Review: The new HJC i90 touring flipfront

HJC i90 Davan review
HJC Helmets have just released a new modular, i.e. flip-front lid, made from advanced polycarbonate composite and they call it the i90 Davan. Flipfronts are always heavier than other helmets because they contain all the opening mechanism and need to provide an opening chin piece without compromising the overall structural integrity of the helmet. At 1820grams this certainly isn’t one of the lightest in this style, but it is exceptionally well finished, is Bluetooth ready and has the ability to take all of your in-lid entertainment with adjustable speaker positions etc.

The visor aperture is average for the class and there’s a breath deflector as standard, but it doesn’t encroach on visibility at all. The very good news is that the visor, which can click shut, comes complete with a pinlock so there’s absolutely no misting anyway. The main chin vent further assists this and is simplicity itself to use while on the move. It very pleasantly directs air up in front of your face, rather than just being a hole to blast cold air at your mouth. There’s also a sliding ‘crown’ vent and corresponding exhaust which is easy to find and use, letting in a moderate flow of cooling air.

The ‘easy-to-use’ theme continues to the drop-down inner dark visor, operated by a simple slider on the lower left edge. It offers comprehensive coverage which doesn’t distort vision or hit my nose, and the colour is just a natural darkening and not a false colour. As a glasses wearer the designed grooves in the lining hold my specs perfectly, but I can also leave them on as I’m taking off or putting on the helmet. This is so welcome as there’s nothing worse than having to take your specs off and find somewhere to put them, before a gust of wind blows them to the floor and you can’t see to find them, or worse still, stand on them…

To open the front there’s a single red catch which subtlety sits out of view when the helmet is closed but falls immediately to the thumb, releasing in the same continuous forward-and-up movement your hand naturally follows to open the chin bar. Inside HJC use three different materials to provide a snug and comfortable fit and I’m pleased to say that for a modular helmet, the i90 is remarkably quiet. I always use earplugs, but that still enables me to make a comparison with other helmets and this really is pleasant. It’s some time since I’ve found a helmet as quiet, with not a whistle or rattle emanating anywhere. In the pouring rain – and I’ve enjoyed a lot of that – the visor doesn’t leak and water doesn’t make its way in through the vent to splash the inside of the visor or my nose.

The colours are matt finished and there’s a great choice. The plain black and white versions are due in the UK soon, so I chose the red which is rather fetching. This is a quality touring helmet at a really competitive price.
Colours: Many and varied
Sizes: XS – 2XL
Price: from £179.00