In the motorcycle helmet world, dominated by giants like Arai, Shoei and the Italian juggernaut AGV with its rich history and an entire slew of racing titles, Shark helmets is somewhat of a young upstart, a French playboy who burst onto the scene with little regard for the big names.
Founded in 1986 by two brothers, who were professional racers, Shark has been known for setting its goals high, striving toward outstanding performance and safety. The company’s headquarters in Marseille, France, has been the source of many innovations and pioneering solutions for over 25 years.
Since its humble beginnings, the company has established itself as one of the leading helmet brands, with over 600 employees working in its factories, and producing more than 350,000 helmets each year. Adding to the list of impressive numbers is a large sales network of over 5,000 distributors throughout the entire world.
What sets this brand apart from its rivals is the constant search for new designs and innovations, and Shark often introduces cutting edge technologies and ideas, setting new standards with every model. The list of Shark’s achievements contains many pioneering feats.
Shark is credited with manufacturing the first helmet made entirely out of carbon fiber, in 1991, called the XRC Carbon. Also, they are responsible for producing the first modular helmet with dual homologation, which means it can be worn legally in both configurations, full face and open face, named the Evoline. Adding to the long list of firsts, Shark motorcycle helmets were the first to feature crumple zones to disperse the impact in case of an accident and minimize the rider’s injuries.
But, Shark doesn’t rest on its laurels. They continue to introduce new technologies and push the boundaries, making their helmets even safer, lighter and, simply put, better.
“Helmets Extreme Experiment”
Employing their own “Formula One Technology”, Shark helmets also boast the title of the stiffest and quietest on the market, being only 3 millimeters thick and several decibels quieter than their competitors. The use of cutting-edge materials and polymers, such as carbon fiber or aramid fiber for composite shells, with internal shock absorbers and integrated air ducts for optimal airflow, are just some details that set Shark helmets apart from their stiff competition.
Keeping up with the tradition, 20 years after the first ever carbon fiber helmet, Shark introduced its spiritual successor, the RSR2 Carbon, crammed full of latest technology and innovations the company has become known for. Also, they’ve made the Vision-R, a full face helmet with panoramic vision, the Race-R, a top of the line model featuring optimum optical quality, and the Race-R Pro, their latest high-end model with shield class 1 rating and CFD spoiler certification.
Breathing rarified air in the company reserved only for top helmet manufacturers, Shark is steadily gaining more followers, thanks to their winning combination of strength, comfort, lightweight, and sleek, aggressive design. Their helmet range is divided into four divisions: Racing, Pulse, Discovery and Metro.
Here’s a brief rundown on a few of our favorite Shark helmet models:
For more information, click on the helmet name.
This helmet was developed in collaboration with top level racers who wear their helmets, in all competitions, including the Moto GP, Moto 2, WSBK and so on. To be able to meet these demands, there is no room for error, and perfection is a must, and Race-R Pro certainly delivers.
This high-end model is constructed using composite materials, namely carbon/aramid fiber. The starting point for this model was the process of reverse engineering, which applies the technical data gathered through research to approximate the specifications of the rider’s head as closely as possible. This means that Shark puts the rider to the forefront, meeting their needs first, and then working around them to build the best helmet possible.
Furthermore, hundreds of hours of conducting tests and consulting with the riders ensure that the helmet is ready for both the race track and the road. Wind tunnel testing has helped reduce the unwanted cyclonic airflow, through an addition of a double blade spoiler.
Featuring a total of 4 air intakes, with a single intake located on the chin, one at the front and two at the top, as well as 7 openings at the back, it allows for a constant and optimal ventilation, with the addition of integrated anti-pollution air filter.
The Race-R Pro Carbon represents the very best when it comes to high-performance helmets, for professional racers and amateurs alike.
The S700-S Legion features an aggressive, eye-catching design, and numerous features reserved for more expensive helmets. The S700-S was developed with comfort and security in mind, and it shows because Shark went all out and employed the Air Comfort integrated pump which inflates the cheek area to ensure a perfect fit and maximum comfort, even when riding for prolonged periods of time.
Adding to the comfort level is the new ventilation system which deals with heat and moisture more efficiently and operating the air intakes is now made much easier, even if you are wearing gloves. Also, chin cover now comes as standard equipment.
Note the Shark S700 is almost identical to the S900 but has a slightly different spoiler, exhaust system and vent covers.