Modular full-face helmets offer the convenience of rotating the chinbar out of the way. At gas or rest stops, just press a button and slide the front portion of the helmet up to the top. Blow your nose, sip on coffee, kiss your sweetie or enjoy a snack without undoing the chin strap and taking the helmet off. Modular helmets are not designed, however, to be worn with the chinbar up while riding. The chinbar doesn’t lock in the up position, it leaves the rider’s face exposed and the aerodynamics are terrible.
Seeing an opportunity to provide even more convenience, Shark designed its EvoLine as two helmets in one. In full-face mode, a stainless-steel locking mechanism holds the chinbar securely in the normal position. To convert the helmet to open-face mode, slide the face shield up, press the red button on the chinbar and rotate it 180 degrees until it comes to a stop just past a ridge on the back of the helmet. The face shield and chinbar are separate, so the face shield can be lowered to partially protect your face in open-face mode. To return the chinbar to the front, just give it a light tug to overcome the locking mechanism, rotate it forward and then push in the front of the chinbar to lock it in place. The full-face to open-face conversion can be done easily with one hand. Not only is the EvoLine two helmets in one, but it meets safety standards in both configurations: ECE 22-05 and DOT in both full-face and open-face modes.
Other features of the EvoLine include an anti-scratch/anti-fog face shield, as well as one of those increasingly popular fighter-pilot-style retractable, interior sun visors. Since I normally wear sunglasses, I’ve come to appreciate the additional tinting and eye protection sun visors provide without having to carry a spare face shield. Tinted face shields are available, and they can be swapped out easily without tools. The chin strap uses a patented Tech Move System guide and quick-release device for a nice, snug fit. It takes a little fiddling at first, but I got used to it and found it easier to use than lining up snaps as on most other helmets. An anti-backwash deflector, which I was disappointed to learn is not a saliva force field, reduces buffeting. Vents at the front of the chinbar and forehead direct airflow to overheated craniums, while hermetic watertight edging along the movable chinbar prevents leaking. The suedelike Meryl (a polyamide fabric) interior is comfortable, removable, washable and adjustable.
First introduced to the Shark EvoLine while adventure touring in Colorado (see Rider, April 2009), I have since gotten a lot of use and enjoyment out of the helmet. It is comfortable without being too heavy or excessively noisy (especially for a modular-style helmet). The only problems I had were the front vent cover popping off and the face shield coming undone on one side while closing it. Nothing was broken, but both occurred unexpectedly. Shark provides a five-year warranty.
While Rider recommends full-face helmets for the highest level of safety, we realize that some riders prefer open-face helmets. Shark’s EvoLine allows riders to have both options in one well-designed helmet that meets rigorous safety standards. It’s available in solid colors (Black, Silver, Matte Black and Matte Silver) for $399.95, or with subtle graphics in Absolute Black/Silver for $449.95, and sizes XS-XL.
For more information: see your Tucker-Rocky dealer or visit www.shark-helmetsus.com