What a whole lot of fancy Shark’s latest open-face-superhero-fighter-pilot helmet is.
It’s crazy light (1000gm), it’s shaped like a human skull (as are all of Shark’s lids), and its crafted from carbon-fibrey goodness and has French swear words scrawled on it. I lied about that last bit, but there are certainly word-graphics which I can see when the light is just right. The words are Freedom, Ride, Shark, Born to Ride and Fine Quality. I’m thinking these are better words than Pants, Asparagus, Custard and Wet Undies, but not as good as Burn, Demon, Beer and Pistols At Dawn. Still, you can only see them if the light is right, so I’m not really fussed by them.
Dubbed the S-Drak, it comes in two variants – the Carbon Skin ($529.95 and word-free) and the Freestyle Cup ($599.95), which is the one I have been wearing and the one with the words on it.
It comes with an internal drop-down visor, and the entire armada of Shark features, which include it being glasses-friendly, which is good, because I wear sunnies with it. It has a five-year warranty, is Sharktooth (Bluetooth) ready, comes in two shell sizes, has a removable lining (but pretty much every helmet you buy that isn’t from a grocery store has that), and a removable face mask – which I loved because it made me feel a bit like Fury Road’s Immortan Joe – whom you’ll remember had an entire herd of pretty ladies attend upon him until that criminal Max kidnapped them all.
The quick-release drop-down visor it comes with is only mildly tinted (hence the sunnies), and because my head is strange and misshapen, I find the visor’s bottom edge sits at the base of my peripheral vision. This is not a problem if I’m canted forward riding sportsbikes. I’m not seeing that part of the visor. But if I’m on a cruiser, the bottom edge is just in my line of vision. The visor is a thick, anti-fog and anti-scratch jobbie, so the bottom edge is not something I can just not see. It’s there. I see it.
I gave it to Al, whose head is shaped differently to mine, to try and he did not have an issue. So it’s me and my head.
I loved its lightness, I loved its comfort, and I loved its quick-release chin-strap – beats the hell out of the traditional double-D-ring system. It behaved well at speed and did not lift, and the face mask did not fly off when I turned my head. I’m not sure it will work as splendidly at speeds over 200km/h, but it’s not designed for that.
It’s not mad-inducing loud, but it’s not a quiet lid. There’s not many open-faces that are.
I reckon it’s a great helmet for commuting, localised scratching, or flying F/A-18s into battle against the enemy.
And it’s just bloody gorgeous.
By Boris Mihailovic