Open face motorcycle helmet review of HJC FS-2

By: On: June 20th, 20110 Comments »Updated: July 20, 2013

HJC FS2 open face motorcycle helmetAfter a lot of searching I chose the HJC FS-2 helmet for the dog-days-of-summer when my KBC VR-2 full face helmet becomes too hot to wear.

Some riders choose the type of  helmet they wear to match their bike.  My motorcycle is a retro-police style motorcycle called a Moto Guzzi California Vintage.  In fact, the Fs-2 would be a great helmet for riding scooters and mopeds too.

I decided on getting an open face  helmet to provide some relief on hot days versus wearing my usual closed-face helmet.

This helmet review is written by the publisher of Motorcycle Information.  Please note I purchased this helmet with my own money for my own use, and was not provided any incentive to write this product review.

What I like about the HJC FS-2 helmet:

I like the fit.  It is really good for my head shape, which may seem odd to say, but some helmets just don’t feel right when I try them on, as if my head is round and the helmet is oval, or something like that.  TheHJC fits me without any noticeable pressure points, and is snug without being headache-tight.  I wear Large, or XL depending on helmet brand.  The FS-2 in a Large fits me well.

The FS-2 liner material is comfortable, is silver treated for anti-bacteria, and is of reasonably good quality for a helmet in this price range.  I like the HJC lining and fit better than the Shoei ST-Cruz, which I was strongly considering along with the Scorpion EXO-100.  I found this odd since Shoei is a premium brand.  I was originally willing to pay more for the Shoei, but the fit and feel were not right for my head, and the lining was not overly impressive to me.

The HJC lining is removable for washing via some snaps and a zipper for ear pads / neck collar portion. A replacement liner for FS-2 costs about $25 if ever you needed one, which seems pretty reasonable compared to some other brands.

The FS-2 visor is attached via two plastic screws instead of snaps.  It is firmly attached and can not shake, rattle or vibrate.  This may seem like a small thing, but a rattling visor can be a huge annoyance when your trying to enjoy your ride.  They provide a spare screw with the helmet, and a replacement visor for FS-2 costs less than $10.

What I don’t like about the HJC FS-2 helmet:

HJC FS2 open face helmet liningThe sewn trim edge of the neck curtain padding is something to check.  I only say this because when I was in the store purchasing my FS-2, I noticed one on display had problems where the piping edge trim near the back of the neck curtain area was beginning to pull away.   Being a display model, who knows what people have done to it, but either way, it should not be doing that.  A replacement FS-2 neck curtain costs less than $15, so it is not a big expense if you have to eventually replace it.  Obviously, it should hold up under normal wear for a good while regardless.  Mine is fine so far after many rides.

Brand new out of the box, the chin strap is somewhat stiff with edges are not very comfortable.  This is a minor annoyance.  Most likely this will soften up over time.  They usually do.  I do like that the strap has a little snap so the excess length doesn’t flap around in the wind.  The strap fastens with D-rings as most helmets do.

The lever that opens and closes the vent is a clear plastic lever.  It looks cheap.  I think black, regardless of the actual helmet color, would at least appear to be more durable than clear plastic.   Obviously this is a small issue.  The lever itself works fine and seems strong enough.  The actual ventilation it exposes when moved to the open position is pretty tiny though and not much air, if any, seems to be felt on the top of my head.  The ram-air front scoop and the rear spoiler vent are much more for show than go.  Sadly, the same is true on many helmets regardless of price.

Other observations about the HJC FS-2 helmet:

HJC FS2 helmet neck collarThe removable neck curtain has a collar and ear padding as one piece.  The warning label inside the helmet states: “Please always keep the ear flap on the helmet. Remove it only when washing and always put it back on afterwards.”   Not that it really matters much to me, but the impression I got from the advertised features (before I read the fine print on the warning label inside the helmet) was that you could ride with or without the neck collar in place.  Now that I’ve worn this helmet on several rides during upper 80’s/low 90’s F, I can say that I see no reason to remove the ear flap except for washing. Even though I originally imagined it would be too hot to keep the ear flap on, it is actually pretty comfortable and does not push tightly or bother my ears at all.

My HLC FS-2 helmet rating:

HJC FS2 helmet air ventsFit: 4 of 5 stars.  I normally wear a size Large KBC VR-2 full face helmet.  The size Large HJC FS-2 has the same fit as my KBC, so I am very pleased with that.

Features: 4 of 5 stars.  Nothing bad here to say.  It does not have many features (gimmicks).  In fact, I like that is doesn’t.  Some might rate it lower since it has no retractable shield and has no alternative visors or shields.

Air Flow: 3 of 5 stars.  Compared to my KBC full face helmet, air flow is fantastic and I am very pleased (simply because this HJC is open face and my KBC is a fill face); however, I’m not feeling any noticeable air flow from the vents.  It keeps me cool when I’m riding faster than 45 mph, so I am happy.

Appearance: 4 of 5 stars.  I think this helmet has one of those love it or hate it styles.  I was initially planning on the Scorpion EXO-100 helmet, which as a similar style to it.  The sharp angle style of this helmet clash with the curves of my Moto Guzzi California, but I like it.

Cost Benefit: 5 of 5 stars.  The cost benefit is what really inspired me to write this HJC FS-2 helmet review. I bought it on sale from a local motorcycle gear store for about $50 with tax.  It has proven to be everything I wanted in a hot-weather helmet.  For that price, finding another DOT-approved helmet as nice as this one would be a big challenge.  At full retail price, it is still a nice helmet for the money, but if I was paying full price, I might have given the Scorpion EXO 100 a closer look than I did.


About John Clay

John Clay is the author of MotorcycleInfo.Org. He and his family reside in North Carolina in the United States. A graduate of the Motorcycle Safety Foundation's Experienced Rider Course, he enjoys riding his Moto Guzzi in charity rides and serves as a volunteer motorcycle marshal for an annual bicycle charity event in the Carolinas.

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