HJC Atara Road Helmet: First Look
By Stan Portus – 5 February 2020
Street ready looks and day after day use. The HJC Atara benefits from all of the same rigorous testing and research as HJC’s pro-level helmets as well as the company’s 50 years of expertise in the motorcycling industry.
Creator of some of the world’s best motorcycling helmets, HJC has recently entered the cycling market. HJC has close to 50 years’ experience in helmet design, aerodynamics, and manufacture. Developing cycling helmets at its state-of-the-art facilities in Seoul, South Korea, HJC has already claimed victory at the peak of cycling with Lotto Soudal in stage races and in the velodrome with Victor Campanaerts UCI Hour Record.
The Atara is the perfect entry into the world and performance of HJC helmets. Benefitting from the same research and development HJC dedicates to all its helmets, the Atara shares many similarities with the company’s pro-level cycling helmets.
The Atara may be for everyday riding, but HJC has still wind tunnel tested the helmet in its bespoke wind tunnel. Few helmet manufacturers have access to their own wind tunnel: HJC’s team of engineers and cyclists are able to test prototypes and designs to improve aerodynamics and cooling. Consequently, the Atara is an incredibly well-ventilated helmet that provides ample airflow around the head to keep things cool while also creating minimal drag.
A ratchet dial at the rear of the helmet allows the fit to be easily adjusted on the move, and to accommodate a peaked cycling cap or skull cap in cooler weather. The occipital cradle can be lowered or raised and moved back and forward between two positions to optimise fit depending on head size. Strap splitters hold the helmet straps flat against the head and are adjustable. These factors result in an everyday helmet with a perfect fit.
As well as wind tunnel testing, HJC uses 3D laser-scanning to optimise fit. The Atara comes in three sizes that are unisex and cover head sizes from 51cm to 63cm.
Like all HJC helmets, padding inside the lid is antibacterial, and is removeable and washable to help keep things clean. The Atara also comes with spare pads and a carry bag for storage.
HJC always develops lightweight helmets, and the Atara is no exception. At 210g (±10g) it is not far off the weight of HJC’s top models, such as the Ibex.
The Atara doesn’t compromise at all on safety. The In-Mold Construction bonds the helmet together with an outer polycarbonate shell improving structural strength. Available in five block colours and sharing a profile similar to the rest of HJC’s cycling helmets, the Atara looks as good as it performs.