View Full Version : HJC CL-MAX and SY-MAX

Bill J. from Austin
06-19-2004, 05:28 PM
Does anyone here have any experience, good or bad, with either of these HJC models? Would anyone recommend another modular (flip-face) helmet?

I've been riding for 25 years, and have never been a helmet wearer, but lately the thought's been crossing my mind more and more. The modulars appeal to me, because they seem user-friendly and convenient. I read the MCN reports, which rated the Nolan N100E as "Best Buy," and the HJC SY-MAX as "Recommended." Then I went shopping over at Lone Star.

I didn't care for the Nolan's fit or features, and didn't like any of the other brands they had in my size except the HJCs. They seem to offer a nice combination of features and affordability. Of the two models - CL-MAX and SY-MAX - the CL-MAX seemed to fit better, and the flip-face operation was smoother.

Given that all models meet DOT specs, and offer roughly the same protective qualities, my primary concerns are ventilation, coolness and comfort, ease-of-operation, and wind-noise.

06-19-2004, 05:35 PM
I don't have any experience with flip-up types, but I have owned a couple of HJC's and have nothing but praise for them. In that price range, it all comes down to fit and ventilation for me.

06-19-2004, 05:46 PM
I have a Sy-Max.
I like it, but I don't have much time on it. I bought it for the modular features, which I enjoy. I wouldn't be able to give you any meaningfull comparisons. There are a couple on the internet tho.There are a couple places on the net that sell them for $149.......thats the best price I found. Local shops sell them for $250 and up.


Tx Rider
06-19-2004, 11:57 PM
I haven't tried one, but I've read from others that the modulars are the noisiest when it comes to wind noise. If your behind a windshield it wouldn't matter much I guess, but it might if ya don't use one.

Guess it's a trade off betwen a lil more noise, or a lil more convenience. It's kept me from trying one.

Best thing about going with a full face helmet is dark tinted visors, love em even though I gotta carry a clear one out to swap out at night. I wear a shoei and the visors snap in and out in less than 60 seconds with no tools.

Most important thing for a helmet is proper fit, get one that fits bad and you'll want to toss it in the trash after the first long ride.

There's probably reviews out there about which ones are the quietest. I usually pop in some cheap foam earplugs for road trips these days anyway, I need to keep the hearing I have left.

Bill J. from Austin
06-20-2004, 07:53 AM
Thanks, guys.

Dyna Sport, wind noise is definitely a consideration, and one of the reasons I'm fielding input like this. My Harley doesn't have a windshield. The Beemer has one, which keeps the rain and bugs off but allows a lot of wind-buffeting. On either machine, there'll be wind blowing past my helmeted head and, like you, I don't need to go any deafer than I already am. I have to listen to the ladder on top of my work truck whistle all day long. I ****** sure don't need to hear more noise when I'm trying to relax on my bikes! :mrgreen:

Anyone else? Shops are closed 'til Tuesday, so I have plenty of time to make up my mind!

06-20-2004, 08:01 AM
If you wanted to look today (Sunday), Cycle Gear at 183 & Burnet Rd. is open. They have several models of flip-up helmets there.

I have a Shoei RF-900 full-face, it and the KBC Racer1 were about the only ones that I could find that fit my XXL head comfortably, although the chin bar is close than I like on all of them. My wife has an HJC (not flip-up) and it seems like a pretty well made helmet.

Good luck.

06-21-2004, 08:02 AM
I wear a full face HJC that I've had for 6 years now. It has a lot of wear time on it, and has been through 2 accidents. I love it. It's begining to smell though...

06-28-2004, 12:42 AM
I have both a Sy-Max and a CL-14. They fit the same, however the CL-14 is much quieter. The Sy-Max is convenient with the flip feature, but I wear the CL-14 90% of the time, and 100% of the time on long rides. I also wear custom earplugs which makes the CL-14 extremely quiet. Check with www.tonker.com for the best prices on HJC.
JMc :-D

Bill J. from Austin
06-28-2004, 06:38 AM
Thanks again, fellows.

I went to Cycle Gear and back to Lone Star on Saturday, but still haven't decided anything. I was in a bad mood, so I hated everything I tried on, including the CL-MAX that I thought was "okay" on my first visit.

I guess I'll keep dithering around until I'm sure of what I want. Man, this is worse than picking out boots! :lol:

06-28-2004, 12:28 PM
:tab Hehe, I walked into Gulfcoast Cycles (British USA) in Pasadena the day before we were leaving for Colorado. I was there to pick up the GS after a little warranty work. They had the Sidi boots like mine, so I just grabbed the same size and bought them off the shelf. Their price was close to what I have seen online so by the time I would have paid for shipping, it would have come out close. Besides, now I would be able to wear them on the trip! Well, they are great but already look a bit used :oops: I am a bit hard on boots, hehe. Hopefully, I will get about 100K miles out of these like I did with the last pair.

:tab Now I am in the market for a new helmet. I tried on a lot while there at the shop and did not like the way any of them fit. The problem is none of the new ones will EVER be as comfy as my current one. So I am just going to have to bite the bullet and make a decision. The biggest issue is that I hate how much they cost nowdays!!


Bill J. from Austin
06-28-2004, 07:44 PM
The biggest issue is that I hate how much they cost nowdays!!
Yeah, they ain't no cheap date, that's for sure! Hate to spend that kind of money, and then find out I can't stand to wear the thing, or it's too noisy, or claustrophobia sets in, or... That's why I'm asking if anyone has experience with 'em.

Found a good thread over at ADVRider.com (http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=27375&highlight=helmet) about the SY-MAX, but only saw one comment on the CL-MAX, from someone who'd just bought his, and hadn't really worn it yet.

Some of the local motor-cops wear flip-face helmets (most still run the traditional half-shell) but I haven't found one stopped yet where I could ask what he thought of it.

Don't even get me started on the boots thing! I can't tell you how many times I've brought home a pair of boots or other footwear that fit and felt fine until the exact moment I wore 'em out the door, thereby rendering them non-returnable! :angryfir:

06-29-2004, 05:22 PM
Good to see you are in a better mood today.

Bill J. from Austin
06-30-2004, 06:42 AM
Good to see you are in a better mood today.

07-12-2004, 02:07 PM
I have 3 years and about 25k miles with the Symax. Living in TX, the flip face is indespensible. Flip it up at stop lights to cool down, spit, take a drink out of the Camelback or talk to a fellow rider. It is noisier than a true full face helmet. Commuting, it isn't a real big deal, but on very long trips, I wear ear plugs. it's nice to be able to hear when you get off the bike. Over 60 mph is when the noise starts to bother you. But that's a function of the flip face bezel contributing an extra joint for air to seep through. The Symax breathes well IMO, visibility is good, has coolMax lining, and has the most user friendly flip release mechanism. The chin bar can be uncomfortable at high speeds as it presses up against your chin, but I add sticky back padding to mine. In cold weather, I use the double lens snowmobile shield to combat fog. You can use the included breath box but uless it's really freaking cold, I don't see the reason, just crack open the lens a tick.

The equivalent Shoei, not only didn't fit my head, but it was just as noisy and the flip mechanism was very hard to use, especially with gloves. Not worth the extra money IMO.

I also have an HJC AC-10 to race with and a Shoei something-or-other.

Helmetshop.com sells replacement parts for the HJC line. I broke a QR lens mount from doing a lot of lens changes. The AC-10 and the Symax use the same parts and lenses so you can interchange parts in an emergency.