AGV are set to revolutionise the full-face, flip-front helmet market with their brand new and super lightweight offering – the ‘SportModular’ which is being launched today at the Milan Motorcycle Show…and we’ve already tried it!
Claimed to be the world’s first flip-front (modular) helmet with 100% Carbon fibre shell and chin structure, it is said to achieve the same impact protection of MotoGP’s Pista GP R, all in just 1295g with the range priced between £595 - £680 and it’ll be on the shelves by Christmas.
Combining the solidity of a full-face helmet but the practicality of a jet, the SportModular has, it seems, been engineered with little compromise as far as trick bits and weight saving is concerned. A sun visor system, top-spec Pinlock, panoramic visor, titanium fastening, and guarantees of zero lift at 80mph thanks to scrupulous wind tunnel testing all as standard. Eight sizes are available using three shells and it comes in six different finishes: Hi-Vis (Carbon/Yellow Fluo), Aero (Carbon/Red), Carbon/White, Carbon/Dark Grey, Matt Carbon, Glossy Carbon.
A neat optional extra are carbon inserts to replace the air intakes and rear spoiler for a full carbon look.
We were invited to the Dainese and AGV headquarters recently and not only tried a SportModular on for size but also spoke to Max Mirabella, Group Product Marketing Manager for the two brands,
“We think the perfect helmet for today’s bikes would be a helmet that has the safety of a full-face, the comfort of a modular and is compact, quiet and sporty. So, we created it. There’s a lot of technology coming from MotoGP (and therefore from the Pista GP R model) in this helmet but it is 100% a touring helmet. So, it’s the perfect combination from both worlds.”
But why a carbon chin piece when everyone else uses fibre glass or plastic?
“The reason why we wanted to make a carbon chin is to allow us to deliver amazing safety at an ideal weight. From an R&D perspective, making a carbon chin is as complicated as making another helmet. It’s a nightmare in terms of tolerance, you need to be very precise in making the products but thanks to this structure we have been able to create a touring helmet which has the same impact performance as Pista GP R, and that is a 5* SHARP rated helmet which has been developed for MotoGP, the most severe impact test in the world. So, this helmet has exactly the same impact performance but thanks to the carbon technology we came to an amazing weight - 1295g.
Compared to the competition, Shoei Neotec (1610g / £550) and Schuberth C4 Pro (1650g/£600), the AGV very light – why has this been a focus?
When you compare to other modular helmet they are usually around 1.5/6kg so we are effectively taking away the weight of an iPad. So, when you are riding all day, a week, two weeks if you’re on holiday, not having an iPad on your head means a lot of comfort and safety, your neck gets less stressed and you pay more attention and enjoy more of the ride.
What is amazing is that it’s achieving this level of safety at this weight. It’s easy to make a lightweight helmet that performs very badly when SHARP tested. What is very complicated is making a lightweight helmet that exceeds any safety standards.
How did you combat ‘fogging-up’?
A portion of air channelled through the front ventilation is directed into the riders face, like when your car fogs up you direct air to the screen – but this adjustable because you could ride in different climates. We use the Pinlock 120 lens (the higher the number, the more resistance to fogging up. This is the highest resistance Pinlock offer) so this helmet will never fog up. The standard Pinlock you normally find in the market is 70 seconds so we are using technology they developed for racing, which is almost double the standard.
Is the visor wider than normal?
At AGV we always think a good helmet should have a panoramic visor. Normally, among the worst helmets for panoramic visors are the modular helmets because of they always have big lateral mechanism. We engineered this micro mechanism in metal which is over 70% smaller than compared to an average mechanism to a modular on the market to allow 190 degrees of horizontal view and 85 degrees vertical.
First impressions – standing still
I got to try the new AGV SportModular in the showroom and it fitted perfectly, comfortably padded and warm. I have a 58cm circumference so am on the cusp of medium or large yet found the medium to be almost ideally snug. The inserts will loosen over time but the most remarkable feature, other than feeling how light it is, was how quiet the helmet is.
OK, so I was simply standing in a showroom but nevertheless, and without earplugs, the noise of the conversation around me soon faded away.
Click the flip button under the chin and the front lifts smoothly and effortlessly though just brushed my chin on its way up. The button has been designed to be operational even using a touring or Gore-Tex glove. There’s a reassurance about its ‘click’ back into place, it feels secure.
The visor is noticeably wide and the field of vision will be ideal when riding a larger adventure. It feels snug, very comfortable, secure and so light. I’m looking forward to riding in it and finding the practical benefits of the sun visor, stability at speed and its flip-frontedness.
We’ll have our first video review of the SportModular alongside the full interview with Max Mirabella very soon.
3 Shell Sizes covering: