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