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Used: HJC CL-ST Throttle helmet

Cheap-and-cheerful budget lid goes out with a bang

ALAS, it’s time to write an epitaph for my trusty HJC CL-ST Throttle. I bought it for a bargain £50 at a West London dealer’s clearance sale (RRP £100) in 2010. It’s a smart-looking budget lid with a decent spec list that includes seven-point ventilation, removable and washable padding, quick-release visor, chin curtain and double-D-ring strap. 

It’s a comfortable enough lid, and par for the class at 1.5kg, does not feel excessively heavy. It’s held up well over three seasons of constant use and some abuse, with only the too-rarely-cleaned visor looking the worse for wear. The cheek padding has thinned a bit, but still fits snugly enough to keep me confident. The paint finish can’t be faulted and materials show no sign of excessive wear and tear.

I have two gripes with the Throttle, though. One, it’s not the quietest helmet around; wind noise is a proper pain at motorway speeds. The other is that the visor is billed as anti-fog, but it mists up within seconds when stationary or crawling on the bike in cold weather. Using the supplied breath guard only deflects the warm air (and the resultant fog) onto my spectacles. So I just leave the visor cracked open a bit, making a balaclava (or a stiff upper lip) essential.  

A recent low-speed (25 mph) urban tumble put an end to the Throttle’s adventures. Though the visor popped off (easily fixed) and the chin vent’s cover broke (not fixed), the helmet did its job in the ultimate test, staying firmly on the head with little movement on impact.

Its new home is the bottom of a wardrobe, for a well-deserved retirement waffling on about all those hoary times spent zipping about town and life’s hard knocks. But its better-cared-for companion, an identical blue version bought in the same deal (I do love a bargain!), continues to sally forth on the missus’s pretty head.

The CL-ST Throttle has been officially discontinued but you can still buy it new off eBay and some online stores for £50 or thereabouts.