The Shark RSX Eagle
wBW Owner Report by "Mr. Monk"
Editor's Note: The Shark RSX Eagle is a special edition for the U.S. market only. "Mr. Monk" bought one and sent this report.
I was so impressed by the helmet, I acquired an RSX in the "Intense" graphics and I've been wearing it for several months; see my long term report.
So I went ahead and bought the Shark RSX helmet that I emailed you guys about.
All I have to say about it so far is WOW. I felt uber-patriotic when I first saw it. The screaming eagle on it sealed the deal for me. I dig it, hardcore.
The liner is comfy and fits my head really well (I think almost a tiny bit better than my Arai RX-7 that I sold, but it fits at least as well as the RX-7 for certain).
The RSX seems to have a fairly neutral shape like the Arai RX-7.
The thing that I dig most about the Shark helmets...the VISOR. That dude is THICK! And I sat here for a good ten-fifteen minutes and tried every way possible to fog it up....you just can't.
It also seems to have really good clarity, seeing as how it's 3 MM thick (the same spec as Formula 1). All around so far, I'm very pleased.
Ah -- I was so excited, I forgot to add some details about the helmet!
The quality of the paint and graphics on the Shark RSX seems to be very very very very good. I looked over the helmet and couldn't find a ripple or a bubble anywhere. Very high quality finish.
The liner seems very plush, and very snug (and this is just the stock liner that came with the helmet). Another thing that I've noticed about it is that it seems to fit a little better around the ears, and a little bit more snugly, which to me is an area that a lot of manufacturers overlook unless you buy custom padding for your helmet.
There is a little extra padding for the fit on the sides of your neck which seems to eliminate the space right there that allows for some of the low booming noises that you get on a full fairing bike. The padding on the chin strap is very comfortable (again, this is before road testing) and uses the time honored D-ring system.
The extra strap not being used can be slipped through a loop on the right chin strap and stays put with a little hook-type attachment on the strap.
The cheek pad mounting is interesting. It's not the typical Velcro attached type of cheek pads. It has three snap fasteners that you must first remove before you take the liner out of the the helmet; a nice little added feature, in my opinion.
The vent on the front and the vent on the top are both push-open types. The front vent is pushed open with a resounding click, and closes with a nice snap as well. The top vent is pushed open with a button, and then pushed closed when you don't want it opened.
It also has a little two hole vent on the back of the helmet, underneath the spoiler. After closely inspecting it, one of the holes is not covered properly when it is supposed to be closed....this is mostly due to a mounting flaw, because it seems that the cover was mounted too far to one side. It opens and closes with a little roller, which also has a very good sounding click when opening or closing it.
Here's where I was truly blown away. The Shark RSX has exactly two air-catching vents: One located on the chin, and one located on top of the helmet. However, these two scoops do a very good job of directing air through the helmet.
The vent on the chin scoops the air and directs it over the back of the visor, eliminating any fog or moisture on the visor. Then after it flows upward, there is a vent hole on top of the helmet, about 4-6 inches in front of the scoop on the top of the helmet. This little vent is just a hole with a rearward facing V that allows the air and moisture to escape out of it.
The scoop on top of the helmet is nothing more than a forward facing V that pops up with the push of a button. However, with this cold weather snap we've recently had in Texas, I was able to tell a drastic difference in coolness when I had the vent closed versus when I had it open.
The ram air hits the scoop and is forced almost straight down on top of your head before being venturi-forced out the back, taking with it any heat that might be trapped at the top. It then exits the helmet at two holes underneath the "spoiler" at the back of the helmet. I give this helmet a rating of outstanding for airflow.
The visor uses the button release system found on the newer shark helmets. VERY easy to remove, you just move a small comma shaped lever downwards, push in the button in the center of the visor hinge, and pull the visor off the button.
I have owned an HJC AC-12 (wBW Review) top-of-the-line helmet, an Arai RX-7, a Caberg Justissimo (wBW Review), and now this Shark RSX, and the Shark hands down wins in terms of ease of visor changing.
The whole removal would probably take less than half a minute, if even that. It also comes with tabs to apply tear-offs to the visor.
The way that this visor locks in place is unique -- unlike the typical button and slider type of receiver (such as on the RX-7), the RSX visor locks in place with a pin and hole kind of system. There is a locking pin, shaped like half of a button that you would see on your jacket, and a receiving hole in the visor allows it snap into place.
This seems to be a solid alternative to the hook and slide receiver like the one found on the RX-7. Another cool feature is that you can adjust the tension of the visor very very easily. Shark provides a small Allen wrench with the helmet, and the tension adjuster does not require removing any parts to get to. The adjuster is located on the comma shaped lever that you move down to remove the visor. Nice little afterthought, in my opinion.
All in all, I'm very impressed so far with the quality of this helmet. Shark has cranked out another quality helmet in the RSX.
After having tested this helmet on both the neighborhood street, the highway, and on a back road stretch with nobody around and high speeds, I find that I like this helmet even more than my Arai RX-7. There is, of course, the typical low frequency booming noise that is associated with all helmets, but other than that I cannot seem to find much else to complain about, noise wise.
Do keep in mind that I ride a fully faired bike (a Ducati 996), and as such I wear custom fitted earplugs which helped to greatly reduce the wind noise. However, even without my ear plugs this helmet is fairly quiet.
What is kind of unusual is that there seems to be a bit of a gap between the chin guard underneath and my chin (there is a little fabric flap sewn into the front of the helmet to try and reduce the amount of wind flow coming up underneath the helmet), and this is where more of the low boom and wind rushing seems to come from, rather than the usual space behind the neck roll.
I feel that with a Windjammer wind blocker (wBW Review), as is talked about in many many other reviews, that this noise would be even further reduced. The pop up scoop on top of the helmet, as well as the little vent hole towards the front of the helmet (almost right over the top of where the visor sits when closed, albeit the room for the helmet's forehead) does not give off the high pitched whistle that I was expecting.
I give this helmet a rating of excellent in terms of noise. See the wBW Earplugs and Hearing Protection page for more information and a list of earplug reviews that we've posted on the site.
I don't find that I get very much turbulence while riding with this helmet. A little head bob is to be expected, but beyond that I did not experience any sort of extraneous wobble.
In terms of helmet weight while riding, I feel as if I'm wearing a foam bicycle helmet. The RSX balances out VERY well, and even when going from riding to stopped, I don't feel that much of a weight change. This is largely due to the Kevlar-carbon multi-composite structuring, and at 1350 grams, this helmet is super super light. I'm in love with this helmet. I give it a rating of outstanding for weight and turbulence.
For more information on motorcycle helmet weights, visit the wBW Motorcycle Helmet Weights page to compare the weights of all helmets reviewed on webBikeWorld.
All in all, I think this helmet is worth every bit of the ~$432 and a bit that it retails for. I feel that you get exactly what you pay for, which is good protection, a solid helmet, fantastic graphics, and a very comfortable fit, without fifty extra air vents and little plastic pieces stuck here and there just for looks.
The graphics of the helmet are high quality and speak for itself, and with the super easy push button visor change, it makes going from a tinted visor to a clear one for night riding a hassle-free operation of less than a minute.
I tried on a Shark RSR2 (review), a Shark RSI (review), and a Shark S 650 (review) -- basically the entire Shark helmet line -- and I find that the Shark RSX is the one that fits truest to the sizing. I wear a medium, and in the RSI and RSR2 it seemed as if the small was an XS and the medium didn't fit quite right in the back of my head. The RSX fits like a glove.
|wBW Review: Shark RSX Motorcycle Helmet|
|Manufacturer: Shark Helmets and Shark U.S.A.||List Price (2007): $479.99|
|Colors: Solids and graphics. Sizes: XS to XXL, two shell sizes.||Made In: "100% Made in Europe", according to the label.|
|Ratings Scale: For reference, our ratings scale is subjective and ranges from unacceptable to poor, good, very good, excellent and outstanding.|
Comments: Warranted for 5 years. Review Date: December 2007
More: Shark RSX "Intense" Long Term Report
From "F.K." (05/11): "Thank you for your reviews. In regards to the RSX Eagle, I've owned one for several years.
Pros: Super quiet: riding on a wide variety of bikes, street, freeway, track -- it is eerily quiet in here. I can actually here myself think. I attribute that to the 3mm shield.
Light weight: probably the way I ride, but I get neck pain easily. Not so with that RSX. Even when turning my head at speed, no problem.
Great finish: the clear coat is thick -- years of abuse and the scratches barely show.
Cons: Fogs like crazy in the rain. Venting doesn't help. Expensive.
Pro or Con?: Harley guys dig the patriotic theme..."