REVIEW | HJC C80 MODULAR HELMET

The HJC C80 modular helmet on display with a white background
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Is the modular helmet the choice only for a special breed of rider, or does it have something to offer everyone?

Damo tries a flip-top for the very first time and these are his thoughts on life with a lid thats very different and yet still familiar and no doubt very versatile.

The mid-priced HJC C80 Modular helmet (launched in 2021), is a strong choice for riders looking for a lid that easily allows both an adventure and a road configuration.

And of course, the convenience of the modular helmet allows you to flip the chin bar up over the viewport. This is handy when you want to grab a quick bite to eat, have a chat or simply get some fresh air without removing your helmet entirely.

The helmet is not rated as an open face so you can only ride with it in full-face configuration. To be honest, I’m not sure why anyone would ride with the front flipped up, but there are warnings not to drink the contents printed on shampoo bottles, so I guess we have to cater for those not strong in critical reasoning.

The shell is polycarbonate, which in part lends it the approximately 1900-gram weight which is pretty hefty but some extra weight isn’t unexpected with a modular. I can’t honestly say I noticed any of the weight when the helmet was on and the wheels were turning.


By removing the peak (which is easy), and installing the side inserts, you’ll have a genuine road helmet set-up.

The helmet liner is moisture-wicking, offers channelling for glasses and is easily removable for cleaning.

There are recessed speaker points for comms devices and HJC offers a Senna-built comms system that fits directly to the C80.

I fitted a Cardo Packtalk Bold system to the C80 just to see how difficult it would be. There’s nowhere on the helmet that would accept the stick-on mount but using the clamp mount it was a pretty simple task.

I used Cardo’s ‘Hybrid’ microphone which stays in front of my mouth even when the front is flipped up but can be moved about freely for maximum comfort.

Cardo Packtalk Bold Hybrid microphone visible



A micro-metric buckle does the job of keeping the HJC C80 on your head, which is simple to operate even with winter gloves on.

Ventilation is handled by a vent on the chin bar as well as a slider on the top of the helmet which directs air into channels pressed into the EPS liner which pass over your head and continues out through the rear exhaust vents.

The visor is nice and wide and comes with a Pinlock 70 insert to help battle any potential fogging. The Pinlock is adjustable, which is something you don’t find very often and a quality addition from HJC.

The visor offers 99% UV-A & B protection and has two easy to feel tabs for lifting, no matter what type of gloves you’re using.



The visor opens in increments of three positions and snaps nice and firmly into place at each point. I’d love to see a position that allows the visor to stay open just enough to let some fresh air though.

An easy to operate switch on the left drops the excellent sun visor which sits very nicely across your eye line, not falling too short to be annoying and is anti-fog and anti-scratch coated.

The HJC with the peak removed for road riding



The C80 comes in sizes from XS to 2XL. XS to Large all share the same shell size, but differing liner depths.
XL and 2XL also share the same shell size as each other but again, not the liner depth. This means you can change the liner sizing across a wide range of shell sizes for the best overall fit.

I found the C80 in Large to be a little smaller than I’m accustomed to at 58-59cm and probably would go the XL at 60-61cm for maximum comfort.

I’ve never ridden with a modular helmet before and if I can be perfectly honest, I’ve made jokes at their expense more times than I care to admit.

The HJC C80 modular helmet on display with a white background
The graphics options are more expensive but the matte look is impressive



And here is where I eat the proverbial shit sandwich because, I actually, to my utter amazement and the bewilderment of a couple of my mates, enjoyed wearing the HJC C80.

I appreciate the ease with which simple things can be done without having to take your helmet off. Even something as simple as taking a sip from a hydration pack is so much easier with just a pull of the tab at the bottom of the chin bar.

Trying to jam that hose under your tight-fitting chin bar can leave you mentally scarred from the struggle, but with the C80 there’s no barrier to proper hydration – nor sausage roll intake.

I also like to take my helmet off when I’m stopped for a few minutes, but the HJC quelled that urge by allowing me to flip the front and get some air.



It’s a fairly quiet helmet, although that depends heavily on the wind shielding your bike offers to begin with. On both a Ducati Multistrada V4S and an Africa Twin I found the C80 acceptable, but on long rides I wear earplugs which makes this a near moot point.

In road configuration it is appreciably quieter, as you’d expect, but even with the peak on I wouldn’t complain about the noise nor the buffeting levels although the peak does get a little shimmy up in high winds.

The HJC C80 is on sale for $399.90 for a solid finish and $449.90 for a graphic finish.

HJC C80 FEATURES

  • Can be worn as a road/off-road helmet (peak removable) and is also a modular helmet
  • Advanced Polycarbonate composite shell with superior comfort & fit
  • Pinlock (adjustable) ready
  • Internal sun shield
  • Extra-wide vision face shield
  • Generous upper & lower ventilation
  • Micrometric chin strap
  • Glasses channel
  • One-touch modular chin bar easy to use lever that is glove-friendly
  • SMART HJC ready (Bluetooth system sold separately )