Last updated: 2nd November 2022
As a stickler for weight savings, I knew before I even chose my last helmet that whichever one I bought had to be one of the lightest on the market.
I’d had my fill of heavy, cumbersome, loud, and uncomfortable helmets.
When touring, I was sick of them catching the wind like a sail. And as a riding instructor, I was tired of having a never-relenting neck ache.
So for a full-face helmet that was reasonably priced and lightweight, there was only really one option – the Shark Spartan Carbon.
Since its purchase, it’s been used for commuting, day rides, and tours. And whilst some people believe the extra money for the carbon version is a waste, I love it.
The out-and-out positive of this helmet, though, is the weight. My size small comes in at 1290g. And that’s pretty damn light!
Shark Spartan Carbon: Shell, Sizes & Price
The carbon fibre looks on this helmet are fantastic – as is the overall finish. There are a tonne of designs available in the carbon range.
In terms of sizing, you can choose from XS (53-54cm), S (55-56cm), M (57-58cm), L (59-60cm), XL (61-62cm), and XXL (63-64cm.)
It’s currently available for around £340 in the UK, or $400 (US).
As you would expect these days, the Shark Spartan Carbon performs well in the safety department with a 4-star SHARP safety rating.
Other safety features include the integrated Pinlock Max Vision insert, a drop-down internal sun visor, and a double-D fastener.
I’m usually a size small in Shark helmets with a head circumference of 56cm. But I found with this model, I could have done with a medium.
It’s a mistake I’ve had to live with for the last three years and the reason I’m going to pick up my new helmet in a few days.
I find it fits fine around the forehead – until I put on a balaclava. And then it becomes too tight. Similarly, if I try to tuck a neck buff up under the helmet, it also becomes too restrictive.
But my main issue is at the cheeks, where the pads compress them into my teeth.
Before purchasing this helmet, I strongly advise trying it in a shop.
Shark Spartan Carbon: Weight
As mentioned at the head of this post, weight was a driving factor in my decision to purchase the Shark Spartan Carbon.
At 1290g (size small), it’s the lightest mid-range helmet on the market. And it shows!
Whilst on, you can barely feel the weight of this helmet – even on all-day rides.
For all the aches and pains I get whilst touring, I can honestly say that neck ache has never been a problem on long trips with this helmet.
The ventilation system on the Shark Spartan Carbon is simple, with a single chin vent and a single crown vent.
Both are easily accessible when wearing gloves, and the lack of a rear vent has never been an issue for me.
For further ventilation, the visor can be cracked open a notch, which is the perfect amount to get fresh air circulating without affecting vision.
The lining in this helmet is thick and comfortable. As a result, the facial cavity is relatively small, which could result in fitting issues (as it did with me.)
With the right size, however, you are treated to a very plush interior. The liner is completely removable (although it’s a bit of a faff), and you can also replace the cheek pads and/or purchase a different size.
Also, the lining is adorned with an antibacterial treatment that keeps it fresh. And there are cut-outs in the shell to accommodate speakers.
Acoustically, the noise reduction on this helmet is very good. With the visor closed, the noise dampening is satisfactory. Even on the motorway, it isn’t noticeably loud. Although I would still recommend wearing earplugs.
Some wearers have reported whistling at speeds over 40mph. But I have never had any whistling or buffeting noises arise from the use of this helmet.
Shark Spartan Carbon: Visor
I’ve always been impressed with the visor on the Shark Spartan Carbon. Right out of the box, the additional view available was noticeable immediately. The visor is Pinlock ready, and the insert comes in the box.
For me, the only annoying thing about the visor is trying to remove it. And I must confess to resorting to a YouTube tutorial to get it off without breaking it!
The internal drop-down visor sits discreetly behind the external visor, and is accessible via a slider switch on top of the helmet.
The internal visor has a large coverage (better than most helmets I’ve tested), and the mechanism is slick.
Also, it completely covers the recess in the helmet, so you don’t get that annoying band of light at the bottom of the visor!
If I was being picky, I would prefer the slider to be on the left side of the helmet rather than directly on top.
One initial negative of this helmet was that it came with a double-D fastener rather than a ratchet strap. After a few days, however, it ceased to be a problem.
As you would expect with a double D ring, it provides a personalised and secure fit that gives you confidence.
Shark Spartan Carbon Motorcycle Helmet: Conclusion
The Shark Spartan Carbon has a lot of things going for it. And without doubt, its party piece is its weight – or lack of it.
If you want a lightweight, full-face lid, you would struggle to find anything to better than the Shark Spartan Carbon at this price point.
Overall, it looks and performs well. And the interior is something to behold. And if I hadn’t bought the wrong size, I would be 100% happy to keep this helmet for another few years.
But would I recommend it?
Well, if lightweight is your goal, then yes. And if you can find it in a sale somewhere, it’s definitely worth the buy – especially now the price has dropped to accommodate newer models.
Better options are available if you’re looking for something more quiet and refined to tour with.
For more detailed information on the quietest helmets, we wrote a dedicated post which you can read here.
Motorcycle Tourer Star Rating: Shark Spartan Carbon
Find the Shark Spartan Carbon here:
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