Date reviewed: July 2018 | Tested by: John Milbank | Price: From £149.99 | www.tri-motive.com
Costing £149.99 for plain colours or £169.99 for graphics, the Vemar Sharki is at the higher-end of the budget price scale, but is still a relatively affordable flip-front helmet. I’ve been commuting with it on my BMW G310GS…
Made of a thermoset resin, this ‘Hive’ matt black / fluoro orange shell design is well finished with a quality overall feel to it. There’s a small blanking plate on the lower left of the shell that will allow some intercom systems to pass their cables through – a neat touch backed up by deep internal recesses for speakers.
The chin bar is a little stiff to use, but despite being homologated only for use as a full-face when riding, it stays up with no problems at speed. It’s also easy to open using the large button on the bottom of the chin.
At 1693g for this medium-sized lid, the Sharki isn’t the lightest budget flip-front, but it’s not excessively heavy; the (far more expensive) benchmark Shoei Neotec weighs 1679g.
Thanks to a well-fitted chin skirt, the Vemar is reasonably still inside with all the vents closed. There are plenty of cut-outs and channels inside, feeding the always-open exhaust ports on the rear, and fed by the easy to operate top vents and chin vent.
When open, air is blown up across the visor to the brow from the chin vent. The top vents help to keep the interior cool, though you can’t feel a great deal of difference. Of course, if it’s really hot you could ride with the chin bar up.
The visor can be cracked just open off the latch, but it doesn’t really let any air in; for this, you’ll need to go to the first stage of the smooth but firm five-position ratchet mechanism, which does let a lot of air in – a bit too much if trying to defog in the winter, or riding at speed.
There’s no Pinlock anti-fog insert supplied, so you might consider one for around £30; otherwise, if fogging is an issue for you, use a spray-on coating, or even washing up liquid if necessary (though this soon saturates).
In heavy rain, the top seal of the visor lets quite a bit of water in, which unfortunately can’t be cured by adjusting the mounting plates.
A drop-down sunshield is operated by a short-throw lever on the left lower edge of the lid, and comes down well, cutting out a good amount of light at the bottom edges. It could come closer to my nose, but of course, everyone has a different shaped face.
The lining is nicely finished, and fully removable for cleaning, though it is rather fiddly to remove and replace, not helped by being a one-piece design with a chin skirt that’s quite hard to clip back in.
The micrometric ratchet chin strap takes a couple minutes to first set up, then easily gives a secure fit every time, even with gloves on.
Comfort is extremely subjective; I had a bit of a pressure point across my forehead with the Sharki, but it soon eased. While not as plush as other – much pricier – lids, this is clearly a well-designed product.
Never assume you suit one particular brand across its full range – I found the full-face Vemar Zephir to be a little more comfortable from the off than this flip-front, but ultimately we all have different shaped heads, so just make sure you try any helmet on for yourself before buying.
I had no problems with noise while wearing this helmet – I’d say it’s about average, and like any other helmet, ear plugs should be worn to avoid long-term hearing damage.
While not the cheapest, the Sharki is a very well put-together helmet offering good value for money.
It’s a shame that, like many other lids (and not just budget ones) the visor leaks, but if this isn’t a major worry to you, the Vemar is well worth considering.