Review by Ken Freund
[This Shark RSR Motorcycle Helmet Review was originally published in the March 2004 issue of Rider magazine]
The Shark RSR motorcycle helmet is the priciest in Shark’s lineup, with suggested retail prices ranging from $537.95 for the single-color Summum (which comes in five colors) we tried, to $622.95 for the multihued racer-replica lids. We evaluated the lower-priced RSF series in Rider’s August 2003 issue.
The shell is a “multiaxial” fiber and epoxy resin construction (usually called fiberglass) which at 55 ounces (size XL) is an ounce lighter than an Arai Quantum/f in the same size (both with face shields). Inside, the polystyrene liner has front-to-back slots to channel airflow between the large single top vent (which some people said looked like a cyclops) and the upper rear air outlet. The chinbar is lined with EPS, and a large external vent in it directs air onto the inside of the face shield. A small lever below the spoiler-shaped lip controls outlet air. All vents can be controlled with gloves, but we found it difficult to open the face shield with thick ones.
Speaking of the face shield, it’s precurved and is held on at each end by a large pivot “button” which can be twisted on or off by hand, so no tools are required. However, if it’s not fastened properly it could pop off and be lost along the road, so pay attention when you do it. The shield has a friction-type system that holds it open right where you put it, plus a positive latch to keep it closed.
Fit is always a wild card and everybody’s needs are different. Overall fit was very good, but with my noggin, a pressure point across the forehead at the top of the face opening was quite noticeable. Working the edge with my fingers helped considerably and otherwise the lining and shape are comfortable.
Out on the road, the lid is fairly quiet, right up there with the premium brands, and the face shield fits snugly yet fogging wasn’t a problem. Venting is quite effective, especially on a bike like the Mean Streak without a windscreen, and you can feel the air moving inside. Our RSR came with a removable chin curtain and breath guard, which seem to work, but aren’t really needed in our Southern California climate.
Shark’s RSR series is both Department of Transportation (DOT) and Snell 2000 approved. Warranty coverage is for one year and the RSR comes in sizes XS-XXL. Overall fit and finish are on a par with other major-brand cranium covers and we are favorably impressed with Shark products.
Shark is a French-based company—the helmet is made in Thailand and brought into the United States by North American importer Kimpex.
For more information see your local motorcycle dealer or contact Kimpex, 100 Walnut Street, Champlain, New York 12919; www.kimpex.com.