Flip-front helmets are an absolute godsend to a touring motorcyclist. Sure, I like the look and feel of a full-face adventure lid with a peak as much as anyone, but when it comes to road touring, the convenience of a modular helmet can’t be underestimated. And in the SHARK EVO-GT, I’ve been wearing one of the best around.
But what exactly is a flip-front helmet? Simply, they’re characterised by the ability to be able to lift the chin bar over the visor, effectively creating an open-face helmet. They offer all of the benefits of a full-face lid, while making tasks like stopping for a fag, filling up with petrol, or asking for directions easier when you’ve pulled over because you can lift the chin bar out of the way of your face.
Perfect, right? Well, there are some downsides. Modular helmets in general have a tendency to be noisier than their full-face counterparts. And, not all of them are actually designed to be ridden with the chin bar raised, so you won’t be able to enjoy a cooling breeze on your face, at least not legally or safely.
And, even if your helmet is certified to be ridden in the raised position (look for the letters P and J, usually on a tag on the chin strap), that extra weight positioned high up can result in the helmet feeling top heavy and uncomfortable to wear. However, in the EVO-GT, SHARK has addressed all of these issues to create one of the best flip-front helmets around.
With the chin bar down it looks just like a regular full face helmet
For starters, it’s dual-homologated so it has been designed to provide protection in the raised and down positions. But what sets the EVO-GT apart from the competition is the fact that, in the raised position, the chin bar locks into place at the back of the helmet, not on top, making it very well balanced and comfortable to wear.
When raising, SHARK’s Auto-up/Auto-down system makes it possible to automatically raise the Optical Class One visor with anti-scratch treatment along with the chin bar, meaning it can all be done using just one hand.
Even better, unlike many flip-front helmets, the visor on the EVO-GT can be lowered while the chin bar is raised, protecting your eyes and face from the wind while you enjoy the open face experience. And it comes with a Pinlock 120 Max Vision in the box.
With the chin bar sat at the back of the helmet, the visor can still be lowered
With the chin bar lowered, road noise on the EVO-GT is kept pleasingly low and the helmet feels nicely balanced and comfortable during long-days in the saddle. It also features a retractable sunshield, closable chin and chimney vents, and customisable cheek-pads (which come in the box) to ensure a good fit. There’s also a removable Microtech fabric liner that is machine washable.
Another handy feature, for anyone with who wears glasses, is SHARK’s easy-fit system, which allows glasses to slot into the helmet comfortably.
The EVO-GT is available in a range of 15 colour options and two shell sizes from a very reasonable £399.99, I think it’s a great addition to any tour and one of the better helmets I’ve had the pleasure of riding in. Go to www.nevis.uk.com to find your nearest dealer.