We Tested It: Shark Spartan Carbon Motorcycle Helmet (Long-Term Review)

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As a stickler for weight savings, I knew before I even chose my last helmet that whichever one I bought was going to be one of the lightest on the market.

I’d had my fill of heavy, cumbersome, loud, and uncomfortable helmets.

I was sick of them catching the wind like a sail when I was touring. 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 purchase, it’s been used for commuting, day rides, and tours. And whilst some people believe the extra £90 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 - carbon finish

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 £305.99.

Safety

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, drop-down internal sun visor, and double D fastener.

helmet on grass

Fit

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 to be 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 tight.

My main issue is at the cheeks, where the pads compress them into my teeth.

Before purchasing this helmet, I strongly advise trying it on in a shop.

logo and top vent

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 when touring with this helmet.

Ventilation

The ventilation system on the Shark Spartan Carbon is simple with a single chin vent, and a single crown vent.

shark spartan carbon top 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 height to get some fresh air without affecting vision.

helmet chin vent

Lining

The lining in this helmet is thick and comfortable. As a result, the facial cavity is quite small which could result in fitting issues (as it did with me.)

Get the right size, however, and 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.

shark spartan carbon liner

Noise

Acoustically, the noise reduction on this helmet is very good.

With the visor closed, noise isn’t too bad. 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. 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 having to resort to a YouTube tutorial to get it off without breaking it.

helmet visor

Sitting discreetly behind the visor is the internal drop-down visor which 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 almost completely covers the front of your eyes 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 of it.

shark spartan carbon drop down visor mechanism

Fastening

One initial negative of this helmet was the fact it came with a double D fastener as opposed to 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.

helmet double d strap

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.

If I hadn’t have bought the wrong size, I would be more than happy to keep this helmet for another few years.

But would I recommend it? If lightweight is your goal, then yes. If you’re looking for something more quiet and refined to tour with, then better options are available.

Motorcycle Tourer Star Rating: Shark Spartan Carbon

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

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