HJC SY-MAX 2 Modular Helmet Product Review

Riders Discount supplied me with an HJC SY-MAX 2 modular helmet to review. The timing is perfect because I wanted to use a full face modular helmet for cold weather riding. So far I have used the helmet on two cold weather rides and the helmet sure does keep my head warmer than my three quarter helmet. There is also reduced wind noise.

HJC SYMAX 2 with integrated sun screen

I like the modular helmet because you get the benefit of a full face but can flip the helmet open when you want to; like a three quarter helmet with a face shield. I was also experiencing helmet wobble with my three quarter helmet when used with my wind shield. The vibration from my helmet was giving me headaches on long highway trips so I was looking for a solution. The more secure full face helmet with cheek pads fits more betterer and the helmet shake is reduced drastically.

HJC SY-MAX 2 Modular Helmet

According to my contact at Riders Discount this is “the hottest selling modular helmet right now.” It retails for $261 and I recommend the helmet for those of you interested in a full face model. This is a high quality product at a reasonable price and is offered in an assortment of attractive colors. I got silver but I wish I got Anthracite shown below.

hjc modular helmet anthracite

Here is a list of SY-MAX 2 features:

  • Advanced fiberglass Spectra® composite weave shell
  • Meets or exceeds DOT standards
  • Lightweight, superior fit and comfort using advanced CAD technology
  • Single button one handed adjustable polycarbonate “flip-up” chin bar/face shield
  • Impact absorbing EPS liner
  • Hard coated and optically superior 3D shield design provides 95% UV protection and an anti-scratch coating
  • Quick, secure and tool-less shield removal and installation
  • One-Touch integrated smoke-tinted SunShield deploys quickly and easily
  • 3 Stage multi position SunShield system
  • “ACS” Advanced Channeling Ventilation System creates full front to back airflow flushing heat and humidity up and out
  • Large eye port design ensuring maximum visibility
  • Moisture-wicking and odor free SilverCool™ interior with advanced silver anti-bacterial fabric
  • Comfortable removable and washable interior liner and cheek pads

Here is some information from www.RidersDiscount.com

The next generation of the SY-Max is here. Modular design is taken further with the SY-Max 2 by adding the internal smoked visor. This internal visor drops from the forehead area acting like a pair of sunglasses. The standard face shield can be up or down when the integrated sun visor is down. Anti bacterial SilverCool material lines the removable padding for an easy washing and odor free ride. Take all the convenience of a flip up and add the ingenuity of HJC design for great touring helmet.

Fellow motorcycle blogger Dale Franks experienced a nasty crash about the same time I received this helmet. He was hit by a delivery driver and thrown from his motorcycle while wearing the SY-MAX 2 helmet. Click here to read the post. Here is a quote:

I was thrown clear of the bike at some point, and the impact drove the edge of my composite toe on my left boot right into the base of my big toenail, which I expect I’ll lose, in due course, and my left knee got wrenched a little bit, probably from rolling on the ground. I remember my helmet hitting the pavement and sliding along a bit,  and thinking, “Man, I’m glad I have a full face helmet.”

When I asked Dale if he was wearing his HJC SY-MAX 2 when the crash took place he replied “Yeah, I was wearing that helmet. It saved me from becoming a broccoli floret when my forehead hit the pavement.” This helmet works and I’m glad for Dale’s sake that it worked well!

I first used this helmet with a neck warmer (like Ann’s Neckie). My face was warm, my neck was warm, but the underside of my chin and jaw was exposed and cold. I tried it with a ZanHeadgear nylon balaclava from JC Whitney but that was too thin and thus too cold. So next I tried the helmet with my neck warmer that has a nylon balaclava style hood attached. This worked. I was finally warm all over! Next I tried using the nylon balaclava with the ZanHeadgear neck warmer in combination. This  combo was just as warm but more comfortable.


  1. Something inside the helmet seems to be rattleling a little bit. Perhaps part of the integrated sunshield mechanism.
  2. The clear flip up face shield has a tab that you can use to flip it open (which you must do at red lights to keep the shield from fogging). My only real complaint about this helmet is that the tab is on the left side. This drives me crazy! I am not left handed and I don’t take my hand off the clutch at stop lights because I keep the bike in gear in case of emergency. Why not put the tab on the right side or both sides? that would be much better! Then I could flip the shield open easily!
  3. Glimmerman thinks I look like Rick Moranis in Spaceballs while wearing this headgear.

Space Balls


  1. Warm
  2. Secure fit
  3. Reduced wind noise
  4. Probably works well with CB radio headset
  5. Can save you from becoming a broccoli floret

20 Responses to “HJC SY-MAX 2 Modular Helmet Product Review”

  1. Mr. RC: I like the fact my visor opens from the left side. I’m right handed but I find it easier to use my left hand to reach up and open the visor. One of the features I really like about my new helmet is the ‘flip open” lever that pops the visor open and it is on the left side also. While coming up to the stop during braking I just crack the visor open with one finger. This works even better and easier then trying to grab the tab to open the visor.

    Another thing you brought up that I think my helmet manages very well is the draft under the chin bar. My helmet has a “chin curtain” that just slide between the chin bar shell and the pad and is made of a mesh. This does a great job of stopping the wind from getting on your face. I’m sure this curtain could be adapted to almost any helmet it is that simple. The only thing I don’t know is how it will work with the flip front.

    These are your of dislikes of this helmet so I thought I would way in with my experience. I’m not knocking the helmet and flip front verses full face are two different helmets. Just showing there are other options and features for your reader to consider during their choice of helmet.

    Besides helmets are really for two things, that is reducing injuries and saving lives. This helmet has proven it can and does do that.

    Nice honest review, thanks.


  2. Congratulations on slaying the dragon Fasthair. i wish I was there to help kill that bugger. I like that chin curtain idea! By the way, what kind of helmet are you wearing?

  3. Amazing, I was just looking at that same helmet at my local motorcycle store here in town yesterday. I’ve recently had to start wearing glasses and the clip-on sunglasses just don’t block all the sun out. When I was able to wear ordinary motorcycle sunglasses it wasn’t a problem.

    I like that this helmet has the one-touch sunshield. I didn’t get to try the one on at the store, as I can’t afford it right now, but I was wondering if there is room for a person to wear glasses and have the shield down. Or is the sunshield going to hit the glasses?

    One of the reasons I like the installed sunshield is that I have broken two HJC face shields at their hinges carefully changing out the clear shield for the tinted shield (for day to night driving). I was always having to carefully carry the changeout in a saddle bag.

    I like that flip open front, but I have heard that it increases wind noise. I have always worn a full-face helmt and currently use an Icon Motosport helmet.

    Thanks for a great review.

  4. Wow, Biker Betty is blogging again! You took quite a break there for a little bit. Glad to have you back! Yes, I wear glasses and the sunshield works well even though I wear normal eye glasses. No problem there.

  5. Sounds like a great helmet. I like that the whole bottom part flips up, not just the face shield. And the product I bought was sold as a ‘Neckie’. It’s not just what I call it! Thanks for the shout-out just the same. EVERYONE makes fun of me for calling it that, but I haven’t cared what others thought in many, many years! Ride safe! 🙂

  6. Mr. RC: My new helemt is a Shoei RF1000. I did a post on it awhile back. You can read it here.



  7. It is good to hear that you can wear glasses (and they are the regular eye glasses) and have clearance with the sunshield. Looking at the helmet in the store, it just didn’t look like there might be clearance. I like this helmet. When I need to get another, I will consider this. My husband hates to pay more than $150 for a helmet, so the battle will be on, lol. My current helmet was more then he liked.

    Oh, I’m like Fasthair. My current helmet visor lifts with the tab on the left and I like that better. When things fog up, all I need to do is crack it open just before stopping at stop signs or stop lights. I’m a right-hander and I don’t notice a problem with this left-handed maneuver.

    It is good to be back posting. I’m on Christmas break from work, as I work in a school system. I hope to do a better job posting more regularly when I start back tomorrow, ugh!! I do start back to night college in a couple of weeks and I hope to juggle everything better this time.

  8. Does anyone remember the commercials former Sen. Bob Dole used to do for Viagra? He’d say, “Sooner or later, you’re going to have to do something about E.D., that’s “erectile dysfunction,”…
    Like any guy in my 30’s at the time, I laughed my ass off. Of course, the thought’s always in the back of your head…”Someday I might have to.” Then you scream “NOOOOOooooo” and put it out of your head.

    That’s how I feel about full-faces.

    Instead of Bob Dole, now I see you in my nightmares Jay, grinning at me with the big silver bubble on your head and saying, “Joker, sooner or later, you’re going to have to get a full-face helmet…”

    I wake up in a cold sweat. NO!!! Dammit, I WONT DO IT!!!

    You know what though, the reality is the time has come. I recently admitted this on Bikerchickz blog. I feel like I’ve just come out of the full-face closet. God I hate the idea of wearing one of those damned things! I hate the idea of being photographed wearing one even more. But, with all the touring I’m going to do next season, I guess I have to get one unless I really want to be miserable riding in the rain. It’s one thing to get soaked in a half-shell locally, when you know you’ll be home soon. It’s a whole different story when spending an entire day riding in the rain may be unavoidable.

    This is like asking the members of the 1970 Boston Bruins to wear helmets on the ice. Oh well, I guess one day, we all have to face our demons. Now, I just have to decide if I’m willing to buy THIS particular one. Your write up is convincing Jay. As much as I hate to admit it, I’m going to look into this.

    This is ALL YOUR FAULT!!!!

  9. Thanks Joker, I think this comment is the best comment of all time. I love it, it reads more like a blog post than a comment. I think it should be a blog post all by itself over at your place!

  10. Good info. I am in the market for a 3/4 helmet for colder weather. I have an HJC full face and like it, but find it is bit restrictive. thanks for the post.

  11. Thanks for the review. I may need a cold weather helmet up here in OhIo

  12. Thanks for all the info posted. I wear glasses and shields work fine for me except when things fog up. I’m in the market for a new helmet so will certainly give this one a look as well.
    As Joker said…sooner or later…you gonna have to

  13. Jay,
    I appreciate the review. It contains some really useful information. I wear a dedicated full face for most riding. However, when riding to and from a class I wear the modular. I have an HJC now ( the previous generation ). The Symax 2 will be my next upgrade. When you say there is reduced wind noise, is that just in comparison to the 3/4 helmet? I get what seems a lot of noise with my current HJC. I was wondering if the new one would be quieter. Also, how hard does it seem to be to pull the shield all the way down and lock it in place? Does it move smoothly or seem to need to be forced a little?



  14. Thanks Dan for dropping by, always a pleasure to hear from you. I was comparing the modular helmet to my 3/4 helmet when I indicated there was less wind noise. The flip down and locking action is smooth and works well. It’s the clear shield that is not moving easily for me; but we had the same issue with our 3/4 HJC manufactured helmets until they were worn in.

  15. I love the snap together chin strap on the Nolans. Does the HJC SY-Max II have any such feature or is it the usual d-rings?

  16. The usual D-rings.
    I went for a ride today and the sun was in my eyes. I’m glad I had the built in sun screen.

  17. I have a modular helmet now and it’s very nosie! I’ve tried wearing head phones to hear music, all I get is wind noise..I really like the all the features of the Symax 2 and I’d like to buy one,,just wonder about the noise,… to bad cycle shops dont offer a wind tunnel or leaf blower to test the wind noise..

  18. That wind tunnel idea has potential!

  19. Thanks for this review— I love the SyMax II because of its versatlity and comfort. I comute daily and make stops along the way. Plus living in a hot/humid environment (Tampa, FL) means that being able to flip up the visor at long stoplights and snap it back down quickly is a plus. Sometimes I will wear it flipped up with the sun visor down when in slow traffic. As a bonus it has proven the easiest helmet I have ever encountered for slipping glasses on and off.

  20. I have two SyMax II helmets, one that is “wired for sound” with a Chatterbox boom mic and speakers and one that isn’t. I love this helmet! I live in Virginia and commute to work 100mi round trip daily, year round.

    I have two comments on your comments:

    – One of my helmets has that annoying rattle, I believe it is the sun visor mechanism. If I flip the top vent openning up/back the rattle stops. I think this is because the flow of air is diverted away from what ever is causing the rattle. The other helmet doesn’t rattle at all.

    – I’m left handed and it took me a long time to get used to having that tab on the face shield on the left side. It isn’t about handedness it’s about which hand needs to be on the clutch.

    Nice review. Very accurate from my experience. Great helmet!

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