Helmet manufacturers rightly spend big bucks on crash testing and passing stringent (some meaningless) assessments in order to sit on shelves, and heads. I’ve been undertaking a fair amount myself in recent seasons.
When people ‘review’ helmets, it’s more than often wind noise and comfort considered, sometimes skewed by subjective fitment. Having munched on a Fireblade, landed from a few gargantuan highsides, run over my own head and survived, I think we’ve got testing criteria thoroughly nailed in this instance. And I haven’t suffered any side effacaydnf gflfoerjrhkfncfkmsmlzs boobs.
I started wearing Shark lids when I began road racing, through no other reason other than our local dealer was punting them out at very decent prices. Save for scooter pilots, hipsters and chopper owners, wearing a helmet is usually based on trust and safety understanding, mixed with a bit of fashion statement – ok, a lot if you’re name begins with Baron. That trust snowballs after crashing and surviving, and seeing your favourite racers do the same.
The Race-R Pro is one of the lightest helmets I’ve ever tried. Constructed from carbon aramid, she tips the scales at 1250g and never feels cumbersome. We’re not ones for marketing guff but it is super-stable at high speeds, only perceptible after trying other lids and getting my head blown off.
The hermetic neck pad – like Shoei’s ‘whisper strip’ – dramatically reduces wind noise. If you can’t get on with earplugs through balance issues, then you’ll love the Race-R Pro. And the magnetic strap is the most beautiful of handy trinkets.
Granted, it’s not the comfiest, particularly on long distance jaunts. I often have what can only be described as bullet holes on my forehead with aliens trying to escape, as it’s quite fronty, if that makes sense. Fitment isn’t for everyone but it feels slightly conformist than previous Sharks. There’s none of that cheap, plasticy feel of some of its extravagantly priced rivals, and the outer shell feels sufficiently far enough away from your noggin.
One of the prime advantages of the Race-R Pro is the visor system, and just how easy and secure it is. I’ve never had a Shark visor detach in a crash, even when the Fireblade tried its best to molest. The anti-mist visor works superbly to a point, and although venting is very good (along with peripheral vision itself), you’ll need extra assistance (rubber seal and a mouth piece) in heavy rain. If you, like me, think fiddly Pinlocks are a pain in the cock, it’ll easily suffice.
Shark doesn’t pay me to wear helmets. They don’t advertise with 44teeth.com, but I wouldn’t wear anything else for racing – unless, of course, a massive brown envelope saved me from eating scraps and morsels at the end of the month. Comfort, schmomfort: the bottom line is, the Race-R Pro has saved my life on more than one occasion.
Priced at £499.99 for the plain colours, it’s also phenomenally priced in comparison with some other Gucci helmet brands, with some of the carbon alternatives twice the price.
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