If you ride a lot, one thing that you likely appreciate is a light helmet. Long hours in the saddle with a heavy helmet can leave you much more tired than if you have ridden with a light one. So if weight is important to you, the AGV AX9 helmet is one of those light helmets.
AGV lightweight dual sport helmet
Tipping our scales at only 3 pounds 7 ounces with the ML shell (medium-large) the AGV AX9 Carbon is light. It’s light for any medium-sized helmet, never mind one that has a shell that is a bit larger. But its lightweight is not the only positive thing about this helmet. There are other positive factors that make this helmet a good one.
The AX9 is the upgraded version of AGV’s prior AX8. The AX8 was pretty much an MX helmet with a visor added. The AX9 shakes things up a bit in that it is somewhat more road-oriented than its predecessor.
Let’s talk about some of the more standard things about the helmet. The AX9 utilizes a composite shell made from carbon fiber, aramidic fiber, and fiberglass. This combination gives the shell its light weight and its strength.
The three materials are laid up nicely and you can see the weave of the material through the helmet’s finish. It also has a nice aerodynamic shape which helps with noise and buffeting.
Speaking of noise and buffeting, with the visor fully closed, the helmet is quiet, very quiet. With the visor open, it’s as loud as most other helmets, perhaps a bit louder. At certain speeds and settings of the visor, I could hear a pronounced whistle. It’s not obnoxious, but it is there.
The AX9’s peak is mounted very high with a large space between the helmet and the peak. It blocks the sun well and doesn’t catch the wind as much as you might think by looking at it. It is only when you do over the shoulder head checks or elevated speeds that you can feel its presence.
The reason that the helmet is so quiet with the visor closed is how well it seals. There’s no gap between the visor and helmet when closed so wind noise is significantly reduced.
AGV says the eye-port of the helmet provides a 110 degree up/down field of vision. Visibility to the front is good. Without the visor installed, you can fit a pair of goggles into the opening easily. However, if you don’t remove the visor, goggles will likely be a very tight fit.
The visor has 3 preset detents. The detents provide three “notches” that allow you to keep the visor open. The visor also has two outside lips that make opening and closing it easier as well. That’s a nice touch.
But the visor also presents this helmet’s greatest shortcoming. It has a pronounced ridge near its outside edge. The ridge is likely what makes the visor fit so snugly against the helmet and keeps it quiet. But that ridge does present a problem.
With the visor in 2 of its 3 open position detents, the crease and its distortion are in your field of vision. This is the most important thing that AGV needs to consider for its next version of this helmet.
Removal of both the visor and peak is easily accomplished with a coin. There is no need for tools. The peak can also be adjusted for angle if you desire. Once again, no tools are necessary.
Ventilation through the helmet is much better than the AX8. AGV vastly improved ventilation this time around. The chin vent now has 3 different levels of airflow capability. Closed, open with a filter and wide open.
AGV has accomplished this by placing a large removable chin vent. You can keep the vent closed for chilly weather. If you want more airflow simply open the vent and air flows into the helmet after passing through a washable filter. That’s a nice touch, especially when riding in dusty conditions.
If you are in full enduro mode, the vent piece can be removed with no restriction of airflow directly into the helmet. When the activities settle down, you can easily replace the vent piece with a single click.
The inner liner is quite plush and comfortable. It is easily removed and is washable. It’s clear that AGV used premium materials here. In addition, the neck roll is very plush and is lined with a Shalimar lining that is comfortable around your neck. It too likely helps reduce noise.
If you use communicators or speakers in your helmet, AGV has you covered as well. After removing the liner by pulling on the snaps, you will find that there are two removable speaker cutouts. Just pull the cutouts out and you have space for your speakers. If AGV could add just a little more speaker space, it would be excellent. But as they are now, they are more than sufficient.
You may have to make a small cut into the neckroll’s helmet insert to make room for the speaker’s wires, but it’s not a big task. If you decide not the use speakers, the inserts can be placed back into the helmet.
The AGV AX9 comes in 9 different interior sizes and three different shell sizes.
Interior sizes are 2XS, XS, SM, MS, ML, LG, XL, 2XL and 3XL. Depending on the interior size you choose, AGV uses 3 different size shells to accommodate the difference in head size. The shell sizes are XS – MS, ML – XL, 2XL. That’s a lot of adjustability for different head sizes.
Pricing and finishes
The AX9 has both DOT and ECE certifications. Pricing for the AX9 varies depending on the model and paint chosen. Solid color helmets start at $499.95. Helmets with patterns add another $50 and go for $549.95. The AX9 Carbon tested here is AGV’s premium model and is priced at $649.95 at Revzilla.
All in all, the AX9 is among the lightest ADV/Dual Sport helmets out there. That’s a big deal. The helmet is quite comfortable. Fit, finish and ventilation are excellent. If weight and ventilation are your highest priorities, the AX9 is a good choice.