Saturday, 26 February 2011

Review HJC CL-12 & AC-10 Helmet

HJC Helmets

HJC has two full-face helmet models for the rider who wants solid protection, but whose wallet does not overflow with cash. The AC-10 and CL-12 share many characteristics, with the former having a few upgrades. Both helmet models are relatively inexpensive, but they really come through in a crash.


The HJC CL-12 helmet is a helmet that provides good comfort, reduced wind noise and protection. It is not the flashiest helmet on the market or even in its price range, but HJC is marketing this helmet for people who aren’t concerned with looking like their favorite racer. The line does offer many colors so that any rider should be able to find one that matches their bike if they so choose. The helmet is DOT and SNELL approved so it can be worn at any track day.

HJC also produces visors in several tints and colors for this helmet. I used a medium tint visor on this helmet and found that it blocked out plenty of sun during the day and I could get away with wearing it at night. The visor change is a little time consuming because the visor snaps into the helmet and is held in place by two small tabs on the visor that break easily, so you want to be careful. I went through two smoked shields because I broke a tab on the first one while changing it and the visor flew off my helmet when I looked over my right shoulder while on the freeway. The visor also has a tendency to lift when you turn your head at freeway speeds to check your blind spots. I found this to be rather annoying and began holding my visor down with my left hand when I would turn my head on the freeway.

Another downside to this helmet is that the ventilation system on it must be for cosmetic reasons only because I could tell no difference between it being opened or closed. For those of you who drip buckets from your head, this would definitely be a deterring factor.

What I do like about the helmet is that it offers good protection at a very reasonable price. I have crashed tested this helmet, accidentally, and suffered no head trauma. I hit the asphalt at about 40 mph and never missed a beat.

The HJC CL-12 does not have a lot of bells and whistles that many other helmets offer, but it does protect your head in a crash and that is the most important thing a helmet does.


The AC-10 is HJC’s step up from the CL-12. You can find this helmet in not only a large variety of solid colors, but also in graphics as well. It has removable cheek pads and a more comfortable liner. Its venting system is more advanced than the CL-12, but I still cannot feel a difference between having it open or closed. Its visor is attached the same way as the CL-12, which means you need to be careful when taking it out to not break the plastic tabs that hold it in. The visor on the AC-10 does seem to hold in place better and does not lift when I turn my head at freeway speeds. Another thing that I noticed at freeway speeds is that it is very stable. It has a bit of a fin on the back of it that keeps your head planted and cuts out the buffeting that can become very annoying and tiring. The AC-10 is slightly lighter than the CL-12, and provides a higher SNELL rating (SNELL M2000). This is due to the “Advanced Composites” used to create this helmet’s protective interior.

While I have not crash tested this HJC, and hopefully never will before I retire it, I am confident that it would provide the protection I need so that I could continue writing reviews like these.

Keywords: Helmet Review
Label: HJC Helmets