HJC F70 Carbon Review: Full Face Touring Motorcycle Helmet
My wife never, ever commented on the look of a helmet I put on, until she saw the HJC F70 Carbon Eston in the color MC1 with red accents. Unpacking went from opening the shipping carton to opening the HJC box, take it out of the protective storage bag and put the F70 Carbon on my head. I hadn’t even looked at the headphones, but she immediately exclaimed in an unusually lively tone: âThese are beautiful headphones! “
While exploring the additional accessories inside the box, I saw an owner’s manual, chin bar, and extra-tall breath deflector with its own installation instructions.
The removable chin bar, which closes most of the distance between the front of the helmet and your neck, keeps the cold out on chilly mornings. It is held in place by a hook-and-loop closure. I found that tightening the edges firmly helps keep it in place when putting on the helmet.
Looking around the helmet, the front has two air intakes, but I didn’t notice one as it looked like a simple aerodynamic feature. The one I saw is a horizontal rocker, and the one I missed is a vertical slide below. Using a flashlight, I could see that they both feed the same 3.5 inch outlet vent that pushes outside air straight to the inside face of the shield.
Why read the instructions when you can spend that time riding, right? It was 89 degrees and there was still plenty of daylight left when the helmet came on, so I got dressed and went for a walk. I wanted to have a first impression, just a short drive before dinner. It is easier to judge the air flow when the temperatures are cold or hot, and the next day would be moderate to 70 degrees.
I hopped on the highway on my Yamaha Venture, closed the shield and opened the front top vent. I could immediately feel the flow of air around my face as I opened the upper front rocker. At 89 degrees my face and scalp had really warmed up with the shield open and at 25 and 35 mph to the freeway. Little did I know at the time that I was missing a much greater amount of front airflow, not having noticed the vertical zipper vent before. It was only after reading the owner’s manual that I discovered the second vent before.
I reached out with my summer gloved left hand and, with friction pressure, slid each of the top two vents back to open it. Between the airflow through the deep, wide crown channels that HJC calls the Advanced Channeling Ventilation System and the two top vents, I really felt the movement of air through my hair. Any heat that accumulated on my way to the freeway was quickly released through the five exhaust ports.
Comfort aside, the HJC F70 Carbon felt light on my neck, even though it weighs a few ounces of my modular helmets. I tried to figure out why it was so light, and I think this is due to the balance of the carbon fiber shell helmet. The interior has a new generation of moisture wicking and quick drying materials which HJC declares superior to previous HJC helmets.
Established in the fast lane with cruise control on, I got to know this beautiful helmet. I closed all the air vents and immediately noticed how little outside noise I heard. The HJC F70 Carbon is much quieter than the flip-up helmets I’m used to. I opened the front rocker vent and could hear a slight fluttering sound from the incoming air at 65mph. I opened and closed the vent a few times to confirm the headphones were so quiet I could even hear the air coming in. Opening the two upper vents did not change the sound level at all. The five rear air vents are always open to exhaust air.
Checking my mirrors to make sure no one was close enough to panic, I mustered myself to an almost standing position to put my head fully into the flow of clean air. I didn’t notice any shaking, looking straight ahead and turning to either side. The F70 Carbon didn’t catch any wind as I simulated left and right head controls.
Turning my eyes completely left and right, I couldn’t see the edges of the window. There is nothing, up, down, left or right, that is blocking your vision with the shorter sneeze guard installed. I installed the larger sneeze guard and didn’t feel it was blocking my downward visibility.
The F70 Carbon has a folding inner sun visor that resists scratches and fogging. It is deployed by a slide switch adjacent to your left jaw that can easily be operated with a gloved hand. I rode in the sun a lot on my outings, and it did a good job of removing glare. Unfortunately, when the sun was directly in front of me, I had to use my left hand as a visor for the sun visor.
The clear face shield is 95% UV-A and B rated and has open / closed glove-friendly tabs on either side of the center. This is a convenient function to raise or lower the face shield with either hand. The clear shield is Pinlock ready, so you can install HJC’s HJ-32 Pinlock anti-fog insert if needed ($ 40 option).
Changing face shields requires a Phillips screwdriver and is easy to do, but keep track of the parts. The shield has 12 opening notches in the ratchet mechanism, but only the top and bottom are deep enough to hold the face shield in place against any force of wind.
There’s a click to seal the latch in the front center, and you know it’s locked in place when you hear the click. It secures the fully locked and sealed shield against its gasket, only when closed with a firm downward motion. HJC offers 10 shield shade options that range in price from $ 40 to $ 55.
Keep in mind that it is important to have professional assistance when fitting a helmet, as even the same manufacturer can change helmet shapes and padding thicknesses between models. I wear a Medium in HJC modular and a Large in F70 Carbon. The shape of the shell is intermediate oval.
I have been riding flip-up helmets for about 15 years. I’m used to their sound levels and how they feel in hot weather, cold weather, on the freeway and in city traffic. The HJC F70 Carbon non-modular full face helmet surprised me with its silence, lightness on the head, aerodynamics, overall comfort, internal airflow, impressive style and a three-year warranty for less than $ 475 .
HJC F70 Carbon Highlights
- Sizes: SX-2XL
- Weight: 3 pounds, 7 ounces (size L)
- Certifications: DOT / ECE
- Colors: Carbon; Easton MC1 (red accents); Easton MC5 (gray accents)
HJC F70 Price: From $ 430 MSRP ($ 470 for Eston chart tested)
HJC F70 Carbon Review Photo gallery