Review of Shark’s full face streetbike motorcycle helmet, the Shark Spartan
The Spartan is Shark’s aggressive streetbike full face helmet that comes in both fibreglass and fibreglass/carbon versions.
Having said that, the carbon version is actually a fibreglass and carbon composite – though Shark does quote a weight saving of 100g for the carbon helmet over the fibreglass.
It’s available for around £250 upwards, but what exactly do you get for your money? And, importantly, what do owners of the Shark Spartan think about their helmets, so you know if it’s worth getting one?
- Carbon or fibreglass composite shell
- Street-focused full face
- SHARP 4 star safety rated (carbon version)
- SHARP 3 star safety rated (fibreglass version)
- Integral sun visor
- Pinlock Max Vision included
- Double-d ring fastener
- 1.39 Kg (fibreglass)
- 1.29 Kg (carbon)
- Size XS-XXL
- 5 year warranty
- Expect to pay:
- around £259-£309 (fibreglass)
- around £349-409 (carbon version)
- around £259-£309 (fibreglass)
Looking to buy a Shark?
We recommend Sportsbikeshop (UK), GetGeared (UK) and Motoin (Ger) all for great service and competitive prices. Please click any link to see their full range and latest prices, or see here for more info on these retailers.
Shark is our joint second safest helmet brand at the moment and, so far, all their composite and carbon fibre crash helmets have scored either four or five stars in the SHARP crash helmet safety test.
SHARP has tested both the fibreglass and carbon fibre versions of the Spartan. The fibreglass version was rated at three stars – which must be a bit disappointing for Shark as it’s the first time one of their helmets has scored below four stars for many years.
However the full carbon fibre version got them back on track by scoring four stars, out of a maximum five. So if you like the look of a Spartan and want to max out on the protection, then the carbon one’s the one to go for.
But beyond the SHARP rating, there’s a heap of other features that will – hopefully – help you along the way to a safer ride.
The main visor comes with a Pinlock Max Vision anti-fog insert in the box. That should keep your vision fog free in pretty well all conditions.
And there’s also a drop down sun visor to keep the sun out of your eyes and keep you from being dazzled when the sun drops low and catches you out.
All that’s finished off with a double-d ring strap – they’re safe as houses and mean that you have to readjust the strap every trip. Again, that’s great for having a secure helmet that shouldn’t come off in an accident.
Full face helmets are broadly quieter than all other types.
But even though Shark has paid a great deal of attention to the aerodynamics of the helmet (they say they used computational fluid dynamics to make for a slippery shape), based on the range of opinions we found across the web, the Shark Spartan is only seen as about average for noise suppression by owners.
In addition to the careful aero design, they’ve used a plush and comfortable lining too; but that can only go so far towards making a quiet helmet, and with all those spoilers and protruding vents, it seems they create a bit of noise for some folks (but far from everyone) with one or two complaining of an annoying whistling coming from the back of their Spartans.
But because there’s a broad range of feeling about how quiet the Spartan is from owners – with opinions ranging from really noisy to very quiet – expect it to be about average if you buy one, and expect to need to wear ear plugs.
The Spartan’s venting system relies on a single chin vent and single crown vent to allow air into the helmet and onto the back of the visor. Up top, that air is routed through the helmet shell into channels in the polystyrene shock liner where it’s then pushed onto the head.
The chin vent is a two-position panel-switch that lets you either open or close it; whereas the top vent uses a two-position slider.
Owners report that both are easy to find and work well, even in gloves. And importantly, they almost all agree that the ventilation’s very good – despite the fact that there isn’t a rear exhaust vent to let the air out of the helmet.
There’s a few useful features when it comes to the Shark Spartan’s main visor.
First off, it’s both Pinlock ready and comes with a Pinlock Max Vision insert in the box. That’s going to keep your vision nice and fog-free in most conditions and is the best way we know to keep your visor clear.
Secondly, the Spartan has an innovative – and really fast – quick release system. Quick release visors have become really popular in recent years because they let you quickly whip off the visor to clean or change it, usually without the need for any tools. Usually, you have to open the visor, push a button or lever, and the visor will pull away.
But the Spartan takes this a step further. With the Spartan, you simply have to open the visor and tug the visor free from the pivot. Owners love its simplicity and say it works well – and we reckon more manufacturers are probably going to start to copy it.
The Spartan’s also got a drop down sun visor.
It works using a large slider at the top of the helmet. These sort of sliders are probably the least convenient to use for the rider because, until you really get the hang of it, they can be a bit tricky to locate and use.
Having said that, owners of the Spartan seem to reckon that the sun visor itself is really good. Even though it can be prone to fogging (it’s not anti-fog treated) they reckon it’s nice and dark and drops down low – two things not all sun visors manage to do.
The last thing to say about the sun visor is that it works using friction – meaning you can push the slider a little bit and that’ll drop the sun visor down a little bit, where it’ll stay put. Some sun visors are either fully up or fully down affairs – often using return springs to quickly withdraw the sun visor – but it’s personal preference which works best for you.
Comfort & Sizing
The Shark Spartan is available in sizes XS-XXL and should fit people with all but the roundest heads because it’s a medium oval fitment.
Inside the Spartan you’ll find a fully removable and washable interior. Owners reckon it’s really plush and comfortable and feels high quality.
Looks & Graphics
Lots of folks buy the Shark Spartan because of its super aggressive looks.
That particularly goes for the Spartan Carbons which are available in either plain carbon or carbon with a variety of colour/design options – all showing that carbon fibre weave but with other graphics overlaid.
If you decide to go for a fibreglass version of the Spartan, there’s loads of graphics to choose from with an immense array of mean and moody looking designs. We’ve grabbed as many as we can to put on this page but for the whole range – and to see their latest deals – please click through to our recommended retailers using the links below.
Best places to buy a Shark crash helmet?We've chosen three of the best places to buy from - whether it's a Shark or any other helmet/gear. If you want piece of mind when you buy, SportsBikeShop is based in the UK and offers outstanding service (9.8/10 on Trustpilot) including 365 day refunds. They usually have competitive prices too and are our recommended retailer for excellent quality of service. Or try Motoin (Germany). They get great feedback (4.9 and 4.86 out of 5 on Idealo and eTrustedshops at the time of writing) though note, there's a small delivery charge so factor that in (see here for details). GetGeared is another recommended UK retailer, also with a no-quibble 365 day returns policy, free delivery and score of 9/10 for customer service on Trustpilot. Please click any picture below to visit their Shark helmets page where you can see all the latest colour schemes and prices. And if you buy from any, we get a small sum from the sale at no extra cost to you - a massive THANKS! (it's how we finance the site). Click here for more info on our recommended retailers.
Shark Spartan Video
A 3m look around the Spartan.
Other stuff – audio, weight, glasses, buffeting, chin curtain, warranty
The Shark Spartan is designed for Shark’s Sharktooth bluetooth headset. But if you’ve got a different communicator, word is there’s decent-sized cutaways for headphones and room for a mic in there too.
If you’re looking for a light weight helmet, both the fibreglass and the carbon fibre versions of the Spartan make it into our lightweight helmets category because both come in under 1.4Kg which is our cut off point. The fibreglass version is 1.39Kg while the carbon/fibreglass version is 1.29Kg so is particularly light weight.
Glasses wearers are catered for too because the Spartan has a glasses groove to stop your glasses’ stems digging into your head.
The Spartan comes with both a fog guard and innovative chin curtain as standard. The chin curtain is particularly cool because it’s retractable so you can pull it out if things get cold and push it totally away when it warms up again. Well handy that and new on the scene.
And to top off the package, the Shark Spartan comes with a very generous 5 year warranty.
The Shark Spartan is a really attractive package. Naked and streetfighter owners will love its aggressive looks – particularly the full carbon versions. But even if you’re just after a competent helmet at a decent price point, the Spartan appeals. With it’s super-quick-release visor with included Pinlock anti-mist visor, great drop down sun visor and with great ventilation and a quality build, the Spartan should be a good helmet to live with too.
In fact, there were very few bad points mentioned by the owners we came across. Owners seem to love the way their Spartan’s look and the way they’re super comfortable.
The only real fly in the ointment is that the fibreglass Spartan scored 3 stars in the SHARP safety test – which means we can’t add it to our recommended helmets list. But the good news is the carbon fibre version scored an excellent four stars so that’s the one to grab if you want a Spartan and to max out on the protection.
All in all, owners reckon the Spartan is a great all-rounder that’s well worth the money.
Good Alternatives to the Shark Spartan?
If you’re looking for a decent streetbike helmet that won’t break the bank, then there’s some sensational helmets out there.
Or there’s the X-Lite X-702 GT, that’s a light weight composite fibre helmet that’s available in a particularly wide range of sizes and scored maximum points when tested by SHARP. It’s also quiet, comfortable and has great ventilation.
Finally, it’s worth checking out the AGV K5S – a SHARP 4 star safety rated carbon composite helmet with sun visor and great aero and venting qualities.