November 9, 2010 – Shark had quite a few new announcements at the EICMA 2010 show and I have lots of photos and a video so let’s get started.
Shark Vision-R Helmet
The big news involves two completely new helmets, named the Vision-R and the Race-R Pro.
The Race-R Pro series also includes a touring variant called the Race-R.
The Vision-R has a unique new face shield and eye port system that is claimed to provide up to 25% greater visibility in the vertical plane and 10% more in the horizontal plane.
You can see from the photos and in the video that the face shield curves or is bowed upwards at the top to accommodate the big eye port. This will be a welcomed feature by many webBikeWorlders I’m sure.
Here are some photos of the Vision-R (video below):
Shark Autoseal Face Shield System
The Vision-R also features a new patented “Autoseal” system for the face shield. This is a clever design that pulls the face shield tight against the gasket to create a waterproof and windproof seal between the visor and the eye port gasket.
The gasket is also a new design; it’s a sort of flat tube that collapses when the face shield is closed, which also helps seal out water and air. It appeared to work very well on the helmets I handled at the show and the seal seems very tight, yet the operation doesn’t feel any different than normal, so this will surely be another welcomed feature.
The Vision-R has a new removable liner and the material feels comfortable. The fit and finish around the bottom appeared to be of very high quality. Overall, I think the Vision-R is sure to be a big hit.
Shark Race-R Pro and Race-R Helmets
Shark is introducing a new top-of-the-line helmet for 2011: the Race-R Pro. There is a touring variant called simply the Race-R.
This is another unique design, with a composite shell and featuring a new type of dual spoiler at the rear on the Race-R Pro. Shark said they spent quite a bit of time in the wind tunnel and discovered that turbulence and drag were significantly reduced by adding the second spoiler.
The Race-R does not have the dual spoiler because the helmet is aimed at street or touring riders who will be sitting in a more upright position, but otherwise the helmets are the same.
Shark has always been known for their robust, thick and high-quality face shields. We complained in the past when some of the helmets went from a 3.0 mm thick face shield to the industry standard 2.0 mm.
Well, no more complaints on this one: The Race-R Pro and Race-R include a new face shield that is 4.0 mm thick at the center! It is specially designed and it thins or tapers slightly towards the sides to provide optical quality. This will certainly be a popular item with Shark fans.
The face shield on the Race-R series attaches with a new system. A spring-loaded metal post is pushed and turned and locks into a slot on the side of the helmet. This is illustrated in the video.
All Shark helmets for 2011 come in a massive array of colors and patterns, so there should be something for everyone here, from basic black to high-visibility luminescent!
Here are some photos of the Race-R Pro and Race-R helmets (video below):
Shark Easy Fit for Eyeglass Wearers
The Vision-R and all Shark helmets for 2011 include a new “Easy Fit” system for eyeglass wearers. A small section of foam padding can be removed from either side of the liner at the sides of the eye port to allow room for the temples of eyeglasses to fit.
Here’s a photo:
Shark Fin Bluetooth System
Last in this report but certainly not least is the new Shark Fin Bluetooth intercom system. This completely bucks the trend towards the huge Bluetooth modules we’ve seen in our reviews of intercom systems like the Sena SMH-10 (review), the Cardo Scala Rider G4 (review) and others.
The Shark Fin Bluetooth module has a very thin profile of approximately 5-6 mm and it eschews the sometimes clumsy and difficult to install mounting brackets by simply adding a piece of 3M double-sided tape on the back of the module. It can get away with this apparently because the module is very light in weight and thin.
The system was developed with Interphone and appears to be a hybrid F3/F4, with the single speaker (mono) headset of the Interphone F3 (review).
More big news includes a battery that slides into a slot in the EPS in back of each helmet. The helmets have been homologated for the various safety standards with the battery installed in the slot, which is a first for Bluetooth intercom systems as far as I know.
One thing is missing though and I strongly urged Shark to consider a modification: they could and should very easily add an in-line connector in the wire that runs from the module to the battery. This would allow the battery to be replaceable, a feature that many, many webBikeWorlders have requested for their intercoms.
Since accessory batteries are available from Shark, this would allow the rider to carry and extra charged battery, ready to install if needed. This is more important in the U.S., where touring riders ride long distances over long periods of time.
So we hope to get many of these new and exciting Shark products for a full detailed review very soon. In the meantime here is a video and some photos. Enjoy!