Shark motorcycle helmets

Ok, the Japanese brands seem to lead the game, but do the shark motorcycle helmets come even close to them?

I'd say: very close! In fact the gap in quality now between the French producer and the Japanese manufacturers like Arai or Shoei seems to be non-existing. However, the average price difference, between the same purpose helmets, remain significant and that's how Shark is winning its customers. Another most pronounced fact is that Shark does not solely focus on the most prestigious riders or the racing industry but for them all riders are as important. This is reflected in their huge range right from the entry level helmet S600 which you will find at the most affordable price. Shark’s range goes up to the race inspired and race ready helmets like the Race R or Race R Carbon which are offered at a very reasonable price. Don’t be fooled by the saying that you get what you’ve paid for though, they are still top quality helmets and are worn by some the most famous riders.

Race R Pro

Race R Pro Carbon

Shark motorcycle helmets - the company

The company was founded by former professional racers and all Shark helmets are designed and manufactured solely in Marseille. With over 25 years of experience they have not been around as long as the Japanese competitors but you’ve got to ask yourself whether being longer on the market makes you superior and also, do you really need to pay extra for the badge?

Shark motorcycle helmets are designed by the most advanced tools with the use of Finite Element Analysis (FEA) that enable Shark to manipulate aerodynamics and predict how the finish product will react to the real test loads which are carried out after manufacture. That ensures the highest level of performance and safety. In fact all of their helmets meet the top criteria in the UK government’s SHARP helmet safety scheme (4-5 stars) and often beat the top brands. Bear in mind the SHARP assessment and rating programme is more demanding than the DOT or ECE 22.05 and includes number of impact and abrasion tests.

On top of the above the excellent styling and attention to details makes them very competitive in the motorcycle helmets world. It is not surprising that they grow and trade in over 45 countries. They strive for innovation and continue to push the technical boundaries with their Research and Development (R&D) team. They were first to incorporate crumple zones into their helmets to enhance the impact dispersion and Shark helmets incorporate one of the stiffest and quietest face shields in the industry.

Other benefits

Shark motorcycle helmets are really becoming the default brand of choice for many motorcyclists today. All helmets come with 5 years warranty from the purchase date which is the standard with the Japanese competitors. There are many spare parts like visor mechanisms, sun visor mechanisms, chin curtains, vents etc. that can be easily replaced if something gets worn. Being on average ~$200 (£150) cheaper, for the equivalent helmet from Shoei or Arai, it does make them a serious rival against other brands.

Sport touring

Having interviewed a number of touring enthusiasts and several racers wearing Shark helmets, the Vision R Series 2 comes as the one the best sport touring helmets out there. It features panoramic aperture and improved soundproofing and proves to be much quieter than the Race R which is a top spec racing helmet (5 star SHARP rating). It is also surprisingly light comparing other with the drop down sun visor. The only thing I don’t like about it is the quick release chin strap. For safety reasons I would always go for the Double D retention system. 

 

For sport touting you may consider

  • With drop down sun visor

Vision R Series 2

Speed R

Skwal (with led light system)

S900C

S700S



  • Flip Flop

Evoline Series 3

Evoline Pro Carbon

Openline


For Adventure or dual sport riding

Explore R


Urban style

Vantime

Vancore

The Open Face helmets, all of which I’d never consider include: Raw, Nano, SK, RSJ 3 (with drop down sun visor) and Heritage


On the negative note incorporation of the more cost effective polycarbonate shell makes the Shark helmets a little heavier due to the need of more material used comparing to the fibreglass for example. Remember though that it is often not the weight that matters but the weight distribution. On the other hand Shark motorcycle helmets proves to be the quietest and although some reported Shark being not as comfortable as Arai I still think this will be hugely down to the fit, so check it properly. This applies to any helmet you intend to buy.



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