Shark Spartan

Shark Spartan


If you’ve never heard of Shark helmets, you’re probably not alone. You also probably don’t watch Moto GP, where this French helmet manufacturer has for years championed some of the sport’s best racers. Shark is certainly a known quantity at the highest levels of competitive motorcycle racing. And those who know Union Garage know that’s not exactly our bag.

That said, the new Spartan hits all the right notes—bringing competition level performance (in fiberglass construction, and aerodynamics) into a mean-looking street helmet with enough smart features we felt compelled to add it to the lineup.

The short sell is this: It’s a DOT and ECE rated helmet that comes with Pinlock-equipped face shield, a best-in-class drop-down sun visor, and a unique spoiler design that actually works to make this lightweight helmet super stable at speed. It’s also got a retractable chin curtain to help tamp down noise or keep out cold air, or it can snap open in a second to aid in this lid’s above average ventilation features.


> Lightweight fiberglass construction
> Pinlock MaxVision insert lens included
> Aerodynamic dual spoiler
> Shark skin side covers reduce noise
> Integrated drop down sun shield
> D-Ring chin strap closure
> Autoseal shield system for sound and weatherproofing
> Quick release face shield system
> Easy Fit glasses system provides optimal comfort for riders wearing glasses
> Chin curtain included
> DOT approved

Also, those wings. Winglets, actually. We’re not into gimmicky helmets and prefer form to always stay ahead of function (Sorry, Icon Airframe), and this dual-spoiler design does just that—making this helmet extremely stable at speed. It looks pretty cool, too.

And here’s the long sell, with a built-in short-term review:

The Spartan’s fiberglass shell comes in two sizes. Not as many as we’d normally like to see (Bells come in 3 shell sizes, the RF 1200 comes in 4), but we’ve found the core sizes S-XL fit well, and even the larger shell size is competitively proportioned (IE: Not a bobblehead).

Fit is intermediate oval, not dissimilar to helmets from Bell, the class-leading and perennial shop favorite, the Shoei RF-1200, or, say, an Arai Defiant or Corsair.

Now to the fun features.

The best part of this helmet is its best-in-class drop-down sun visor. This is a common feature these days, found in the Shoei GT Air and the Neotec II, the Bell RS2, and a spate of Schuberth modular options. Plus untold no-name helmet brands.

What sets this one apart is it’s sheer size and ease of use. A lever mounted right down the center of the helmet makes it easy to modulate the sun shield from fully retracted to fully extended—or anywhere in between. There are no detents, just smooth lever action that holds an adjustment, wherever the user wants. 

This is good for anyone with a big schnoz who’s run into interference with other designs; and also good news for anyone who’s been disappointed with how annoying it is to ride with drop-down sun visor that sits distractingly not far enough down, obscuring the rider’s field of view instead of clarifying the situation.

Not so with the Spartan. We dutifully tested this thing on one of the most challenging helmet tests around: rush hour on FDR Drive.

For those who’ve never had the pleasure of navigating this 3-lane freeway that clings along nine miles of Manhattan’s East River edge, let’s just say “Drive” can be a misnomer. At its worst the FDR is a 9-mile parking lot, and with summertime traffic it can be balancing act of keeping your eyes protected from freeway debris while letting airflow in to keep one from overheating. Speeds can go from zero to 60 and back as fast as you can manage. And if you’re lane-splitting, that stop/go tempo can get even wilder.

With the shield up and the sun visor fully extended, the Spartan truly provides the best of both worlds, allowing some precious airflow in underneath the sun visor, but without sacrificing protection

With cooler temps, installing the included pinlock visor helps ward off fog like nobody’s business.

But what about those winglets? According to the leading internet motorcycle gear authority, Revzilla, “Shark utilized Computational Fluid Dynamics to hone the Spartan into its chiseled form.”

We don’t know what in Sam Hill that’s even supposed to mean, but suffice it to say this well-built fiberglass helmet is quiet and  extremely stable  on the road, even/especially at speed. 

Add in a bevy of smart features and a palatable price point ($369 for gloss white or black; $399 for a premium matte black finish), and we felt compelled us to add the Spartan to our small army of helmet options. Come check one out or order online for at-home try-on. We think it’s worth a look.