Now you Know... A new Series
I was at a Shark Helmets Seminar last night and I got to tell you… I’m sold on them now. They may not have the same name recognition as Arai, Shoei or even Suomy in these here parts but the key features of their helmet is what won me over. The majority of the things mentioned here are for Top of the Line only helmets.
A little bit of History on the Shark helmets, I don’t know if you guys know this but even being in this Industry, I am not 100% sure anymore where the helmets are coming from as I see tons of them pouring into the US each year. I thought the Sharks were from England as I remember seeing Carl Fogarty wearing them (stupid to think that but that’s what I thought!), it turns out they are made in France and the guy in the seminar, try as he might, kept getting his native tongue stuck on some of the French Accent that we have grown to love (LOL). I, of course, saw the effort the guy was making in trying to speak perfect English.
We’re going to be talking about the KEY features in a moment (I won’t bother you with the features I think don’t merit to be mentioned). Some of the features on these helmets are said NOT to be used by any other Top of the Line Helmet Brand out there, although I can’t believe that, but, it is said that only Suomy is coming up with it now. Other features are just above and beyond what many of them are doing.
• F1 type, Enhanced-Safety, Shields 3.0 mm thick Shields… Unbreakable.
All of the other shields are said to be 1.8 to 2.0 and if you hit them or bend them hard enough, they will break on you (don’t try it unless you’re willing to spend 30 to 50 bucks on a replacement!). Only the F1 guys are wearing this kind of shields (again, allegedly!). The shark shields are unbreakable; the Shark Helmets Rep demonstrated this by bending it to the max and even flipping it around and bending it that way!! I, being the Non-Believer that I am, went ahead and tried to break it knowing full well that if they did, I could get away with not paying it LOL but, alas, was unable to do so; and believe me; I wanted to do so oh so much just to prove him wrong… I love my Arai helmets dammit!. Even the low end line has a 2.2mm shield.
• Dual Treated (Anti-Scratch / Anti-Fog) “Total Vision” Shield.
The reason of the Total Vision is because the plastic is injected into the mold instead of being cut out of a big piece of plastic and then bend into shape by hand or machine. This also gives you better visibility since the molecules are intact instead of stretched like the flat shields have gone through when they are being bent to form the shape. Only the Top of the Line helmets come with this treatment though. They Optimize the Anti-Fog thanks to “Venturi Extractors” on the sides.
• “Push One” shield quick-release system using 4-anchor points
Most of the Top of the Line quick release system on the helmets now a day only have a 2 anchor point for protection against the shield coming off during a crash or wind force, the Shark helmets have 4, giving you a better chance of keeping your shield intact and on your helmet (where you need it most!).
• Fully Adjustable, removable and Washable interior
Liner has top of the Line Coolmax and Sanitized fibers, the cheek pads are Ergonomic and have 3D foam. It utilizes double D-Ring racing Chin Strap
• Carbon/Aramid, multi-directional composite fibers
Very big words use here, right? Let me break it down for you… the outer shell are constructed with Carbon Fiber & Kevlar only; there is NO fiberglass at all. Also, they use long fibers instead of small patches like others do, it is harder & more expensive to make but the advantage is that they absorb shock waves caused by impact better because it dissipates throughout the long fibers instead of stopping on the end of the small patch like others. They have 5 different sizes of EPS liner and 2 shell sizes. Low-End helmets do have Fiberglass but not in small patches. The top of the line shark helmets weigh in at 1400 & 1500 grams respectively (roughly about 3.08 to 3.3 lbs)… how much does your helmet weighs?
• 6 Multi-Element, Internal Shock-Absorbers with differentiated density.
I hated when people use words to make it sound more fancy and they confuse me more but this is very simple really (this is also the part that nobody else in the world is using at the moment or that Suomy is the only one coming out with it)… The inner shell, you know, the polyurethane (white shell) has these ducts or ridges along the top, sides and back of the shell that act as shock-absorber or crumple-zones when on a crash. At the moment of impact, these ridges crumple and the shell is given an opportunity to expand more, crushing the inside completely but giving your head more cushion and deceleration time so your brain doesn’t stop on impact. Compared to the other shells that only allow for 2mm of absorbing energy because they are made with a single piece, the shark outer shell allows for 25mm of absorption because of the ridges. This is also why is stated that once your helmet has been in an accident or you have drop it hard enough, that helmet seizes to do its job and all your doing now is wearing a heavy baseball hat.
• Meets or Exceeds D.O.T. and ECE 22-05 Standards
ECE is the European counterpart of the Snell foundation but only better. Snell test is found on a 25 year old logic. Old cars used to have a better rigid chassis and it was said this was better protection but, now a days, we see crashes and cars all beat to hell but the person survives more than what they used to in the old days because of the crumple zones technological inventions of today where the car absorbs more of the impact, leaving the driver intact (on most occasions and depending on the accident). You can read about the Snell test on any of the other reviews done by people that know how to do write-ups… I am not one of them LOL. Suffice to say, the helmets are allowed to race on WSBK, MotoGP, AMA and any other sanctioning body through out the world… you can’t say the same with a Snell 2005 helmet (except that AMA will allow it).
• Airflow directed by integrated ducts
The helmet directs a good amount of airflow since the ridges or ducts on the inner shell help dissipate heat out to the outer shell ducts as well.
Warning & Disclaimers: Some of you know how bad my grammar is (some of you will now learn this to be true) and I have tried to use words that we all can understand (or rather, I can understand) so don’t take this review or write up as the Gospel . Do your homework and check the features of the model you want on their website. I am not here to sell you the helmet or put your brand down, just to inform you of something I found to be very good as far as new technological features. Consult with your local dealers if you are interested on the helmet and make sure you fit one before buying. I wear a Medium Arai and the Medium Shark RSR 2 helmet (Top of the Line) was very loose on me so not all sizes fit the same and they didn’t have a small one for me to try. If you have any questions about what I have said here, I would be glad to expand or get you more technical information.