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Shark Spartan GT Pro Carbon helmet review

Production Manager - Still considers himself a novice rider, despite passing his test nearly thirty years ago.



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Date reviewed: October 2023 | Tested by: Steve Lamb | Price: from £479 |


Sitting towards the top of Shark’s range of full-face helmets, topped only by the track-focused Race-R Pro, the ECE 22.06 certified Spartan GT Pro Carbon offers a step up in safety from the previous ECE 22.05 certified Spartan GT.

This is my third Shark helmet, having already worn the Spartan GT Carbon and the Spartan RS, so I was keen to see what the Spartan Carbon GT offers over and above the others. I’ve been wearing the Shark GT Pro Carbon for around nine-months, in a variety of weathers and on a range of bikes from my own Honda NC750X to Suzuki’s Burgman 125 and a few in between. So how did it perform?


  • Luxurious linings scream quality

  • Neck enclosures make for a draught free ride

  • Easy visor adjustment makes for perfect fit

  • That visor still whistles when up

  • Prone to fogging on cold mornings.


Outer shell

The Shark GT Pro Carbon’s shell comprises a dual-layer laminate construction meaning that traditional fibreglass filament is mixed with carbon fibre overlays to add strength without increasing the weight.

While this dual-layer construction means its potentially not quite as strong as a 100% carbon fibre construction, it hits the sweet spot of price vs strength, as proven in the helmet’s ECE 22.06 certification, offering provably better protection.

It’s available in sizes from XS to 2XL which are split between two shell sizes, meaning that those with smaller sized heads don’t get drowned in cheek pads trying to make up the gaps to an oversized shell.

Overall, the styling keeps close to the established Spartan family of helmets with a slightly more rounded shell shape that similar lids in this class.

As with the Shark Spartan GT Carbon and Shark Spartan RS that we have reviewed, the Spartan GT Pro comes in a range of finishes, from plain carbon weave to some stylish geometric patterns, all with quality graphics which are sealed into the top-coat of the shell.

All this quality, protection, and safety focused construction puts the Shark Spartan GT pro into the premium helmet category, but with a starting price of £479 for the matt black, rising to £509 for the Ritmo Carbon/Silver, it’s not unaffordable and there are already some good deals at the major resellers.

The helmet on test here is the Ritmo Carbon/Blue (£499) and if you think it looks familiar, it’s been seen recently on the Suzuki GSX-S1000GX promotional images (that's not me riding though...obviously!).



At 1655g for the large as tested, the Shark Spartan GT Pro comes in 100g heavier than the Spartan GT Carbon. While it’s not apparent where this extra weight comes from, it’s pretty safe to say that there is additional material in the shell structure to ensure that the helmet passes the more stringent ECE 22.06 safety certification.

That being said, in use, I couldn’t feel the additional weight, and it’s still well within the ‘average’ weight for helmets in this class.




As with the previous Shark Spartan GT, ventilation is provided via twin vents in the chin bar and a large intake on the top of the head. Exhaust vents in the rear spoiler allow for air to exit. All vents can be closed, including the rear exhaust vents.

Overall, ventilation is good – the top vent especially provides a noticeable flow of air across the scalp (especially noticeable for those of us who are follicly-challenged). This strong air flow does add some noise but, especially on hot days, it’s well worth the compromise. On cooler days I found myself opening and closing the vents at regular intervals to maintain an even temperature and to manage the noise levels at higher speeds, but you’ll quickly find a combination that works for you.

As with the Spartan GT, the front vents are still a bit lacking due to the openings of the front vents being at a right-angle to the airflow when sat upright. If you ride a sports bike and look through the top of the visor more, the angle of the chinbar will help with airflow but, for touring riding, there's certainly room for improvement. I found this especially noticeable on colder mornings where a combination of lack of direct airflow, the internal sun visor and my own glasses means that everything is quick to fog up, and opening the visor is the only way to clear everything quickly.

Some of this may be down to the excellent chin curtain, which is supplied with the helmet which, when used, means that the inside of helmet heats up much quicker accentuating the thermal difference between the insides and out. In my view, it’s a small price to pay for the snugness and warmth provided.

For really cold days, or where your journey prevents getting sufficient speed to clear your visor, a Pinlock is included with the Spartan GT pro and once fitted, works well at keeping your view totally clear, even on the foulest of November mornings.




The Spartan GT pro carries over the same VZ300 visor from the Spartan GT and, sadly, it still whistles annoyingly when you ride at any speed with the visor up.

At first, I thought Shark had finally cracked this issue, but I have been trying different height screens on my Honda NC750X and it was this that reduced wind noise on the visor and masked the whistling issue - a recent ride on a naked Royal Enfield Super Meteor highlighted that it is just as bad as on previous models. Such a shame!

Apart from the whistle, the two visors are very good, even when used together with no perceptible optical distortion (the main visor is rated at Class 1 for Optical Clarity - the best rating there is) and even when wearing glasses with the sun visor down, the main visor down and the pinlock insert installed, everything remains sharp and distortion free. Quite an achievement.

Along with the visor, the adjustment mechanism is also unchanged from the Spartan GT Carbon which is a good thing – a ratchet allows the visor to be set ant any number of positions (well, fifteen discrete positions, if we’re being pedantic!) and the visor can be changed without any additional tools. Just twist the locking arms and slide the visor out from the side pods. Shark even supply a 1.5mm allen-key to allow you to tighten the ratchet mechanism should the ratchet teeth start to wear. 

The mechanism for the inner visor is located on top of the helmet and, as the action is not geared in anyway, this does mean you end up reaching right over the crown, toward the back of the helmet to find the lever. The action is light and swift though and the sun visor gives good coverage with minimal light creep between the bottom of the visor and the top of the breath guard.

The main visor is secured by a central button which is recessed into the mouldings of the chin vent. Coming from helmets such as Arai and Shoei, where the main fastening is to the side, this can be a little strange at first, but it doesn’t take long to get used to it and coming from Sharks, it seems perfectly natural to me now.




One of the standout features for me from the Spartan GT that I tested back in 2021 was the features and quality of the lining and the Spartan GT Pro continues to impress.

As with the Spartan GT, the deeply padded cheek pads and full neck skirt make for a very comfortable fit.

All interior pads, neck skirts and the skull cap are removeable for cleaning or replacement (different thickness cheek pads are also available, meaning you can fine tune the fit) and emergency removal is incredibly quick and easy thanks to the provision of emergency pull cords and clear labelling in the order of removal – a feature sadly lacking from the lower priced Spartan RS.

It's certainly worth spending some time removing and refitting the pads, not only so that you know how they work, but also as it gives you a great insight into what goes into a good helmet. It does take some practice getting each element to sit nicely but take your time and it should go back together easily enough.

As with the other Shark helmets I’ve tested, the interior lining material carries a Sanitized® certification  - an antibacterial treatment that prevents the growth of odour causing bacteria, meaning that, no matter how long you leave it between washes, your helmet will be as fresh and sweet smelling as the day you bought it.

Finally, Shark makes a point of the helmet offering ‘Easy Fit’ for those of us wearing glasses. This effectively provides more space in the cheek pads at eye level, providing some extra room for the arms of your glasses and I found that it worked well, providing firm support for my glasses without them hovering over my nose or digging in.




The Spartan GT Pro Carbon is fitted with a traditional double-d ring fastener on the strap, with a popper to secure the loose end when done up.

While I do have lids with micro ratchet fastenings, and don’t dislike those, I do prefer the security of double-d fasters and also found that the rings give some additional purchase when putting the lid on which, due to the full neck skirt, can be a snug fit.



The fit of any helmet is incredibly subjective, and what fits one individual may not suit the next, so our advice is always to try on as many helmets as possible before making a purchase to make sure that the helmet you choose fits you properly and comfortably.

Having said that, I find the Shark Spartan GT Pro to be one of the most comfortable helmets I’ve used. While the snug opening can make it a bit trickier to put on without folding your ears over, once on the Spartan GT Pro is a wonderful place to be. The padding is plush and comforting, cradling my head nicely with no tight spots or scratchy/crinkly labels (looking at you Shoei J.O!).

The only slight criticism I have is that after several hours of wearing the helmet, the pattern of the internal skull cap leaves its impression on my head. It’s not painful and doesn’t even feel tight in use, so I think it’s just a result of the super plush lining materials.



At BikeSocial, we always recommend the use of earplugs when riding, no matter how short your ride is. Your hearing is far too precious to risk damaging for the sake of a couple of minutes putting earplugs in, so I can’t comment on how quiet, or noisy, the Shark Spartan GT Pro is without earplugs, as I have never used it without them in.

With earplugs in place, I found the Shark to be just as quiet and relaxing as the Spartan GT and the Spartan RS I’d previously tested.

The slippery shape means that there is no discernible noise from protrusions (the visor whistle discussed above, excepted) and the combination of the plush lining and chin skirt mean that there is not unwanted airflow or noisy turbulence entering the chin area.

If you are looking to fit an intercom to the Shark Spartan GT Pro, there are cut outs in the ear areas for speakers, so fitment should be simple. I have a cheap Bluetooth speaker and mic system fitted to mine and, with the volume turned up to max, found music to be audible and enjoyable right up to motorway speeds.

Overall, it’s a very nice place to be and I have had no issues when wearing the helmet for full days in the saddle.



Can I fit my own intercom to the Shark Spartan GT Pro Carbon?

The Spartan GT Pro is designed to integrate with the Shark Sharktooth Bluetooth headset and has a void at the rear of the helmet to house the battery pack and speaker apertures to house 42mm diameter speakers.

The Sharktooth Bluetooth headset retails at £120.99, but if you search around on-line you find it for under £115, though some stores are showing it as discontinued, so if you are looking to get one, I’d do it sooner rather than later.

While I’m not fussed about being talk to my other half or mates on ride outs, I do like to listen to music on longer journeys, so I’ve been using a generic Bluetooth headset, bought cheaply from Amazon, and found that this was very easy to fit into the Spartan GT Pro. The speaker apertures hold the speakers tightly and flush with the lining, though you do need to position the boom mic carefully to avoid inadvertently pressing buttons with your chin.

If you already have an intercom or headset system, mounting it to the Shark Spartan GT Pro is a simple affair thanks to plenty of uninterrupted space on chinbar and sides of the helmet. The lining is quick and easy to remove meaning that routing cables is easy and tidy.


Three alternatives to the Shark Spartan GT Pro Carbon

There are some great helmets on the market at this price point, so we would stress the importance of trying them on before buying to make sure the fit and feel is right for you, but here are some starters based on the key features of the Shark Spartan GT Pro:

  • Arai Quantic | from £499.99 – Arai’s first ECE 22.06 helmet and sets the benchmark for well implemented ventilation. Lacks the dropdown sun visor of the Shark, but John was very impressed nonetheless, as reviewed here.

  • Shoei GT-Air 3 | from £529 – probably the most expensive in class but has the build quality and features to justify the price. If intercoms integration is what you’re looking for, then our full review of the Shoei GT-Air 3 should be your next read.

  • Shark Spartan GT Carbon | from £349.99 – apart from the ECE 22.06 safety certification the outgoing model provides the majority of the feel and features for a fraction of the price. Look out for clearance offers on this lid if money is tight, or you just love a bargain. Full review of the Shark Spartan GT Carbon is here.

These are just three of many alternatives – you can find all the helmets we’ve tested here and be sure to regularly check for the discounts available through Bikesocial membership.


Shark Spartan GT Pro Carbon - Verdict

I had high expectations of the Shark Spartan GT Pro Carbon, based on my experience with other models in the Shark line up, and I have to say that each one of my expectations was met or bettered.

Every part of the Shark Spartan GT Pro Carbon feels premium, from the plush and stay-fresh lining to the simple visor adjustment mechanism. I’m even willing to overlook the whistling visor issue as, for many, this will vary in intensity depending on your bike and the wind protection provided by it.

It’s not a cheap helmet, and the recent review of helmets such as the LS2 Storm II show that you don’t have to spend anywhere this much to get a good helmet, but if you are looking to treat yourself to a bit of luxury, the Shark Spartan GT Pro Carbon should be high up on your short list.


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