Tested: Shark D-Skwal motorcycle helmet review

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By Test Team
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Date reviewed: July 2018 | Tested by: BikeSocial Test Team | Price: From £149.99 | www.nevis.uk.com

 

Priced at £149.99 for black or white, rising to £169.99 for graphics and £189.99 for the Fogarty and Lowes race replicas, the D-Skwal is at the top-end of our budget price bracket. BikeSocial Test Team member Richard Niven has been using this ACU Gold-approved full-face lid on his Honda Transalp 700, NC750 and Royal Enfield 500 Classic…

 

Outer shell

The polycarbonate shell of this helmet has a very high quality finish, with great metallic graphics on this Dharkov KVX black/violet/glitter model.

 

Weight

At 1551g, this is a relatively lightweight helmet, and certainly not something that’ll cause any strain for all-day riding.

 

 

Ventilation

Single closeable vents on the top and chin feed through the polystyrene liner to an always-open exhaust on the rear. Both are easy to use with summer or winter gloves on, and the top vent is particularly good – it really does make a big difference to the temperature of my head.

The chin vent doesn’t let too much cold air in, but does blow up over the visor well.

With the removable chin skirt fitted and the vents closed the helmet’s reasonably still so is suited to cold-weather riding too.

 

 

Visor

The visor couldn’t be simpler to remove for cleaning – just pull it out and push it back in; no levers or screws here. It only has a thumb tab on the left, which isn’t quite as convenient as having one in the middle or on either side, which would be easier to use with the right hand when stopped with the clutch held in.

The visor opens on a smooth five-stage ratchet mechanism that has a long first stage, though friction allows you to crack the visor open for more air and demisting.

A Pinlock MaxVision 70 (a mid-grade anti-fog insert with improved peripheral vision) is supplied, so you’ll have no issues with the visor misting. Worth £26.95, this certainly adds to the value of the lid.

In heavy rain, the visor seals out water very well, and a drop-down sun-shield is built into the D-Skwal, which fits my face well and is operated by a short-throw rotating lever just behind the left hand visor mechanism.

 

 

Lining

The lining is fairly easy to remove and refit, so keeping it clean if you use it a lot won’t be a problem.

 

 

Fastening

A micrometric ratchet adjuster is easy to set up in a few minutes when you first get the lid, then it allows a secure fit every time, even when wearing gloves.

 

Fit

While a little tight around my ears at first, the Shark soon seemed to bed in and fitted me very well. It also works perfectly with spectacles on.

Of course, everyone’s head is different, so do try one on for yourself, but I was very impressed.

 

Noise

I’m used to wearing flip-front helmets, which can sometimes be noisier – unsurprisingly, the D-Skwal is noticeably quieter. I’ll still wear earplugs of course, but there are no problems to report here.

 

Conclusion

I was a bit disappointed to find that the Shark’s owner’s manual is on a CD – besides having to be viewed on a computer, CD drives are becoming far less common now; for a safety item like this, I’d always prefer a printed manual.

However, I found the Shark extremely comfortable with some good features and excellent ventilation; by budget standards it’s relatively pricey, but I certainly wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it.

 

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