HJC FG 17 Review

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Riders or motor-sports enthusiasts who need a full face track day helmet are going to find everything they need with an HJC FG-17. A full face crash helmet that carries the top safety ratings in the world, the FG-17 is also an ACU gold sticker helmet. That means it is certified for track riding and racing and provides superior crash safety when you are out and about on the streets and back roads. Moreover, it’s lightweight priced to sell, too. Do you  get your money’s worth? Let’s check it out and see.

HJC FG-17 Full-Face Motorcycle Helmet (Matte Black, Large)

Ratings

Comfort:

90%
Comfort

Visibility:

100%
Visibility

Ventilation:

85%
Ventilation

Quietness:

75%
Quietness

Specifications

Outer shell material : fiberglass

Shell size : XS-XXL

Liner : Silvercool removable/washable and antibacterial and moisture-wicking

Weight : 1.66Kg

Pinlock : Ready

Strap System : DoubleD-Ring Fastener

Safety Ratings

DOT : Yes

ECE : Yes

SNELL : Yes

SHARP : 4-Star


Shape and materials

The primary focus for the design of the FG-17 is definitely superior aerodynamics. The outer shell is made of fiberglass coated in a slippery high gloss finish. Owners agree this full face helmet suffers from far less buffeting than similar models, and it does so without sacrificing ventilation or aesthetics. You can also order your FG-17 in almost any color and graphics design you want, so personalization is much easier.

Inside the helmet is the usual arrangement of EPS impact pads covered in HJC’s Silvercool washable/antimicrobial fabric. It wicks moisture away from your skin and keeping things cool even when you are riding on warm days, and its odor resistance helps you avoid a nasty case of helmet funk after long rides.

Furthermore, the air channeling system flows air between the shell, liner and EPS pads. This keeps stale air moving out the back of the helmet via the exhaust ports and preventing a build up of internal humidity. You can easily find other helmets with high tech materials and impact absorption systems, but few of those carry the same safety rating as the FG-17, and it's a solid choice in terms of materials and construction

Things I liked

  • Top safety ratings
  • Excellent ventilation
  • Good aerodynamic design reduces buffeting

Things I don’t like

  • A bit on the noisy side.
  • Slightly heavier than similarly priced full face helmets
  • Some owners have had issues with the visor locking mechanism

Overall comfort

Owners have stated in the past that they needed to buy their FG-17 a size up from other helmets they’ve owned in the past. Those who wear and XS size helmet may find a better fit with an S, and the standard cheek pads can fit too tightly even with the correct size shell. You get smaller and larger cheek pads included in the box, but you may want to experiment with exchanging them out if you feel like your FG-17 is squashing your face more than is comfortable.

Shell-sizing and cheek pad issues aside, the FG-17 is a comfortable full face helmet when properly sized and set up. It even has a glasses groove cut into the padding to accommodate your favorite shades. Some owners have said it can take a few tries to get them seated comfortably without pressing into the sides of your head, but after this brief break-in period it’s not an issue.

This is a caveat for those who wear prescription glasses though, as seating your glasses comfortably without affecting your vision can be challenging. Eyeglasses problems aside, the FG-17 offers all day comfort even on long rides with just minor fit adjustment.


Visibility

The visor provides superior peripheral visibility and can be easily exchanged thanks to HJC’s Rapid Fire quick-release system if you prefer smoked or tinted face shields. The shield itself is anti-UV coated, scratch resistant and anti-fogging. Opening and closing the visor partially is satisfying thanks the multiple position ratchet mechanism that clicks your visor into place.

Additionally, the visor also has a central locking mechanism designed for racing and keeps the visor closed under all circumstances. A few owners here and there have complained the lock has cracked their visor or has fallen off with extensive use, but those instances have been the exception and not the rule. You should have no trouble seeing clearly through the visor of this helmet in any weather.


Quietness

HJC likes to talk (at length) about how all their helmets are designed and tested using a wind tunnel. The aero performance on the FG-17 is exceptional, and it definitely has significantly less buffeting than other helmets in its class. That being said, the noise dampening on this helmet is about average. You’ll probably want a pair of earplugs (which you should wear in any case to protect your hearing) to ensure a quiet ride. It isn’t any noisier than other full face helmets per se, but it definitely is not the quietest helmet ever built.

Ventilation

The FG-17 uses HJC’s patented Advanced Channeling Ventilation System, and the top vents push airflow through the shell and EPS shock absorbers of the helmet. The top vent controls are tricky to find and operate while riding, but the chin vent is convenient to reach and operate with one hand. The FG-17 even has rear exhaust vents to keep stale air moving out and away from your head as you ride.

There is no included pinlock with this helmet, but it is preconfigured for a pinlock system already. Any ventilation or fogging issues you may discover wearing an FG-17 (or any helmet for that matter) can easily be resolved by installing a pinlock system. All in all, this helmet has excellent ventilation, though you want to install a pinlock and practice opening and closing the top vents a few times before getting out on the road.

Safety

Few helmets carry all four major industry safety ratings, but the FG-17 is one of those helmets. It has US DOT approval, EU DOT approval, an independent Snell safety evaluation, and a SHARP safety testing score. The double locking D-ring chin strap may be old-school, but it keeps your helmet securely on your head. The visor locking mechanism also keeps you safer in the event of a crash, so there are multiple safety advantages to buying an FG-17 thanks to the years of extensive testing and performance data.

Conclusion

This is a no-nonsense helmet that will keep your head safe and comfortable for hours of riding on and off the track. The FG-17 doesn’t have any particular standout features to distinguish it from other helmets similar in design, but it is a solid performer that has proven its well-deserved reputation for safety. If you want a reasonably priced full-face helmet highly rated for safety and comfort, the FG-17 is the way to go. I’m confident that you will find it to be an excellent value even if it’s not especially flashy in terms of materials and tech. 

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