A budget flip-front helmet with an excellent SHARP 4 star safety rating.

HJC-C90-featured

HJC C90: flip-front, SHARP 4 Star motorbike helmet.

C90? No, it’s not HJC’s take on the most successful 2 wheeler ever. It’s actually HJC’s inexpensive polycarbonate flip-front that’s been designed to be a durable all-rounder, suitable for anything from a spot of touring or your daily slog through the rush hour.

Like most HJCs, it doesn’t use the most expensive materials in the world and it’s available at a price that’ll leave you with that satisfying feeling that you’ve got decent value in return for your hard earned wodge.

hjc-c90-modular-helmet-matt-black chin bar up
Side view of a matt black C90 with chin bar fully raised.

Having said all that, there is one thing that sets the HJC C90 apart from the crowd. And that’s the SHARP 4 star sticker that they’ll no doubt slap on the box.

That means the testing boffins at the SHARP labs have put it through their paces and it’s come out in glowing colours. Meaning it should give you excellent protection if you were to nosedive at the tarmac while wearing a C90 (and assuming you’ve got the chin bar closed!).

So if you’re looking for your next modular helmet – or a helmet that’ll offer excellent protection (and probably both!) – here’s the lowdown on the HJC C90.

Best places to buy an HJC C90?

Please click below to visit the HJC C90 helmets pages at our recommended stores. And if you buy from one, we get a small sum from the sale at no extra cost to you – a massive THANKS! (it’s how we finance the site).

Buy from SportsBikeShopBuy from Ghostbikes UKShop for HJC helmets at Amazon

Safety

 (more about helmet safety)

The HJC C90 is a reasonably basic flip front helmet in many ways – and that goes for the safety features it offers too.

It doesn’t have EQRS or any fancy slip-plane internals to reduce helmet rotation during impact. HJC don’t even claim it’s got features like a wide visor aperture or contoured mouldings designed to reduce clavicle or neck damage.

hjc-c90-modular-helmet-matt-black-front-view
Front view of the HJC C90

It does have a trusty (and easy to use) micrometric strap which should keep the helmet on your head, provided you tighten it up correctly.

And both a sun visor and Pinlock antifog insert (the visor’s Pinlock ready but you’ll have to buy the insert separately for around £20) are essential safety features these days, as well as making for a more comfortable ride.

But that’s about it.

But once you’re in an accident, it’s the helmet shell that’s the most important part of course. The other stuff will help keep you out of trouble, but once you’re there, you need a highly protective helmet.

And the great thing about the HJC C90 is that it’s been independently safety tested by the team at SHARP where it scored a very decent four star rating (out of five).

HJC C-90 impact test results at 8_5ms
HJC C90 8.5M/s impact test results – courtesy of sharp.dft.gov.uk

As you can see in the 8.5 m/s test result picture, it seems to have dropped a star for the side impact results – although it was still above average there.

Which means that, despite being a more entry level helmet at a lower price point, it should offer good impact protection should the worst happen.

With a couple of caveats:

First, while it is of course ECE tested/approved, like all helmets have to be on sale in Europe, it isn’t dual-homologated. So it’s not technically legal to ride around with the chin bar up on the C90 (like you can with these dual homologated modular helmets).

Secondly, SHARP also notes down how often the chin bar mechanism becomes unlocked during testing. And while us punters need to be able to rely on that chin bar remaining firmly closed whatever is thrown at it, the HJC C90’s chin bar became unlocked 13% of the time.

hjc c90 flip up helmet in gloss white side view
HJC C90 in plain gloss white

The average score across all tested modulars is 81% so the 87% rating of the C90 is actually better than most and means that across all 32 SHARP impact tests, it came unlocked in 5 tests.

I’ll leave it up to you to decide if that’s good enough.

Suffice to say, if you want to buy a flip-front helmet that’s been tested and proven to offer exceptional protection, take a look at our Safest UK Modular Helmets Page where you’ll find all the helmets that kept their chin bars locked 95% of the time or above.

Helmet Noise

(more about helmet noise)

HJC doesn’t make any claims about how quiet the C90 is and looking at the helmet, there doesn’t seem to be any specific features that are going to make this a particularly quiet helmet.

Modular helmets on the whole are noisier than full face helmets, so if you’re looking to buy a quiet helmet, either take a look at full face helmets or jump on over to our quietest helmets pages.

Though it’s a new helmet, we found a few C90 owners out there and they generally seem to think that it’s about average for a modular. As always, helmet noise is very subjective and can vary quite a bit depending on speed/bike/age and loads of other variables.

But overall, opinions seem to be that it’s about average for a modular which means expect it to be a bit on the noisy side, especially if you’re getting a move on or riding a naked bike. So always stick in some decent ear plugs to protect your hearing and you should be OK.

Ventilation

(more about helmet ventilation)

There’s a single top vent and single chin bar vent on the HJC C90.

hjc-c90-modular-helmet-matt-black-top view
Top view showing crown vent and sun visor slider

That big top scoop has a large slider behind it so you can close it off. And the same goes for the  chin bar vent.

That has a two-way slider and it directs air up onto the rear of the visor to help with demisting – though to really keep things clear when it gets cold or wet you’re gonna need a Pinlock on there (see visor section below).

Up top, that crown vent lets air through the helmet shell and there’s a large network of channels in the polystyrene liner to let air ventilate your head.

However, there isn’t an exhaust vent on the rear so probably best to expect that it won’t be the best venting helmet in the world.

Visor

(more about visors)

The visor, on the other hand, should work well as it uses HJC’s tried and tested tech.

That means it’s got their RapidFire quick release system which is essentially a toolless visor removal system where you simply open the visor up, pull a latch on ether side and the visor pulls off. It’s quick and easy and one of the best quick change visor systems out there.

The visor itself is ready to accept a Pinlock antifog insert though HJC doesn’t include one in the box. But if you do buy a C90, it really is worth the extra £20 investment to buy a Pinlock.

Even though there are generous vents to take air from the chin bar up onto the back of the visor, the visor will still fog up when things get cold or wet, and fitting a Pinlock really will stop the visor fogging up in most circumstances.


A couple of useful links…

All our Safest Helmet reviews
Top 10 Modular Helmets


The visor works on a ratchet and has a single opening tab on the left.

And like all polycarb visors, it has excellent anti-UV properties which, in the case of the C90, HJC says gives 99% protection. And I guess you can double that if you have the sun visor down too.

Sun Visor

(more about sun visors)

That sun visor drops down nice and low and is operated by a slider on the very top of the visor.

hjc c90 modular helmet metallic silver side view
Metallic Silver C90

It’s down to personal choice whether you like your sun visor sliders there or on the left of the helmet where, personally, I prefer them.

Having said that, locating it up on top of the helmet does leave plenty of room on the side of the helmet if you’re thinking of fitting a bluetooth communicator.

It’s also personal preference whether you want a sun visor in there at all. Some riders think that extra layer can interfere with your vision too much. And while that can be true, I find having the convenience of an integral sun visor really handy, especially when you forget your shades or you’re on the move and the sun comes out.

Chin Guard

(more about chin guards)

The chin bar on the HJC C90 is operated using a single button in the bottom/middle of the bar. Press it in and the chin bar rises to be just above your eye line at the front of the helmet.

But given the C90 isn’t P/J homologated, it’s not legal to ride with the chin bar raised (like you can with a dual homologated modular helmet). Not that anyone else is likely to know!

Of course, you want that chin bar to give you the protection of a full face when it’s down. But, as we mentioned in the safety section, the chin guard dropped a few marks here when SHARP tested it as it became unlocked in 13% of the impacts.

We don’t know if that means the chin guard was still closed or sprang fully open (and SHARP doesn’t include that chin guard score in their star ratings).

And while that score is actually above average when you look across all tested modulars, there are some flip-front helmets that scored excellent SHARP star ratings as well as keeping their chin bars closed 100% of the time (and you can find those here).

Comfort and Sizing

(more about comfort and sizing)

Inside the HJC C90 is HJC’s typical Super Cool lining.

That’s a nice and comfortable liner with antimicrobial and moisture wicking properties that’s soft to the touch and durable.

hjc-c90-modular-helmet-matt-black-rear-view
HJC C90 from the rear

It’s also fully removable and washable and there’s a couple of medium depth speaker pockets moulded into the internal EPS liner to accommodate your headset’s speakers.

And if you wear glasses, there’s a pair of glasses grooves in there which’ll stop the arms of your glasses digging in while riding.

HJC liners are usually very good and a few riders have said they find their C90s very comfortable for long days’ riding.

Looks & Graphics

At the time of writing, the C90 is only available in solid plain colours – so there’s no graphics available. If you really want a graphic version, we expect they’ll launch some soon as it’s virtually unheard of to have only plain helmets available.

So please feel free to click through to our recommended retailers using the links below – they’ll drop you straight onto their HJC C90 helmets pages so you can see how much it’ll cost to pick up a new C90 as well as see if any funky new designs are available or not.

Best places to buy an HJC C90 helmet?

Please click below to visit the HJC C90 helmets pages at our recommended stores. And if you buy from one, we get a small sum from the sale at no extra cost to you – a massive THANKS! (it’s how we finance the site).

Buy from SportsBikeShopBuy from Ghostbikes UKShop for HJC helmets at Amazon

Other stuff – fasteners, weight, build quality, warranty

All HJC C90s come with micrometric fasteners. They’re really easy to use and really secure fasteners.

Even though the C90 is a polycarbonate modular helmet – which both mean it’ll be heavier than most other helmets out there – it actually only weighs around 1.85Kg. OK, that’s no lightweight helmet (the average full face helmet weighs around 1.5Kg) but it’s only slightly heavier than the average modular (1.7Kg).

So it’s a reasonably weighty lid but it shouldn’t be a problem for most riders.

In terms of build quality, HJCs are usually pretty robust and well built. There can be the occasional niggle but we haven’t come across any problems with the C90 so far.

If you do come across any manufacturing problems, the C90 comes with a paltry one year guarantee. So if you have a problem, get it sorted quickly.

Overall/Summary

The HJC C90 isn’t the last word in a luxurious, high performance modular helmet. But at that price, neither should it be.

hjc c90 modular helmet metal gloss black side view
Gloss black version of the HJC C90

Like most HJC helmets, it’s been designed to be functional rather than fancy. And, because it’s made from cheaper materials, it’s made to a price point that’ll appeal to most riders.

Which is not to say it won’t offer excellent protection, because with that SHARP 4 star safety rating, it’s right up there with the most protective modular helmets available today.

Couple that with a Pinlock-ready visor, sun visor, easy to use micrometric fastener and comfortable liner, and the HJC C90 should be a great companion whether you use it for your daily commute or for taking on holiday around Europe.

All in all, an excellent value all-rounder modular helmet with proven protection. Well worth a look.

Crash Helmet Buying Guides

For (hopefully!) other useful information to help you when buying your next helmet, check our various guides - or have a look at our top helmet lists where we've got the top 10 rated helmets overall and best budget/safest/full face/flip-up helmets.

Good Alternatives to the HJC C90?

We’ve already provided links to some of the best and safest modular helmets further up the page. So here’s some of the more interesting alternatives you might want to check out.

Nolan-n40-5-GT-N-com-fade-motorcycle-helmet-side-view
Noan N40-5 GT

First off, Nolan has historically made some of the best protecting modulars ever. And while the Nolan N40 hasn’t been SHARP tested yet, it’s such a functional and versatile dual homologated modular, that you might well want to take a look. It’s great value too.

caberg-duke-2-modular-motorcycle-helmet-in-matt-gun-metal-side-view
Matt gunmetal Caberg Duke II

The Caberg Duke II is one of the only SHARP 5 star rated modulars ever – but because of that chin bar score, it only just missed out of our safest modulars list. But it’s great value, comes with a Pinlock in the box and it’s much lighter than the C90.

scorpion exo adx 1 solid white modular dual sport helmet
Gloss white ADX. Note black sun visor slider behind the visor pivot

Or if you like a dual sport helmet, how about the Scorpion Exo ADX-1? It’s a mega flexible on/off road helmet with peak, that comes with a Pinlock and which is all day comfy.

Best places to buy an HJC C90?

Please click below to visit the HJC C90 helmets pages at our recommended stores. And if you buy from one, we get a small sum from the sale at no extra cost to you – a massive THANKS! (it’s how we finance the site).

Buy from SportsBikeShopBuy from Ghostbikes UKShop for HJC helmets at Amazon

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Other Modular Helmets

If you're after a new modular/flip-up helmet, they've never been more popular and there's a ton of choice out there. You can find our latest top 10 modular helmets list here or check out all our modular helmet reviews here. You can also visit our smart filters page where you can click the flip-up/modular check box then choose a few other features to find the best flip-up helmet for you.

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