Used: Shark Race-R Pro helmet review

The Shark that mimics a mosquito

I've been wearing this Shark Race-R Pro for 3 months now and clocked up over 2,000 miles on road and track. It's a quality lid right at the top of Shark's range. Its price and spec put it head to head with my Arai RX7-GP.

The first thing you notice about it is how light it is; it's a good couple of hundred grams lighter than my Arai. You really notice it when you're carrying it around.

It's bursting with all the features you'd expect of a top of the range lid costing a whopping £500: removable lining, cheek pads, a double-D ring, plenty of vents and an anti-fog anti-scratch lining.

So what's it like on? Well it's comfy but not as comfy as my Arai. Arai's linings are the benchmark for comfort in my opinion. The magnetic end to the helmet's strap is a nice touch, meaning you can locate it out of the way quite easily.

On the move, the Race-R Pro felt weird at first. The fin on the rear is fine when you're going in a straight line, but any movements left to right and it felt like I was battling the airflow. It's something I've got used to.

I don't expect race-type lids to be that quiet and I always wear earplugs these days to protect my lugs. When the vents are open, you can really feel the airflow. The chin-vent is huge and works well but it's really sharp on the edges and when carrying the lid I've caught my hand on it a few times. No biggie.

There are two things I don't like about this lid. Firstly, while the visor change is easy, the pins that hold it in place have popped out a couple of times. You can rotate them to alter the pressure they put on the visor and therefore the force needed to open it. In trying to do this on the move I've wound them off completely, meaning the visor easily flips up and down, which isn't ideal when filtering if you want to keep it up. Yes, I know I should sort out my bumbling fingers, but I'm sure others will have experienced the same.

Second gripe, see the picture of my ugly mug on the right. Check out my forehead, it looks like I've been bitten twice by a mosquito. I haven't, it's just the holes on the inside of the lid that channel air from the top vent. I can feel it after an hour or so of riding and although it doesn't bother me too much, people always point it out.

Shark's PR man Dave Dew told me other journos have had this problem but it's something that a Shark dealer can sort out in a few minutes, for anyone and not just us pampered yet disgruntled journo-types.

I always intended to use this lid for racing-only and will be wearing it next season and it's real strengths are its light weight, great vents, removable lining and 5-star SHARP rating.

I'm going to stick my to Arai on the road.

Price: From £499