Posted On 09 Apr 2024
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This entry is part 41 of 26 in the series AusMotorcyclist Issue#27

COMFY, FUNCTIONAL – SPEED! Shark Speed R Carbon Series 2 helmet. Price – $599.95

When it comes to a full face road helmet, there are three things I want – comfort, functionality and ease of use – the new Shark Speed R Carbon Series 2 has all three, so I’m happy!

The Speed-R has racing styling, but it is a highly aerodynamic helmet specially designed for the road and unfaired motorcycles. Wind tunnel tested to ensure optimum aerodynamics and ventilation it not only offers a nice amount of airflow, but it has to be one of the most stable road helmets I’ve ever worn. The only helmet that compares to this helmet at speed is my Shark Race-R Pro Carbon helmet, which is a race orientated helmet – not offering the more road friendly design of the Speed R Series 2 Carbon.

You get the same thick 4mm visor,as the Race R Pro, but the Speed R has an internal drop down sun visor, which is operated by a slide on the top of the helmet. It is easy to use with gloves on.

The main visor comes with a Pin lock so there is no more fogging up. My only gripe with the visor, when fully shut, is that it’s held in place by what I can best describe as a small pin and the only way to reopen the visor is with sheer brute force. The only leverage you have is a small piece of plastic protruding from the visor, but with gloves on, it’s difficult to do. It does loosen up a little after a few uses, but take your time to get used to it.

This Series 2 helmet is lighter than the first Speed R, but when you pick up the Series 2 it still feels like it has some weight in it, yet when you put it on your head and ride with it, it feels light. I think it must be playing some mind games with my senses!

Quietness is good due to the excellent aerodynamics and the (removable and washable) liner and how it tucks in closer around your neck.

The bamboo liner is super comfy and keeps sweaty smells away as best as possible. For those who wear glasses, the Speed R has special channels in the sides so that specs can easily be fitted and removed.

Other features of the Speed R include carbon fibre construction, double blade spoiler for an effect that refreshes and prevents fogging, a double D-ring strap and two shell sizes for optimal fit. The helmet is also Sharktooth ready – Shark’s cleverly named Bluetooth headset.

Having now worn the Shark Speed R Carbon Series 2 helmet for over a month, I’m impressed with its comfort, vision and functionality. You will be seeing quite a bit of this helmet in these pages from now on. SW

Rjays Sturgis Platinum helmet Price – $149.95

Rjays offers a large number of modestly priced and functional products which give you precisely what you pay for. But let me introduce the Rjays Sturgis Platinum open face helmet, and ignore that description! Featuring genuine leather trim with a plush quilted comfort liner, this is the most comfortable open face helmet I’ve ever worn – full stop. Most open face helmets I’ve worn over the years never really seemed to fit properly, but the Platinum is bang on for comfort.

Another surprise I got with this open face is that it is a relatively quiet open face helmet, cutting a lot of noise to the ears. The nicely low profile of the shell gives you the looks, too.

I highly recommend this helmet,so check one out at your local bike shop or visit to find your local retailer. SW

Forcefield Blade back protector Price – $169

Those of us who have had the misfortune to fall off a motorcycle know just how much it can hurt, and just how badly you can get beaten up with broken bones, bruising and all sorts of “wonderful” stuff! The main “structure” in your body – your back – is one of the most important ones to protect, so having a quality back protector is a must. The guys at Force field have released a number of new back protectors (check issue #26 for the comprehensive Force field ad), but I was after a back protector that was flexible and as thin as safely possible. Force field’s Blade was the answer so I got hold of one and took it to the world launch of the Yamaha R1 and the Australian BMW S 1000 RR launch, and even raced with it at the Barry Sheene Festival of Speed.

I was immediately impressed with the flexibility. I could actually move better with it under my leathers, thanks to it being super flexible and a touch thinner than my previous Knox Kompact back protector.

The Blade provides CE Level 2 protection, representing the highest current standard. The Blade is made with four layers of Nitrex Evo, a high-tech impact-absorbing memory foam. Featuring adjustable shoulder straps and a Velcro waist strap with extra Velcro adjustments for the kidneys, the Blade remains securely in place even when used under a loose-fitting riding jacket.

The Force field Blade is available in four sizes ranging from XS to L – waist to shoulder length XS 43-48cm, S 48-53cm, M 53-58cm and L 58-60cm. I’m 195cm tall and fit the large nicely. It is a top choice of back protector for all types of riding.

Grab one at your local bike shop or visit email or call 07 3277 0675. SW

Interphone F5 MC twin pack Price – $549.95

There seem to be so many headsets on the market now that it can seem quite hard to choose the one that’s right for what you want. My favourite has been the UClear which is good for phone calls and listening to music from my phone. It has also been good to connect up with a pillion and talk to each other if need be.

But, what if you want more functions, like radio and a nice voice that tells you what is going on? Well, the Interphone F5MC headset is the one to get. I got the twin pack and fitted them to both my and Alana’s helmets.

Pairing the two devices was easy. The volume doesn’t go up as loud as I’d like but it is more than adequate for speeds up to 120km/h. Answering a phone call is an easy task – just say hello or something similar, wait a second, then say hello again and away you go.

However the main feature I like about the new F5MC headset is the nice female (let’s call her Jane) who talks to you. For example, Jane tells you when the device is powering up, you have reached max volume, or you are powering down, turning the device off. Jane also talks to you on a number of other occasions which is a great function to have, so you aren’t left wondering what’s going on.

The FM radio has a good range – 88 to 108 MHz frequency. It is clear, unlike many other headsets I’ve tried.

Fitting the F5MC to my Shark Speed R helmet was very simple. The ear pieces are not too big, fitting nicely into the ear recess and are not noticeable with the helmet on. Same goes for Alana’s helmet.

She has an older Shark helmet and many ear pieces just wouldn’t be comfortable for her inside the helmet,but these are fl at enough so she finds them comfortable.

Other features of the new F5MC headsets include talk time up to 12 hours, standby time 700 hours, a charging time of 3 hours, Digital Signal Processing (DSP) for advanced audio filtering and wind noise suppression, intercom up to 1.3 km in full duplex, a 4-way (conference mode, 4 different bikes or 2 bikes rider + passenger), 3-way (3 separate bikers) or 2-way (rider-to-rider or rider-to-passenger) setup… and the F5MC is compatible with most major satnavs for motorcycles for GPS voice instructions.

Mobile phone functions include headset and hands-free profiles, voice dial, redial, call reject, last number redial, TTS – (Text To Speech) multi-lingual spoken status announcements, noise cancellation microphone and AGC Technology – automatic volume adjustment. A great all-round headset that’s clear and easy to use. What more could you want! Pick up a set at your local bike shop. SW

About the Author
Australian Motorcyclist Magazine is Australia's leading motorcycle travel magazine.
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