Product review: HJC FG-17 Mamba helmet
The HJC FG-17 sits in the middle of the HJC range, between the CL-17 and the top-of-the line RPHA 10 helmet. It is designed to offer the best of both worlds and borrows a lot of its tech from the RPHA series.
The FG-17 uses an advanced, composite fibreglass shell and comes in three individual sizes. Its shape is narrow at the bottom and rounded at the top. The graphic you see here is the Jorge Lorenzo Green Mamba edition. It looks quite striking, with its big, snake eyes at the top and snake's scale resembling fluorescent pattern all around. As far as being seen is concerned, the Mamba design is unmissable. The helmet I chose has a matte finish and I was concerned about keeping it clean. After 10,000km of riding in the heat, dust and pouring rain, the matte finish stands unaffected. All I have to do is use a soft, wet cloth to clean the exterior. For stubborn stains I use Motul's helmet and visor cleaner.
The HJC FG-17 Mamba looks quite striking, with its big, snake eyes at the top and snake's scale resembling fluorescent pattern all around
The shell features HJC's ACS ventilation system that comprises of two ram air intake vents and two exhaust vents that are located on the integrated rear spoiler. I found the venting to be adequate in Mumbai's heat; however, the airflow at highway speeds is generous enough to keep the head cool.
The pin lock max vision shield offers excellent visibility, irrespective of the way I position my head. Whether riding with my chin up, in the city or in the racing crouch position (yes, I did go racing with this helmet), the field of vision is unobstructed. HJC also supplies an anti-fog, pin lock insert that's essential as the visor tends to fog up quickly in the rains. The visor is easily removable and interchangeable, thanks to HJC's Rapid Fire II system that makes quick and easy work of switching between a dark and a clear visor.
The helmet fits snug and the interior is fully removable and washable, and it is made using an anti-bacterial and moisture wicking material. While riding in our hot conditions, the cheek pads do get soaked in sweat and strangely, the material at the bottom half of the cheek pads has cracked. I suspect this has to do with the stress caused by the chin strap against the soaking wet cheek pad. It's a problem that I also faced with the HJC CS-R2, my previous helmet. Wind noise is prominent at high speeds; however, I use ear plugs which take care of the problem.
To sum it up, the FG-17 is a good mid-spec helmet that serves well as a road, sport and entry-level track helmet. At Rs 15,000, this DOT- and SNELL-rated helmet also offers good value.
Rs 15,000 at performanceracing.in
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