HJC Sy-Max Helmet Review
by Rick K. for webBikeWorld.com
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Owner Comments (Below)
Can someone think of a better name than "flip-up"
for this type of helmet? After all, they're becoming
And with good reason -- flip-ups are really convenient for
things like fueling up, talking to toll booth attendants, and
where I work, for matching my face to my I.D. badge at the guard
shack in the morning.
But one of the primary benefits of flip-up helmets is that
they offer potentially better protection for eyeglass wearers,
who may have only been able to wear open-face helmets before
the flip-front was invented.
It's not always easy to shove a pair of eyeglasses into a
full-face helmet; in fact, with some helmets, it's downright
impossible. To help solve this problem, I've concocted a special
pair with "shorty" arms that I can slide between the
sides of a full-face helmet and my head.
I'm still experimenting with the best frame type and design,
and I'll report on my progress someday, but in the meantime,
flip-ups are great for those of us who wear eyeglasses!
For some reason, flip-up design and technology doesn't seem
to be evolving as rapidly as it is for full-face or race-replica
helmets. This is somewhat strange, considering the growing popularity
of flip-ups. But the HJC Sy-max is one of the newest flip-up
designs available, regardless of brand, and it has features
that bring it closer to full-face functionality than any other
flip-up I can think of. I've tried several flip-ups, and I own
an older design (the Lazer Century), and the HJC really does
seem to be more modern than any of them.
The first thing you notice is that the Sy-Max seems lighter
than other flip-ups. One of these days, I'll have to get a scale
to weigh the helmets we test, but the subjective opinion is
that the Sy-Max definitely feels lighter. (Editor's Note:
I finally got the scale; the Sy-Max weighs in at 1646 grams,
which is actually 1 gram heavier than the Lazer Century. Still,
it carries its weight nicely!)
This may be because the shell is made of a fiberglass compound
with an ABS and polycarbonate chin bar, vs. the polycarbonate
shells of some competing brands. The Sy-Max also has an alloy
reinforcing structure inside the chin bar, which probably saves
weight and may offer more protection than the plastic pieces
in other flip-up helmets. The bottom line is that the Sy-Max
feels lighter than several other full-face and race replica
helmets we've tried.
Paint and Finish
The finish on this Candy Red example
is just about perfect; the paint seems thick, shiny and smooth.
It's a really wonderful red; a true "candy" red that
shows up very nicely in sunlight. The Sy-Max is available in
some basic colors: solid black or white, and some metallics
in Candy Red, Wine Red, Silver, and Pearl White.
The Sy-Max has a modern look to it; it's basic and functional,
yet it doesn't look clumsy. The front releases via a single
button at the bottom center of the chin bar. You push
the button forward and up with your thumb, and a positive click
When you swing the front all the way up, another positive
click holds it in place in the raised position. It feels very
solid, unlike other flip-ups that often have a kind of flimsy
feel to them and don't always stay in the raised position.
Most flip-ups use only friction to hold the front up, and
if you knock the helmet, look down, or turn your head too quickly
when the front is flipped up, it can come smashing down. The
Sy-Max has a definite locking mechanism that holds the front
solidly up; in fact, you have to use the same central release
to lower the front back in place. In my opinion, this is a definite
plus and should be standard on all flip-up helmets.
The visor is part of the flip-up
front, and the "ears" that cover the rotating mechanism
are recessed and set nearly flush with the sides of the helmet
when closed. The rotating "ears" have a really nice
design feature -- they have rubber gaskets that seal out air
and noise when the front is closed. This is a very subtle feature
that you probably wouldn't think about or notice on other brands
of flip-ups, but it's obvious that HJC did their homework on
this design, and it pays dividends in noise reduction.
Many flip-ups suffer from noise intrusion via the sides of
the rotating flip-front mechanism. The Sy-Max is, in my opinion,
very quiet for a flip-up style helmet. In fact, it's quieter
than other full-face helmets I own. I'm sure that the design
of the rotating front is responsible for this; flip-ups are,
in general, not noted for their ability to control wind noise.
Now don't forget that I always wear properly inserted earplugs
(see the wBW
Hearing Protection and Earplugs page), so your experience
may differ. But I review every helmet under the same conditions
-- earplugs and the same helmet liner -- and I can say that
the Sy-Max has less obtrusive wind noise than some other flip-up
helmets I've tried.
HJC also includes a pair of extra
pads that can be easily installed in the cutouts for the ears,
which help reduce noise even further if you're not using the
space for speakers for a communications device.
The liner is removable, and although the liner
material is about average for a good helmet (it feels much like
an HJC AC-10, if you've ever tried one), it fits my round shaped
head very nicely.
Remember that helmets have a very personal fit and that human
heads are very differently shaped, so if you have a "long
oval" shaped head, you might have a different experience,
but I found the Sy-Max to be comfortable right out of the box,
with no "hot spots" after several hours of riding.
I do notice that the Sy-Max feels like it has a slightly
higher center of gravity than other helmets. My chin at first
seemed to be about even with the bottom of the helmet; but after
the helmet was broken in, which seemed to take a bit longer
than other helmets, it fits my round head well. The fit is nice
and firm, so I have to pull the helmet down a bit more than
normal to ensure a good fit; this isn't a problem, just a characteristic
of the Sy-Max.
I do feel a lot of air coming in under the chinbar, and it
creates some turbulence that seems to be the single source of
noise with the helmet. When sitting upright, as on a standard,
cruiser or touring bike, I don't notice the turbulence at all;
it just about disappears. But when leaned forward a bit, like
on a bike with low, flat bars or a sportbike, the angle of attack
of the helmet causes air to rush under the chinbar, which creates
some tickling turbulence and noise. It would be nice if HJC
offered a chin curtain for this helmet, which I think could
solve the problem.
The Sy-Max has a chinbar vent that directs air up onto the visor
in front of the small breath deflector. The vent has three opening
positions from closed, so there is some adjustability in the
amount of air that enters.
The vents behind the breath guard do not flow air directly
on to the rider's face; I've noticed that some helmets have
this "double venting" feature on their breath guards
and some don't.
There's also a vacuum operated venting
system on top of the helmet, with a two-position vent opening.
I don't really feel a strong airflow on top of my head, but
my head doesn't get hot inside the helmet either, so it must
be doing its job. The liner does have some openings to allow
the air to circulate around the top of your head.
mentioned above, depending upon your riding position, a lot
of air spills in under the chinbar, which is fine in hot weather,
as it provides more ventilation, but it remains to be seen how
troubling this might be when it turns colder.
The chin strap is of the D-ring type, which
I like. However, the extra chin strapping must be secured by
tucking it under the cross-strap; the helmet doesn't include
any "hook-and-loop" or button to secure the extra
strap after you've secured it.
The visor has positive
stops at several positions. This is important -- it's nice to
have a visor that can open one or two very small clicks and
stay there; it provides more options for ventilation. Opening
the visor to the first or second notch doesn't seem to affect
the wind noise that much either. The visor is also easily removed
and replaced without tools.
The Sy-Max is DOT safety standard,
but not approved by the Snell Foundation. No flip-ups, as far
as I know, meet Snell Foundation approval. Snell's official
wording on this is as follows:
From the Snell website
Helmet FAQ Page:
"Why won't Snell certify some types of
helmets like flip up front designs?
Snell does not dismiss out of hand, any helmet
design that strays from the conventional. Snell
does not point out any design specifications, other
than general requirements in our standards. We are
however, always concerned with innovations and new
designs that may effect the helmet's ability to
protect the wearer, or in some cases the helmets
potential to cause injury. At present, the Foundation
has not had the opportunity to test any of the flip
up front type helmets. So far, we can not find any
fault with these designs as long as they are used
according to the manufacturers instructions. We
will also certify any size of helmet as long as
it meets the same requirements as any other Snell
Note the interesting sentence: "At present, the Foundation
has not had the opportunity to test any of the flip up front
This is really a shame, and
my feeling is that this is somewhat of a cop-out by the Snell
Foundation. I've written to some of the Board members asking
why they don't test flip-ups, but I've never received a reply.
Are flip-up helmet users not getting the full benefit of helmet
It's difficult to know, but you can't ignore the increasing
popularity of the flip-up helmet, and it's my opinion that the
Snell Foundation should be more proactive in developing a testing
methodology for this type of helmet (Note: since this review
was written, apparently at least one flip-up helmet manufacturer
has submitted a helmet for Snell approval. Check webBikeWorld
for more information as it becomes available).
features of the Sy-Max include:
The liner is removable and washable (I always wear a
helmet liner, so this is less of a problem for me, but it's
nice to know you can do this); it's also made of Cool Max
to wick away moisture from your skin.
HJC claims that the Sy-Max has a large eye-port, and
I believe them. I have to really open my eyes wide to bring
the top of the eye-port into peripheral view. I like large
eye-ports; it can make you feel like you're not wearing
a helmet at all.
The Sy-Max has fairly deep ear pockets; HJC claims these
make it easier to install earphones for a communication
system. This may be why the Sy-Max is so popular with touring
bike riders. HJC includes extra padding that can be easily
installed in the ear pockets to help reduce noise if you
haven't installed speakers.
The helmet liner has a wrap-around neck roll that HJC
claims helps reduces wind noise.
The Sy-Max comes with a nice helmet bag and a spare set
of screws for the flip-up mechanism.
The Sy-Max seems to take just a bit
longer than other helmets for the Sy-Max to break in. This isn't
a problem, just note that if the helmet feels like it rides
a bit high at first, it should fit much better after several
uses. The only minor complaint I have is that at certain angles
of attack, there is a bit of wind noise and draft from under
the chin bar.
I really like the HJC Sy-Max, and it will
probably become my all-around daily helmet. It's light enough,
quiet enough, looks great and is comfortable; that's about all
I can ask from a helmet (besides safety, of course!). And the
price is definitely reasonable. I think it's the best of the
latest crop of flip-ups!
Review: HJC Symax (Sy-Max) Flip-up
Price: ~$175 - $200
Red, Pearl White, Silver, Wine Red, Black, White
(Candy Red shown)
||Made In: Korea
Comments: Relatively light weight;
good quality; relatively quiet except some buffeting
around neck; removable liner; fits round heads;
DOT safety standard.Has slightly high center of gravity;
some turbulence and air ingress from under chin
bar.Review Date: 2006?
Motorcycle Helmets Page |
section below | Also see the
Review of the Polar Optics face shield lens
on the Sy-Max -- a nice solution for blocking the
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From "D.J.": "I am the proud
owner of a HJC SY-MAX. I love the style and comfort. The replaceable
padding was an extra plus. I got the helmet as a b-day gift,
one size too big. But I was able to purchase the bigger pad
and get the fit I need. The ease in which the face shield is
changed is great, though since I work a mid-shift and ride daily
to work. I have to bring my clear shield for the ride home.
I noticed early on like T.U says when I turned my head to
the side or got a strong crosswind, the shield would lift. Now
with the daily changing of the shield that problem is ten-fold.
I think that the Scorpion "Speedshift" quick change
system keeps the face shield detents less worn. All in all a
great helmet functionally and design wise."
From "A.F.": "I recently
purchased a Sy-Max helmet to replace my KBC FRR. I noticed some
of the owner comments mentioning that the visor open on its
own while riding. I had this happen to me today and when I got
to a point that was safe to stop, I took the helmet off to have
I found that even though the locking mechanism was secured,
the guides on the visor itself were not seated properly in the
groves on the helmet. What caused this (I assume) is that I
had not opened the visor all the way when I previously changed
from the clear to the smoke colored one. This caused the 'C'
shaped guide in the center of the lock not to line up and when
I put the shield on, it wasn't seated properly. After lining
them up and putting the shield back on the problem was gone.
While I think HJC could have done a better job with this
part of the helmet design, I am still very pleased with it.
My previous helmet was much louder and I found the venting system
on it to be clumsy and not very effective. Thanks for the reviews!"
From "P.F.": "I enjoy your site
and check it frequently. I have been a rider for 40 years and
presently own about 20 motorcycles (depending on whether or
not one invokes the "2 hour rule" which states that "any
pile of parts that you can get running in 2 hours or less is
regarded as a motorcycle").
Since discovering your site, a few years ago, I've based
several thousand dollar's worth of purchases on your advice
and have seldom been disappointed. I am writing you to report
one such instance because it may have safety implications for
I am a long time convert to flip-front helmets. As an eyeglass
wearer and big-city commuter, the ability to open up a helmet
for convenience and comfort outweighs any of their negative
attributes such as weight and noise (I wear ear plugs at speed).
My first and, in my opinion, still the best was a
Shoei Syncrotec. This helmet was one of the first modular
helmets offered (despite the fact that you have yet to review
it) and, although expensive, is comfortable and very durable
(Editor's Note: We have reviewed the
More importantly, it works. In 2002, I experienced a low-side
(loose gravel) at 50 mph resulting in an immediate "face-plant"
on the asphalt. There is nothing quite like sliding down the
road, face down, watching the pavement go by you visor, an inch
from your eye, to make you appreciate the security provided
by a padded chin-bar with a secure latching system! Although
there was no structural damage to the Shoei (or to me), I replaced
it with an identical Syncrotec that I still use as my primary
Several years ago, based upon good reviews, I acquired an
HJC Sy-Max helmet with the thought that it might provide better
ventilation than the Syncrotec for hot, summer commuting. It
turned out to be marginally better, the difference being most
notable when riding with the chin bar raised in stop and go
traffic, but I also noticed that it was, if anything, noisier
than the Shoei and that the face shield would not stay put over
50mph. The unpadded chin bar and plastic latching system also
gave me pause but I continued to use it around town.
Last week, I experienced an unexpected failure that makes
me grateful that I've never had to use the Sy-max for its intended
purpose. While riding an open stretch of expressway at 70mph,
one side of the chin bar came loose and began to violently flog
in the wind. To say that this was frightening, and more than
a little distracting, in heavy traffic would be an understatement!
On arriving home, I removed the other chin bar pivot to determine
what had happened and was dismayed to find that the entire pivot
anchor on the chin bar is held in place by one tiny screw! It
is obvious that this method of attachment would never survive
a serious impact such as the one that I experienced in my 2002
crash. While I had it apart, I took the opportunity to inspect
the rest of the helmet more closely and was not reassured by
how cheaply it was made.
The small screw retaining the chin bar pivot had fractured
the insubstantial plastic boss molded into the chin bar leaving
one side completely unsupported. This helmet was never dropped
or abused so I've no idea why this failed but it all appears
to be quite "under engineered" to me. If you would
like to examine the remains and draw your own conclusions, I'll
be happy to send you the remains of my Sy-Max for analysis.
My concern is that there are probably thousands of owners
of HJC Sy-Max helmets riding around with the mistaken notion
that, in the event of an accident, their helmet is going to
provide them a better level of protection than an open faced
helmet. Based on my experience, don't count on it! The
Sy-Max is an appealing helmet; good finish, great price, nice
features (Hey, I bought 2, including one for my son who rides
with me.). Just don't make the mistake of assuming that it will
protect you if you fall.
I've just ordered another Shoei Syncrotec for my son. Yes,
it's expensive, but I'm thankful to have re-learned the old
truism: "If you've got a cheap head, wear a cheap helmet."
without actually having to test it. I'm also looking forward
to the introduction of Shoei's replacement for the Syncrotec
which is due soon. I agree with you that the lack of development
in modular helmets has been discouraging but I'm confident that,
as more riders experience their advantages, they will become
an increasingly important sector of the market and merit more
attention. I just hope that poorly engineered examples don't
give them a bad rap before this happens."
Editor's Response: Thanks for visiting
webBikeWorld and for sending your detailed comments on the SyMax
helmet. I've been pretty disappointed at the lack of progress
on flip-up helmet safety, and in fact, I've stopped wearing
them and now wear only full-face helmets (except when evaluating
other types) for safety reasons.
I wear eyeglasses also, and that was the main reason I went
to a flip-up to begin with, but have found that some full-face
helmets accommodate eyeglasses with no problems (Arai
Quantum II, as an example). I also have an extra pair of
eyeglasses and I cut off the ear retainers, which lets me slide
them in between the helmet liner and my head on every full-face
helmet I've ever tried. I have a pair of clip-on sunglasses
also to use when necessary."
From "BDS": "My HJC SyMax
is the best helmet I've had, and I've been riding since '74.
In the two years I've had the SyMax, I've never had the face
shield lift while on the road. Average speeds 90 to 100 mph,
on an old (and great) Honda V4, sometimes with a mid-height
windshield, sometimes naked. Without the windshield, the helmet
tends to bobble above 105 mph, but I suspect it just wasn't
designed for that. There's more tire and valve noise than wind
noise at those speeds. Yep, a great helmet. I also love these
From "R.C": "I just thought
I'd add my 2 cents about the HJC SyMax helmet. Context: I've
had this helmet for a year and a half. I've been riding for
3 years. My only other helmet has been the Arai RX-7RR4. I don't
have a car, and ride at least 30 miles at least 4 days a week.
I ride a Honda TransAlp, an adventure-touring type bike, which
has only a small wind screen that redirects airflow to above
my chest and shoulders rather than really keeping it off my
head. I live in the San Francisco Bay Area. I have a small head.
Pros: I like the flip-up aspect a lot. I find the helmet
quite comfortable, even for long rides (I've done a number of
275+ mile rides with it). Wind buffeting does take its toll
on my neck after a while, but I am not sure if there is more
than with other helmets. The helmet is significantly quieter
than my Arai helmet, and I can't say that I think the SyMax
is much hotter (everyone says the Arai is noisier because of
all the venting, but I don't get it). Also, I have found that
the SyMax gives me less trouble with the face shield fogging
than the Arai, especially when stopped or at low speeds.
Cons: The main one is the spontaneous face shield flip-up
problem when turning my head that others have reported. It makes
turning my head to look for lane changes a pain. It only happens
at speeds over 60-65 mph, although if it's windy enough in the
right direction it can occasionally happen below 60 mph. I have
noticed that there are certain spots where it ALWAYS happens,
so I suspect that wind speed and direction make a difference.
I have tried messing with the ratchet mechanism but haven't
managed to do anything but diminish the problem slightly for
a short time. In the Bay Area, where it's very often windy and
highway speeds over 65 mph are the norm, this is a major annoyance.
I suspect that this wouldn't be an issue on a bike that had
a bigger/higher windshield.
Other cons: The elastic that holds the chin strap end, unsurprisingly,
stretches into uselessness after a while. The two things I miss
most from the Arai helmet are the snap to hold the chin strap
end and the chin curtain. Another thing I prefer about the Arai
is the way the pads allow for more comfortable wearing of glasses
or sunglasses; the SyMax pads tend to make the arms of glasses
dig into my head. Of course, the pad placement may account for
at least some of the reason the SyMax is quieter, so maybe it's
Summary: I've put close to 20,000 miles on the Symax over
the last year and a half, and I'm currently looking for a new
helmet. I won't get another SyMax, mostly because of the problem
with the face shield flipping up. I like the flip-up helmet
design, but expect that I will have to forego it to get an equally
quiet helmet, which is more important to me."
From "T.M.": "I tried
a Sy-Max for around 270 miles and enjoyed just about everything
about it except for the noise level. Simply put, this is the
loudest - as in wind whistle - helmet I have ever owned ( quite
a few ). This is a shame since the fit, finish, and overall
build quality was very impressive, not to mention having a flip-up
during everyday riding, is so handy that I can't believe it
is only been in the last couple of years that this style of
helmet has started to catch notice. Although I never had the
visor "pop" open on me, even at triple digit speeds,
the noise level from around 50mph on up was so bad, I couldn't
even hear the motor ( and I'm the type that like to listen for
valves and such ). I tried it with the ear pads, without the
ear pads, with ear plugs ( custom molded for me at Road Atlanta
in '99 ), without ear plugs ( ouch, really loud ), and with
two sportbikes and one cruiser. No dice, just plain loud. Maybe
I got a dud....
I have since returned it ( thank goodness I'm on good terms
with the local dealer ) and now I'm bummed because I miss the
functionality of the breed. Maybe in another year or so when
R&D catches up with the noise level of modern full face
Sorry to learn
about your Sy-Max experience, T.M. All helmets are noisy,
in my opinion; some are less noisy than others. I own and use
full-face helmets that are noisier than the Sy-Max, so it isn't
necessarily the flip-up design that accounts for the volume.
Since I always wear earplugs, I've pretty much been able to
ignore any helmet noise. It's my understanding that some types
of custom-fitted earplugs do not offer as much noise reduction
as some correctly fitted disposables. It's very important to
make sure the earplug fits correctly and is properly inserted.
Visit the wBW
and Hearing Protection page for more information.
From "D.F.": "I noticed
several comments about the face shield blowing open on the HJC
Symax. I have the Symax, as well as a friend of mine. His had
the same problem. It's an easy fix to tighten the ratcheting
mechanism. You just remove the face shield, and bend the ratchet
piece to give more tension. Takes 2 minutes, and the problem
is gone." Thanks for the tip, D.F..!
From "M.T.": "I've been
using the helmet just over a week and though I have long, thick
hair I find the helmet to be very comfortable. I NEED this type
of helmet in order to wear a full face helmet. It's as quiet
as I can expect from a motorcycle helmet. I imagine it'll be
even more comfortable as the weeks go on. The fit and finish
are above reproach; great color and detailing on the helmet.
I don't feel it's any less of a helmet than the Arai Quantum-e
I wore for a few years. In fact I like it better; I'd buy another
HJC in a heartbeat."
From "C.C.": "After 20
years (1983) I parted with my Simpson RX-3/Bandits and purchased
2 brand new HJC Symax helmets for my wife and I. They arrived
Accessory Warehouse about 3 weeks ago. We absolutely love
these helmets. Fit and finish is quite good for a low priced
helmet. The Wine Color, which matches my 1995 Concours, is superb
in quality and depth of metallic. After our first several rides,
we are convinced we made the right choice of helmet and supplier.
The price was $167.50 each, which beat the next closest online
competitor. The comfort of the interior is great. The road noise
reduction without earplugs is very good compared to my Simpsons.
The wind noise behind my fairing is non-existent and overall,
the cooling is good (riding here in the Desert near El Paso,
The flip-up feature is the best idea. I like the protection
of a full face helmet, but when stopped briefly at a light or
for a quick gas station/convenience store run, it is so convenient
to flip up the helmet face and breathe easy without having to
remove the helmet. We have not yet experience any problems with
the faceshield flipping up when the head is turned sideways.
I purposely have tried this, but have not had any problems.
Granted our fairing may be reducing the overall wind and impacting
this condition. I highly recommend this helmet and supplier
to anyone out there looking for a comfortable, well thought
out, flip-up helmet design!"
From "P.D.": "I have ridden
with this helmet for several years. It has a problem. At speed
above 60 - 70 mph the face shield flips up when I look over
my shoulder for a lane change. Disconcerting and potentially
dangerous. HJC does not respond to my suggestions for a product
Thanks for the feedback, P.D.! Several other owners
(see following comments) have reported this problem. I haven't
experienced it... I wonder if there is an adjustment at the
face shield attachment that can help prevent this from happening?
From "C.B.": "I recently
purchased the HJC Sy-Max helmet after reading your review &
others. So far I'm quite pleased with the helmet & feel
it much quieter than my Arai Quantum F. My wife has the Nolan,
but I never cared for how it fit my head. It will be nice to
be able to drink something, blow my nose or talk to someone
without having to take my helmet off. Thanks"
From "T.J.": "I currently
own over 100 helmets??? I know, but I wear them all so
I can honestly say I really can give an honest opinion on almost
any helmet . I own three flip front helmets, a Nolan , a Shoei &
the HJC. Bottom line is for the money , no comparison -- the
HJC is it! I think the Shoei is a better helmet overall
but is pricey, and the Nolan doesn't have the best fit (for
me) but the HJC is great for the price. As a wearer of eyeglasses
these are a god-send. One of the best reasons for a flip front
is when you go into a gas station or ask someone for directions
people don't seem near as intimidated talking to you when they
can see a face as opposed to a dark shield. I highly recommend
the HJC for anyone who wants a great helmet for a good price."
Here's an incredible story sent to us by "G.P.":
"I recently purchased an HJC Sy-Max helmet along
with my new Honda Valkyrie. I am happy to report that after
a serious collision yesterday with an automobile I am able able
to send this testimonial due to the protection extended to me
by the HJC Sy-Max helmet. I was thrown from the Valkyrie over
the bars and came to meet the street directly on my head (Sy-Max
I am not a small person (275) and the force could very well
have injured (severely) or broken my neck. The police and medical
team were simply amazed that while incredibly sore, I was literally
able to walk away. A CAT scan proved no injury to my neck.
Another testimony would have to go to First Gear for the
incredible protection I received by their "Fire" jacket,
also newly acquired; the padding and optional "armor"
kept me from sustaining not "one" broken bone. I am
very bruised and very sore but very much alive and well thanks
to these two outstanding products." Thanks
very much for sharing this with us, G.P.! We're really
glad to hear that you came through it OK and hope you feel better
From "E.J." really likes the Sy-Max:
"I've been a licensed cyclist for 15 years, but
have not ridden for the last 10. Just purchased a 2003 VTX 1800C
in mid March. Looked at tons of reviews for motorcycle helmets
and yours was by far the most thorough in presenting the pros
and cons as well as real user feedback. No recent experience
to compare the helmet to - but for a newbie - it is turning
out to be a GREAT first helmet.
Very reasonable price (actually got it at local bike shop
for $170). Love the fit and the weight. Extremely usable flip
and visor system - seems very quiet (even without earplugs)
with minimal wind noise (have not had the BEAST over 75 yet
however). Easy to change the visor (put the light smoked on).
So for all those with no recent helmet experience - try it on
- if you like the fit - it appears to be a hard first helmet
wBW Visitor "D.E." and his wife both have
Sy-Max helmets: "Both my wife and I have
the Sy-Max and like them very much. Much easier to put on and
much more comfortable when you are not riding (flipped up).
The only problem I had with mine was a wind "whistle"
above 40mph caused by an improperly molded plastic hinge cover
(one corner would stick out from the helmet's surface). A little
light sanding and a very small piece of door insulating foam
(underneath) fixed it." Thanks for the tip
on fixing the whistling noise, D.E.!
From "T.U." and his wife both wear an HJC
Sy-Max helmet. T.U.: "I purchased this helmet
in June from Sierra Electronics with the J&M Goldwing headsets
installed. I've ridden almost 10K miles with it, and it has
out performed my expectations. I'm very happy with it. In July
I rode to the AZ desert wearing it. While no helmet will keep
you cool behind a GL-1500 fairing, this one did an outstanding
job in the 120+ degree heat. I never once regretted wearing
it. Using the smoked face shield kept my face from sun burning
I've had no trouble with any of the hardware.
Unlike you, I like the extra chin strapping to secure the helmet
strap. Clean and simple. (I hated the clip so much on my Shoei
900 that I ripped it off, got a small hair-tie at K-mart, and
made a similar strap holder on it). Would I purchase it again?
Yes, and I recommend it to all that want a great fitting flip-face
helmet. One other note: My wife loves this helmet too. She has
never found a helmet that fit her until this one. She just loves
it. I rate it 9 out of 10. (Only the face shield mounting system
lowers this score. Shoei still is the best in this area).
A couple of weeks after using his Sy-Max, T.U. had
"One note on the Sy-Max
that I discovered today. In a strong cross-wind, the face shield
can be blown open. It happened to me three time today while
I was out riding my Wing. (58 degrees > and a 20+ MPH >
cross-wind)... it was the face shield. Not the chin bar. I changed
to a brand new HJC clear shield when I got home. (I had an 8
month old HJC smoked shield installed on the ride this morning).
I went out again and it did the same thing 2 more times.
I checked the hardware and all seems fine. Nothing loose.
The face shield position tension doesn't seem as strong as other
full face helmets. The Shoei system is still my favorite. It
didn't frighten me. It just popped open about a quarter of an
inch. One or two notches on the retention device. I often ride
with it open a little to dissipate the fog from the inside of
the face sheild when its cold. Just a little FYI if you ever
find yourself in a brisk crosswind." Thanks
again T.U. -- I haven't experienced that problem, but both my
bikes have very tiny fairings, so my head and shoulders are
out in the air stream. Perhaps it has something to do with the
combination of the 'Wing's fairing and the cross-wind?
From "P.D.": "I love this
helmet also. You guessed it, I wear glasses. I have a BMW R1150R
with a Givi fairing. I get quite a bit of wind noise and some
turbulence. I, too, have experienced the face shield being blown
open. Never in a cross-wind, but several times when I look back
over my shoulder. It might have something to do with cross-wind.
First couple of times it startled me, but after that I just
expect that it will happen occasionally."
From "C" : "I have had
all sorts of HJC's throughout the years and love this one just
the same. I really do enjoy the flip up design and have yet
to experience the visor blowing open. As a matter of fact, I
sometimes have a hard time raising it up with the bulky gloves
and rain slicked visor in the current NorCal weather.
I mostly wear it with my 1985 Honda GL1200 Aspencade and
behind that windscreen, the music going and my feet on the highway
pegs, it is like driving the sofa to work....no buffeting or
wind under the helmet. The ratcheting design seems real
tight on mine and it feels well made and firm. I have noticed
that is does sit kinda high on the head, but I can get over
that. I too have noticed no sweating at all with all the vents
that it has.
Because I do run hot on the thermostat, I too also have to
keep the visor a click or two from fully close, but again, I
can hear the radio better this way and still not get rain or
debris in. Bottom line - a great birthday gift from my wife
and another great helmet by the people at HJC"