Author AGV Sportmodular Helmet Review  (Read 21584 times)

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    • S1000R Grand Master  ‐    2304
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    Offline miles

    • S1000R Grand Master
    • *****
    • Topic Author
    • Posts: 2304
    • Bike: A baby blue one
    • City / Town: San Diego, CA
    • Country: us
    AGV Sportmodular Helmet Review
    on: October 12, 2023, 05:51:53 pm
    October 12, 2023, 05:51:53 pm
    So, my old and well-used Scorpion modular found its way to the trash can, a victim of too much time and use. Looking around for a replacement, I wound up with the Sportmodular from AGV.

    Mine came in the white and carbon gloss:

    I've got 2,000 miles in with this helmet, including 1,700 miles this last weekend on a ride that included seven (or eight, depending on how you count them) passes through the Sierra Nevada mountains and about 500 miles of high speed freeway riding.

    So, not really long-term, but enough time to discover the good and the bad of the new helmet.

    First, the initial impressions. It is a VERY good-looking hat. The gloss finish is immaculate, the various vent pieces all fit well, and the liner is very nice and soft. Also (and it's a big also), the helmet is very light. It's competitively light with a weight in line with racing FF helmets- over a pound lighter than a Shoei Neotec, for example. Now, I'm not all that sensitive to helmet weight, but really, it's so dramatic that even I could notice the difference on my head.

    Putting the helmet on, it tried to kill me by ripping the ears clean off my head. The only way for me to get this thing on my head is to open the front and pull the straps to the sides when lowering it onto my noggin. One does not simply walk into Mordor, nor simply slide this helmet on your head. The cheek portions of the helmet wrap too far in to allow that kind of behavior.

    Once on, it's comfy. As I say, the cheek parts of the helmet wrap farther forward and in than other modular helmets I've worn, but the pads don't push too hard. I can chew gum while riding and not bite the inside of my cheeks, which is a gauge I use to judge helmet fit.
    So, yeah, comfy to wear. The shape fits me well (intermediate oval) and the padding is smooth and comfy. As it turns out, it's also reversible. There's a summer (smooth) and a winter (fuzzy side) to the liners. It should be about a ten minute job to change over.

    Fastening the D Rings, we run into another irritation. The D Rings themselves are cut from flat titanium stock, not drawn and bent extruded wire, as many are. This allows the two to nestle closely together, making it hard to prize them apart to run the strap through them. This seems trivial, but I found it annoying as s**t. In addition, the little sub-loop that holds them is exactly the wrong length from the main chin strap, so the rings can flip around and get wedged tightly in the juncture of the sub-loop and the main strap. This results in great difficulty fumbling around trying to find the second ring to loop the strap through.
    To top that off, the snap to hold the excess strap is on the end of another sub-strap that is longer than it should be, making it hard to find to snap the tail of the strap to.
    These are very simple problems for AGV to fix, but it would be exceptionally hard for us consumers to run the helmet strap through the sewing machine to shorten the loose ends...

    The helmet comes with a drop-down visor (hereafter referred to as the flippy) that is too pale. I guess it's Euro regulations, but it just isn't dark enough for California riding. So if you buy a Sportmodular, expect another $50+ for a darker flippy. It's easy to change out, but bothersome that it's necessary to do right off the bat, and adds to the cost.

    The flippy mechanism is located on the bottom left edge of the helmet. It makes for a clean look, but it's a bit fumbly to find with gloves on. I've had other helmets where it was up behind the main visor pivot, and I prefer that, but I guess I'll get used to this. It works well, but it just isn't all that easy to use.

    The ventilation is good. Usually modular helmets do poorly in this regard, but the AGV Sportmodular is on par with good FF helmets as far as ventilation is concerned. With the top front and rear vents open, I got brain freeze on a cool morning before I realized what was happening and shut them.

    Opening the face shield (Not the whole front, just the shield itself) is a challenge. It locks down when closed, so to open it you have to press on the button as you lift the visor. If you look closely at the picture of the helmet above, you'll see the lifting tab adjoins the lock button. The technique involves pressing the edge of your thumb into that little lock button while using your thumb to lift the tab. Believe me, it sounds easier than it is in practice. The button should be bigger for this design to work well.

    Flipping up the front of the helmet is easy enough, but it requires a good effort to latch closed again. This may loosen up over time, but so far I've had to give it multiple tries on maybe half the times I've shut it.

    So, now for the most basic question- how is it to wear? It's comfy, visibility is good, and it's relatively light. These are all very positive. The shape of the helmet is excellent- it seems to have very low wind drag, and turning my head doesn't cause any sort of turbulence or undue rotation of the helmet. So, just riding along, it's as good as any helmet I've owned, of any type.

    The noise level is about average. It isn't a quiet helmet, but not inordinately loud, either. I'd rate it as towards the quiet end for a modular, and about middle of the field for FF racing helmets.
    But this brings us back to a point I made earlier. By the end of three long days of riding this last weekend, my earholes were feeling VERY violated. The earbuds I was using have the double-flange silicone tips (Etymotic er6 style) and even as snugly and deeply as I had them in my ears, every time I took the helmet off or put it back on again it was exquisitely painful.
    I'm going to move to foam tips on my earbuds for my Sena to see if that helps the problem. If not, speakers and foam ear plugs might be necessary. I like the helmet enough to try to make this work.

    Conclusion: I like the helmet a lot, but it comes with some downsides. On balance, I'm happy with the purchase and once I figure out how to deal with the earbud problem this will be my primary helmet.