    The first car on the scene looked at me and kept on driving!

    • Crikey – sounds like a proper off – just glad you’re here to tell the story! And v pleased your HJC IS17 did the job. It might be a plastic helmet but it goes to show that a properly made helmet – that we know will offer decent protection – is well worth going for. Thanks for letting us know and here’s hoping you’re back on two wheels really soon.

  14. Hi, I would like to report a few issues. Overall, I am very happy with this helmet, it is well made, comfortable and it provides a high level of protection. I don’t have any problems with noise, either. However, it seems it is not made for high speed. At speed of 200 km/h the wind start to blows through, so the visor doesn’t fit well to the frame. Also, it seems that the aerodynamic limit is about 240 km/h, after that I can feel the front part leaned on my nose and a big pressure on my neck.
    So, it is a good helmet for a touring or sport-touring, but it is not made for high speeds.

  15. my is17 looks great, but that’s all,
    1.very cold/draughty in winter,
    2. ratchet closure buckle very uncomfortable, double d type strap not available here in NZ, 3.visor pops off hinge if I accidently open too far…..Damn annoying when riding!
    4.drop down visor fogs up,and is not dark enough.
    I would not buy again.

  16. I bought this helmet to replace my IS-16 which was a fantastic helmet. However, the IS-17 is terrible in comparison! It’s by far the noisiest helmet I have ever owned! And on top of that they have changed the fit type, by this I mean the same sized IS-16 does not fit in the same size in the IS-17 and you have to have a jaw like Desperate Dan for the cheek pads to be of any use! If it was down to me I’d struggle to give this more than 2 out of 5. As is so often in life, just because something is new it doesn’t mean it’s better!

  17. This is the fourth hjc helmet I’ve owned and by far the noisiest. Think they should get a refund on the new wind tunnel they have built. Apart from looking good its not half as good as the is-16 or the fs-11.

  18. Noisiest helmet I have ever owned, very comfortable but anything above 30mph is really loud. Will probably replace helmet when I can afford another one.

  19. Great Review!!
    I recently purchased this helmet. Coming from a $80 helmet this is good value. The worst is, (like the comments of Stuart below), with all the vents closed this helmet is extremely draughty. Much worse that my sub $80 helmet. This is a huge problem in the winter months. I suspect the vents near the forehead close to the sun shield .
    Any suggestions as to how to rectify/modify this (DIY)?
    This is a decent helmet, but I doubt it if I will buy again.

    • Dab of thick gel based lube\anti vibe sealant on forehead vents and others should make it more airtight when vents closed. Like heat proof grease or lube.

  20. I was looking to this site to find the quietest crash hat and thought I had found the site to help me. However in your list you list this HJC IS17 which I have been using for approx. 18 months. I bought this after researching and choosing, I think the HJC IS16 as being really quite. However I went to my local’ish bike gear shop and they said the IS17 was the replacement for that and was cheaper and did not have the HJC IS16. I replaced a Caberg Flip up that I thought was noisy. This is my comments on the HJC IS17
    Quick release visor
    Pin lock available although seems dear to others
    Good vision
    Nosiest helmet I have ever owned by a long way. Regularly sounds like there a ghosts in the lid!
    Draughty’ess helmet I have ever owned. So draughty my eyes regularly water
    Internal visor used 3 times and now the return does not work. It has to be forced rather than the simple push of a button.
    Visor locking is good but the seating occasionally lets water in to trick across the pin lock.
    Visor rachet good at extreme settings, locked and open, but not very solid in between.

    No way. Noise is unbearable.

    • Thanks for your comments Stuart – very much appreciated. As we often say, how you feel about the noise is often dependent on the type of bike you ride and helmets you’ve worn before, so if you’re used to pretty quiet lids, then another helmet can seem noisy in comparison. Don’t know if this is the case for you (it does sound pretty bad)? Our reviews are based on a balanced view of what other owners/users are saying around the web so we think they’re generally as accurate as they can be. As to the other stuff, it is a budget helmet and build quality can sometimes be compromised, especially compared to some makes like Shoei or Arai (maybe build-quality/longevity is something we’ll include in a future article). In the UK the IS 17 should’ve come with a Pinlock Max Vision included in the box – oh, and I think you can buy an optional chin curtain to help reduce some of the draft (and noise) – might be worth an investment?

  21. Thanks for the feedback Gareth. Surprising to hear your problems with the IS 17 – most owners seem to love it (esp at that price). Might be you got a lemon or maybe people aren’t shouting up?! Either way, thanks lots for filling us in!

  22. I have just bought the HJC IS 17 helmet. Here are my thoughts. The helmet lets in a lot of draft through the seal between the gasket and the top of the visor, which in annoying and can get cold during the winter months. The flimsy plastic lug that controls the sun visor is easily broken off in you accidentally knock it. How it gets a 5 star sharp rating I don’t know it feels very plastic and cheap compared to my previous Shoei raid.

    The visor does steam up even with the pinlock fitted and it is not as comfortable as I was led to believe. Unfortunately all these niggles only come to light once you have bought the helmet and used it in the real world.

    I will wear it as my main helmet but would not buy again.


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