The Shark Evo One 2 is the revised version of the Shark Evo One which, in turn, was an evolution of the French company’s longstanding Evoline helmet that has been around for well over 10 years.
The concept is very simple, and it's a good one. It is a full-face helmet with a chin bar that can be rotated over the back of the helmet to create what is, in effect, a genuine open-face helmet.
It differs from a flip-lid, where the visor is integrated into the chin piece. On a flip-lid, the chin and visor can be raised to allow the rider to get a better airflow, or talk to another person, but the visor sits on top of the helmet. You can’t really ride at any speed with the helmet in this configuration, even though legally you might be allowed to.
The only other helmet that works in the same as the same way as the Shark is the Roof Boxer, but in comparison with the Shark, the Roof is a bit of a toy; it's a helmet that is more style than function. It’s great for urban riding, but too noisy for the motorway, commuting or touring.
The Evo-One, by contrast, is a serious helmet for serious riders. You can roar down the Autoroute in one at three figure speeds, and feel totally secure. But equally, around town you have a totally viable open-face helmet, albeit one with a greater degree of protection around the chin than you would get with a classic jet helmet.
If you decided that you wanted to ride with just one helmet, the Evo-One would be a very practical choice. Personally, if I were to set off around the world, it’s the helmet I would choose. It’s also, of course, a popular choice for many continental police forces. They can follow you at speed, and then when they’ve pulled you over, they can raise the chin bar and tell you how fast you were going, and how much they’re going to fine you!
Last year, Shark introduced a new model called the Evo-One to replace the outgoing Evoline 3 model.
The concept was the same, but there were about a dozen minor, detail differences.
Never a light helmet, the new version was a little less lardy. It was also a bit smaller. It had better ventilation, and was more aerodynamic.
But the big change was that you could bring the chin piece from the rear of the helmet to the front without having to lift up the main visor; a procedure that was always necessary on the Evoline. To enable this to happen, the helmet was equipped with a complicated arrangement of cams and rollers.
The new helmet was a marked improvement on the Evoline, but it was not perfect. The mechanism for raising the visor could be sticky, and some people had problems closing the helmet. Most significantly, the tolerances were so fine that the Pinlock occasionally caught the top edge of the visor aperture, leaving a mark right in the line of sight.
In retrospect, it was clear that the helmet had been brought to market before it was ready. But Shark rectified the problems, and about a month or so ago, the company released the updated version called the Evo-One 2. Again, there are about a dozen minor upgrades, many of which are not discernible to the eye. But the bottom line is that the Evo-One 2 is the helmet that the original Evo-One should always have been.
And now it’s very, very good. All the mechanisms work like a Swiss clock. The concept was always first class, but now the way it works is first class too.
The Evo-One 2 really is a unique bit of kit; there’s no helmet quite like it. It’s not light, so we wouldn’t necessarily off-road in it, and some ladies don’t get on with it because it can put strain on their necks. But if you’re looking for the best all-round helmet that money can buy, this is it.
Click here to buy the EVO-ONE 2