Wind noise is muffled, the view is clear, my head doesn’t feel like it’s being pulled off my shoulders – even at 70 mph – and there’s a slight stirring of the scant hair left on the crown of my head. I’ve never owned a modular helmet, typically preferring the three-quarter style, but when I was looking for something safer that still allowed some of the freedoms of a three-quarter and saw the reasonably priced HJC i100, I wanted to give it a try.
A unique feature of the i100, which has a shell made of HJC’s Advanced Polycarbonate material, is its full-rotation chinbar for both open- and full-face riding modes, and it meets ECE safety standards in both modes.
The i100 wears comfortably, if a little heavy; the size XL weighs 4.4 lb. It’s wider than many full-face helmets because of the modular hardware, which also contributes to a little more squeezing of the cheeks when the chinbar is closed. However, riding at 70 mph with my Harley’s windshield removed (something I wouldn’t normally do with my three-quarter), there wasn’t much buffeting.
I’m mildly claustrophobic (ergo, my preference for three-quarter lids), and while the i100 doesn’t have as much ventilation as some other helmets, the movement of air through the chin vent was sufficient to not feel stifling, and the vent on the crown kept my head cooler than my three-quarter.
I appreciate how the i100’s faceshield locks in the open position (as does the chinbar), but it takes either two hands or two separate movements to get it fully closed. Pulling down on just one of the tabs on the bottom of the shield leaves a little gap on the other side that has to be pushed shut – or you must use two hands to pull down both tabs at once.
The i100 has a sunshield that lowers and raises smoothly using a lever on the left side. However, on my cruiser, the lower line of the sunshield is right in the middle of my field of vision. Supposedly you can adjust the height, but when I tried, the cog just rotated without any noticeable difference. However, I was able to easily slip on a pair of sunglasses using the glasses grooves in the removable/washable comfort liner, which is made of moisture-wicking, antibacterial material.
The HJC i100, which is also set up to accept the SMART HJC Bluetooth system (sold separately), has been a good introduction to the conveniences of modular helmets. It comes in White, Black, Matte Black, Semi Flat Titanium, and Hyper Silver, and pricing ranges from $329.99-$334.99.