HJC I70: low priced all-rounder full face helmet

hjc-i70-featured

HJC i70 full face motorcycle crash helmet review.

The HJC i70 is HJCs replacement of their mega-popular IS-17. Which means it’s a polycarbonate all-rounder full face helmet, that’s just as happy taking on a cross-continent tour on a Wing as cruising the street on a Z1000.

The IS-17 was one of our all time fave helmets – offering an excellent combo of safety (the UK (ECE) version scored a massive 5 stars in SHARP safety testing) along with stacks of performance for not very much money.

So the i70 has lots to live up to. Read on to find what you can expect if you buy an i70…

  • Polycarbonate full face helmet
  • All rounder helmet
  • SHARP 4 star safety rated
  • Integral sun visor
  • Pinlock anti-fog ready visor
  • Pinlock insert included (Eu only)
  • ECE & DOT versions
  • 2 shell sizes
  • 1.59Kg (3.5lbs) slightly heavier than avg
  • Sizes XXS-XXL
  • Expect to pay £150-£200

Best places to buy an HJC I70?

Please click below to visit the HJC I70 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

hjc i70 Karon motorbike crash helmet top view
The i70 in Karon graphics showing top air vents

Safety

(more about helmet safety)

There are both ECE and DOT versions of the i70 available, meaning they comply with their respective European & US safety standards. And both should offer a decent level of protection if the worst happens.

The outgoing IS-17 helmet scored maximum marks when SHARP tested it – meaning it’s going to give as good protection as you can hope for in any helmet, whatever the price.

Since the IS-17 was launched in 2014, HJC has had a couple of other polycarb helmets tested by SHARP – one full face (the CS-15) and one modular (the IS Max II) – and both helmets scored four stars out of five.

hjc i70 sharp 8.5m_s test result
HJC i70 SHARP 8.5m/s impact test result courtesy of sharp.dft.gov.uk

So it’s maybe not such a massive surprise that when the SHARP helmet testing guys got their hands on the i70, it scored a very creditable 4 star safety rating too, which means it should give you excellent impact protection.

The i70 is produced in 2 shell sizes with one shell size covering fitment sizes XXS-M and the other covering L-XXL. That’s OK for a pretty low cost lid and means your helmet will be moderately optimised for safety as well as looks (see here to find out why).

Other safety features include that wide, Pinlock-ready visor (with Pinlock insert included in the box in Europe – though not in the US) which should give excellent peripheral vision.

And if you fit the Pinlock, that’ll ensure your vision’s clear 99.9% of the time.

There’s also a drop down internal sun visor to stop you getting dazzled in bright sunlight, and the UK version has a micrometric fastener (US version comes with a double-d ring fastener).

black orange hjc i70 elim full face motorcycle helmet side view
This one’s the Elim graphics in black/grey/orange. Note sun visor slider on bottom rim

All in all, yes the i70 is a polycarb helmet and yes, polycarbonate is usually found on cheaper helmets. But don’t let that put you off because if they’re made right, polycarbonate helmets can be incredibly high performing helmets.

And the i70 does have some useful safety features which will hopefully mean it’ll help stop you getting into trouble in the first place too.

Helmet Noise

(more about helmet noise)

There’s a nice plush lining inside the HJC I70 and, according to owners, the shell is aerodynamic too.

Both will help with insulating the helmet (and your ears) from noise.

Ride magazine included it in a mid-price helmet shootout and reckoned it was the quietest out of half a dozen or so helmets on test.

And quite a few I70 owners agree that it’s a quiet helmet too – though a few others say it’s about average.

So overall, it seems the I70’s pretty good for noise supression – though don’t let that be a green light for not wearing ear plugs.

Motorbike helmets are very noisy places overall and can easily lead to long term ear damage, so you still need to wear ear plugs – especially when you’re upping the speed a bit or riding further than a few miles.

Ventilation

(more about helmet ventilation)

Ventilation is one area HJC has looked to improve over the old helmet – which was already good.

So the i70 has four front vents – a twin vent on the chin bar operated by a single central slider. And there’s two crown vents, operated by two separate sliders.

To the rear, there’s a large twin top exhaust vent and an exhaust at the collar.

According to I70 owners, the switches and sliders are easy to find and work well.

Inside the shell, above average sized air channels circulate air through the helmet and air passes through the vented internal comfort liner to ventilate the head.

MotorCycleNews tested the I70 and found the venting disappointing – though owner reviews we’ve found broadly find head venting anywhere from average to good.

Which is not the case with chin bar venting.

hjc i70 matt black motorcycle crash helmet top view
Top vents clearly visible on this plain matt black i70

The chin vent is designed to direct air onto the back of the visor to help with anti-fogging. But quite a few I70 owners said it could be better.

Obviously, if fogging becomes a real issue (which it will in the UK at some time) you’ll be able to fit that included Pinlock and that should pretty well banish visor fogging.

Overall, venting on the HJC I70’s a mixed bag – mostly well thought out but could do better with the chin vent.

Visor

(more about visors)

The visor on the HJC i70 is designed to offer a wide view angle and is both quick-release and Pinlock antifog insert ready.

The visor works on a ratchet (6 positions) and has a ‘cracked open’ city riding position, which most riders find useful to let in a bit of extra air when riding around slowly.

The central opening tab is also a visor lock and it’s easy to lock/open with one gloved hand.

hjc i70 asto black pink motorcycle crash helmet side view
Striking black/purple i70 Asto

HJCs Quickfire II tool-less visor removal is a decent system and just needs you to open the visor, push back on the lever on either side of the helmet and the visor pops off so you can clean or replace it.

As mentioned, it’s also Pinlock-ready meaning there’s a couple of small posts on the rear of the visor that are locating pins for a pinlock insert that sits on the back of the visor and acts as a moisture-absorbing double glazing and stops your visor fogging up in all but the most extreme cold/humidity.

And because HJC has made the visor aperture nice and wide (what they call their Vision Plus system), you probably won’t find any restriction in peripheral vision either – confirmed by several I70 owners mentioning how wide the vision is.

Which means, HJC has pretty well thought of everything when it comes to the visor on the i70.

hjc i70 Varok motorbike crash helmet top view
HJC i70 Varok

Sun Visor

(more about sun visors)

And that includes integrating a drop-down sun visor into the i70.

It works by a slider on the bottom left of the helmet. OK that can interfere with bluetooth comms unit fixings, but it’s a convenient place for you to find your sun visor slider too.

And several owners have said that the slider’s really conveniently placed and easy to use – so hopefully you will too.

The sun visor drops down nice and low and is reasonably dark, so it should give decent protection in all but the brightest, most direct sunshine.

If you’re coming to an I70 from the outgoing IS17, you’ll be pleased to hear that the auto-return sun visor mechanism has been binned off. So no more spring-loaded return that doesn’t quite manage to return the sun visor fully up!

Instead, a simple manual return using the same slider.

Comfort and Sizing

(more about comfort and sizing)

The HJC i70 is one of HJCs lower priced helmets, so don’t expect all the fancy materials you’ll find in a more expensive helmet.

But that still means you’ll find a very comfortable internal liner that’s both antimicrobial and moisture wicking.

Loads of owners have commented that it’s a really comfortable helmet. But quite a few have also said that the cheek pads can be a bit tight when you first get the helmet – though they do break in quickly.

It’s also fully removable and washable and there’s a pair of speaker pockets in there – though though they’re about average depth so you might struggle with deeper speakers.

One owner of a Cardo Packtalk Bold said their speakers wouldn’t fit and so did one Interphone owner. So, if you think your speakers are deeper than average, you might want to try before you buy – or order from one of our recommended shops (see links below) who’ll all do no-quibble returns.

For glasses wearers, HJC have increased the depth of the glasses grooves from the IS17 which makes the I70 great for comfortable riding in glasses. Plus the sun visor is far enough away so it shouldn’t interfere with your glasses either.

hjc i70 elim full face motorcycle crash helmet rear view
Rear view of the HJC i70 Elim

At 1.6Kg (about 3.5lbs) it’s not the lightest full face helmet, but it’s only a few ounces over the average full face helmet and it won’t be heavy enough to cause you any problems.

In fact, several I70 owners commented that it feels lightweight when you’re riding.

It’s also been designed to suit medium oval shaped heads (that’s most of us) so if that sounds like you, check out our fitting guide first, then measure your head to ensure you buy the correct size – and you should be good to go.

All in all, you need a comfortable helmet when riding. And – as long as the internal shape matches your headshape – the HJC I70 gets a big thumbs up from the vast majority of owners.

Looks & Graphics

The i70 has been designed as an all rounder helmet and to appeal to as many people as possible – so it’s a pretty conservative helmet in styling and graphics.

We’ve put examples of the crazily named Riaz, Varok, Karon, Asto and Cravia designs along with the plain versions on these pages.

But there’s sure to be new graphics released by HJC through the year so please click the links below to find what else is available (plus we reckon you can trust these stores to treat you right if you order from them).

Best places to buy an HJC I70 helmet?

Please click below to visit the HJC I70 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

HJC i70 Video

Here’s a 15m video looking in detail at the i70.

Other stuff – aero, breath deflector, warranty

HJC seems to have done a great job on aero with the I70 as a couple of owners and reviewers said it creates little turbulence or buffeting and is stable at speed.

The i70 comes with a breath deflector built in.

It’ll come with HJCs standard 3 year warranty too (from date of purchase).

Alternatives to the HJC i70?

If you’re not looking to spend to much but want a great performing helmet, here’s some tried and tested great buys.

hjc i70 asto black red motorcycle crash helmet rear view
This one’s the i70 Asto in red/black

First up is the Shark Ridill; that’s a SHARP 4 star safety rated polycarbonate full face, with sun visor, Pinlock included and Shark’s 5 year warranty.

If you’re willing to spend more, you might want to check out the AGV K5S. That’s a SHARP 4 star tested (ECE version) carbon/fibreglass lid with sun visor that’s mega comfortable with great aero.

Or for a bit more money than the i70 you can have HJCs FG-ST. That’s a maximum SHARP 5 star safety rated fibreglass full face with Pinlock included and double-d ring fastener. It’s also Ride magazine recommended too. A proper good deal the FG-ST.

Overall/Summary

hjc i70 Karon blue motorbike crash helmet top view
Karon graphics, this time in blue

HJC make some great value helmets. And if you’re after a lower priced all rounder, the i70 has all the bases covered.

It’s got a wide, Pinlock antifog, quick release visor. And a drop down sun visor too.

Plus, it achieved an excellent SHARP 4 star safety rating too, so you know you can rely on it to give you decent protection in an accident.

And the vast majority of owners love it and think it’s great value for money. It’s comfortable, head venting’s good, and the visor’s nice and wide too.

It’s even reasonably quiet on the road.

So, if you’re after bang for your buck, you’ve a medium oval head shape, and you’re looking for a great all rounder helmet, then the HJC i70 should be an excellent buy.

Best places to buy an HJC I70?

Please click below to visit the HJC I70 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

Star Ratings

REVIEW OVERVIEW
Safety
Comfort
Noise
Features
Value
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