Thursday, May 14, 2009

HJC CS-2N Blade MC-5 Helmet Review

HJC CS-2N Blade MC-5 Helmet Review

Last year I needed another helmet just in case I needed to take a passenger with me for a ride. I decided to get another open faced half helmet. I was browsing at Full Boar in Hurst Texas during their Christmas Shoppers Storewide Clearance Sale when one caught my eye. I think it was the interesting flaming skull looking graphic that caught my eye. It was made by HJC and the model was CS-2N and their website calls it the Blade MC-5. It was a half helmet and it was D.O.T. approved. Here is the information from the HJC website:

Thermoplastic Alloy Shell: Lightweight, superior fit and comfort using advanced CAD technology.
Nylex Interior: For added comfort.
Two Forehead Vents: Delivers cooling air.
Aerodynamic Visor: Low-profile design.
Removable “Zip-out” Neck Curtain: Easy to remove. Optional earflaps with speaker pockets.
DOT Approved

I tried several on and the medium size fit me well. The neck strap seemed to land more on my chin than neck which felt much more comfortable than the Vega XT. It also did not feel like it stood as tall on my head, like the Vega Half Helmet. The shape fit my head nicely and CS-2N was balanced well. I made my purchase.

The faux visor is indeed low profile and did not catch the wind as bad as the Vega’s visor did. It offers little shade from the sun, and apparently, is just for looks. For some reason, this Blade already had an Echo Products Quick Connect installed on it, so I did not have to purchase one and install it myself like I did the Vega. Another plus is that along with the standard two D Rings on the Nylon Retention Band, (strap) it has a snap right below the D Rings with a corresponding snap on the end of the long strap for snapping together after the helmet is buckled. This keeps the long loose strap end out of the way. I really like this feature because with the Vega, after it is buckled with the Quick Connect, I had to wrap the long end around the D Rings anyway to keep it out of the way. I guess I’m just too lazy to cut it.

The two Forehead Vents are well hidden under the visor and can only be seen when the visor is removed. Each vent is around 1” wide and ¼” high. They are a lot larger than the vents found on the Vega XT, although they do not have way to close them. It also has a Removable “Zip-Out” Neck Curtain, which I have given a real good workout to this spring taking it on and off as the temperamental Texas temperatures fluctuated cold to hot. It is slightly difficult to get the D Rings and Quick Connect ends through the strap loops on the Neck Curtain.

This Spring I stopped at Cycle Gear and picked up a universal snap on clear face shield, to try and use in the rain, and I found out the Blade does not have snaps to hold the visor on. The MC-5 has two screws on each side and a guide stud in the center to hold it on. For the record, because of the curve of the helmet the “Universal” shield would not stay snapped on the Vega Half Helmet either. Back to the drawing board or invest in a full face.

The HJC CS-2N Blade MC-5 Half Helmet has been my daily wear on my commute to and from work daily. It has functioned for me flawlessly. It is extremely comfortable on my head and I would recommend it to anyone. Torch gives the Blade a M.M.M. Rating of 8 out of 10.

Ride on,
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