HJC makes affordable helmet that does it all

HJC has been the No. 1 helmet manufacturer in the world since 1992, and it has been making motorcycle helmets since 1971. The company offers a full variety of lids from off-road, to open face cruiser helmets, and on to modular and full-face street and racing helmets. Many professional racers in America and those who compete in the international racing series use HJC's helmets on the track.

The IS-33 II, an open-faced model, is a popularly priced helmet, and I am really impressed with it. It has a lightweight, advanced polycarbonate composite shell, and is beautifully finished in a metallic Wine Berry color. Several other colors are available.

The optically pure flip down anti-fog face shield provides 95 percent UV protection and an anti-scratch coating. When lowered, the shield comes down to nearly the bottom of my chin for excellent coverage, and it is easily removed in seconds with no tools required.

The shield also has a tight seal at the upper and side seams, which makes the helmet relatively quiet when lowered. This helmet also features an integrated, two-position, flip-down jet fighter sun shield, with a push button retractor. That shield is perfect for riding into early morning and late evening sunshine, when the sun is low over the horizon. It can be used with the face shield in the up or down position.

The outside of the IS-33 features a large center vent that forces air rush into the helmet, and four vents exhaust the air out at the top and the back of the helmet. These vents are exceptional, and there are channels in the hard foam liner, so you can really feel the air passing over the top of your head while riding with the face shield up or down.

The interior fabric is plush, and feels soft against your skin. It is also treated with HJC's "SuperCool." That is a moisture-wicking, odor-free interior with advanced silver anti-bacterial properties.

A groove in the cheek pad accommodates eyeglasses for comfort. The thick, padded neck roll also makes this lightweight helmet all-day comfortable.

I really appreciated the interior design that offers large ear pocket cutouts for placing my newest communication device speakers easily. There also is a soft fabric covering built in so that your ears will not touch any of the hard plastic on the speakers. And, of course, the cheek pads, and crown pads are easily removable for washing.

The IS-33 II uses a traditional D-Ring closure system, and they put a handy snap on the chin strap to secure the excess material so it doesn't flap around in the wind. The helmet comes with an optional Peak Visor if you like that look.

The HJC IS-33 II is Department of Transportation approved, and is an outstanding open-faced helmet, with lots of great features and at a surprisingly affordable price point of $139 for a solid color. It is available in size XS through XXL. I got an XS for my wife, and she loves it, too.

You can learn more about this helmet and see HJC's full line, and find a dealer near you, by going to

• Email Glassman at

The HJC IS-33 II has a pair of shields, with an inner "jet fighter" sun shield for bright days.
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