Awesome looks, complicated experience.
Let's all be honest. We read the numerous negative reviews of this helmet series in various places on the internet, which usually boil down to "it looks cool, but don't buy it just because of that, it's really not a good helmet." Then we all took one look at the helmet's profile and bought it anyway.
So, having splurged after a paycheck and bought this clearly overpriced helmet, how does it fare? Well, I've had it for a little over three months now, so let's see.
This helmet looks awesome. That can't be denied. This is one of the coolest-looking helmets I've ever seen. Even the versions without the decals look effortlessly aggressive in that way so many of us crave, but it doesn't look like it's trying too hard to come off that way, which is a pitfall many helmets/motorcycle accessories fall into [skulls and flames and barbed wire, anyone?].
This helmet seems to run just a SMIDGE small. I have a tiny head, so my original/main helmet, which is a full-face from a different brand, is an XS, and that fit great from the get-go. The Shark, also an XS, was tight enough around the ears and temples that it was pretty uncomfortable to wear for the first couple of weeks. I'd take it off and have a pressure headache. The good news is, eventually it molds around your head the way helmets do, and now it's much more comfortable. I bought this helmet to use on very hot days, as even with the included venting spots, my full-face gets extremely humid and uncomfortable in hot weather, and summers here get pretty punishing. Because the face mask is a rubbery material and not directly connected to the helmet itself on the sides, the airflow is superb. Obviously the open nature of the helmet means that road nose is significantly louder than when wearing a full-face, but with earplugs or earbuds with music tuned low, it's not at all more distracting than with a full-face.
As this is a 3/4ths helmet, naturally you're sacrificing some protection for the additional comfort and convenience. The helmet itself feels solid, if light, and I don't doubt that it would protect my head if I were to take a fall [though I haven't done so any time recently, knock on wood]. The face, though, is another story: while the mask and goggles protect your face and eyes from bugs and small-to-medium road debris, I don't have any illusions that they would really protect my face if I fell in a way that left it making direct contact with the road. The goggles seem solid enough, but the face mask is a thick rubberesque material that you can bend with your bare hands. Don't expect it to do much in a fall beyond disintegrate.
This is where the Shark really falls short. For the price, this helmet really, REALLY should be constructed better, or it should be at least 50$ cheaper. The various parts of the face mask, goggles and all, are frustratingly flimsy for the price paid. The face mask clips into the goggles via 3-4 rubber/plastic pins that fit into corresponding holes in the bottom of the goggles. My advice: Once you attach the mask, consider that permanent. I have no doubt that repeated removal and reattachment of the mask from/to the goggles would snap one or more of those pins off within a month, and the replacement masks aren't cheap enough that it's something you'd want to do after spending so much on the helmet.
The external side panels over the ears are the most fragile part of the operation. While you can disconnect the entire mask, goggle straps and all, from the helmet by pulling on and manipulating the panels, I would strongly suggest you not. While you can replace the mask or the goggles if they break, your only solution if you break the side panels is to replace your entire helmet. Don't mess with them at all. If you want to switch goggles, they attach to the straps on the mask itself, through two long, flat, hook-like metal prongs. Just use those. Replacement goggles aren't cheap, either, but they're cheaper than the helmet.
The goggles themselves also suffer from a similar "flimsiness" issue; while they feel solid enough, the foam lining that rests against your face when you're wearing them does NOT. It feels good now, but with the kind of foam that it is, I know that eventually it will wear away enough that it lets air and dirt through and into my eyes. There's nothing you can really do to stop that from happening—it's just not very good-quality foam. There are things you can do to prolong the life of your goggles, though. My biggest piece of advice here would be this: Even though pulling the mask up and letting the entire face cover rest on the top of your helmet is convenient for conversations, and certainly makes it easier to remove and put on the helmet, DON'T leave the mask up there for prolonged periods of time, especially when you're not wearing the helmet. This is guaranteed to accelerate the foam's degradation, since it leaves the foam being pressed against a surface. And when the foam finally does fail, well, at least replacement goggles aren't as much as a new helmet. But it's best to stave off that additional cost as long as you can.
Road noise: tolerable, becomes the perfect level of "enough to keep me aware of my surroundings but not so loud it hurts or is a distraction" with earplugs or earbuds.
Comfort: starts out too small but eventually molds better to your head shape.
Protection: basically what you would expect from a 3/4 helmet.
Durability: Helmet is solid, face mask and attached parts are not. Take precautions to keep the mask/goggles protected from their own flimsiness for as long as possible. See larger "durability" section above for my advice on how to prolong the life of those parts.
So, should you buy it? It really comes down to this: are you willing to sacrifice convenience and thriftiness for drop-dead looks and comfort? You have to take pains to protect the mask and goggles from their own construction, the helmet is hilariously overpriced, but it looks A-W-E-S-O-M-E and, once properly molded to your head, is extremely comfortable, especially in really hot weather. If you can spare the money and the looks keep bringing you back to reading the reviews, go for it. I don't regret the purchase, though I'll always believe I paid too much for it. I'd buy another one if an impact left this one unusable. And, hey—then I'd have an extra set of the goggles and the mask.