Review of the HJC FG-17 full face crash helmet

HJC-FG-17-full-face-crash-helmet

The HJC FG 17 is a popular ‘race-ready’ full face crash helmet aimed at the sports and sports touring market. It has a fiberglass shell and is designed to work well on the track. It’s also selling at a decent price point so if you’re after a good all-round full face lid, it might just be what you’re looking for.

  • Snell certified
  • SHARP 4 star safety rating (out of 5)
  • 3.7Lbs (1.66Kg) weight (average)
  • Double-d ring fastener
  • Sports orientated helmet
  • Average noise levels
  • Low buffeting
  • XS-XXL sizes
  • Typical pricing – $170-$190

Looking to buy an HJC?

We recommend Revzilla (PA) for outstanding service and free delivery, and both Rocky Mountain ATV/MC (UT & KY) and 2 Wheel (CA) for great service, free delivery and returns*. Please click any link to drop onto their HJC helmets pages or see here for more info about our recommended stores, including T&Cs.

Safety

The FG-17 has a fiberglass shell and is manufactured in three shell sizes – with the smaller shell size covering XS/S, the medium shell for M/L and the larger shell for XL/XXL. Using multiple shell sizes is arguably good for both safety and esthetics (how good the helmet looks on your head) so all good there. It’s been both certified by Snell and tested for safety by the SHARP crash helmet safety scheme who awarded it four stars out of five meaning it should offer very good protection in an accident. As we always say, if you’re going to buy a crash helmet, you might as well buy one that’s proven to work well – so you should be confident in the HJC FG-17.

HJC-FG-17-crash-helmet-zodd-green-side-view
HJC FG-17 in Zodd green

Of course, a helmet’s only going to work well if it stays on your head. In line with all other helmets that can be used on the track, the FG17 has a double-d ring fasteners. If you’ve not come across them before, they’re old-style but do the job perfectly well and are pretty easy to use.

It’s also worth mentioning in the safety section that it also comes with a shield locking mechanism which could be useful on the track to stop your visor popping open in an accident. See shield section for more information on this.

Helmet Noise

HJC go on about the FG-17 being wind tunnel designed and tested. And while we’re sure that’s probably the case, it’s probably fair to say their focus was on making the helmet slippery so buffeting’s reduced, rather than protecting the rider from noise. There’s a fairly wide range of opinions on how noisy the FG17 is, usually dependent on which helmets folks have used before and whether they ride a faired or unfaired bike – as well as plain ole differences in perception.

HJC-FG-17-crash-helmet-strike-rear
Rear view of the FG-17 Strike (click to enlarge)

That said, broad opinion points to the FG-17 being about average for helmet noise (so if having a quiet helmet is really important to you, you might want to check out our Quiet Helmets Section).  Noise levels are generally acceptable for most users and if you wear ear plugs things should be very quiet anyhow so it shouldn’t be an issue. But it’s not the quietest helmet by a long shot.

Size

If you’re looking to buy an HJC FG-17, then a few riders have mentioned you might find yourself a size up with the FG – so if you’re usually an XS, you might need an S. This seems to be a fairly common issue with HJCs – owners found a similar problem with the HJC IS-Max II flip-up helmet too. As we cautioned there, just make sure you buy from a retailer with a friendly no-qualms returns policy in case you need to swap it for a size up. Also, one or two folks mentioned that the standard cheek pads squashed their face in a bit too much. There are different sized cheek pads available so that’s not too much of a problem but just worth being aware of if you’ve got a wide face or chubby cheeks.

Comfort

HJC-FG-17-crash-helmet-matt-black-rubbertone
In Matt Black (sometimes called Rubbertone)

Other than the above potential niggles, and once you get the right fitment, then comfort’s good in the FG-17. It has HJCs ‘Silvercool’ interior which is their up-market liner that’s fully removable/washable and antibacterial and moisture-wicking and supposed to reduce odour levels too. Owners don’t report any particular problems and say the FG-17 is a comfortable helmet to wear even on long journeys.

There’s also a glasses groove in the lining – there to allow the arms of your glasses or shades to sit comfortably next to your head and not get squashed into it. However, a few users reckoned that in the case of the FG-17, they don’t always work as intended at first with it being a bit too tight to allow them to easily slot in and seat. This seems to depend on the shape of the arms of the glasses though and things can free up after a little use.

Because of this, we’re not recommending the FG for glasses wearers though.

Ventilation

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FG-17 Force showing top and rear vents

The FG-17 has a chin vent with an up/down toggle switch that’s easy to use. There’s also a couple of top vents which again toggle but which are a bit trickier to find and use. Once open though, owners reckon ventilation’s just fine and HJCs Advanced Channeling Ventilation System (where vents push the air through the shell and EPS shock absorbing liner and run it over the scalp) work well in all weathers. There’s also a couple of rear exhaust vents to let the stale air out.

Shield

There’s a good, clear anti-UV shield on the FG-17, that’s Pinlock-ready, has a nice positive ratchet mechanism and seals well against the elements. In the US, you’ll need to buy the Pinlock Max Vision insert separately though. The FG-17 also has HJCs excellent Rapid Fire quick release shield system; allowing you to remove the shield by simply pushing down a tab at either side then quickly pressing it back into place to seat it. Really handy for keeping your shield clean of bugs or swapping to a smoked shield in the sun – and owners say the Rapid Fire works well.

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FG-17 Force showing visor lock front centre

The only possible fly in the ointment seems to be the shield’s central locking mechanism. When you drop the shield down, it clicks and locks into position. It’s not hard to open the shield back up again; it just needs a one-fingered push up on the locking tab to release it then, in the same movement, the shield opens up. It’s designed for racers to keep the shield closed under all circumstances and it’s safer in an accident. However, aside from the occasional owner who’s had problems with the locking mechanism falling off or cracking the shield, some riders find it a bit of a pain. Again, this is down to personal preference of course – it’s very easy to use but whether it would be annoying for you is your call.

Best places to buy an HJC crash helmet?

Revzilla are based in Philadelphia and offer outstanding service (at the time of writing 9.75/10 at Reseller Ratings) 30 day refunds and free shipping on orders over $39.99 to 48 states.

We also recommend Rocky Mountain ATV/MC who score 4.9/5 at Google Customer Reviews, offer free shipping to 48 states on orders over $75, 45 day no quibble returns and will pay for shipping if it doesn't fit right.

2 Wheel are based in California, have excellent customer ratings at Google Customer Reviews and offer free deliveries to US Conti 48 as well as 1st free return delivery if your gear (incl helmets) doesn't fit.

They are our Recommended Stores for quality of service and if you click one of our links and buy from them, we get a small sum from the sale at no extra cost to you - a massive THANKS! (it's how we pay for the site).

Click to visit Revzilla
Click to visit HJC helmets at Revzilla
Click above to visit Rocky Mountain ATV/MC
Click above to visit HJC at Rocky Mountain ATV/MC
Click to visit 2 Wheel
Click above to visit HJC at 2 Wheel

Looks & Graphics

At the time of writing, there’s 9 different color schemes available (you can see the latest on the HJC USA website) with the usual gloss/matt black and white versions plus the Force, Strike and Zodd color designs in various color combinations. There’s also a Jorge Lorenzo X-Fuera version shown at the top of the page and in the video below. We’ve put most of the designs available at the time of writing on this page.

Video

Here’s a 4:30 video taking a look around the FG-17. There’s quite a few available to view on YouTube because it’s a pretty popular helmet (but I chose this one because they’ve gone to all that effort and only got 250 views – aaaah).

Other stuff – weight & aero

Fibreglass helmets can be fairly weighty. Despite many owners reporting their FG-17 is lightweight, it’s actually too heavy to go into our Lightweight Helmets Section because our cut off is 1.5Kg and the FG in large shell size weighs in at 1.67Kg. However, that makes it about medium weight for a full face helmet. Also worth noting is that a few owners have said that there’s very little buffeting so that aero-design seems to be working well.

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.

HJC FG-17 crash helmet gloss blackOverall

The HJC FG-17 is a solid performer. It’s comfortable, has a nice faceshield mechanism (as long as you’re OK with the shield lock) and should give good levels of protection in an accident. It ticks all the right boxes in terms of aero and liner and should offer acceptable levels of noise suppression. It’s not outstanding in any particular region but it is competitively priced so represents good value for money.

Alternatives

There are lots of alternative full face crash helmets. You can check out our Top 5 full-face crash helmets list to see our best rated helmets. But we also recommend you take a look at the HJC IS-17, a SHARP 5 star rated full face helmet that scores very highly for comfort, noise, features and value. There’s also the excellent Shoei NXR, another SHARP four star rated helmet that scores highly across the board and has that outstanding Shoei build quality.

Looking to buy an HJC?

We recommend Revzilla (PA) for outstanding service and free delivery, and both Rocky Mountain ATV/MC (UT & KY) and 2 Wheel (CA) for great service, free delivery and returns*. Please click any link to drop onto their HJC helmets pages or see here for more info about our recommended stores, including T&Cs.

More HJC crash helmet reviews/info?

Visit our HJC pages to quickly browse all our HJC helmet reviews including the HJC i70, CL-17, RPHA 70/11/ST full face helmets and the Sy-Max, RPHA 90 and IS-Max modular/flip ups.

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