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6 February 2024

Shark Spartan RS Helmet – Review

This year I made the return to Shark. 

For the past few years, I’ve bounced around helmet brands, mostly wearing an AGV flip front. However, 2022 saw the return to Shark. 

My very first lid was a Shark Crafar rep. I loved that helmet, it fitted me really well and for the day, was a good helmet. Inevitably I fell off and damaged that helmet and ended up with an Arai, which just didn’t fit me as well. That’s my point. For my head shape, Shark helmets seem to fit me really well. With some other brands, the chin bar feels too close to my big nose or they’re tight across my huge forehead. Over the years I’ve lost touch with Shark, although some friends of mine ride in the awesome Spartan GT Pro Carbon which I’ve always admired. 

In 2022 Shark released the Spartan RS full face helmet which was designed completely with the new ECE 22.06 industry safety standards in mind. What does that mean? Ok, so the previous standard was ECE 22.05 which was implemented in 2000. After 20 years, this standard was replaced in June 2020 with ECE 22.06.

The reason for the new standard is that over the last 20 years, there have been significant technological, design and engineering advancements in motorcycle helmet production. For that reason, new revisions needed to be made.

The new standards try to focus on more real-world accidents so include more rigorous impact testing scenarios at higher and lower speeds, more tested points on the helmet, including the visor, and any official accessories that can be fitted, to ensure they do not compromise protection.

My Spartan RS is the next generation of SHARK helmet and the first SHARK helmet to be introduced following the updated safety standards and includes a multiaxial composite shell with multi-density EPS to not just meet but surpass the new industry requirements and provide the highest level of protection, as well as an ultra-resistant visor with a four-point anchor system, inspired by SHARK’s premium racing Race-R Pro GP helmet. It’s about as safe as helmets get right now.

These days you can easily spend serious money on a helmet. £299 put this midfield in terms of price point, but don’t think this Helmet is lacking in any way, it’s a really nice helmet. 

The fit is great, even after around 6,000 miles in all sorts of weather, from a 3 hours torrential rain storm, to 40 degrees of summer, and it’s been faultless. It’s very comfortable; inside you have perforated suede padding, along with ALVEOTECH sanitised-labelled textiles for antibacterial, anti-sweat and anti-odour properties. After 6.000 hard miles it’s still in perfect order.

When the Spartan RS was first released it was available in 5 colours; glossy white, glossy black, matte black, matte grey and matte black with red accents. Not a very inspiring range of colours if I’m honest, and probably my main criticism of the helmet. My choice was matte grey. Since the launch, SHARK has added 8 new colours to the range which are pretty cool in my opinion.

SHARK now have 13 colour options for the Spartan RS, including a Zarco replica. If I was ordering today I’d either go for the Zarco or the Stingrey in matte. The new funky designs attract a small premium over the standard colours.

Quality is very good. This has been my go-to helmet for the latter half of 2022, and i’ve done a whole variety of riding. It still feels fresh and fits like it did when i first put it on, 6.000 miles ago.

When I first slipped it on it just fitted really well. It’s very comfortable and importantly, it’s quiet too. My previous helmey was more than double the price but so noisy I couldn’t hear my music a full volume from the intercom. It’s also very stable at speed. I wore my previous lid on the Hayabusa launch. Over around 120 mph the turbulance was a problem. On this SHARK, it’s rock steady at high speed…….even very high speeds. This is down to the aerodynamic profile that minimises drag, buffeting and external noise.

Ventilation is an interesting point on this helmet. I’m used to opening the chin vent on a helmet and feeling the air on my face. Often it’s annoying and dries my lips, but you can’t have it all. 

When i first opened the chin vent on the Spartan RS, I wasn’t sure if it was open or closed as it didn’t seem to do anything. However, it’s just well engineered and the air flow through the helmet is subtle and well managed. The air through the chin vent doesn’t blast straight at your mouth, the chin vent diffuser guides air up to the visor and a top vent forces fresh air throughout the helmet via an internal channel. This improves breathability and reduces the internal temperature around your head. The rear spoiler also features vents to extract the hot air. I was riding in the crazy hot summer we’ve just had, sweating in my gear, but the helmet regulated the temperature inside very well. 

SHARK are keen to point out the exceptional optical quality. The Spartan RS is equipped with a high-performance VZ 300 visor as featured on the Spartan GT helmet. The visor has an optical class 1-rating with variable thickness to avoid visual distortion regardless of the angle of vision. The helmet also comes with a Pinlock 120 Max Vision® insert and an internal UV380-treated sun visor. With some helmets, the internal visor can touch my big nose, but this Spartan RS is fine. The fit is excellent and the optical qualities are superb. It’s available in sizes XS-XXL with two shell sizes that secure via a double-D ring strap.

The SHARK Spartan RS is available in 13 colour options with an RRP £299.99 – standard colours / £329.99 – Byhron & Stingray / £349.99 – Zarco




Category: Supercars