New HJC Sy-Max III flip-up ‘modular’ helmet – test notes

HJC Sy-Max III (left) and Nolan N90 (right), two similarly priced helmets with comparable features

HJC Sy-Max III (left) and Nolan N90 (right), two similarly priced helmets with comparable features

I’ve managed to put the new HJC Sy-Max III flip-up modular helmet through more than 3,000 kilometres of solid testing since buying it in early July.


This is a very good helmet with an attractive price point.  At $392 (including GST), it is close to the slightly more expensive Nolan N91.

HJC Sy-Max 3 test notes


  • Better fit for my ’round-oval’ head than even the Nolan N90/91 (the Sy-Max III and N90/91 are two of the few helmets made to fit round-oval shaped heads)
  • Sy-Max allows better view; Eye port is higher and broader than the N90/91, giving better peripheral vision and feeling of ‘openess’
  • Sy-Max III is quieter than the N90 (with the Sy-Max’s faceshield closed); with the Sy-Max faceshield cracked open one notch, it’s noisier than the N90 with its faceshield cracked open one notch (likely because the N90/91 comes with standard chin curtain
  • Better air flow with faceshield closed than N90 due to absence of chin curtain
  • Price


  • D-ring strap fastener is clumsy and slow compared to the ratchet style strap fastener of the N90/91
  • Sunshade deployment is awkward; it works by sliding a spring-loaded slider on top of the helmet
  • Retracting the sunshade is awkward, requiring you to find a small button to press on top of the helmet; difficult to find with gloves on
  • Chin vent is a pivoting cover; it feels chintzy and doesn’t flow a lot of air
  • Faceshield seems to fog up more easily than N90 (but could be because I ride with the faceshield closes; on the N90, I kept the faceshield open one notch, even in extreme cold)
  • Overall build quality of Sy-Max III seems more ‘plasticy’ and slightly lower than N90/91


You can be the first one to leave a comment.

Leave a Comment