Shark Vision-R BeCool Helmet
Great helmet, great deal
I normally wear a half helmet (Bell Pit Boss) but I've moved from California, where I could wear it year round, to Georgia, where winter is considerably colder. Since I commute over an hour in the early morning, I needed a new helmet, and after trying on everything I could find in local retail shops and being disappointed, I ordered the Shark Vision-R in matte black/orange, and I love it.
The huge area of vision is great, and makes the switch from half helmet to full face a little easier. The materials and build quality is excellent, the integrated Sun visor is terrific, and between the great deal on the visor and the removable, adjustable chin cover, the helmet keeps me plenty warm. There is some fogging at stops, but it clears quickly once moving. My only complaint is the top vents, even flipping them open/closed at freeway speeds, I can't tell a difference. But the chin vent works great. It's everything I could have wanted in a full face helmet at a great price.
November 12, 2013
WELL DONE SHARK
All around great helmet, I only have about 200 miles on my new helmet. Fit is good noise level is average, Very wide view love the drop down sun visor the optics on the shield and the sun visor are top notch. A little trouble with foging up at traffic lights. It's gone as soon as you start moving.
July 10, 2013
If your heads fits perfectly in a Shoei RF 1100, it will probably it in this one. It fits a little large: I fit in a RF1100 medium and the ideal size for this Shark model would probably be between M ans S. The anti-fog works but not perfectly, no as good as a dedicated anti-fog screen. There is not too much air flow when everything is closed but I've yet to try it in summer. I love the integrated sun visor but I wish it could have been darker. The view is definitely much wider than any other helmet I ever owned , the downside being that I get too much sky view. It was particularly inconvenient during a ride facing the sun as I really had to keep my head way down. I'm planing on installing some extra dark car window tint film on the top of the sun visor to solve this. Overall, I'm very satisfied.
February 18, 2013
Really nice helmet
Just got this helmet as a replacement for an older Shark, and tried it out for the first time on a couple of February rides this weekend in Vermont (clear roads but temps in the teens). I'm very pleased -- it fits as well as my old Shark did (apparently I have an oddly-shaped head that only Shark and Scorpion helmets fit well), it was extremely comfortable, the field of view out of the large face port is excellent, and as long as I was moving it stayed remarkably fog free despite the very cold temps. The drop-down sun visor is a nice feature too -- I initially wasn't interested in it and bought the helmet in spite of it, not because of it, but I quickly came to like it. Can't wait to try this helmet out on a longer ride in moderate temps.
February 4, 2013
Outstanding Street Helmet
This helmet gives street riders a field of view nearly comparable with open face helmets, while offering full face protection. Combine that with the sun visor and quick fastening chin strap and you've got a fast moving helmet for urban zones.
The roundish profile does fine on the freeway, but does buffet more in sidewinds (as any helmet in this category does).
On a down note, its irritatingly difficult to actuate the upper vents wearing gloves. There have been a few times where i've stopped to close vents.
Overall, I rode with this helmet through Europe for two years and loved it.
February 3, 2013
Shark Vision-R 2012 BeCool
The 2012 Shark Vision-R seemed to have lots of features I wanted (wider and taller visor - claimed to be non-fogging, "city position" button for the visor, low-reaching drop-down sunshades, largish adjustable chin curtain, adjustable temple pads in the liner for occasional wearing of glasses, removable breath guard, decent weight).
Got it from Revzilla, and did 5 outings totalling 400 miles and about 8 hours. In temperatures between 54 and 38°F and humidity between 75% and 65%.
Happy to share my observations in case anyone is considering this helmet.
Finish and materials:
Very good, inside is a bit better than Nolan's. Fully on par with the Schuberts and Arais I have tried in the stores.
Snug (as desired), the crown fits well - my head's crown shape is roundish, a bit wider at the rear than the front above the temples. Ears tuck in comfortably
Cheekpads are comfortable, and sufficiently snug for now. My jaws are quite wide at the "hinge" area, and the pads accommodate them well without any unpleasant pressure points. The ear pockets are generously deep, and nicely padded.
The fastening buckle is aimed exactly where it needs to be - right behind the tip of my chin, staying far from the neck. The retractable chin curtain is a breeze to adjust once the helmet is on. Fully deployed it interferes with my nose, which is a size larger than the face it belongs to, and after several tries I decided that I should keep it semi-retracted while putting the helmet on and off, and adjust it afterwards. It is soft, warm, covers the entire area under my chin - up to the neck, and probably affects how much noise would reach my ears.
The chinbar and breath guard leave plenty of room for my mouth and nose, making it possible to stick a CamelBak mouthpiece underneath for a drink.
I did not dare use the top vents given the cold weather. No verdict there, although I am suspicious - the intakes are small, the exhaust port on the back is microscopic, and my expectations at this point are quite low. The top vent buttons are indeed very small, but it is not extremely difficult to operate them with winter gloves on.
The bottom vent performs like a champ. It directs air to the visor. At 38°F and speeds under 60 mph my face was still comfortable. Above 60 mph I had to close the vent even at 42°F. Very easy to operate the vent.
The good news is that the shield did not fog.
The bad is that the sunshade did, only below 45°F at my stated humidity and the bottom vent closed.
My regular breathing pattern is 10-12 breaths per minute. Let's say, 2 seconds inhale and 3 secs - exhale. I noticed fogging on the sunshade a second after I start exhaling, which disappeared a second after I start inhaling. The fog did not cover the entire sunshade, it formed a thin layer only on the upper half, and I was still able to see through - just not with the desired clarity. Of course, this is a good indicator of what to expect at higher humidity.
A week ago Shark posted on their web site that a newer revision of Vision-R is about to become available, with a visor accommodating a PinLock insert. The new Shark offering means that I could probably get a PinLock shield later on as a bomb-proof recipe should I ever encounter shield fogging.
Very good. Totally suitable for the temperatures I encountered.
Excellent. I always ride with ear plugs and my trained and sensitive musician's hearing tells me the noise level with the Shark is half of what I experienced with the Nolan. The N90 with ports closed still allows me at low speed to remotely hear the engine, while the Shark does not. Again, this is with top vents closed, bottom - open, and chin curtain fully deployed. The tight neckroll probably helps as well.
Excellent. The expanded eye port added perhaps 5 mm on each side compared to the N90, which has a decent side-to-side opening. Love it as it matches my own peripheral field of vision. Vertically, it added a lot and I am very satisfied.
On the flip side, riding into the low sun is indeed unpleasant. Sunshade is perhaps around 35% VLT, which is probably mandated by legislation in the US and abroad. Lots of users complain that the shades are too light. I find them adequate, although I would much prefer a 16% VLT as in pair of good ole Ray-Bans. What no sunshade could address, however, is the direct sun glare. For that one probably needs 5% VLT, and definitely no more than 8% VLT. This can only be achieved with a separate upper strip of tint film, and I am on my way to install one in the upper center area of the shield - or the sunshade. As I mentioned above, my helmet got "modified" and I now encounter the direct glare only when the sun is quite low, but still much higher than with my N90. Besides, most helmets with regular size eyeport allow for using the helmet portion above one's eyebrows to cast a shade over one's eyes by slightly tucking the chin down, which is nearly impossible with the Shark's eyeport size and shape. Still, I like the expanded field of vision very much and will address this issue shortly.
The lever engaging the sunshade is solid and easy to operate with the left hand. The sunshade comes down much lower than the ones on all the other helmets I have tried, including my N90, and leaves no unpleasant bright gap underneath.
The "city position" button does what was intended, and is a convenient feature. However, as most people stay in 1st gear during traffic stops - which essentially frees up only their right hand - its location of the left-hand side is strange and a bit awkward as I had to operate it with my right hand.
Weight and balance.
The helmet measures 1590 g (3 lbs 8 oz), Shark's claimed weight is 1600 g.
It is lighter than the N90, and its balance is very neutral when riding. My natural riding position is semi-tucked and the N90 had a slight front bias, which might be a normal thing for a flip-up - not enough to tire me in my shortish (less than 3 hours) rides, but perhaps enough to make me uncomfortable on a longer ride. No such thing with the Shark - its balance is nearly perfect. Shoulder checks at any speed are easy and comfortable. The N90 has a pronounced "overhang" behind the neck, while the Vision-R does not; which reduces the likelihood of helmet bumping when one has a pillion passenger behind. It is also a bit narrower in the upper area which makes it look more proportional to one's body and to me at least is aesthetically pleasing.
I don't care about this aspect. Users report that they have broken their shields while (or because of) swapping them - this is of no concern to me. The only reason I'd swap a shield is to discard a broken one - or to get it out in case I decide to install a PinLock-ready one. Once.
The weather offered no opportunity to test this. I have washed the outside of the shield several times under running water while being closed, and noticed no water penetration into the eyeport. The gasket seems decent, the fit between the closed shield and gasket appears to be reliable. Only time will tell.
I am very satisfied with this helmet. It was a good buy, worth the cost. The adequacy of the upper venting in sweaty weather and the helmet's rain-proofness are still unknown. I might do a follow-up when I have more to report on this.
November 27, 2012
Overpriced and fragile
I bought this helmet 6 weeks ago - 3 weeks after purchasing, I accidentally dropped it from waste level (less than 3 feet) onto pavement, and the outer shell cracked. The outer shell didn't even crack on the impact spot, but 3-4 inches to the side.
I contacted Shark, and they wouldn't even look at it to x-ray it, and told me to throw it away.
If it got so destroyed from such a small drop, I certainly wouldn't want it on my head in a real crash.
Upon futher digging, I found out that the helmet is falsely advertised. The description Shark uses is "full-face fiber-composite shells," but don't confuse this with the carbon fiber you get in more expensive helmets. This helmet is actually plastic (which is why it cracked so easily).
I ended up tossing mine and spending a bit more on a Japanese brand - yes, they cost a little more, but the build quality is significantly better. Never purchasing a Shark product again.
August 5, 2012
Another Great Shark Helmet
I'll start by saying that I've only ever owned a Shark RSI helmet and this.
The Shark Vision-R is fantastic for what is was made to be: a helmet with superior peripheral vision. You can barely see the edges of the eye port. I really like the drop down sun visor, this saves on switching out visors or needing to squint in the sun. I'd also say it's necessary because with this helmet you will have a hard time using the edge of the eye port to block the sun.
The downside is I feel the RSI had better venting. The top vents whistle a little when you turn your head to the side when moving over 40 mph.
Overall I really like this helmet and would recommend it, it is easily the best helmet if you are looking for something with good peripheral vision. If you are looking for something with amazing venting I'd say look elsewhere (maybe the Shark Speed-R?).
July 9, 2012