Shark Race-R Pro Carbon, £499.99
Time tested: Three months / 3,500 miles
What’s good? I’m not known for swapping helmet brands on a regular basis, but after nearly 20 years exclusively wearing one brand I thought it was time to broaden my horizons a little. I last tried a Shark on when Foggy was dominating WSB, but couldn’t get on with it at all. It’s a very different story today. Not only do I absolutely love the timelessly classy styling of the Race-R’s carbon shell, the quality of the finish, feel of the materials and high level of protection, but it’s also the first non-Arai helmet I’ve worn more than twice without giving up on it. Once over the initial oddness of wearing something else, the difference in noise, feel, and peripheral frame on my riding world, I’m sold. It’s quiet, comfortable, plush, stable at speed, the visor system is lovely (as are the visors), and the whole package feels well put together, and special. This range-topper is clearly a big wedge of cash, but it’s dramatically cheaper (£200) than my usual RX7-GP, offers better tested protection according to SHARP, and feels more luxurious, too. Impressed.
What’s not? My only gripe is that the top of my ears get folded down every time I pop the Race-R on my head, prompting an inelegant amount of wiggling, or a hand up the inside of the lid, to unpin them again. It a small point, and may have more to do with my ears than the helmet.
Quality rating: 4/5
Value rating: 4/5