Shark’s Ridill is a low-price, high-feature motorbike helmet that would suit new riders perfectly. It’s not perfect, as you’d expect for a lid at this price point, but for a starting point it’s ideal, particularly with slow-speed 125cc learner riders.
In 1.2 Phaz Mat KRW format it’s a great-looking thing, with sporty design marrying well with its matte black paintwork and racey decals.
That sporting intention is backed up by a gold sticker that indicates its suitability for track day riding, while the five-year warranty adds peace of mind to those keeping it for the long-term.
However, some parts feel cheap and it’s very noisy at 70mph, which is why it’ll be better suited for those riding at lower speeds.
Is the Shark Ridill helmet comfortable?
This tester found the fit a little tight behind the ears and on the jowls to start with, but this eased over time. The washable liner is comfortable and supportive in all the right places. It feels a little enclosed, but this affords it a reassuring feel for less confident riders.
I’m less keen on the ratchet style of chin strap – I prefer a D-ring because it simply feels more secure. However, the counterpoint to this – particularly for newer riders – is that the ratchet style is easier to use, particularly with motorbike gloves on, because it’s less fiddly.
The strap is padded too, which keeps it comfortable and prevents rubbing if you do it up a little too tightly, which is easily done with a ratchet.
You don’t get any sort of chin guard to stop flies entering the lid when they bounce off your chest, but I wouldn’t say this is a huge problem.
I have caught my nose and chin on the hard, slightly sharp plastic on the inside of the front of the chin section when putting it on a few times, which has left skin a little red but not damaged.
What's the Shark Ridill helmet visor like?
The visor itself feels flimsy: it’s the primary place you really feel the cheapness of the helmet. There’s a fiddly attaching mechanism too – fitting a Pinlock isn’t much fun with this in mind.
But the main negative from my time using it is the integrated sun visor, which comes down too far for my face and rests on my nose – a body part that I wouldn’t say is particularly over-sized, although I appreciate others might thing differently!
That’s pretty irritating, and a shame because it would otherwise be very useful, and it’s easy to operate with a gloved hand, with a solid, easily locatable slider. However, the slider is on top of the helmet, which means you have to lift your whole arm and expose it to a large amount on wind buffeting, which can be disconcerting when you’re moving at speed.
Other companies deal with sun visors better by locating the slider by the ear, which allows your arm to keep a more compact form and not be so susceptible to aerodynamics.
Does the Shark Ridill helmet have good ventilation?
There are three vents (two on the forehead and one on the chin) are easy to use with gloves on while on the move. You slide the forehead vents and the chin one pushes in.
The helmet didn’t steam up during our test in the wet, and kept this tester’s cranium cool when temperatures rose into the 30s during the summer.
Is the Shark Ridill helmet noisy?
This is among the noisiest helmets I’ve tried, but it’s not anywhere near bad enough to put me off. At 70mph there’s a lot of roar, but most bikers will be wearing earplugs anyway so this shouldn’t cause too many problems.
It’s another reason I reckon this lid is primarily suited to new riders on 125s – they can’t dream of hitting 70mph anyway!
Does the Shark Ridill helmet look good?
Here’s the thing: it’s not my cuppa. But with that said, I totally understand the appeal for someone younger and less jaded than me. It’s sporty, with an of-now matte finish and funky graphics. It also looks more expensive than it is.
Is the Shark Ridill helmet good quality?
This is a tale of two halves. The shell, venting system and liner all feel as well-built as you’d expect from a popular helmet-maker like Shark, but the visor and its fixing mechanism are flimsy. I think on balance I’d rather it was this way around if they were going to cut costs anywhere, but the fact remains that it’s a fiddly process to install a Pinlock or give the visor a proper clean.
One final note is that the visor is extremely noisy when you pull it down, sounding rattly in the process.
Is the Shark Ridill helmet good value?
This is where the Ridill shines. It’s sensational value for money, with gloss black versions weighing in at under £100 at time of writing. If you take into account the quality of most of the parts, I reckon it doesn’t get a lot better.
Other helmets with similar design and features to consider at this price point include Caberg Avalon, Scorpion Exo 490 and the Icon Airform.
If I were starting my riding career over again, I’d definitely put the Ridill on my list of essential kit. You’ve got to have a helmet regardless, but this one proves you don’t have to spend silly money to get something comfortable, quality and laden with features.
Overall, while there are surely better helmets out there, you could do a lot worse. It’s a bit of a biking bargain, really. I’d choose this over one from an unknown brand on the internet in a heartbeat.