The EVO-ONE 2 is an evolution of the Evoline Series 3 modular helmet and an upgrade from the original EVO-ONE with smoother chin bar action, enhanced locking mechanism and an updated auto up and down face shield.
It seems I’ve accumulated quite a number of helmets in the last few years. My husband keeps asking me why I don’t give some of them away but they each serve a specific purpose. For rides to work through rush hour traffic I like to wear my GMAX OF77.
It has an LED brake light in the back for safety in heavy traffic and a mirrored face shield that makes me look tough. For weekend rides around the countryside, I wear my Bell RS-2 helmet because it’s the most comfortable and for long distance riding I wear my RPHA 10 flip-up because it’s convenient and quiet.
Unfortunately, my RPHA is getting a little long in the tooth. It doesn’t fit as snug as it once did and as a result, it’s quite a bit noisier. So I was pretty stoked when a new Shark EVO-One 2 helmet arrived on my doorstep. Perhaps this is the one helmet that will do it all?
About Shark Helmets
Shark is a French brand with its headquarters in Marseille. They have over 30 years of experience and make over 300,000 helmets per year distributed in 70 countries via upwards of 5,000 distributors. The EVO-ONE 2 is an evolution of the Evoline Series 3 modular helmet and an upgrade from the original EVO-ONE with smoother chin bar action, enhanced locking mechanism and an updated auto up and down face shield.
Right out of the box I was impressed with the clean lines and substantial feel of this helmet. All the pieces and parts seem to operate smoothly and feel quite robust. The helmet interior is thickly padded and the helmet has several unique features I don’t believe I’ve seen before (more on those later). Also included in the box was a Pinlock Max Vision lens, an owners manual, warranty information and a helmet bag.
Fit and Finish
I can see right off that this is a well put together helmet. The paint is well applied with no visible blemishes, tolerances are very tight and the minimal graphics were well applied with barely discernible edges. The vent switches were smooth and tight and the slider for the drop down sun shade has the smoothest action I’ve ever seen. It’s got a small air foil in the back that is straight and firmly attached. I can’t find any loose parts or threads. So it gets an excellent for quality fit and finish.
I have a very small head so helmets rarely fit me well. The helmet they sent me is an XS, the size I always wear, which is made to fit 53-54 cm heads which is pretty typical for a size XS. Unfortunately, mine measures 52.5 cm so usually there are either gaps somewhere or the helmet comes down way past my chin so even with the strap tightened all the way there is still a gap between the strap and my chin.
I don’t have any of those problems with this helmet. It fits very snug around my whole head without squishing me anywhere. The strap also fits tight under my chin and it passed the roll-off test with flying colors. The fact that it does fit me that well tells me that out of the box it might run a touch small. It does have a very neutral fit very similar to the Bell RS2 although the padding fits better around my ears on the Shark. Overall this is a very comfortable helmet for me.
This EVO-ONE 2 sports a fairly compact, aerodynamic, injected thermoplastic resin shell with 2 shell sizes. I like the lines of the helmet and the minimal front and back branding. The side plates are a new design that bring to mind a tachometer lending to the feeling of speed I’m sure Shark was trying to evoke in the lines of the helmet and the rear spoiler.
The chin bar is a bit wider than normal to give it room to clear everything on its way around to the back. I must admit I tried on an earlier Evoline version of this helmet some years ago and did not buy it because the chin bar made the bottom of the helmet so wide and heavy looking. They’ve done a good job with this new version of streamlining it as much as possible, although in this white color it still looks a bit Darth Vader’ish.
With the low-profile rear spoiler firmly attached just aft of the sun shade slide, it looks pretty racy. I expect that should help some with lift also at speed. The lower edge of the helmet has a hard rubber edge that turns under. This would make it harder to attach a communication device but it can be done. Otherwise, you could attach it with the adhesive back option. I positioned mine a little further back than is optimal with the boom mike but there was more room for clearance of the chin bar further back on the helmet.
Almost all helmets these days have a removable, washable liner and the EVO is no different. It attaches with bright orange snaps that are easy to find and click in with authority. The liner itself is CoolMax and has a subtle 3D texture that should help it feel less sticky when the temps and humidity soar. Air channels reveal the gray expanded polystyrene underneath. The lining has large pockets for speakers that open to the front of the helmet and close with velcro. Inside is a recess that fits my SENA speakers like it was made for them.
The chin curtain on this helmet has a unique design. It is deployed with a blue plastic handle that is easy to find and use with gloves on. It snaps into place and stays there until you push it back up into place on the back of the chin bar. You do have to make sure it’s back in place before you rotate the chin bar otherwise it will catch on the rear spoiler (don’t ask me how I know this).
Padding on the chin strap is adequately sized and nice and soft, it also has a snap on the end to secure the flapping end. Closure is with the tried and true double D ring.
Also unique is the design of the neck roll. The surface next to your skin is very soft and there is soft elastic around the back that holds it close to your neck. Most neck rolls have a gap in that area that can be a source of noise on the road. It is not the thickest as neck rolls go, however. It only measures 1.5 inches which is a full inch less than the one on my very quiet RPHA helmet. We’ll have to see how that affects the noise level.
And last but not least the liner is eyeglass friendly which has become increasingly important to me as I age. It is a bit of a squeeze to get them on but they do fit and are not uncomfortable once they’re on.
Your view out the front port of any helmet is the first line of defense against an accident. If you can’t see it coming you certainly can’t avoid it so clarity and field of view are the most important characteristics of any face shield.
I can find no waviness or blemishes in either the clear outer face shield or the inner sun shade on this helmet. Not even towards the bottom where sometimes the lip distorts the view. And although the chin bar has more vertical height than most of my other helmets it doesn’t reduce the view in any way which is about average both horizontally and vertically. It does have some flex in it when raising and lowering it. The instructions include a graphic on pulling it down from the top center rather than using the lift tabs (located on either side) to close it and that does work the best. It is a little sticky going up and down but the detents are pretty robust with the first one opening the visor about a half inch.
Removing the face shield is quite simple and easy although it does require some sort of tool to push in the little plastic triangles on either side with the visor in the fully open position (thankfully my little Ducati came with a tool kit). Replacing it is just as easy as lining up the triangles and making sure the little tab about half way up fits into the sliding mechanism on its way down. The helmet also comes with a handy Pinlock insert and posts for those cold foggy mornings.
The inner sun shield is the best I’ve ever seen. It only measures 1/4 inch longer than the one on my Bell helmet but the bottom is flatter and the optical quality is excellent. The slide mechanism located on the top of the helmet to deploy it also has the smoothest action and the tightest tolerances of any I’ve used to date. It can be stopped in any position and is really slick to use.
Now we come to the fun part of the helmet, the rotating chin bar. I’ve owned many a modular helmet and with all of them, the chin bar rests on top of the helmet when opened. I’ve never ridden with the chin bar open. I didn’t deem it safe and it looks pretty silly, although I have seen others ride with them in the open position.
The chin bar on this helmet doesn’t stop there. It rotates all the way to the back, doesn’t look goofy and is actually made to ride with it in that position. This changes your helmet instantly into a 3/4 open faced helmet.
This kind of versatility would make it a great touring helmet. During a long day of riding, you could change it up to feel the wind in your face in remote areas or slow traffic. And it would be great at gas stops. I do strongly recommend (and so does Shark) that you be stopped when you make the transformation.
It does rotate easily and smoothly with just a push of the red button located along the lower edge. This same button pushes the visor open and up out of the way so the chin piece clears it and the top of the helmet with a little room to spare.
Closing it is as easy as pulling it back down and clicking it home. 2 clicks let you know that it’s locked down tight. The docking points appear to be metal while the hooks on the chin bar are black plastic. We’ll see in the next section how well this combination works from a safety standpoint.
This helmet is both DOT and ECE certified and homologated as both an open face and full face helmet. So if you wish to ride it with the chin bar open it has been deemed safe by the appropriate governing bodies to do so. It also has a 5 Star SHARP rating, which is awesome for a modular helmet. Updating the chin bar locking mechanism on this model resulted in the chin bar staying locked 100% of the time during testing which certainly gives me peace of mind that it will protect me in a get off.
Now we come to the meat of the piece and (along with fit) the most subjective aspects of helmet review; noise and ventilation. Noise management is an important aspect of choosing a helmet. Excessive noise can tire you on a long ride and can distract you from more important things, like avoiding cagers. It’s also very dependent on the shape of your head and how the helmet padding conforms to it. Even something as small as having long hair can change the dynamics.
After I saw the relatively small neck roll on the EVO I suspected it might be noisy and it is, although it’s not as bad as I thought it would be. The large chin curtain and the elastic in the back do help some. In fact, riding in cool weather with a thick turtle neck on it was fairly quiet so I think if you have a bulkier neck than my skinny little woman’s neck it would probably be pretty quiet. All of the wind noise is coming up from the bottom. I don’t detect any increase in noise with the vents open or closed. Keep in mind also that I have a very small windshield on my bike so the helmet is exposed to a lot of wind turbulence.
So I would give it a fair for noise management with the usual caveats that your results may vary with the fit of the helmet and the wind protection on your motorcycle.
Ventilation on the EVO consists of 2 upper vents, a chin vent, and a hidden vent on the inside of the chin bar. The upper vents are quite small but they are fairly effective as I can feel the air coming through to the top of my head through the air channels in the liner. They have separate switches that slide easily, and while small, are easy enough to find and operate with gloved hands.
Inside the chin bar is a slide vent. This appears to be a de-mister since the air tunnels point straight up to the inside of the face shield. I can feel the cool air on my face when it is open. Riding on a cool morning I closed it and the bottom of the face shield immediately started to fog (I had not yet put in the Pinlock insert). As soon as I opened it the visor cleared right up. This is a neat little trick that does away with the need to crack the visor open to de-mist.
The chin vent is a little different. It appears to be more of an exhaust vent than an intake since the air channels are on top of the rocker vent. I couldn’t feel any airflow when it was open and couldn’t really see that any air channels lead from the vent into the helmet. It does work well in conjunction with the sliding vent however as a de-mister. With both of them open there was no fogging of the face shield while I was moving even without the Pinlock insert.
Exhaust vents are cleverly hidden in the outside two legs of the rear spoiler with air channels down through the EPS. Unlike the top vents, they are partially covered by the liner although it’s hard to tell if that inhibits their effectiveness.
It’s difficult for motorcycle gear to be the perfect do-it-all for every occasion but this helmet certainly gives a good stab at it. I’m not sure how many people need or want a helmet that converts from a full face to an open face but if that’s your thing this is the helmet for you. I do like that the chin bar rotates out of your way at gas stops and takes the face shield with it in one motion. Plus this helmet has some other unique features that are practical and useful. All in all, this is a very nice helmet that has taken its place as the first choice in my helmet lineup.