In recent weeks, I’ve been involved with an international research project for Shark helmets.
That all sounds very grand, but actually all it involves is riding around wearing, on alternate weeks, a Shark Streetfighter, or what is called a Shark Nano.
I’m a big fan of the Streetfighter, and I love wearing it. You get the wind in your face feeling of an open-face helmet, but your goggles are always handy. They’ll never get nicked. They’ll never blow off. And the fit is terrific.
Frankly, though, I was less enthusiastic about the Nano. With its large, bulbous drop-down visor, it shouted ‘scooter’ to me, and I thought I would feel a bit of a prune riding around the country wearing it on a big BMW or Triumph.
Well, the thing about prejudices is that that is exactly what they are; views based on ignorance, ill-formed perceptions, and a predilection for stereotyping.
I’ve been wearing one for the last few weeks, and I have to say that it’s been a revelation.
The huge visor is brilliant. I suppose, in theory, the breadth of vision is no greater than with an open helmet, but there’s no goggles getting in the way and, when you’re riding, there’s a total sense of calm as the wind gets nowhere near your face. So no squinting and no blinking. I’ve never worn a helmet where I felt so aware and so alert.
In fact, it’s the first helmet I’ve worn for years where I feel I can put in a real ‘lifesaver,’ as instructors used to call it. Normally, if I try and do one, I can just about see my shoulder, but with the Nano, a slight turn of the head and I can see right behind me. Brilliant!
It’s also pretty quiet for what is basically an open-face helmet. And that’s because the visor comes right down to below your chin, so the air is deflected away from the head and face.
I’ve not tested it at high speed, and it’s probably not going to worry Schuberth in its decibel rating, but I would have no qualms about commuting in it; and around town it’s a fantastic lid to wear.
I’m not sure you would want it as your only helmet, unless all your journeys were short distance and around town, but if a Bell Jet and a pair of Biggles goggles are too retro for you, you won’t go far wrong with a Nano.
And at £149.99, it won’t break the bank.
Click here to buy yours now.