Tested: AGV K1 motorcycle helmet review

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By Test Team
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Date reviewed: June 2018 | Tested by: BikeSocial Test Team | Price: From £139.99 | www.agv.co.uk

 

The K1 is AGV’s lower-priced helmet, starting at £139.99 for plain colours, up to £179.99 for the Soleluna 2015; Andrew Wolfe of the BikeSocial Test Team has been using it for two months over a variety of roads on his Yamaha MT-07…

 

Outer shell

The thermoplastic resin shell comes in two sizes across the range of XS-2XL. Finish is great – this has a deep gloss to the plain black, and an overall quality feel with good detailing and an aggressive-looking spoiler on the rear, paired with a deep swoop to the chin.

When first wearing this helmet, I found the low chin would occasionally brush the shoulder straps of my backpack when checking blind spots; however I found this stopped after I adjusted to it.

The shape is great for those wet days when it sits on my desk drying; with the entire helmet elevated on just two small flattened points at the chin and rear centre, the bottom lining doesn’t spend the day in a puddle soaking up moisture.

 

Weight

This is a small-sized lid, and weighs 1472g, which is among the lighter sub-£150 helmets tested by BikeSocial.

 

 

Ventilation

The double chin vent is operated by an internal slider that works very easily with one finger when on the move in summer gloves. Truth be told it took me a day or two to discover that it even existed until trying to identify what the access slit in the chin curtain was for!

This chin configuration looks very slick and is functional, provided you’re not wearing winter gloves with the chin curtain installed, when there’s too much fabric in the way to locate and move the slider. 

Glove type

Chin curtain installed

Chin vent functionality

Summer

Yes

Good

Summer

No

Good

Winter

Yes

Impossible

Winter

No

Ok

The two outer forehead vents are more cumbersome, and I never really got the hang of them in my summer gloves. I just found that there wasn’t much of a lip to grip onto, making them tricky to locate. Perhaps a result of me being used to the scroll wheels on my current HJC Rpha 10.

From an airflow perspective, the vents on this helmet function well, with the exhaust ports in the rear spoiler working well to keep constant flow and removing warm air. When removing the lining, there are clear channels between intakes and exhausts to aid airflow. Even on a humid summers day, this helmet performed well in keeping my head cool.

 

 

Visor

When first wearing this helmet on the road, the large aperture was very noticeable and great for all round visibility. Until wearing this, I hadn’t realised quite how obscured peripheral vision can be in some lids. When changing lanes on the motorway for example, I found that I didn’t have to turn my head over my shoulder quite as much to cover blind spots. 

The aperture is also tall, which provided good forward visibility for those that like to get their chin tucked into the tank.

The visor opens easily, and fully out of view with a tab on the left-hand side, which is plenty big enough to locate while riding in both summer and winter gloves. I’ve always preferred centrally located opening tabs so that I can open the visor with my right hand while stopped with my clutch depressed with my left. 

The visor mechanism itself is secure, remaining open in any of the pre-set positions at speed, even when exceeding the limit on a naked bike. The mechanism makes for very quick and effortless tool-free removal of the visor, all constructed from durable plastic with no springs, which is a plus point in my opinion.

The rubber seal between the helmet and visor is perfectly functional, and I didn’t have any problem with water ingress even in torrential downpours.

The visor can take a Pinlock anti-fog insert, but one isn’t included. As it is, a heavy breath will mist the visor as expected, however ventilation is plenty adequate to dissipate this immediately while travelling at speed; the removal of the chin curtain will also allow even more air to flow. 

As standard, the AGV K1 features a six-position micro-opening visor system that allows the visor to be cracked open the tiniest amount; a nice idea but personally I found it unnecessary at speed, and not enough for demisting at low carpark speeds.

The ratchet is customisable, with two other pairs of inserts in the box - the green pair gives a larger cracked open stage (for urban use) and the 'race' pair only has latches at fully open and fully closed.

 

 

Lining

The lining is fully-removable in two parts, plus the chin skirt. There are obvious spaces inside for speakers. My biggest criticism with this helmet is a slightly exposed piece of Velcro in the centre of the forehead to help secure the lining. While only around 1-2mm, its rough edge rubbing on my forehead was a major annoyance, though it wouldn’t always happen, depending on how I put the helmet on.

No matter how much I tried to shift the lining across, or remove the lining entirely to refit, I couldn’t get this exposed section of Velcro covered entirely. This could be partly my head shape, and the problem reduced somewhat with time as the lining began to compress.

 

 

Fastening

This helmet is fitted with a Double-D buckle – simple, reliable and in my opinion the safest option with no ratchets to go wrong. I’d personally always opt for this, although some may find a potential drawback in that it’s pretty much impossible to fasten with gloves on. 

The padding around the strap is soft and comfortable and remains in place while riding. There’s a plastic popper to secure the end of the strap to stop it flapping.

 

Fit

Fit is of course subjective, and I found the K1 a little hard to get on and off at first, but it seems to soften enough after the first few wears; nothing uncommon here. The fit overall is very comfortable with no odd protrusions, quirks or pressure points.

I don’t wear spectacles, but after briefly borrowing a pair I can say that this helmet accommodates them very well, enabling you to sit them exactly where you want.

I’ve never required an additional layer for warmth under my current HJC Rpha 10, even on long trips in sub-zero temperatures, however I found my ears getting cold in the AGV on short trips in temperatures around 7°C (with the chin curtain installed).

 

Noise

While the channels for spectacles leave your ears more exposed, I wouldn’t complain and call this helmet noisy by any means. I’ve never worn earplugs while riding and this helmet hasn’t changed that. This helmet is relatively quiet, with no external whistling noises or anything like that, and the lid is very stable at speed.

We always recommend wearing earplugs with any helmet – once you realise the damage that’s been happening, it’s too late. And sitting at home with a constant whistling in your ears is very annoying. John Milbank, Consumer Editor

 

Conclusion

This is a bloody good entry-level sportsbike helmet from a premium maker that many will trust. You won’t be blown away with features, but it delivers the basics very well.

If you’re looking for a cheap and decent quality helmet, this is a good place to start, however it’s worth noting that a dark tint visor (if you want one) will set you back a further £45; many other helmets at this price come with drop-down sunshields fitted. 

Despite this, I’m very impressed and would recommend this lid.

 

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