Amazing value dirt helmet that owners love: HJC CS-MX II review

HJC CS-MX II Motocross helmet review.

Here’s another lower priced helmet from HJC. The HJC CS-MX II is an entry-level polycarbonate motocross helmet for riders who’re looking for a less expensive helmet but still want decent protection and build quality.

If you’re after a lid that’s right for road riding, then you should probably look elsewhere because the CS-MX 2 needs a pair of goggles and lacks some of the creature comforts you might want on the road – such as a sun visor (and actual visor!).

But if you’re looking for a sturdy lid that’ll see you right through the dirt for not much cash, then read on…

  • Polycarbonate motocross helmet
  • Adjustable peak
  • Double-D ring fastener
  • Medium oval fitment
  • Goggles extra (no face shield)
  • 3.2lbs (1.45Kg)
  • Sizes XS-XXXL (2XL in Eu)
  • Expect to pay $80-$140

Looking to buy an HJC CS-MX II?

Please click below to visit the HJC helmets pages at our recommended stores - all checked for great online ratings. And if you buy from any store, we get a small sum from the sale at no extra cost to you - a massive THANKS! (it's how we finance the site).

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hjc cs-mx 2 matt black motocross helmet side view
Matt black CS-MX II

Overall/Summary

If you’re after a great value motocross lid, then check out HJC’s CS-MX II because owners rate it really high for value for money. And it’s not hard to see why.

It has most of the features you need in a dirt helmet – tons of space for goggles, good ventilation, reasonably light weight, adjustable roost guard, removable and washable liner and chin vent filter – all for not very much money.

We don’t know exactly how much protection it’ll offer (till it’s Snell or SHARP tested) though HJC polycarbonate helmets have a great reputation so far.

But with a huge array of graphics available and decent 3 year warranty, if you’re after a quality entry level motocross helmet, then the HJC CS-MX 2 is well worth a look.

Safety

(more about helmet safety)

The HJC CS-MX II is a budget offroad helmet. And while there is a correlation between helmet price and safety, there are plenty of helmets that buck the trend so it doesn’t mean the CS-MX II won’t give good protection.

It isn’t Snell certified unfortunately, and it hasn’t been independently SHARP tested in the UK either. It is DOT certified over here and in Europe, the ECE version has been slammed around inside the UNECE’s helmet testing labs before it’s put on sale to ensure it’ll give at least a good minimum level of protection and usability.

It is a polycarbonate helmet which means it’s a plastic injection-moulded shell that’s inherently cheaper to make – and sell. But HJC has a great reputation for making plastic helmets that really perform when they’re tested.

hjc cs-mx 2 madax motocross helmet top view
Top view of the Madax graphic HJC CS-MX II

How do we know. Well, over the last few years, SHARP  in the UK has tested four polycarbonate HJC helmets and they’ve scored a fantastic 4.25 out of 5 stars on average.

Obviously, that’s testing done on the ECE helmet and not DOT. And it doesn’t necessarily mean the CS-MX II will score just as well. But it underlines that HJC really does know how to make a decent polycarbonate helmet.

They make the HJC CS-MX II in two shell sizes (which is about acceptable for optimizing the size of the helmet) and they use a double-D ring fastener to keep it tightly fitted to your head.

Some people prefer the simplicity and ease of use of a micrometric fastener, but more serious ‘sports’ helmets tend to go for tried and tested double-d rings.

If you’re thinking of buying a CS-MX II for use on the road, then don’t forget, you’ll need to buy a good pair of (antifog) goggles too.

But if you are after a lower priced motocross helmet that’ll give decent protection – and that should be number one on your helmet buying checklist – then the evidence so far points towards the CS-MX II offering just that.

Helmet Noise

(more about helmet noise)

Helmet noise is probably one of the last things on your mind if you’re buying an off-road helmet. And with a large opening for your goggles that’s gonna let just as much noise in as wind, then it’s probably fair to expect that the HJC CS-MX II isn’t gonna be the last word in quiet.

hjc-cs-mx-2-pictor-hi-viz-motocross-helmet-side-view
Hi Viz Pictor Design CS-MX II

It also means that folks who have bought a CS-MX II probably haven’t expected it to keep out a ton of noise so tend to be quite happy with the noise levels of their helmet, rating it around average.

Basically, if you’re after using your helmet for weekend dirt riding, then you shouldn’t have any problems at all with noise of the MX-II.

And if you do, then we’ve got two words for you… ear plugs!

Ventilation

(more about helmet ventilation)

Talking of noise, HJC makes a bit of noise about the ventilation system on the CS-MX II.

Which is exactly what you want to hear because a day’s trail riding means a bucketload of sweat, so the more airflow and ventilation, the better.

The CS-MX II has HJC’s ACS or Advanced Channeling Ventilation System. In practice that means there’s a vent in the forehead where air can penetrate the helmet shell where it’s pushed into channels inside the internal shock absorbing (EPS) lining. From there, it can ventilate your head.

hjc cs-mx 2 motocross helmet sapir yellow side view
One of the camo Sapir graphic CS-MX 2s

That’s a pretty common setup in most helmets these days, but what’s a little different here is that most helmets have a stripe of venting channels running front to back whereas the CS-MX II has a checkerboard of channels that take air towards the sides of your head too. That’s good to see.

There’s a pair of exhaust vents at the back too, which gives that warm, sweaty air a route to leave the helmet so it can be replaced by nice cooling fresh air.

And owners reckon the system works well, flowing enough air inside to keep you cool on all but the longest, hottest days.

You’ll need a way for clean air to get in to your mouth too, so the MX II has a large central vent flanked by a couple of smaller vents in the chin bar. All these vents are covered by metal mesh to keep bigger chunks of dirt out, and that central vent has a washable foam insert to filter dust out.

All in all, it’s a very functional venting system that owners say works well. Job done.

Goggles and Peak

Don’t forget, you’ll need to buy a pair of goggles if you go for an HJC CS-MX 2 – or any other serious motocross helmet.

It shouldn’t be a problem because HJC has made a huge aperture with great peripheral vision that owners say accommodates most popular makes of goggles.


A couple of useful links…

All our motocross helmet reviews
Coolest looking helmets


Round the back, they’ve also sculpted the rear of the helmet so there’s a generous groove to keep your goggles strap in place – a definite must have feature on any dirt helmet with goggles.

hjc-cs-mx-2-matt-black-motocross-helmet-rear-view
Rear view of the matt black CS-MX 2 showing large rear goggles groove

Up top, there’s a plastic sun peak/roost guard that’s up/down adjustable by loosening off the side screws and a single center screw under the peak.

HJC claims the peak’s unbreakable on their website, which is a bold claim that I’m sure will be quickly proven wrong by plenty of riders.

They sell replacement peaks as well, which kinda gives the game away.

All in all, HJC seems to have done the basics right when it comes to goggles and roost guard on the CS-MX II.

Comfort and Sizing

(more about comfort and sizing)

Same goes for the internals: owners rate the CS-MX II highly for comfort, even for long days’ riding.

It’s been designed as a medium oval fit – so it should suit most riders’ head shapes.

It’s also got a fully removable comfort liner so you can pull it out and wash it. And it uses tried-and-tested plastic poppers to keep it in place along with seamless snaps along the top of the goggles port. All good.

hjc cs-mx 2 ellusion motocross helmet top view
Top view of the HJC CS-MX II Ellusion

The liner uses a brushed synthetic material that HJC advertises as either just Nylex or as Bioceramic Nylex on their European website. It’s easy to get bamboozled when it comes to technical names like this, but after a bit of digging, it doesn’t sound like this is anything to write home about.

Nylex is a trade name for a synthetic fabric manufacturer and the bioceramic part seems to relate to antibacterial nature of the fabric.

Fabrics can be coated with nano ceramics but usually this is for heat dissipation (or, alternatively, to stop fibers being rejected by the body) – and HJC don’t mention why they use bioceramics so that’s just a guess.

Either way, owners reckon it makes for a comfy helmet that’s moisture wicking too.

And if you wear glasses, there’s a glasses groove in there too to accommodate the arms of your glasses.

If you decide to order a CS-MX II, most owners say the sizing is bang on, so just follow a fitting guide then order the correct size. Job done.

Looks & Graphics

There’s a stack of different graphics and colorways available with the CS-MX II, including a Star Wars Rebel X-Wing design (and you can probably expect more movie tie-ins in the not too distant as HJC loves em!).

hjc cs-mx 2 rebel x wing star wars helmet side view
Star Wars Rebel X-Wing graphics

Sapir, Dakota, Madax, Pictor, Ellusion and Krypt designs are currently on sale (country dependent) and we’ve hapazardly thrown examples up and down the pages for you to enjoy.

As always, please feel free to click through to our highly recommended partners using the graphics below to find all the latest designs and deals.

Note: we only recommend shops where they score excellent online ratings.

Best place to buy this HJC crash helmet?

Please click below to visit the HJC helmets pages at our recommended stores. And if you buy from any store, we get a small sum from the sale at no extra cost to you - a massive THANKS! (it's how we finance the site).


Shop for HJC helmets at Amazon

 

HJC CS-MX 2 Video

Here’s a quick 4.5m video taking you around the now CS-MX II (in discontinued Edge graphics).

Other stuff – weight, warranty

Despite the CS-MX 2 being a polycarbonate shelled helmet (which tend to be heavier), it’s actually surprisingly light, weighing around 3.2lbs (1.45Kg). In fact, pretty well all the opinions we found online were owners saying how light it feels.

The HJC CS-MX II comes with a 3 year warranty which is pretty good going for a budget helmet.

Crash Helmet Buying Guides

For (hopefully!) other useful information to help you when buying your next helmet, check our various guides - or have a look at our top helmet lists where we've got the top 10 rated helmets overall and best budget/safest/full face/flip-up helmets.

Good Alternatives to the HJC CS-MX II?

If you’re after a top quality off road helmet, then they don’t come much tougher than Shoei’s VFX-Evo. It’s much more expensive than the CS-MX but it’s based on proven composite fiber tech, has EQRS (really, a must-have feature in a dirt helmet) and is a quality piece of kit.

hjc cs-mx 2 krypt motocross helmet side view
HJC CS-MX II in Krypt graphics

For an offroad helmet with a touch of retro, the Bell Moto-3 is a fiberglass dirt helmet based on their classic 70’s design – but uses modern helmet tech and works well off road.

Bell also has their Moto-9 helmet if you want something more up to date. There are composite and carbon versions and in they’ve been independently Snell tested/certified for safety.

Looking to buy an HJC CS-MX II?

Please click below to visit the HJC helmets pages at our recommended stores - all checked for great online ratings. And if you buy from any store, we get a small sum from the sale at no extra cost to you - a massive THANKS! (it's how we finance the site).

Shop for helmets at Amazon

 

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