So I asked for some recommendations for budget friendly helmets a while back and I ended up buying the Shark S900 Dual Special Edition - Matt Black for £129.99 from sportsbikeshop.com (who’s service, I must say, has been impeccable again).
I’ve put a moderate amount of miles in with it (though not as many as I would have liked) and here are my impressions… you can read the specs on the website.
The weight seems reasonable.
The build feels moderate, important stuff is ok… like the chin strap and the visor fitting and positioning… but the vent switches and sunvisor feels flimsy.
I had to buy a size up on the size that I measure my head (AGV fit my measured size perfectly)… first try on, it slipped on perfect… good circumferential grip all round without pushing my cheeks up into my eyeballs. No headache inducing tension points around the skull… but weirdly, since settling for it, I always have to do loads of jiggling it about to get my ears to sit comfortably in it… they always have a little pressure on them, so I’m unsure yet on a high mileage day it that may become irritating.
Visor removal is so easy, and a big selling point for me is the pinlock visor comes with the package. Good, clear vision and minimal lense distortion. The sunvisor does, however, distort the visual field a bit… ok for on and off sunny days… but constant sun, I’ll wear my Oakley wires, which fit well in the opening and down the side of my head. There is no obvious channel for the glasses arms, so maybe it’s my sunnies wire arms? (Edit… just tried with my reading glasses and they are fine too, so the Raybans style should be ok too)
The helmet seems well vented (but I never got to wear it on the hottest days… I was on holiday) but the vents make no discernible difference.
Wind noise doesn’t seem overwhelming, but not quiet either… I don’t think I’ve ever had a quiet helmet though.
Visual field is fine, the nose shield doesn’t occlude like I thought it might.
Wattle drape does a good job and is soft and comfortable, but the quick buckle chin strap is still a bit bulky and fussy like they all are (can you tell I like a lower profile double D ring)
I don’t use a comm’s system, and so I can’t comment on that, other than the lining dismantles and the ear spaces have little cushioned pockets for the ear pieces.
It came with stick on reflective panels; I’m not overly vain, so I added them (are they a legal requirement in the EU?) as I’d rather be seen at night. I think they have been designed well enough to not be obtrusive.
The matt finish has cleaned up nicely of bugs and dirt so far, no scuffing or permanent marking.
I think that this feels a good value purchase, it looks like spares are accessible and apart from the weird lug bending issues when putting it on, a comfy, well ventilated noggin crate. The minor niggles I feel are due to the price point and would like to think that paying another £3-400 extra for a top end lid would sort them out.