The Shark Raw/Drak: Shark’s stormtrooper open face crash helmet
Shark launched the Raw crash helmet range in 2013, squarely aimed at the inner urban warrior in all of us.
It then changed the name to the Shark Drak – though it’s the same helmet.
The Raw/Drak looks very mean of course, but it’s actually a souped-up open faced helmet with a pair of goggles and face mask; though I have to admit, as far as open faced helmets go, it rocks.
It’s been on the market a while now, so it’s time to see what you get for your money and what owners think of their Shark Drak helmets.
- Thermoplastic open face helmet
- DOT and ECE certified
- Comes with goggles & face mask
- Double-glazed Zeiss lenses
- 2 shell sizes
- Micrometric fastener (D-ring USA)
- 5 year warranty
- Expect to pay £160-£240 depending on model
Well, the Shark Raw/Drak is essentially an open face helmet (3/4 helmet in the US) so it’s never going to provide the same level of all-round protection as a full face helmet.
That face mask is made from a flexible rubber/plastic so while it does give decent protection from road grit and flying nasties, it’s probably not going to give much protection if you have an ‘off’ and your face hits the road. Not only is it not fixed to the helmet, but it’s attached to the bottom of the goggles which are designed to be flipped up onto the top of the helmet if you want them out of the way.
So, if you buy a helmet like the Drak, then you’ve gotta be aware of its limitations.
Limitations aside, the Raw/Drak is reasonably well built and its thermoplastic shell should give decent protection as far as it goes (Shark Thermoplastic full face lids do well in SHARP tests) and it is both ECE (Europe) and DOT (US) certified.
It’s made in two shell sizes and was designed to have a compact shell form – so it shouldn’t look too big when you wear it.
It mostly comes with a micrometric fastener (some US helmets come with a double D-ring fastener) though both work well – just that the D-ring can be a bit fiddlier if you’re not used to them.
Finally on the subject of safety, those goggles are double-glazed and are great for keeping the fog at bay (see Goggles section below).
All in all, even though we don’t know precisely how well it’ll protect you in an accident (SHARP don’t test open face helmets) it’s an open face and so won’t give you the same facial protection as a full face helmet will. So understand the risks before you buy one.
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.
The Shark Drak/Raw is noisier than most full faces but quieter that most open-face helmets – at least according to most owners.
That face mask and the googles seem to smooth the airflow a bit and reduce the amount of turbulence made by the wind.
Most owners reckon it’s fine around town and for cruising – but things can get really noisy when you hit the motorway. But stick to A-roads and cruising around town in it and it’s not too bad.
Ventilation on the Raw/Drak is provided by holes in the face mask and a single large forehead vent that’s stoppered up with a removable rubber bung.
The top vent provides air into the helmet and channels it around the head and through the vented lining, giving reasonable levels of ventilation to the scalp.
Of course, it’s an open face helmet so you can remove the goggles and face mask if you want – and get as much face ventilation as you want!
But assuming you’re wearing the Drak with the goggles and facemask down, most owners say the ventilation is still surprisingly good.
You’d expect it to be decent when you’re riding along but even when stopped, there’s a surprising amount of fresh air gets in there – so you’re not breathing stale air back in. If you live somewhere hot though, it can get pretty hot behind there if you’re stationary for long.
It’s also worth noting the goggles have vent holes underneath and that helps with keeping your eyes fresh and the inside of the goggles fog free.
Goggles & Face Mask
The face mask attaches straight to the bottom of the goggles but can be unclipped if you want to use the helmet without the mask.
You can even remove the side pods and pull off the goggles entirely if you want – to use it like a proper open face helmet.
Again, assuming you keep both goggles and mask attached for the full stormtrooper effect, the goggles and mask can be pulled up and positioned at the top of the helmet as a unit, which is quite a good feature and makes the lid easier to use. The face mask is mostly there to catch flies and road muck rather than give protection in a crash.
In fact the Shark Raw is only approved for use as an open faced helmet rather than full face too (called dual-homologation) so don’t get lulled into thinking it’s safer than it actually is. Neither has it been SHARP safety tested, though it is ECE 22.05 approved, like all motorcycle crash helmets legally sold in Europe.
The goggles are double glazed, anti-scratch and have an anti-fog coating on the rear too. The lenses are by Cark Zeiss and owners reckon they’re good quality. And it appears that the double-glazing, ventilation and anti-fog coating all conspire to make for goggles that don’t fog up. At least no-one in the reviews we found could get them to fog up – so if you know different, please comment below and tell us!
Of course, there’s quite a bit of goggle and frame there, and it does have some impact on peripheral vision. A few owners say they do find themselves doing lots more head movements to check their blind spots than in their full face helmets.
Comfort and Sizing
The inside of the Shark Drak is moisture wicking and hypoallergenic and it’s made of natural fibres. It’s also removable and washable and has a glasses groove in the lining so the stems of glasses shouldn’t dig in to your head.
The sizing can run a smidge small – though owners who bought one that was a tad on the small size did say it will wear-in, so as long as it’s not too small, you might be OK.
If you’re looking to fit a bluetooth set, the Drak is Shark’s Sharktooth communicator-ready and there are speaker pockets in there so it may work for 3rd party bluetooths too, depending on which one you have.
Looks & Graphics
There’s no doubt the Drak/Raw is a striking helmet. And because it looks so menacing and cool is the number one reason most of us seem to buy one. You see it and just have to have it.
That’s helped by the stack of suitably moody, urban and militaristic graphics available. From the straight forward Blank range of plain blacks and whites through to the Tributes, 72s, Sanctus, Dogtags and Sououz – we’ve put a only a fraction of the designs and colour options available up and down the page. So, as usual, if you want to see the very latest designs for the Shark Raw/Drak, then please click the links through to our recommended retailers. The links will drop you onto their Shark pages – though you might need to use their site search to quickly find the Raw/Draks.
Best place to buy this Shark crash helmet?
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Shark Drak/Raw Video
First off, a 5 minute look over the Raw, then a 2 minute unboxing video…
If you’re interested in a Shark Drak/Raw, then you’re going to be wanting one because of its looks. Pretty much all of us who want one (me included) like it because it’ll make us look mean and scary on the bike.
And while it’s not the best made helmet on the market, at this price it’s really not bad either. Those Carl Zeiss non-fog goggles; a mask that keeps off the worst of what the outside wants to throw at you; and even the thermoplastic helmet should give a decent amount of protection – as long as you don’t scrape your face! That facemask isn’t going to offer any protection so don’t fool yourself it will.
But if you can live with that and only intend to use it for low-speed urban cruising – and understand the limits of open-face helmets – then the Shark Drak/Raw is rated highly by owners and is surprisingly easy to live with.