Monday, July 26, 2010

I just bought this Shark RSI helmet, finally buying a new lid to replace my Suomy Spec 1. I initially heard of Shark from a friend who has one and loves his (he has a Shark RSX). I did a little research into the company and found they had a good reputation and had been producing helmets for almost 30 years. All this seemed fine and normal for a good manufacturer, the one thing that really stood out was that they produced the entire helmet themselves. I like this because I didn't want a helmet that was just re-branded. I also found out it is the number one selling European helmet brand and only recently got into the U.S. Market (which would explain why I knew very little about them to begin with). I ended up deciding to go with RSI, I liked the Shark brand, and I liked the styling so I bought the helmet. I went to Sum of All Parts a reputable online retailer that was running a special on the Shark RSI and ordered it.

The guys at Sum of All Parts were awesome and they assured me if I had any issues I could call them and they would be able to help me out, also they told me the Helmets were in good supply and plenty of the accessories were available. I mentioned this only because I switch visors fairly often.

When I received the RSI I immediately inspected it and made sure there was no shipping damage, and of course it was fine. My first impression was the size of the vents on the top and bottom of the visor, they had huge inlets shaped around them, not sure if they're actually bigger or just appear that way. The Shark also had vents inside the liner which I've never seen on a helmet before. Ventilation is very important to me as I live in the south where the summers can be brutal on a motorcycle and air getting through the helmet is a must.

I put the helmet on and it felt great, perfect pressure around my cheeks and not too much on my forehead. I wear an XL Suomy so I bought an XL in the Shark, even though I had heard they run a bit small. So it felt good and looked great, time to take a ride.

First impression is the SRI is much more quiet than my Suomy, I don't usually wear earplugs (I know, I know) but I don't. While the vents looked much bigger on the Shark I didn't really notice additional air through the helmet, but I didn't have an ventilation problems (fogging up the visor or just getting too hot). I suppose helmet vents are one of those things that you only really notice when they're not working. The visor on the Shark was much less flimsy than my Suomy, I'm not sure if the material is stronger, the mounts are better, or if my old helmet was just worn out. Either way the SRI visor action was much smoother and easier. My riding experience with the SRI was very positive and I think the only real complains I have are aesthetic really. Nest one will probably just be a racer replica like the Guintoli.

Things I liked about the Shark RSI helmet:

* Well ventilated and no issues with fogging
* At 1500g it's lighter than almost every other helmet
* Micro-fleece liner, and chin strap make it very comfy
* Carbon composite shell design makes sure it does it's main job
* Quick release visor so I can switch from clear to smoke quickly
* Price, I saved about $300 from Sum of All Parts sale

Things I didn't like about the Shark RSI helmet

* Holograph stickers on the side didn't do it for me
* Visor latch is a bit small and I missed a couple times

Overall I rate the Shark RSI 9 out of 10. It surpassed my expectations and while I only have about 100 miles on it right now I know it will continue to perform. As time goes on I'll try and update this post, certainly if I notice any problems from use or age, if not you know I'm out enjoying it.

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