Shark Openline – a low-priced flip-up helmet with free Pinlock and 5 year warranty
The Openline was introduced to be Shark’s lower-priced, do everything flip-up crash helmet that’ll work for most motorcyclists.
Here’s a look at what features you can expect if you buy one, together with what owners and riders think of their Openlines.
- Thermoplastic flip-up helmet
- Pinlock-ready visor with Pinlock in the box
- ECE 22.05 approved (not DOT certified)
- 3 star SHARP safety rated
- Integral sun visor
- 1 shell size
- Micrometric fastener
- 5 year warranty
- Priced around £150-£170
The Shark Openline does exactly what you’d expect. Saying it’s a no-frills type of helmet is probably an injustice, but it does everything pretty well and, at this price especially, it’s a real steal. Drop down sun visor, Pinlock in the box, decent safety, micrometric strap, not bad for noise suppression, and owners say they feel really solidly built.
If you’re after a modular helmet that’ll be easy to live with, give you all the functionality you’ll need and that won’t cost an arm and a leg, then the Shark Openline might be bang on for you.
Looking to buy this Shark?
We recommend SportsBikeShop (UK) for competitive prices, free delivery and 365 day returns backed by outstanding reviews, and Ghostbikes (UK) for amazing ratings, free delivery & free 30 day returns. Or you can click through to the Shark helmets pages at Amazon if you prefer to buy from there. If you like to buy in Euros, Motoin (Ger) are a quality German operation with decent prices and great review scores.
That means while it won’t give the level of protection four or five star SHARP rated helmets offer, it should provide decent protection in an accident.
Importantly, when being SHARP tested, SHARP note how often a closed and locked chin guard unlocks – and in the case of the Openline, it remained fully locked in 97% of impacts. That’s a very good score, not quite 100% like you’ll find in Nolan helmets for example, but very good nevertheless.
Of course, crash helmet noise levels is incredibly subjective – what works for one person tucked in on their sportsbike might not work for someone else in the wind on their naked.
That said, feedback from owners around the web points to the Openline being reasonably quiet for a flip-up helmet. Flip-ups are generally noisier than full face helmets anyhow and while the Openline really needs to be worn with ear plugs – certainly above 60mph – it does offer a decent amount of noise suppression compared to some other flip-up helmets.
A couple of owners also reckon that fitting the chin curtain really helps with reducing noise too.
Overall though, even though it’s quiet for a modular, we assess helmets against all other helmets including full face helmets. In this context, the Shark Openline is only around average for noise suppression. That’s still pretty good going for a modular – and use ear plugs and all should be fine.
Even though it looks to have fairly basic vents, ventilation is one of the Openline’s strong points.
It has a single chin vent and single forehead vent – both operated by a small toggle switch that’s easy to use, even in gloves, after a bit of practice.
The chin vent directs air through to the chin area and rear of the visor. The forehead vent takes air into channels inside the polystyrene shock absorbing lining, through the comfort lining and around the scalp, pulling air through to the rear exhaust vent at the back of the helmet.
Users reckon ventilation is good; you can feel ventilation around the head when you get up to speed and the chin vent works well too. The chin vent isn’t enough to keep the visor fog free when things cool down, but coupled with the included Pinlock insert (see below) the combination works well.
Visor & Sun Visor
The Shark Openline has both a clear main visor and a drop down sun visor, operated by a slider to the left of the helmet.
The main visor is opened by a small tab on the left of the visor, and works on a ratchet mechanism, meaning you can open it at several points between fully closed and open.
It has a nice solid feel to it and reports are that the seal is good, keeping air and rain out well.
It also has one of the best quick release visor mechanisms around. As you can see in the video below, just press in a button on each side of the visor pivot and slide forward and the visor comes out.
The sun visor is also removable for cleaning. It’s operated by a large slider to the left of the helmet and works on a friction mechanism, allowing you to drop the visor down to any position required (not just fully down or fully open).
The chin guard works by pushing a single button on the inside centre of the chin guard – so can be operated single-handedly.
It opens to a position just above the sight line and owners reckon it’s really easy to use. Couple that with the fact that the chin guard remained locked and closed during 97% of impacts means the chin guard on the Openline offers a good combination of ease of use and safety – something not always seen in flip-up helmets.
The interior of the Openline is both moisture wicking and breathable – and it’s fully removable and washable too.
It also has a glasses groove in the padding, meaning the Openline makes it easy for glasses-wearers to put on their glasses (by opening the chin guard) but the glasses groove stops the stems from pushing into the side of your head.
Importantly, most owners say it’s a comfortable crash helmet. They can feel snug – especially when putting the helmet on – but as long as you get the right size and fitting, then many owners report that there’s no problems with the Openline and it’s good for long days of riding.
Looks & Graphics
If you’re after an Openline in racy graphics, you’re probably going to be disappointed. The Openline D-Tone (top pic) is about as adventurous as they come because most Openlines come in solid plain colours only. That includes the usual black/whites but also a silver and cool looking gunmetal too. As you can see in the pictures and also in the video further down the page, there’s also a hi-viz version.
For the latest colour schemes and designs – and updated pricing – click our recommended retailer links below that’ll drop you onto the Shark helmets pages on their websites.
Best place to buy this Shark crash helmet?
Please click below to visit the Shark helmets pages at our recommended stores or Amazon UK. 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 above to drop onto their Shark helmets pages or *quick view retailer T&Cs here.
Shark Openline video
Other stuff – weight, fasteners, warranty
Like many modular helmets, the Shark Openline isn’t a light weight helmet. At 1.75Kg (3.9lbs) it’s well over the average weight for a flip-up helmet (average weight is about 1.69Kg) and a couple of owners did comment that it does feel quite weighty.
Crash Helmet Buying Guides
For (hopefully!) other useful information to help you when buying your next helmet, check our various guides - or have a look at our top helmet lists where we've got the top 10 rated helmets overall and best budget/safest/full face/flip-up helmets.
Alternatives to the Shark Openline?
If you’re looking for a reasonably priced modular crash helmet, here’s some others we recommend you consider.
For a slightly quirky alternative, there’s also the cool-looking Roof Boxer classic – that scored 4 stars when SHARP tested it, is slightly lighter than the Openline but costs a little more.
Finally, there’s the Nolan N91 – that’s a SHARP 4 star rated helmet (chin guard stayed locked 100% during testing too) with a sun visor and is pretty quiet – for a modular.
Definitely want a Shark?
Here you'll find all our Shark crash helmet reviews and previews including full face, flip-up and open face helmets.