Shark Spartan RS Review 2023

Shark Spartan RS Review 2023
Shark Spartan RS Review 2023

The Shark Spartan RS was one of the first motorcycle helmets from the French safety firm to meet more stringent ECE 22.06 safety regulations – meaning it should perform better in rotational impacts. A comfortable everyday touring helmet with a sporty set of styling, it’s on the market for a penny shy of 300 quid.

The RS follows on from the original Spartan, blending the looks of Shark’s track-ready £629.99 Race R Pro Carbon with distance comfort, a wider field of vision, and practicality. Features include a chin curtain, sun visor, and multiple vents. It’s genuinely a hard product to fault and I’ll be using it for many rides to come.

Price: 284.99 (was £299.99)


  • Sleek, sporty design combined with distance comfort, and minimal wind noise


  • Optional iridium visors have minimal impact in sunlight, heavier than some other touring lids on the market
  • Overall
  • Comfort
  • Visor
  • Ventilation
  • Noise
  • Looks
  • Quality
  • Value
Weight 1530g
Construction Multiaxial fibre
Chin strap type Double D ring
Intercom ready No
Drop down sun visor Yes
Interior Removable and washable
Shell sizes Two
Warranty Five years
Safety standard ECE 22.06
SHARP score N/A

Is the Shark Spartan RS comfortable?

I’m a big fan of sporty lids. They might often be less weatherproof, and more single-minded, but I don’t think you can beat the fit, finish, and look of a high-quality race rep. That said, even I will admit that the loud wind noise and cooling chill allowed to penetrate some track-focussed designs can spoil a long day in the saddle.

That’s why I’ve fallen head over heels for Shark’s Spartan RS road-focused touring lid, which has been perfect for all weather commuting and comfortable cruising across the second half of 2022 and into the winter grime of 2023.

Holding your head in place is a set of posh suede-effect padding, meaning no nasty irritations when taking it on and off. It’s tight on your head without crushing and there are no harsh pressure points. I didn’t have to endure a painful ‘bedding in’ period either – it just sat snug on my head from the first ride.

Shark Spartan RS

In fact, with the big nose piece up front and thick padded cheeks visible in your peripheral vision, it feels incredibly similar to Shark’s old Race R Pro track helmet when you’re wearing it – one of my all-time favourite pieces of riding kit. That said, at 1530g it’s not the lightest helmet I’ve ever tried but it doesn’t cause any fatigue over distance.

What’s the Shark Spartan RS visor like?

Despite the sporty looks, the field of vision on the Spartan RS is impressive. The bulky chin and thick nose piece do mean you need to make a concerted effort to look down at your clocks, but it has been the ideal daily helmet for my 50-mile-each-way commute to MCN Towers.

Alongside the standard clear visor, you get a drop-down sun shield and there’s a Pinlock anti mist insert included in the box. I’m not the biggest fan of drop-down sun inserts (I think they look a bit naff; truth be told) but this one does cover almost all of your visible face – with minimal intrusion from the sunlight – all controlled by an easy to operate catch on the top of the product.

Shark Spartan RS

There are options for other tinted visors too. Being a fan of the 1990s I have equipped the optional light purple iridium visor, which adds an additional lick of colour to an otherwise fairly humdrum paint scheme (brighter ones are available).

Priced at £79.99, it’s not cheap, but it is homologated for day and night-time use – meaning you can use it without need to carry a spare visor. That said, it does feel like style over substance and offers little to no sunshine prevention. I also have experienced some bubbling between the Pinlock insert and the visor itself. This could well be error on my part though during fitment, though.

Regardless of which visor you go for, swapping them out is nice and easy. Simply flick out the tear-shaped fastener on either side and pull the visor out with minimal fuss. It’s much easier than some other brands on the market.

Is the Shark Spartan RS well ventilated?

Shark Spartan RS

You get two vents on the Spartan RS – one on the top and one on the chin. Although less than some rivals, from other premium brands, the Spartan comes in at a much lower price tag, so we can forgive that.

The vents are chunky easy to operate with a gloved hand, which is handy in the winter months when you’re often wearing a thicker pair on your mitts. Thankfully, the adjustment for the chin can also be found on the outside of the lid, which is handy for quick bursts of air when required too.

Both vents are on a sliding adjuster. There are no clicks or stages to its opening, which can make subtle adjustments harder on the fly.

Is the Shark Spartan RS noisy?

Shark Spartan RS

If there’s one thing that spoils my love for sporty crash helmets, it’s wind noise. I wear ear plugs even if I’m popping out for a few miles, but even then, I can still finish some rides with ringing ears in particularly noisy lids. Thankfully, there’s no such problem here.

At all legal speeds it has let just the right amount of road noise in. You can hear the bike and the cars around you, without the horrible drone of the wind. I’ve used this helmet on tourers and naked bikes, and it has been pleasant on all occasions.

I have not tried this helmet with an intercom though – preferring the freedom of not being contactable during my ride.

Is the Shark Spartan RS good looking?

Shark Spartan RS

I really like the blend of sports styling and practical useability, but it doesn’t stand out from the crowd. It’s nicely finished and worthy of its price tag, but this particular design is hardly exciting. Seven months in and I’m still not sure if the copper goes with the gloss black, either.

Fans of brighter colours can get their fix too though, with more adventurous designs available at a higher price. There’s even a Johann Zarco MotoGP replica available for £349.99.

Is the Shark Spartan RS good quality?

After around 3000 miles, the Shark Spartan RS looks almost brand-new, however the chin curtain is starting the fray a little. The gloss finish makes it easier to keep clean, too.

Shark Spartan RS

With the posh suede and leather-effect padding it feels like a pricier crash helmet than it is, with the sturdy feeling vents and fasteners giving the impression that they will go on for years to come. The visor fastens into its locked position with an audible click, with the sun visor slider remaining simple and easy to use with a gloved hand.

You also get a five year warranty from Shark, plus a double D-ring fastener, which feels much nicer on your chin than a ratchet design and gives an added air of quality.

Is the Shark Spartan RS good value?

The Shark Spartan RS is great value, starting at £299.99. Meeting the latest ECE 22.06 safety regulations, rivals include the Shoei NXR2 that starts at £429.99 and the Arai Quantic that starts at £499.99. Both of these blend practicality with performance at a higher price point and neither have a drop down visor.

Shark Spartan RS

Looking at the lower end of the market, there are products like the £220 LS2 Challenger to consider too, which gets more vents, a sun visor and is available in three shell sizes. However, it only meets ECE 22.05.


This is genuinely a very hard product to fault. At 1530g, it’s not the lightest helmet I’ve tried but it doesn’t cause any fatigue, and I will happily continue to wear it long after publishing this review.

It’s a great helmet that blends sporty road riding with distance touring and is a genuine worthwhile buy. I would avoid the iridium extras though if you want any form of sun protection.

- Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this page, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us.