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Shark Skwal Visor Broken - Dammit!

Blog Date - 28 February 2018

Sharon and I both purchased Shark's Skwal helmets in July '17. I plumped for a simple plain white Skwal whereas Sharon, being a bit flash, bought the D-Skwal with trick graphics and lights. Yes - lights. 

I found mine to be tight around the cheeks initially but it soon settled in to be a good helmet. Sharon's has been OK too, however she's finding hers not to be quite as comfortable and fog-free as the previous Sharks she's owned. Up until recently I'd say our purchases have been "satisfactory" rather than "impressive".

Then on my way home from mother dearest's place last week I pulled in to give my visor a wipe. I keep a J-Cloth in my pocket for those moments when the road salt, rain, dirt and grime have built up and a quick wipe down will improve visibility. When I lifted the visor to wipe the inside the visor popped out of it's mechanism.

Ah - right. It's one of them there quick release types. No worries, I'll just pop it back in. Except rather than simply popping out it had snapped one of the "C" arms. It's hard to explain with words so I'll let you see this image.

The broken part of the visorGosh darn it. 

DAMN! This is a £150 helmet. This isn't a £40 cheapie this is mid range and considered of good quality. I am disappointed. What disappoints me even more is the realisation that a replacement will cost me £46. Oh for goodness sake.

I've been riding for 29 years. I estimate I've covered around half a million miles. In all that time I have killed countless waterproofs, clothes and motorcycles yet I have only ever broken one other visor and that was from my BIG crash. I've never broken a visor by opening it. Until this day.

Sharon informs me that this is a very well documented problem for the Skwal range and Shark know about it. Using the power of Facebook I have the following conversation with Shark.

Ren -
Hi. I have a Skwal that I purchased in July this year. This evening the visor has broken around the claw where it attaches to the helmet. I got the helmet from FC Moto in Germany. How would I go about organising a warranty claim from the UK?

Shark -
Hello Ren Withnell,

First we apologize for what happened to your helmet.

Indeed, we received some complaints on screen breakage.
To always exceed the expectations of our customers, we decided to adjust the geometry of the ends of the screen.
These changes have been implemented since June 2017.
You can check if you got the latest version by looking at the number that is on right side of your visor. If this number is 017/094 or more, you have the new version. 

We invite you to contact your nearest SHARK Helmets retailers to order (for free if your Skwal is under warranty) this new visor reference ############### .

Thank you.
Have a good day.

Ren -
That is fabulous. I'll check the visor when I get home tonight and take things from there. Many thanks.

Note - I've blanked out the visor reference because I don't want someone else to use it!

The number on the old broken visor shows 017/090
017/090 means my visor is an earlier version.

My next step is to go to somewhere that sells Shark helmets. I wonder what the reception will be like because as you can see I purchased the helmet online. Urgh, but still. I have checked the number on my visor and it reads "017/090" so my visor is one of the earlier types. I presume they have made changes to strengthen the claw.

I visit Millennium Motorcycles in St Helens quite often, there's a cafe and a few friends congregate there. They stock Shark helmets. I, well, I don't really want to do this. I didn't buy my helmet from them yet I'm going to ask them to go to the hassle of getting me a replacement visor. Still. Chin up Ren, be a man, I am merely following Shark's instructions. Urgh. 

"I have a Shark Skwal helmet..." as I pull out the visor.
"It's broken, yeah we've had loads. We've none in stock, we'll order you one."

And that was it. No asking for proof of purchase, no inspection of the damage. I left them with my name and my number and that was that. A week and a half later I get an answerphone message stating the visor is now in and I can collect it anytime.

The visor is now on my helmet. All is well with the world once again. The only difference is now I have a spare Agrius Rage helmet I purchased for £35. £35, that's less than the cost of the Shark Visor. While the Agrius lacks the Shark's finesse and quality feel it is still a perfectly adequate helmet and scores the same 4 stars in the safety tests. 

The Shark Skwal helmet with the new visor in situ
There we go, shiny new visor fitted and working.

The Agrius Rage SV helmet on a bench at Ryka's Cafe
While not as refined as the Shark the Agrius is a perfectly satisfactory lid. 

I remain somewhat disenfranchised by the Shark Skwal now. I'm not entirely sure I can trust it. It's fine for local riding but imagine, imagine I'm in Spain or The Netherlands and the visor breaks - again. Stephen Latchford had his fancy Shoei helmet break at the visor pivot mechanism while in Spain. He had to purchase an "el cheapo" helmet for the rest of the trip and post the Shoei home in the "el cheapo" box. Maybe "el cheapo" is the future.

If yer buying owt from Amazon - use me link below. If ya do buy owt it meks me rich innit.

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Reader's Comments

CrazyFrog said :-
Personally, I have never spent more than £80 for a helmet and I always choose helmets that have got at least 4* in the Sharp tests. The GMac pilot is a very good value lid, 4* and only about £25 - £35 if you shop around on-line. I'd rather buy one of these and replace it after 3 or 4 years. If I'd spent £300 plus I'd be 'quite upset' at the idea of throwing it away after that amount of time.

PS. Your miserly nature must be affecting me through t'interweb Ren.

PPS. Actually, no, on reflection I've always been as tight as a Ducks derriere.....
01/03/2018 12:32:56 UTC
Pocketpete said :-
Welcome to my world. My schuberth has had 3 visor mechanisms. 1 pin lock visor pin and 2 visors. They replaced the first 1 of each under warranty but I had to pay for the others.
01/03/2018 13:42:19 UTC
Ian Soady said :-
I agree with Pete Frog. Cheap and cheerful as long as it fits. The visor "mechanism" on my Nitro is merely a hole with a large headed bolt through it - unlikely to fail......
01/03/2018 14:55:34 UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
I wonder...

I guess the "high end" helmets have to keep up with the other high end brands. If Shoei create the Super Duper Multi Faceted Easy Visor then AGV need to come back with the Super Duper Mega Double Chocolate Quick Visor. While doing this the hardcore long term R&D gets put to one side. Hence helmets with issues - primarily the visor to helmet interface.

El Cheapo lids just use what they know will work.
02/03/2018 17:35:16 UTC
Pocketpete said :-
Always remember.

Never NEVER NEVER buy a schuberth helmet. They are totally crap....

Except for the M1 which is quite good.
02/03/2018 20:03:39 UTC

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