I’ve been riding motorcycles for quite a long time now. In fact, in the entire MotoDeal team, I can confidently say that I’ve racked up the most kilometers among all the awesome motorcyclists in our circle. I’ve also owned quite a few helmets—fourteen to be exact, and two of them are HJC CS-15s. Now, you may be wondering: why on earth would I need two HJC CS-15s? Well, it’s simply that good. In fact, I’m going to make a bold claim here: the HJC CS-15 is the best value for money helmet in the market. Period. Read on to find out why.
Being into naked bikes and sportbikes, I’ve always favored a simple, subtle, and sporty helmet. Heavy graphics, outlandish curves and edges, and generally loud styling never appealed to me, and they never will. So, when I was looking for a helmet to replace my already beaten up LS2 Stream Evo as a daily commuter lid, the HJC CS-15 in gloss black caught my eye. Just seeing its timeless styling, with its streamlined shape, sporty fascia, and universal-style profile, I was sold. I immediately bought it without thinking twice, and giddily strapped it on and went for a ride.
Immediately I was impressed by the fit and finish. The paint was lustrous, the visor mechanism solid and easy to operate. The quick-release chin buckle snapped loudly with a reassuring click, and the cheek pads pressed firmly, yet comfortably against my face. Immediately, I felt right at home in this helmet. Being a size large, and with an intermediate oval head shape, the CS-15 was a perfect fit, with no pressure points anywhere on my head whatsoever.
What I like about it
Right off the bat, the CS-15 shines when it comes to high-speed, long-distance touring. I immediately took the helmet on a long ride out of town—a half-day’s ride to Subic and back. I was impressed at how quiet this helmet was. In fact, I’d even wager that it’s quieter than my other helmets—some of which cost close to seven times the CS-15’s price tag. At speed, the CS-15 is quiet, stable, and confidence-inspiring, while in the city, its generous ventilation, as well as the ability to crack the visor open slightly, make for a breezy and comfortable ride.
Aftermarket support for the CS-15 is adequate, too. I was able to purchase several replacement visors for it, including a tinted, smoked, and iridium visor, so I can comfortably use it any time of the day or night. What’s even better is that the visor’s quick-release system is incredibly easy to use. You can swap out the helmet’s visor in less than 30 seconds, and be on your way.
What I don't like about it
It’s hard to complain about anything on this helmet, especially given how affordable and high-quality it is. However, if there is one complaint I have about the CS-15, it’ll have to be its weight. Its 1,560-gram construction indeed makes its presence felt on longer rides, especially when you spend dozens of kilometers on the expressway. Naked bikes and sportbikes are always my steeds of choice, and despite the CS-15 being very quiet, the wind blast on your head for several hours straight will inevitably take its toll on your neck and shoulders.
Furthermore, my second CS-15, a gloss white one, has begun showing signs of age, particularly in the chin vents, where a small crack on the plastic has formed. This is perhaps due to exposure to the elements, as I’ve used my white CS-15 a lot more than my black one. Nonetheless, this doesn’t in any way affect its safety, as the crack is only on the vent housing, and not on the shell. It’s probably worth noting that I’ve been using my white HJC CS-15 for more than 40,000 kilometers now.
After more than two years of use
I’ve owned my black HJC CS-15 for more than two years now, and my white CS-15 for a little over a year and a half. Usually, I find myself gravitating towards the white one, as I like its look a lot more, and it keeps my head a lot cooler, especially on hot summer rides. Maybe that’s why it’s showing more signs of age than the black one. When it comes to the innards of the helmets, though, you could say that they’ve held up extremely well. There are zero tears, or blemishes on the insides of the helmet. The cheek pads have remained taut and snug, and the visor mechanisms remain firm.
The paint on both my black and white CS-15s has held up incredibly well too. Not a single major scratch or blemish can be found on either of them, save for the previously mentioned crack on the chin vent of my white CS-15. Plus, I’ve fitted a Cardo PackTalk Bold communicator on both of them, and all I can say is that the CS-15 is one of my favorite helmets to use on rides where I rely heavily on my comms system, be it for music or group coordination.
At just a hair over the P4,000 mark, the HJC CS-15 sits at the pinnacle of the entry-level helmet segment. Its sober, yet versatile styling means it’s suitable for all types of rides—be it a modest commuter scooter, or even a liter-class superbike. Its durable and premium fit and finish are guaranteed to last you several years, while its comfortable interior liner can easily be removed, washed, and reinstalled. The CS-15 impresses with its comfort, particularly how quiet it is, especially on longer rides on the highway. If you’re a beginner rider, or a motorcyclist who wants a solid, stylish, and safe helmet to rack up hundreds and thousands of kilometers in comfort and protection, I’d say the HJC CS-15 is definitely for you.