Tag Archives: modular helmet



It really was getting to be time to replace my beloved old HJC CL Max modular helmet as it was 7 years old anyway, but it was so comfortable and quiet plus I’m so cheap that it was hard to let go of it.

Yes I know you should replace your helmet every 5 years or so but I went a little beyond that with the HJC simply because it seemed to be holding up so well. So what made me purchase my new G MAX Modular helmet? To be perfectly honest it had nothing to do with motorcycling and everything to do with alcohol, hunting, kayaking and general fun with friends out here in the middle of nowhere. Confused? So was I at first, so let me tell you a little tale before diving into this review.

It all started with me coming back from a ride and setting my helmet on either the trailer or the back of the truck and going to eat supper & drink a bottle of Guinness. Thanks to the generosity of good friends I have temporary use of a little bitty two story shack down by the Little Pee Dee River while I’m awaiting the purchase of my new home to be completed. It’s such a terrible life here as there’s nothing to do other than hunting, fishing, shooting, bothering my wife for affection and sitting on the back porch drinking beer while taking in all of the natural beauty of the river which is less than 30 feet from where I’m sitting as I write this. It’s pure misery and I’m really suffering, can’t you tell? Oh yeah, back to the story.

<g max modular helmet>

Last weekend after we came back from supper we were sitting on the screened in back porch watching the fish jump in the water when an old friend came paddling up in his kayak, he had dropped another guy off to do some deer hunting and he was floating down the river doing a bit of fishing. So I invited him up to have a brew and sit for a spell. While we were sitting there the man that he had dropped off to hunt called him on the phone and was ready to be picked up, as the sun had fully set by this time. Since it’s both too dark to navigate the river by flashlight, and the current is so swift here it would take a while to get back upstream anyway, I gave him a ride back to where the other guy is waiting at the hunting club. So I take off like the damn fool redneck that I am rolling through the woods and the two lane oiled gravel roads on the outskirts of Little Rock, S.C. Instead of dropping him off at his truck I bounced my way down the two track trail to pick up the hunter, and then carried both of them back to the truck before hauling ass back to the house. I’m a little fuzzy as to what point the fact that my old helmet had been sitting on the floor of the trailer earlier in the evening hit me. After a brief search in the hopes that it had fallen off in the yard we went to bed. The next morning the old HJC was sitting on the porch, battered beyond usability but still in one piece. The guys had found it and brought it to me and left it on the porch. Apparently it had bounced off of the truck and landed in the middle of the road, scratch one very nice mid- priced modular motorcycle helmet..

So within a day or two we made the pilgrimage to Florence S.C. to visit my old friends at Generation 3 Powersports to pick up a new lid for me to wear on my 40 mile commute to work. Unfortunately no HJC modulars were available from stock, so I actually tried on the G Max and in the 2X size it fit perfectly well but quite frankly I was somewhat reluctant to trust my very valuable head to a lower priced modular helmet so I also tried on a couple of normal full face helmets trying to find something comfortable, but kept coming back to the silver gray G Max Modular helmet so I bought it. After purchasing it the sales person pointed out the built in tail light and showed me how to replace the batteries in it. Up until this point I hadn’t even realized it had a tail light on it, as my helmet shopping is done based strictly on protection and fit. Paint schemes and gimmicks are secondary characteristics to safety and comfort.

So how is it? Not bad, the plan was to take it back and order a “brand name” modular helmet if I didn’t like it, but after a couple hundred miles the G Max modular helmet has been found eminently acceptable. It’s not love at first ride like my old lid was but it ain’t bad either. Since I have a very square jawed face it was almost too snug on my lower jaw, but the more I wear it the less noticeable it becomes.

g max modular helmet

One of the nifty gimmicks is a small net in the chin area presumably to keep bugs & debris from entering the helmet from the bottom side. The problem with it is that the attachment points of the net to the front of the face shield are not 100% secure and the edges of the net will roll over and poke me in the chin if I’m not careful closing the helmet.

Another gimmick that’s actually very good on this helmet is the slide down sun shield. It works very well and is a boon to a person like myself who wears prescription glasses and can’t wear traditional sunglasses when riding. Plus when the sun goes down you just push it back up into the helmet and ride on, no stopping to change glasses or face shields.

g max modular helmet sun shade

Now let’s talk about this built in tail light. It’s powered by a couple of AAA batteries buried in the back of the helmet under a cover easily removed with a screwdriver. To activate it press the button in the center of the light before you put the lid on your head. Press the button once for a steady light, twice and it will flash slowly, a third press of the button gives you a rapidly pulsing light. Press a forth time to turn it off again. As an extra cost option you can get a kit that will give you a wireless attachment to your motorcycle’s brake light, this is definitely worth considering if you have a bike with a small hard to see tail light. This gimmick will definitely help reduce your risk of being rear ended, my main concern with any helmet is crash protection and the G-Max seems as good as any other helmet in this regard, I hope to never crash test it.

G Max modular helmet light

The air vents on the G Max modular helmet are fantastic, the air flow and noise level are really good for a sub $200 helmet. One of my main concerns that most likely is not a problem for anyone else is making sure that my helmet is compatible with my hearing aids. The ear cup area is open and roomy and the wind noise is well dampened so I can leave my ears on while I ride.

Let me conclude by saying that although the G Max modular helmet is not perfect, it is very good especially for a $169 modular helmet and if it fits you correctly and you need a good commuter helmet on a budget, I highly recommend it. Plus the tail light is a great additional safety feature.

Riding into Fall!


 This morning was glorious; temperature was a very nice 67 degrees Fahrenheit (19 C) as I strapped my lunch onto the back of my old CB to come to work this morning. Later today the temperature is supposed to be back up to 90 but this morning gives the first hint of better days to come.

 Everyone knows that these old Hondas are aggravatingly cold natured even when bone stock in excellent condition. When you throw on a set of pod filters & a header you exacerbate this trait to the point that you have to be patient & let it warm up well before trying to move it. But to me it’s worth it just to hear that intake moan when you twist the right grip in anger. Properly set up on a well-tuned bike these old Keihin carburetors have a throttle response & drivability that rivals modern fuel injection, once the engine is up to operating temperature.

 After kissing my wife and telling my dog goodbye, I close my modular helmet and back out of the carport. After pushing down on the shifter and hearing the satisfying snick of first gear engaging,  I let out the clutch and head for the gravel road at the end of the drive. There are days when I miss my old Ninja & its ability to snake down a twisty paved road seemingly by thought command, but today is not one of them. On this scrambler I run twice as fast through the loose rocks and deep sand leaving my home.

 Upon reaching the pavement after looking both ways I pull out and make a quick run up through the gears relishing the delightful mechanical concerto that only an old four banger can play, especially when it is sucking in cool dense air through a set of K & N filters. It may just be in my head but to me every motorcycle I’ve ever ridden feels more powerful & somehow more alive when the weather starts to cool and the air gets denser.

 Leveling out somewhere around the speed suggestions on the road signs the cool damp air pushing through my mesh jacket gives me a little chill that is so enjoyable after the long hot summer. Right now the relative humidity is somewhere around 98%, later today when it gets hot again that will be miserable but this morning it is invigorating and I roll on the throttle some more  just to enjoy it. On days like this it is so damn good to be alive.

 Normally I try to leave the house at least 15 minutes earlier than I actually have to just because it makes such a huge difference in the traffic I encounter. Turning left off of the two lane blacktop onto a four lane highway.  I cruise toward the first small town that I will pass by on my little commute. Traffic density picks up a bit especially in the school zones, but all of the early risers don’t have to be in such an all fired hurry to get to work because they have plenty of time, so everyone is nice & polite making the drive pleasant rather than stressful. Leaving the bypass I turn down another two lane road that starts out rural but quickly turns into a crowded suburban neighborhood as you get closer to the city of Florence. Since I am early it is nearly empty, but in another 20 minutes navigating this particular road will be like driving through a pinball machine.

 There is a dense fog settled in over the little town of Quinby as I pass through, the mad commuter rush to work and school is just getting started. Visibility is maybe a half a mile and I frequently have to wipe my face shield & look out for the cages that do not realize they become invisible in the fog without their lights on. Leaving this town behind I turn right and head towards my final destination with my speed adjusted for the fog. As I am cruising along that “driver” comes flying up behind me out of the fog with no lights on of course. Young, female & aggressive, she is piloting a typical 10 ton SUV, while deeply engrossed in a conversation on the phone that she is holding up to her ear with one hand. Since there was no traffic in front of her, and she hasn’t looked at the speedometer since she got in the car she has no idea how fast she was going. Blissfully unaware that if I have to panic stop there is no way she could possibly stop fast enough to keep from running over me she pulls into position about 25 feet behind me and stays there. On one long straight stretch I deliberately slow down hoping she will pass but she doesn’t. There is no malice in her heart toward me she is just indifferent to the act of driving. I’m not in her way; she is just using me as her speedometer instead of hanging up the phone and looking at the one in her dashboard.

 Coming into the last residential neighborhood I slow down to just below the posted speed limit mindful of the numerous children waiting for the school buses that are out in the fog and ten ton Tessie in her giant white death tank actually pulls to within fifteen feet of my taillight. Knowing there is a very rough triple railroad crossing set into a high hump coming up shortly I get ready. Normally I’d slow down for this crossing but am kind of afraid to do so this morning, but hey I am riding what is basically an oversize dirt bike so at the approach to the track I stood up and gassed it sailing across the tracks and feeling nary a ripple.

 Behind me the Stupid Useless Vehicle slammed into the foot tall hump and its driver was no doubt smacked around inside of it as she panic braked across three rough train tracks. For the rest of this street she maintained a safe respectable following distance and when we reached the next stoplight she actually stopped a ridiculously long distance to my rear when just a minute earlier she had been tailgating me at 55 mph.

The last mile and a half of the trip was uneventful and pleasant and as I parked to go into the office I decided to spend my lunch hour typing this up and posting it for you. In a few hours it will be time to run the five o-clock five hundred in the 90 degree heat. But I will still enjoy the ride!

Peace Y’all