HJC i100 review: HJC’s first flip-over modular helmet.

HJC-i100-featured

HJC i100 modular flip-over helmet review.

UK/Oz/Eu readers – please check out the European i100 review over on our UK site as it’s a slightly different helmet.

The i100 is HJC’s first attempt at a flip-over modular helmet.

HJC i100 modular motorcycle helmet Beis grey yellow side view
What the i100 looks like with the chin bar closed (Beis graphic).

Just like a number of Shark helmets – and even a couple of LS2’s (see alternatives section towards the bottom of the page) HJC has decided to produce a modular helmet where the chin bar flips right over to the back of the helmet to get the chin guard right out of the airflow and give the rider a proper feeling of open face helmet riding.

The i100 is a polycarbonate shelled helmet and it’s available at a pretty low price point too. But is it any good and is it worth buying one of these over some stiff competition?

  • Polycarbonate flip-over helmet
  • Designed for all-round use
  • DOT certified (ECE 22.06 in Europe)
  • Pinlock antifog ready shield
  • Drop down sun visor
  • Dual homologated
  • D-Ring fastener
  • Weight around 4.2lbs/1.9Kg (heavier)
  • Bluetooth headset integration (unit extra)
  • Sizes XS-XXL
  • Expect to pay around $330

Looking to buy an HJC i100?

Please click below to visit the HJC i100 helmets pages at our recommended store or Amazon. And if you buy from either 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

Overall/Summary

It might be HJC’s first bash at a flip-over helmet, but you wouldn’t know it when you look at the HJC i100. Not only is it a looker but owners highly rate it too.

HJC i100 flip over modular helmet matt black side view
Matte black i100 with chin bar in open face riding position.

OK there’s the odd niggle – it’s on the heavy side and it’s not that quiet (but what modulars are?!). But overall owners of i100s love em.

The biggest plus point seems to be that flip over chin bar that gives a real open face ride and keeps the helmet balanced and looking the part. Quality’s good, sizing’s about right, comfort’s good and the sun visor (with adjuster wheel) drops nice and low.

And it comes ready to accept HJC’s Smart Intercom kit: it might not be the latest mesh kit if that’s what you’re after but because it’s based on Sena’s 20S it does the job, though it’s not cheap. And of course you can always use your own bluetooth set in there.

It’s available at an attractive price point too. So it’s well worth looking at if you’re after a lower priced flip-over modular. But don’t forget to check out our suggested alternatives too.

Safety

(more about helmet safety)

On safety, there’s a couple of major points worth making.

HJC i100 flip over modular helmet hyper silver side view
Hyper silver HJC i100

In the US it’s DOT certified while in Europe and elsewhere it’s ECE 22.06 certified. That’s a new testing standard and includes extra and randomized test points along with a higher drop test speed. And it also includes testing with and without factory extras fitted – including bluetooth headsets.

So, because the i100 has passed ECE 22.06, we expect it should give you a bit more confidence it’ll do the job if you ever happen to put it to the test on the road (note: that’s for the ECE helmet and it’s likely that the US DOT helmet will be slightly different).

Similarly, that chin bar. Because it’s a flip-over chin bar where it flips right over to the back of the helmet, it stands to reason that being tucked out of the way like that, it’ll have less chance to impare the performance of the helmet in an accident – such as digging in and rotating the helmet which can be a very bad thing indeed.

It’s worth saying there’s no actual test data I know of that shows flip-over chin bars do reduce secondary injuries compared to flip-up helmets; but having that chin bar tucked reasonably flush to the helmet shell and round the back feels like it should help.


Take a look at our Best Motorcycle Helmet Top 10s to find your next helmet...

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Either way, the helmet has been dual homologated, which means it’s been tested and approved for use in both configurations – with the chin bar locked in position round the back as well as in place at the front.

HJC i100 flip over modular helmet white front view
Front view of the i100 with chin bar flipped over and visor down.

Beyond that, there’s little actual test data to go on for the HJC i100. Recently SHARP tested HJC modulars have scored an average of around 3.5 stars out of 5 with chin bars staying locked in place in 92% of tests – so we’d expect the i100 to score something similar.

Other than that, the i100 looks a fairly standard modular helmet in terms of protection and it’s lacking a few features that you might like to see – such as MIPS, EQRS, or a wide visor aperture.

It does come with a Pinlock antifog ready face shield though if you do suffer from fogging the actual insert is extra. And there’s a sun visor in there to cut glare should you need it.

To keep the i100 securely fastened to your head there’s a double-d ring fastener on the DOT i100 (micrometric on the ECE i100) – they’re a little fiddly but very secure fasteners if they’re tied up correctly.

Overall then, it seems the HJC i100 should give a good level of protection, though until it’s been independently tested by SHARP we won’t know for sure quite how good it is.

If you want to view a range of helmets that have been tested and proven to offer great protection, please take a look at our Safest Motorcycle Crash Helmets pages.

Helmet Noise

(more about helmet noise)

We’ve found a wide range of opinions on the noise levels inside the i100s – ranging from it being very noisy at anything over 30mph to not noisy at all.

HJC i100 modular helmet beston graphics front view
Beston graphic i100

It just goes to show how totally subjective helmet noise levels can be. If you ride slowly behind a screen and you’re deaf as a post, you’ll probably find most helmets pretty quiet – conversely, ride like a hooligan on a naked in an open face helmet, then you’re gonna reckon any full face is whisper quiet.

So, it’s difficult to judge quite how you’ll respond to noise levels in an i100 if you buy one. Suffice to say that modulars are usually noisier than full face helmets and that HJC has included a chin curtain around the bottom of the chin bar on the i100 to stop some of the noise getting into the helmet from down below.

But that’s not going to help massively if the helmet hasn’t been designed to be quiet in the first place.

Overall then, expect it to be middling in terms of helmet noise and that you’re going to have to wear some good quality ear plugs to keep things tolerable and to protect your hearing. Do that, and you should be peachy.

Ventilation

(more about helmet ventilation)

Ventilation’s said to be one of the i100’s stronger points.

HJC i100 flip over modular helmet white top view
Large top vent slider is easy to find.

There’s a large three-position chin bar vent that takes plenty of air towards the mouth and up on to the back of the face shield – and its easy to find and operate, even in thick gloves.

Same goes for that crown vent which takes air through the helmet shell and into ventilation channels moulded into the protective polystyrene EPS liner.

That top vent is generally rated as being less effective than the chin bar vent though – but that’s usually the case as it has a lot more work to do to get air circulating round the helmet and pushing through to vent out of the exhausts at the back.

Overall ventilation on the HJC i100 seems to be slightly above average.

Shield

(more about Shields)

The faceshield system on the i100 is pretty good too. Owners reckon it’s optically clear and with opening tabs on either side, it’s easy to open and close with both hands.

The only fly in the ointment here is that firmly shutting the visor really needs you to push down from the middle/top rather than the tabs – doing it using an opening tab tends to just bend the visor and not close it.


A couple of useful links…

Helmets with a Micrometric Fastener
A Guide to Pinlock Antifog Inserts


The shield works on friction – no ratchet here – but it’ll stay fully open or cracked open no problem. And it’s a quick change shield for when you want to swap it out or clean it.

HJC i100 flip over helmet grey chin bar raised view
Grey i100 with sun visor down and Pinlock-ready shield in raised position.

That also helps if you want to fit a Pinlock antifog insert. It’s not supplied in the box but if you do suffer from misting it’s a worthwhile investment. The available Pinlock is a Pinlock 70 Max Vision antifog insert (Max Vision means it covers the entire visor).

The 70 is Pinlock’s middle effectiveness Pinlock but should work in most circumstances. Just remember to store your helmet in a dry place otherwise when you come to ride on a rainy day, your Pinlock might already be saturated so won’t work too well.

One other thing to mention about the shield is that there’s a mechanism to keep it lowered when you open or close the chin bar.

Apparently that’s usually great for when you’re riding and want to quickly open the chin bar while keeping the shield down, but it’s a bit annoying for when you come to take your helmet off as the shield’s always in the way.

Swings and roundabouts I guess.

Unlike some modulars, it does mean that you can ride along with the chin bar flipped back and the main visor down if you like – and not just having to use the sun visor as a main visor.

Sun Visor

(more about sun visors)

The sun visor’s operated by a slider on the bottom left side of the helmet, which is a pretty standard setup. What’s not so standard is that there’s a small thumb wheel on the inside of the helmet that lets you slightly adjust how far down the sun visor drops.

HJC i100 flip over modular helmet white side view
Chin bar fully flipped over to the rear where it locks in place.

We often come across riders who complain that their sun visors don’t drop down low enough, leaving a stripe of bright light at the bottom of their vision. So having the ability to adjust the drop is a great idea. You can apparently adjust the drop by about 7mm using the adjuster and a couple of owners commented that they’ve never had a sun visor drop down so low so it seems to work well.

Another good touch is that there’s an antifog coating on the sun visor which is ideal because they often steam up too.

Chin Guard

(more about chin guards)

One of the key features of the HJC i100 is of course that flip-over chin bar.

It’s the first time HJC has developed a flip over chin bar and according to owners it works well.

It’s got a single button operation so is super easy to use: press in the red button underneath the chin bar and push the bar up and over towards the back of the helmet (when you’re not riding!).

Doing that, the shield moves out of the way and then, in one fluid movement, relowers itself as you push the chin bar towards the back of the helmet.

There’s also a chin bar lock that you should slide into position to ensure the chin bar can’t move during riding or during an impact.

Comfort and Sizing

(more about comfort and sizing)

The comfort lining on the HJC i100 is HJC’s Supercool liner – that’s a moisture wicking and antibacterial fabric that’s soft to the touch and hard wearing.

HJC i100 modular motorcycle helmet Beis rear view
Another Beis graphic i100 this time from the rear.

We’ve never heard of any owners disliking HJC’s linings except to say they’re more or less always a tight fit to start with but do loosen off after a few rides – and it sounds like the i100’s about the same.

If you do have an ongoing issue with the padding being too tight or too loose, there are extra cheekpads available in different sizes and by all accounts the internals are very easy to pull out, whether you’re looking to swap the pads or wash and refit them.

And if you wear glasses, the i100 does have glasses grooves built into the liner so you should be good there.

Looks & Graphics

The HJC i100 is a modern looking modular helmet and with its flip-over chin bar, it’s balanced on the road whether in full or open face mode.

HJC i100 modular helmet beston graphics side view
Beston graphic HJC i100

In the UK and Europe there’s just a few different colors and designs available for the i100 at the time of writing (though check out the links below which will take you right to the i100 helmets pages to find any new graphics and helmet deals).

For plain helmets, there’s a gloss (metal) black and matt black along with a semi flatt (matt) titanium and gloss (pearl) white, mid grey and chrome-like hyper silver.

Graphic options are thin on the ground at the time of writing with only Beston and Beis graphics widely available.

Best places to buy a HJC i100 helmet?

Please click below to visit the HJC i100 helmets pages at our recommended store or Amazon. And if you buy from either 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

HJC i100

 Video

Here’s a good 10m look around the i100 with SpeedAddicts…

Other stuff – bluetooth, weight, warranty

HJC i100 Integrated Bluetooth using the HJC Smart Intercom

One of the most notable features of the i100 is that it’s ready prepared to accept HJC’s Smart Intercom – either a 10B or 20B system.

There isn’t an option to buy an i100 with the intercom pre-installed like some other helmets like the Scorpion Exo-GT930, but it comes with all the cutouts and pockets needed to seamlessly install the Smart Intercom yourself.

hjc_intercom-system_smart-20b
HJC 20B Smart bluetooth intercom – top is the controller, bottom the battery pack that slots into the rear of the i100.

An HJC 20B Smart Intercom will cost you around $300. It’s an intercom that’s based on Sena’s 20S which is a decent bluetooth v4.1 unit though not a bluetooth v5 unit so won’t support mesh.

And if you’re looking to install your own bluetooth kit onto an i100 then you should be able to no problem. There’s a couple of good sized speaker pockets in there – large enough to fit some 40mm speakers – while the only thing to be aware of is that the sun visor slider might get in the way of fitting a clamp mount so you may have to revert to a sticky mount for the controller.

HJC i100 Weight

One of the only real bugbears with the i100 is weight. A medium or Large i100 will weigh around 4.2lbs (1.9Kg) which is pretty heavy, even for a modular. It’s been suggested we might start to see more heavier helmets with the introduction of ECE 22.06 (we’ll have to wait and see) but still, by any standards 4.2lbs is pretty heavy – possibly heavy enough to start tiring your neck muscles out after a long day’s riding.

We did find lots of riders who said the weight’s no problem but if you’re weak of neck, you might want to look elsewhere.

Warranty

In the US, all HJC helmets, including the i100, come with a 3 year warranty from date of purchase or 5 years from manufacturing date: whichever date comes first (only HJCs RPHA range of helmets come with a 5 year warranty).

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/sportsbike/track helmets.

Good Alternatives to the HJC i100?

You might want to check out our Top 10 Best Flip-up Helmets page to find our latest recommended modular helmets. Or take a look at our helmets with integrated bluetooth headsets page if you’re after an integrated helmet. But here’s some other modulars you should take a look at.

Scorpion Exo GT930 matt black side view chin bar up
Scorpion Exo GT930

First off, the Scorpion Exo GT930 is another modular helmet with integrated bluetooth but this one lets you remove the chin bar entirely. It’s a cheaper helmet than the i100 as well.

Nolan N90-3 Wilco modular helmet open view
Nolan N90-3

Nolan’s N90-3 is a well rated modular. It’s prepared to accept Nolan’s N-Com bluetooth, has a sun visor, and the ECE version was rated SHARP 4 stars for safety.

Here’s another flip-over, this time from flip-over originators, Shark helmets. The Evo One 2 is  lighter than the i100, is DOT and ECE certified, comes with a sun visor and Pinlock antifog in the box – though it’s a little more expensive than the HJC.

shark-evo-one-2-slasher-anthracite-motorcycle-helmet-side-view
Shark Evo-One 2

Looking to buy an HJC i100?

Please click below to visit the HJC i100 helmets pages at our recommended store or Amazon. And if you buy from either 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

Star Ratings

REVIEW OVERVIEW
Safety
Comfort
Noise
Features
Value
Previous articleScorpion Exo-GT930 & Exo-Com review: a mega versatile modular with the option of pre-loaded bluetooth.
hjc-i100-modular-flip-over-helmet-reviewThe HJC i100 is a decent flip-over modular helmet. It's DOT certified, comes with a good sun visor, Pinlock ready shield and it's a comfortable and well designed helmet. And of course it's got that flip-right-over chin bar that's one of the main reasons people seem to buy one. The main drawback is that at 4.2lbs (1.9Kg) it's a bit on the weighty side. But other than that it works well and owners seem to love theirs.

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