In our previous individual reviews of the HJC CL-17 and HJC FG-17 helmets, we provided some in-depth information of each and explained some of the most important features. We told you all about the exterior and interior, the price, unique characteristics of each and how they correspond to HJC’s high standards of quality. What we haven’t told you is how these two helmets compare so here it is: the ultimate HJC CL-17 vs. FG-17 helmet showdown!
We’ll do the comparison in the same format as the helmet reviews by comparing the:
- Helmet considerations (purpose, safety, composition, head size)
- Unique features
Top Choice: HJC FG-17
The FG-17 offers favorable features for serious riders when it comes to the overall construction of the interior and exterior. Although these benefits do come at a higher cost. The CL-17 would be better suited to more casual riders.
HJC CL-17 Review
HJC FG-17 Review
Helmets each have a specific intended purpose, whether for off-road and motocross riding, touring or just general commutes. The CL-17 seems to be better suited to casual riding and cruising. The FG-17 is also a touring helmet but has a tapered front to make it more suitable to racing, it has a more sporty look – I’m positive you’ll be able to race with this helmet comfortably.
Both helmets are Snell- and DOT-approved with sturdy construction and good composite materials. If you need a recap of helmet safety standards, check out our previous article.
The composition of the CL-17 is a standard polycarbonate composite shell so the FG-17 has a clear upper hand with an advanced Kevlar and fiberglass matrix composite shell. This makes it both lighter and more resistant to impact than its counterpart.
As mentioned in the individual helmet reviews, head shape and helmet size are really important. There’s no benefit to squeezing your head into a helmet that’s not the right size or shape. Unfortunately for the guys out there with extreme oval-shaped noggins, HJC is catering to a different crowd.
The CL-17 has a distinctly neutral to round shape and will not fit a head shape even slightly over the intermediate oval shape. The FG-17 is similarly round but with a sharper front chin bar that makes for a narrow fit. If you fall into the oval and wide head shape category, this probably won’t fit well.
The FG-17 comes with superior quality of materials and is a more aerodynamic shape for the more serious of riders.
Both helmets have an anti-scratch visor with a 95% UV protective layer. The helmets also share the same easy, tool-free replaceable visors although the FG-17 boasts the upgraded HJC RapidFire II shield replacement system, while the CL-17 has the first version of the RapidFire system. The difference seems to be negligible but the FG-17 visor is reportedly easier to release, reinstall and lock in place.
Both helmet models have ACS Advanced Channelling Ventilation systems with top and rear vents, although the FG-17 does not have a brow vent like the CL-17. Both helmets hold up well against highway noise and offer good airflow to prevent from moisture build-up inside the helmet while riding. The helmets also have similar fields of vision: both are wide and offer excellent visibility while riding.
While the build quality of the helmets is similar, the FG-17 comes with more easily replaceable visor, giving it the win here.
One area where the FG-17 takes the lead is the inner lining material: the ‘SilverCool’ interior is weaved with silver thread, making the helmet extremely moisture-wicking while having the best anti-microbial properties you could hope for in a helmet. The CL-17 has a ‘SuperCool’ system and while it’s still moisture-wicking and anti-bacterial, it doesn’t offer the same performance in keeping the interior dry and fresh. Another HJC favorite of including only clear visors is common to both helmets. The CL-17 and FG-17 are both Pinlock ready and tinted shields can be bought and installed at the rider’s own cost.
The FG-17 comes with HJC’s ‘SilverCool’ technology, giving it superior moisture absorbing and anti-bacterial properties.
Due to the rounded nature, the HJC CL-17 offers a bit more space inside the helmet which allows the rider to wear standard-sized sunglasses and prescription eyewear. The tapered front of the FG-17 takes away some of that roominess and makes it difficult to fit Bluetooth headsets/microphones inside – and in today’s modern world, it’s nice having the luxury of Bluetooth for communication purposes while you ride. The CL-17’s unique feature is its compatibility with most Bluetooth sets.
The CL-17 offers more space inside, allowing room to comfortably fit your glasses or bluetooth headset.
Moving on to money matters. The price difference between the CL-17 and FG-17 ranges around $50 on Amazon. If you’re on a tight budget, the CL-17 is more than sufficient as a helmet for riders of all experience. The helmet is well constructed with great features and you’ll be hard pressed to find a better deal at the same price. The FG-17 is also a great affordable buy with features that are more than worth the price. HJC has created two impressive helmet models with well-designed exterior and interior features. Honestly, we love both! It seems that the determining factor between the two helmets will rather depend on the size and shape of your head.
The CL-17 comes in at a fair amount cheaper, without compromising on the most important features
So who wins between the FG-17 vs CL-17?
Overall, the FG-17 is undeniably the better quality helmet in terms of the quality of both the interior and exterior. It is also lighter and more aerodynamic, making it the better choice for someone who takes their riding very seriously.
For the casual rider, the CL-17 is a decent choice and offers a cheaper price. It is also more comfortable and offers more space inside for things like a bluetooth headset or your glasses.
So it depends what is more important to you, but either helmet is a great choice for any rider. I personally would take the FG-17 as I don’t see the minor price difference being too important when considering something as important as a helmet.