The fun thing about adventure motorcycle riding is that you’re never ever gonna run out of new gadgets to test out and the market is constantly putting new things out there. Today? the Shark Explorer R, the new-ish adv helmet from the french brand, a helmet for all occasions. Sharks offer starts strong with the full pacakage deal, a full face helmet with a dark inner visor, mx style peak, mx goggles – designed by Carl Zeiss no less – with it’s own quick strap system, interchangeable without any tools and to top it all a waterproof neck integrated into the helmet. 2 nose guards for the helmet or goggles and antifog clear visor. From the moment you open the box you can’t help but wonder, what helmet do I want today?
The naked version of the Explorer R for the urban riders.
And that’s the thing with the Explorer R. Variety. of course I’ve tested other adventure helmets in the past and the offer is quite good, however Shark’s package is not only high quality, it’s clearly targeted at high value costumers. Soft interiors, comfy fit, earpockets clearly designed with intercoms in mind, plus a neat design that makes installation a breeze. Best of all, no tools required. It’s that well built.
Antioquia’s back roads are perfect for testing the multiple variations of the Explorer R on road, dirt, street roads and highways.
I’ve been a couple of months with the Explorer R and today I’m riding through Antioquia’s back roads testing all of its variations. First thing I have to say is that the full face version is one of the quietest helmets I have ever tested. The visors close fit creates a silent bubble that makes ear plugs almost unnecessary. The inner visor is a life saver in sunny days as it covers the eyes completely. It comes with a nifty little system that allows for the visor to be open just a couple of millimeters, perfect por airflow in hot days, or as an additional antifog system. 3 helmets in one. Off roading is just a peak and goggles away. Road you say? Visor on. Street fighter? Goggles on. I feel I’m wearing a new helmet everyday.
Just push the little tab on the side and the visor comes up just enough to let air come in, practical antifog.
The off road version – my favorite – comes with the Shark goggles. Slightly dark tinted goggles to fight those nasty shadows on sunny days. A perfect fit for the helmet allowing for just enough air come through the cheeks. You can cover your nose if you want to, it’s detachable nose guard just adds to the options available. It performs well at high speeds, with no vibrations coming from the peak, and manageable noise levels, even while using the intercom. It is noisier than it’s road version, but not by much.
The quick release system allows the goggles to be released in a pinch from one side, or just stretch over the mouth piece like regular goggles.
Certification wise the Explorer R meets UNECE 22-05 regulations for Europe, DOT for US and AS/NZS fro Australia. You can go anywhere with this helmet and it will most likely meet regulations.
It looks even better with the Airbrake MX goggles from Oakley.
My only complain comes in the form of true adventure helmets, as the peak and visor configuration is not available out of the box, but as an accessory. It’s a shame really, however with the added costs of a good pair of MX goggles, quick release systems and other accessories, the Explorer R’s value is still amazing.
The street version has little to envy from other helmets, as it’s package has everything from comfort to practicality and added field of vision.
The last version I tested was the Street Fighter version. In the Vancore’s article I talked about this new trend, although with the Explorer R we find a more refined version. That’s another way to use this thing. I love it.
Everything I need to have 3 helmets is in this picture, and less than a minute away.
If it’s time to change your helmet and want to try something new and different, you should really try the new Explorer R.