David N. from Tennessee

October 17, 2013
I am a former owner of the IS-16 helmet that this one replaces, so I'll tell you what I've noticed as far as differences. The IS-17 has a bit smaller profile and feels much lighter. I haven't weighed the helmets, but to my hands and neck there seems to be a difference. The shield is VERY much improved over the previous helmet. It's more rigid, has more detents on the mechanism, including one that's just barely open. I wasn't sure about the locking snap at the center of the shield, but I really do like it. It's also easier to ratchet up than the old helmet. The old one was so stiff at the mechanism and the shield so flimsy it was hard to open one handed, but the little snap and handle at the center of the 17 fixe that. I haven't been able to try a Pinlock (which it can use), but I'm here to tell you that fogging is atrocious without it. 60° mornings will cover the inside of the shield with breath fog instantly if you aren't moving much, like in a downtown area. Thank goodness for the first small detent, which clears up the fog nicely. The eyeport is noticeably constricted from the 16, but does not pose a problem at all for me. Visibility is still very good. The internal sun shield is as good as the last. Might be a bit lighter in shade. The handle to actuate it is smaller and stiffer, but it has a dampened return rate so you don't get the jarring SLAM that you had when retracting the one on the 16. The tradeoff is that you have to hold down the retract button until it's fully retracted or it can hang about an inch from fully open. The strap is improved, and now has the little red grasping ribbon like other helmets. My 16 just had bare D-Rings. Ventilation is about standard for the price range. The vent switchgears are improved and feel much more solid. In fact, the whole helmet feels more solid and of better quality than the previous version. Fit is very good. I used a fabric tape to measure and compared to the size chart, and the helmet fits me perfectly, so sizing is spot on. It was a little tight to start with, but that's how it should be. A couple hundred miles in and it's molded to my head now and feels great. No pressure points to speak of. The helmet is noticeably quieter than the 16 and feels more aerodynamic. There is far less buffeting and noise on the 17. The only qualm I have here, and if I wasn't ashamed to I'd return it for a gloss finish, is my choice of the matte black color. It's gorgeous, and gathers a lot of attention, but man is it going to be a devil to keep clean. It's not just matte, it's the sort of rubberized coating you see on iPhone cases. Bugs are staining it and cannot be fully cleaned off, so it will look terrible very soon I think. All in all I'm very satisfied with the helmet, especially at the price. HJC has outdone themselves, excepting maybe the finish on the matte version.

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