AGV, Please Make This Helmet!

01/31/2012 @ 12:10 pm, by Jensen Beeler24 COMMENTS

In addition to testing the factory Ducati Desmosedici GP12 “Phoenix” this week at Sepang, Valentino Rossi is also trying out a new lid from AGV. Aside from the carbon fiber goodness, and of course the Rossi stickers (which add 5hp & $200), AGV’s prototype helmet sports a noticably pronounced rear spoiler. Tucked in behind the windscreen, it is obvious why the Italian helmet manufacturer designed such a large protrusion off the back of the prototype helmet, as it looks to be clearly helping the flow off the back of the helmet, across the rider’s hump, and down his backside.

Yes, that’s all well and good, but what has this writer really salivating is that reports from Malaysia say the windscreen’s field of view is HUGE. I think the exact words described to me were, “it’s like watching a flat screen TV with your nose against the monitor.” While I love my AGV AX-8 Dual Sport (I rocked it hard at the BRD RedShift SM prototype test), I just can’t get that same enthusiasm behind AGV’s road race line. Having ridden with both the AGV T2 and AGV GP-Tech, my biggest complaint is that the field of view on both these helmets feels restricted (a common complaint apparently from riders used to Arai’s helmet design).

From my own assessment of the problem, It seems the issue comes from AGV’s brow design. Noticeably thicker and lower than other brands’ designs, AGV’s road race helmets protrude out further from the rider’s face, and in my experience obstructs sighting fully through a turn. If the reports from Sepang are true, then AGV has adopted a new design with a much larger face shield area and field of vision that should eliminate this problem. An AGV for the rest of us, I really hope this design feature makes its way into an offering from the Italian helmet maker…and if it’s in carbon, so much the better.

Title Photo: Alex Briggs (Twitter); Second Photo: Ducati Corse

  • Keith

    I don’t race, but if I did I’d wear it. Seconded!

  • TRL

    At one time I heard that the some of the 2005 Snell standard was based on an Australian bicycle helmet study in which most of the impacts were from flying over the bars and hitting the forehead, which lead to the decrease in the eye port….not as relevant for motorcycle accidents…dunno…

  • 76

    Looks awesome, I tried a AGV GPtech? maybe, actually was a rossi rep, the helmet for me was cutting my field of vision from the top when your head was even slightly down, a full tuck would only allow a sliver of viewable area, the brow of the helmet was extremely low, might work for some but not for me, always keeping my eyes open for new goodies to blow my money on and this looks like something pretty damm slick.

  • @ jensen: agv DOES make that helmet … it’s just that mere mortals are not allowed to purchase/own one yet ;-)

  • Look at AGV’s Italian website. They are developing this helmet now.

  • SBPilot

    I tried on an AGV GP Tech, I thought vision was ok, I’ve been wearing strictly Shoei, current using an X-12. My main problem with the GP Tech is that it didn’t seem to fit my head very well. Either the pads were far too thick or just the helmet design wasn’t right. I was told for sizing it’s like other brands which is a Medium for me. I was bummed as I was set on an AGV, the price was substantially less than the Shoei and Arai’s at the time. This helmet does look great though!

  • AGV has different pads for the inside if you need some adjustment on the fit.

  • Minibull

    @SBPilot: Different head shape maybe? I thought Shoei’s were more “round” and AGV’s were “neutral”

  • Jake Fox

    A wider field-of-view is always a good thing, road racing or not.

  • ML

    I prefer the ‘brow’ on the GP Tech as I use it to shield the sun off my eyes during my commute. On my Arai Corsair V, I feel helpless in the presence of the sun. It just so happens that 80% of my commute is facing directly into the sun each freaking morning.

  • 76

    For the street makes some sense, could probably tape/stripe the top of your visor off to wherever you want, it would look like a formula1 type visor/helmet which could look pretty sick, feeling for you though, sucks riding directly into a rising or setting sun, its always nice to see.

  • Westward

    I have seen three different angled views of this helmet, and it makes the most sense yet, from any helmet designed for speed. It’s funny how to look at it, it seems so logical and simple, yet here is the first of it’s kind…

    I am a firm believer in AGV and have faith it their design prowess, since I was wearing one when a german gager (I mean the car) decided to eat my bike (blindsided from the rear) while I was on it and we (it & I) were on the FWY.

    My head hit asphalt several times (five that I recall), and not once did a feel the impacts on my cranium…

    People can talk about all the extraneous stuff about AGV helmets, but I know its designed function works, I owe my life to it…

  • SBPilot

    @MinibullI heard the Arai and Shoei were quite neutral. I tried on an Arai Corsair V and it was the most comfortable helmet I ever put on but they are just too bloody expensive. The X12 fit slightly less comfortable. Like all companies I’m sure if the sales man wanted to make the AGV fit me he could have by letting me try different padding (as Jensen said). Having said that I never bothered to try different padding for my X12 either.

    I don’t wear lids for long since I only race, as long as I don’t get head ache and I have good vision (and what’s in my budget!) I also tried on an Airoh and the padding material they use is very…luxurious. Quite comfortable padding for my cheek, but that lid definitely squeezes the top of my head too much, not a padding issue. I think they work well for long narrow face types (like Dovi).

  • SBPilot

    @Westward, I think many riders are in the same position as you. Whatever lid they happen to wear during their first head related fall they feel that lid company has saved them. It certainly is the case for me cause I went head first into a lamp post wearing my first ever lid (a Shoei), and now I automatically feel that Shoei makes lids that can save my life. I do not doubt their quality so if I can’t find anything else (I’m quite open to new brands) I’ll get a Shoei. I blacked out upon impact but only for a few seconds and stood back up pretty quick. I remember everything clearly. No head injuries.

  • Lumengrid

    I love AVG lids, the design and graphics but i tried on several of them and none seems to fit me well :(

    As to safety SBPilot and Westward are right…I got a hard hit on my ICON in the back of it and it took it well (sadly it is on the shelf now as i really liked the looks of it) and as you can see from customer survior stories they helmets are build well i would definately recommend them for their safety.

  • Steveo

    Love that lid. I agree decreased vision area is a problem. I wore a friends Arai and hated it, felt like I had blinders on

    Personally My wife and I both rock Shark Series helmets. Graphics can be a bit to be desired but fit and wind IMO are 2nd to none for under 350 Bucks. I should say I have a nice round face with a short chin and Shark fits me very well compared to other brands even with cheek Pads.

  • Steveo

    Also cracked my coconut in a highside at about 45 and didn’t even leave a headache, its been long since retired

  • Westward

    Budget is a huge factor for me too. Though I profess confidence in AGV, I currently sport a KBC. It was so dirt cheap I had to buy a few, as I really liked the graphics. The reality for me is, as long as it is ECE or DOT approved and even Snell, then I am fairly confident in its safety.

    But, what I also find key is, I also like the idea of being able to leave my lid resting on the bike without the fear of it being nicked…

    I don’t want to ever experience the dilemma of figuring out how to get home without a helmet. I have heard stories, don’t know if they are true, definitely don’t want to find out either…

  • Westward

    I was told by a couple of different manufacturers, that they only make two or maybe three actual size helmets, and that the variations of say L, XL, XXL, or MD, SM, XS were simply a matter of the padding. This tends to cut the cost of manufacturing…

    So if I find a helmet I really like, not in my size, I will find out how many actual sizes they make, if it’s within my size range, I will just buy the appropriate pads…

  • gebeme

    Anyone know of a helmet manufacturer/model that has a narrower chin bar? I mostly ride “standard” bikes (HD Sportster) so I am sitting upright. The chin bar on my, otherwise very nice, Shoei RF-1000 is thick enough that it blocks my downward vision. Not very important but kind of a nusance.

    I recentely saw a wicked awesome 70s Buco on ebay, that was what I wanted but it went for too much.

  • Westward

    Look into Nolan Trilogy or X-Lite Crossover, and the Caberg Hyperx Mod…

    Personally, I lean more towards the Givi Xplus Comfort, it’s cool and futuristic…

  • Minibull

    The thing I wonder about this new AGV is the rear spoiler bit. We cant see the back of the helmet, so we dont know how it is shaped, but riding on the road, upright might create a fair bit of turbulance at the back. No hump to channel the air over.
    Probably gunna look like the X-12…

  • JoeD

    A nice looking lid. I used an AGV lid for a while with only one complaint–the houndstooth patterned vinyl/whatever on the neck roll split and cracked just as the old VW Beetle seats used to only sooner. Six months of use. AGV has made some really innovative products. Any one ever use the one that had the cooling bladder/heat pump feature? It worked quite well as long as there was air flowing across the heat sink. Blocking the Sun especially in winter when it is low in the sky has always been a bit of a challenge.

  • philly Phil

    Forget the field of view…that’s all good n nice..But the issue i’ve always had with gear is that it impinges on ones ability to move freely. So take the average helmet, the back of the helmet is low. Therefore if and when and you tuck, the base of the rear of the helmet is pressing on the back on your neck…keeping your from raising your head as high as you would be if there rear of the helmet was higher.
    SO despite not having a rear pick of the helmet, I’m excited that there’s a possibility that the helmet’s rear is higher and more comfortable.