Shark Vancore 1 and 2 (Road Warrior) crash helmet review

shark vancore crash helmet

Shark Vancore: mean-looking urban full face helmet.

Hats off to Shark. Not only have they consistently been in the top half of our Top 10 Safest Helmet Brands list, but they’re always trying to bring innovation into the crash helmet market.

shark vancore 2 helmet neon fluo yellow top view
Top view of the Shark Vancore 2 in neon yellow

First it was the Shark Drak/Raw, an open faced lid with a distinctly lean/mean urban streetfighter look. And then they launched the Shark Vancore – again targeting the hidden urban warrior in us but with with the added safety of being a full faced helmet (hey, I’m as much an urban warrior as the next man, but you’ve got to be sensible haven’t you 🙂 )

They’ve since uprated the Vancore a little and released it as the Vancore 2 – so here’s all you need to know about Shark’s Vancore helmets.

  • Full face crash helmet
  • Integral goggles with Carl Zeiss lens
  • SHARP 4 Star safety rated (Vancore 2 ECE helmet)
  • 2.75lbs/1.25Kg (light)
  • Thermoplastic shell
  • XS (53cm) to XL (62cm)
  • Typical price range: $310-$320

Looking to buy a Shark Vancore 2?

It’s not widely available but you can find it at Amazon. And if you buy from them, we get a small sum from the sale at no extra cost to you – a massive THANKS! (it’s how we finance the site).

Shop for helmets at AmazonShell and Designs

Shark Vancore Wipeout Mat EAO
Here it is – the Shark Vancore Wipeout Mat EAO

The Vancore is a thermoplastic lid and comes in five helmet sizes – from XS (53/4 cms) to XL (61/2 cms) but with just one shell size (two for Vancore 2).

It comes in your usual range of suitably grimy, urban, camo designs that wouldn’t look out of place in Advance Warfare. We’ve put our favourites on the page – including the matt and dual black, the RYU matt with it’s stricking red sun design on one side – and the camo Shark Vancore Matt Wipeout Mat EAO (nice and catchy naming guys!) as shown to the right. There’s space for the SharkTooth bluetooth communicator in the shell – with cutouts for speakers and enough room for a mic.

Vancore 2

shark vancore 2 kanhji orange helmet front view
Vancore 2 Kanhji

Shark updated the Vancore with a few changes and renamed it Vancore 2. There’s a slightly redesigned chin bar, the goggles have been reworked – they work the same but have a different strap, thinner frame and offer more space and a better fit for improved aero.

 

When you look at the helmet from the side, don’t be fooled by the chin guard that looks as if it’ll pivot up. It won’t. It’s fixed. It comes with the goggles in place, fastened to each side with a quick release catch and the helmet’s secured to your bonce by way of a mirometric fastener – whack the lid on your head, insert the ratcheted bar into the holder and it clicks in place. Pull a little tab to release it – all nice and simple to use.

Safety

Shark Vancore 2 8.5 ms impact test results
Courtesy of sharp.dft.gov.uk Shark Vancore 2 8.5 m/s Impact test results.

SHARP – they’re the guys who independently safety test UK ECE helmets – didn’t test Vancore 1 but they have tested Vancore 2. Of course, all Vancore helmets in the US should pass DOT standards, meaning – at the very least – it’ll give a decent minimum level of protection.

But when SHARP tested the Vancore 2 they awarded it 4 stars (out of 5) which is a very good rating. Remember, that’s for an ECE helmet and we don’t know if that’s any different to the DOT US helmet. But as you can see from the graphic which offers a snapshot of their highest speed 8.5 m/s test, it only dropped a point or two on the side impact tests.

Before we come onto goggles in detail, it’s worth noting that the googles do reduce your field of view compared to a conventional full face helmet. Even though the Vancore 2’s goggles have been pushed further forward and have a thin bezel surrounding them, they’re still pretty deeply set into the helmet – meaning that you need to look left/right a bit more energetically than normal for your head check – not ideal from a safety perspective.

shark-vancore-matt-green-front-view
Goggles fit snugly into the Vancore Blank Mat GMA. Or Mat Green to the rest of us.

Goggles

The goggles are fixed to the helmet by elastic straps that connect to a pin on the sides. They can be quickly released by simply pulling on the tab to one side and they goggles will come away. If you want to lift the goggles up when you’re riding, you can do that too. However they’re fiddly to pull out – they sit deep within the helmet and the elastic needs to be pretty tight to keep them sitting snug on your face. You can pull them up and they’ll sit on your forhead ok – however, it doesn’t take long for the elastic to start going baggy if you do this lots. Which is not so bad because you can tighten the elastic – it’s just another fiddle and if you’re anything like me, reducing the amount of fiddling and faffing about you do with a helmet is pretty high up on your priority list when you’re riding!

The goggles themselves do work nicely though – they sit nice and close to your face and are lined with foam and are by all counts pretty comfy. They are anti fog coated and feature a dual Carl Zeiss lens which gives a nice and clear view of the road ahead. And while they do fit well, they are still goggles and not a flush-fitting visor, so there is a gap around that’ll let air/water/road crap into the helmet. So if you’ll be riding all year round and in dodgy conditions, you have been warned!

shark-vancore-dual-black-top-view
Top view of the Vancore in dual black color scheme

Comfort & sizing

The lining of the Vancore uses bamboo which, rather counter-intuitively, makes for a really soft, plush place to put your noggin. It’s also got deep recesses in it to allow the top-vent to do it’s job and pass air over your head to let it breathe. Owners say it’s a comfortable helmet – as long as you get the sizing right.  A couple of people suggested going for a size up when ordering a Vancore as they tend to be a wee bit undersized. The lining is fully removable and washable.

shark-vancore-black-side-view
Vancore in plain gloss black

Ventilation and Noise

The Vancore has a single vent on the top of the helmet which does the job nicely. Air does get in through the front around the goggles so, by all accounts, the single top vent is all the Vancore needs. It’s easy to operate with gloves and simply slides forwards or back to open/close. It’s not the quietest helmet, but it’s not the noisiest either. Owners reckon it’s probably similar to a decent modular helmet. So if you come to a Vancore from a particularly quiet full face helmet, you’ll think it’s noisy but if you come to it from an open face lid and riding a naked bike, it’ll be the last word in peace and tranquility!

Best places to buy an Shark Vancore 2?

It’s not widely available but you can find it at Amazon. And if you buy from them, we get a small sum from the sale at no extra cost to you – a massive THANKS! (it’s how we finance the site).

Shop for helmets at Amazon
Video

Here’s Soundslikeaplan994‘s video on his new Vancore (looks enamored doesn’t he?)

 

Overall

shark vancore 2 helmet overnight black slilver rear view
Rear of the Vancore 2 Overnight

The Shark Vancore will sell on its looks – it’s that simple. Any why not. It’s probably not the most practical helmet – but you probably don’t walk around in a sensible lightweight spring jacket and sneakers for the same reason. Who needs practical?

But the thing is, it’s also a serious helmet – as shown by its excellent SHARP safety rating. OK that’s on the ECE helmet but as evidenced by Shark’s excellent rankings in our Safest Brands Top 10, we expect it’ll give you some of the best protection out there.

Sure you might only really want to wear it on dry days (us urban warriors tend to stay indoors when it’s wet anyhow) but if you do, we reckon you’ll be happy with the Vancore.

Looking to buy a Shark Vancore 2?

It’s not widely available but you can find it at Amazon. And if you buy from them, we get a small sum from the sale at no extra cost to you – a massive THANKS! (it’s how we finance the site).

Shop for helmets at Amazon

Definitely want a Shark?

Here you'll find all our Shark crash helmet reviews and previews including full face, flip-up and open face helmets.

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