For the past 3 years I’ve been using AGV as my helmet of choice. In reality, I’ve been provided with this helmet by AGV, but I’ve been using the Italian brand for many years. I’ve been riding for almost 100,000km through the Americas, and I’ve put the helmet to some serious testing.
In particular, I’ve been testing the AX-8 Dual Evo model, which is designed for dual sport and big adventure bikes, mainly.
The design of this helmet comes straight from the races. It’s no secret in fact that AGV has been producing track racing helmets since pretty much the 1970s. For this reason, the two strength points of this helmet are ergonomics and lightweightness.
The extreme comfort comes from the completely removable and washable internal paddings. Even after extensive use, they kept their shape and resisted pretty much to cold, humidity, and rain, providing comfort and enough soundproofing from wind and engine noise.
In terms of weight, I believe that AGV provides some of the lightest helmets on the market. 1.4kg is just barely above the law (with requires a minimum of 1.2kg for riding on public roads) and there’s also a model that is even made of carbon fiber, which trims another 100g off.
The AX-8 Dual Evo structure is made of plastic and a special fiberglass material, which makes them really hard but still pretty light.
Visibility is great, with a larger than usual visor, that provides a wide range of perusal, both vertically and horizontally. The mechanism that regulates and holds the visor is managed by a single screw so, in this sense, not very practical for cleaning.
In terms of ventilation, the AX-8 has 4 inlets: 3 on the top of the helmet and one big frontal one.
The top ones are pretty standard I would say. That’s nothing new under this aspect, but they provide enough refreshment for your head, especially on the top part of your forehead. The big air inlet right in front of your mouth gives a lot of room for air to come in. When the “cap” is still on, the entrance allows pretty much little to no air in, especially if you are riding motorcycles with windshields, but since you can completely remove that little front part, you can have huge amount of air coming in (extremely useful during very hot or off road days).
The particularity of the AX-8 is that it can be a full on “dirt bike helmet” in case you remove the frontal air intake block and you switch from visor to goggles. But it can also turn into a full on street helmet if you remove the sun flap (attached with 4 screws). So, in this sense, it is indeed pretty versatile!
The only part that could be improved is that there are quite few vibrations of the sun visor that start to occur once you’ve reached high speed (above 120-130km/h) or in case you have strong front or side winds. I find it very annoying having to duck under my windshield or even tilt my head completely downward to avoid those.
In this sense, AGV came up already with a solution: the new AX-9. The new version of this helmet has been improved mainly in this sense. The sun visor is bigger and thicker, which I’m sure minimizes this very issue.
Also, the ergonomics have been improved. That could mean that hopefully soundproofing has been enhanced too.
Overall It has been one of the best helmets I’ve ever worn for it’s light weight and quality overall.
Photos Credit: Paolo Cattaneo