Also: AGV Skyline Review (Very similar helmet)
The AGV Horizon is a new helmet in the AGV lineup for 2013.
It combines the high-end features of the AGV GP Tech and Grid with a reasonable mid-range price and an internal sun visor.
The overall quality is outstanding and the Horizon includes a new type of liner and fabric that is different than usual but very comfortable.
The styling is modern and the "Racer" graphics set off the shape of the helmet.
AGV seems to be upping the quality on their helmets with each new generation.
The Horizon was immediately impressive as soon as I opened the box and it did not disappoint when I got it out on the road.
The Horizon is a new sport/touring helmet in the AGV lineup, with some features taken from the higher-end helmets like the AGV Grid (review) I reviewed last year and the AGV GP-Tech.
The Grid is a "semi-race" or sport helmet, but even though the Horizon is less expensive, it has more features and, I have to admit, I like it better.
But I'd guess that AGV will be upping the ante on the Grid soon also, with more and better being the watchword.
The other main differences between the Grid and the Horizon include the internal sun visor in the latter, along with a new type of liner fabric that is as comfortable as it is different.
The Horizon also has an easily-inserted chin curtain included in the box that is easily installed by clipping it into two molded slots in the bottom of the chin bar. It's much easier to install and the system holds it flush to the bottom of the helmet.
This is a simple but ingenious idea that should get a patent, if it hasn't already!
And finally, the Horizon is ready to accept the new "AGVoice" Bluetooth communications system. This system is designed so that the intercom module, speakers, and the microphone snap right into the helmet without connecting any wires.
We don't know much more about it than what we read in the AGV description, but the new system fits the Horizon and the new AGV Skyline helmets.
The Horizon is available in a limited selection of solid colors, which includes only white, black and matte black (does anyone buy a matte black helmet?).
No silver, no red and no high-visibility colors are available for the non-graphic Horizon helmet as of this review, unfortunately.
The Horizon does come in an array of colors for the two different graphic patterns, however, which includes the "Racer" graphic shown here and also the "Absolute".
The Racer graphic is my favorite because the pattern shows off the lines of the Horizon helmet very nicely. The green shown in our photos may seem a bit unusual, but I like it a lot and the white/black/green pattern adds visibility.
The dark gray sections of the Racer pattern are a honeycomb pattern with tiny silver metalflake paint in each of the "combs", subtly referencing the helmet shell, which is made from something AGV calls "Carbon Glass"; a fiberglass and carbon fiber mix.
The helmet feels stiff, yet the helmet is relatively light, considering it has an internal rotating sun visor.
The paint and clearcoat on our example is especially nicely done with a very smooth surface and no ripples showing from the underlayment of the graphic decal.
In fact, my first impression of the Horizon was one of quality, with all the moving parts and especially the liner being very well made and beautifully put together.
The Horizon liner comes in for special mention also.
A couple of new fabric types have apparently been employed by AGV, with the bottom part of the liner at the neck roll having a crosshatch appearance looking like a ripstop material (although it isn't) and a slightly slick or smooth surface.
The fabrics are different from the typical micro-fleece type typically found in motorcycle helmets. The new fabric is a smoother-feeling material that allows the helmet to slide on and off more easily, while giving a comfortable feel on the skin.
I suspect that the Horizon will be the full-face helmet to have in hot weather also, because the fabric just seems like it will remain cooler to the touch than the heavier types usually found in helmet liners.
The chin vent and top vents have a nice, solid snap-open feel and both work well, with the chin vent coming in for special mention (I'll get to that in the Ventilation section).
The only issue I have is with the internal sun visor. It's a very nice design and it rotates down nice and low, but the optical quality is somewhat lacking, with some distortions here and there rippling through. Others have noticed this also.
The clear face shield has excellent optical properties, which makes the slight distortion in the sun visor more noticeable. It's not the worst we've ever found and some owners might not even notice, but it's there on ours.
The overall build quality and feel of the Horizon is otherwise really excellent and I think the list price is justified.
Score: I'll give the AGV Horizon an "Outstanding" rating for excellent overall quality. See the Summary Table at the bottom of the page for a description of our rating system.
My feeling is that AGV helmets generally have a different fit than other brands, although there is no one particular AGV fit for all of their helmets. The Horizon has its own shape, somewhat different from the AGV Grid.
The Horizon feels slightly narrow at the top, from the brow up.
There's plenty of room in our size XL and I can feel front-to-back head room, a sign of "Slightly Narrow" and which can help reduce pressure on the forehead for some riders.
The sides are more "Neutral" in shape and the Horizon should be a good match for many head shapes, ranging from "Neutral" to "Slightly Narrow". I'll call it a "Slightly Narrow", however, in the webBikeWorld shape description.
The size XL is rated to fit a 61-62 cm head and I'd say that's correct, so I'd have to assume the sizing runs true for the other sizes. There are two shell sizes that span the range from XS to XXL and I think that this size XL uses the larger shell.
The shell appears proportional to the XL size but I'm not sure how the larger shell would look for a size M.
The "3D" liner material feels different; it has a smoother surface with a fine-woven texture. It is very comfortable and the helmet is well padded.
The removable liner is a "Dry-Lex type with sanitizing treatment", according to AGV and I have the feeling it will remain comfortable when (if) the weather turns warm.
The ear pockets are generous and there's a sort of neoprene-feel plug in each to cover the speaker cutout. The back of the chin bar is also molded to accept the special microphone for the AGVoice communication system.
We know nothing of this system but the claims are that the intercom module, speakers and microphone plug in without having to add wiring, if our understanding is correct.
I think other third-party intercom systems should fit the helmet, but without using the built-in wiring (although perhaps some clever owner can hack it together).
More information on helmet fit can be found in the webBikeWorld Motorcycle Helmet FAQ page, along with the chart that lists the helmet weights of webBikeWorld reviewed helmets and also by shape on the webBikeWorld Motorcycle Helmet Shapes page.
Score: I'll give the AGV Horizon an "Outstanding" rating for shape, comfort and padding with a very nice liner and padding that should work well in hot weather.
The Horizon has excellent outward visibility that is better than average in both the horizontal and vertical planes. The helmet shell and padding comes into view at the top, probably due to the thickness of the shell in the brow to enclose the internal sun visor.
The face shield is optically correct, but the optical quality of the internal sun visor doesn't quite match it, unfortunately. It's not bad -- and I've looked through much worse -- but it does have a few wavy distortions.
On the road this doesn't bother, but the benchmark for sun visor optical quality is the Shoei GT Air (review), which is perfect and sort of puts everything else to shame.
The sun visor rotates down to remain out of the rider's line of sight, so otherwise it is a useful feature.
The AGV Horizon face shield is super-easy to remove and replace. The procedure is illustrated in the video below; pull down on the ring to remove the face shield and simply press the face shield back in to install it.
The system works really well but there is no face shield lock on the Horizon, although it feels tight when closed.
The AGV marketing material makes reference to an adjustable face shield opening, but I'm not sure what that means. The face shield opens to the first strong detent too wide for gentle defogging, then it has 2-3 soft detents, then one final stronger detent to the final open position.
[UPDATE: See the Owner Comments at the end of the article; apparently there is a different clip to use in the removal mechanism that allows a first small defogging position.]
The face shield seals tightly against the full eye port gasket, preventing any water from leaking in and also probably helping to reduce noise levels.
So the Horizon face shield loses a couple of points because it doesn't have a lock and doesn't come with a first small defogging position clip installed...although the chin vent works very well indeed, which helps defogging.
Score: The AGV Horizon visibility is better than average, but the lack of a face shield lock and first defogging position, plus the fault with the sun visor make an overall score of "Very Good".
Several of the AGV helmets have the flush chin vent system, including the Horizon. The system works really well, with four large slots flowing air directly through the chin bar.
The switch to open or close the vent is hidden up underneath the chin bar. It solidly opens or closes the vents and when it's open, a lot of air comes in. Some air bleeds off towards the top of the chin bar and on to the back of the face shield.
The top vents open independently with hard rubber sliders on each.
The air passes through large channels in the EPS and the liner is correctly molded and cut to allow the air to flow on to the top of the head. Two large exhaust vents in the rear pull the air out the back of the helmet, under the spoiler that does look a bit like an add-on.
Shine a light down through the vents and it can be seen inside the helmet, which usually indicates good ventilation.
When the top vents are open, I don't feel air focused directly on the top of my head like I do with the Shoe GT Air, but there is plenty of ventilation moving along the top of the helmet and out the rear, another good omen for warm weather.
Overall the ventilation in the Horizon is much better than average, while keeping noise levels low.
Score: I'll rate the ventilation system of the AGV Horizon as "Outstanding".
The excellent build quality of the Horizon and the tight tolerances around the face shield and the flush-mounted chin vent, along with the shape of the helmet help to keep noise levels low.
When the top vents are open, some wind noise enters the helmet but the smooth air flow around the chin and face shield and sides of the helmet, with good control at the bottom, seem to keep the wind noise well tamed.
I think the Horizon is one of the quieter helmets I've tried, riding both behind a windscreen and on a motorcycle with no windscreen. It even seems to control wind noise around the bottom of the helmet if I sit so that the air is directed right at the lower half of the helmet.
Note that our helmet evaluations are a combined effort of several riders over time on different types of motorcycles with and without windscreens.
Evaluators wear correctly fitted, high quality ear plugs (even when evaluating motorcycle intercom systems).
Always protect your hearing when riding a motorcycle. See the wBW Earplug Reviews for more information on choosing and wearing earplugs.
Note also that perceived noise levels will vary, depending on the individual.
Noise can be caused by many factors, including helmet fit, the type of motorcycle and windscreen, wind speed and direction and even the rider's clothing.
For more information on helmet noise, visit the wBW Motorcycle Helmet Noise page.
Score: I'll give the AGV Horizon an "Outstanding" rating for better than average noise control.
This size XL AGV Horizon weighs 1685 grams (3 lbs., 11-3/8 oz.), which is good considering it's the larger shellsize and has an internal sun visor.
The very comfortable liner and roomy fit, along with the thick padding and the aerodynamics help to make the helmet feel comfortable and nicely balanced.
For comparison, some other helmets of this type in size XL include the Bell Sprint (review) at 1688 grams; the Bell Star 2010 (review) at 1696 grams and the Schuberth S2 review) DOT version at 1712 grams. The AGV Grid (review) in size large weighed 1615 grams.
Note that all of the helmets reviewed on webBikeWorld have been weighed and the weights are available on the wBW Motorcycle Helmet Weights page, along with a chart that lists the helmets by weight and shape on the wBW Motorcycle Helmet Shapes page.
Score: I'll give the AGV Horizon an "Excellent" rating for its relatively low weight and good balance.
The AGV Horizon has a double D-ring attachment system for the chin strap. The padding is adequate and the length is good. The chin strap has a separate tab with a snap to retain the extra length and it's easy to find when wearing gloves.
The Horizon meets both DOT and ECE helmet safety standards. I can find no information about the warranty on the AGV website, in the owner's manual or at any of the retailers.
The new AGV Horizon is my favorite AGV helmet yet, with a comfortable fit, excellent outward visibility and ventilation and good looks.
[UPDATE: The AGV Skyline (review) is nearly identical to the Horizon, but with a micro-lock chin strap retainer and no rear exhaust vent. It costs $50.00 less than the Horizon.]
There are many things to like about this helmet, including the build quality, which impressed me right from the start and hasn't disappointed since.
It seems like AGV is improving the quality level on each new helmet they release, with more and better features, and the Horizon is an excellent example.
My feeling is that the Horizon has many "high end" features, taken from the more expensive AGV helmets and comparable with other brands of helmets costing nearly twice as much.
You're getting a lot of helmet for the money here and I honestly think that the Horizon is worth its asking price, which is perhaps slightly above mid-range for a quality motorcycle helmet.
In other words, if you just can't bring yourself to spend $700 or so on a Schuberth, Shoei or Arai, take a look at the AGV Horizon for half that amount and I think you'll be very pleased.
From "R.H." (August 2015): "I bought this partly based on your review. Disappointed would be an understatement.
Noisy..noisy. I have to plug the top vents as they make lots of noise closed. The helmet is better in clean air but booms even then.
The drop down visor is so distorted it would give you a headache. The chin curtain has to be taped in place. It fits and the shield does not fog and the finish is acceptable are it's good points.
I ride an Aprilia Dorsoduro and I wanted an Italian helmet; this is Chinese. This is going up for sale. I have a Shoei GT air on order; hope your review is more accurate here. Yes I do wear 33bB earplugs."
Editor's Reply: Regarding the “accuracy” of our review, it describes exactly our impressions of the helmet. That your experience is different is not surprising, as each owner will have a different impression.
Note that we said in the review that the quality of the sun visor is poor and we listed the helmet as made in China.
Since the chin curtain is a unique design that must be installed by the owner, the possibility exists that it was not installed correctly.
So the only difference between our review and your experience is the noise levels from the top vents.
This does not mean that your experience is any more “accurate” than ours. It’s just different and that is to be expected, as opinions differ and your motorcycle is different from ours.
It could also be that your helmet is defective. And it often happens that production quality changes over time, or cheaper parts are used or different suppliers, which can affect the overall quality of the product.
All I can say is that I’ve ridden with the Horizon many times and my experience is what is reflected in the review and quite different from your experience.
From "D.B." (August 2013): "I have one (or rather am at my second helmet), so here are my findings: While it IS a great helmet, it has some issues:
The internal visor, with age (4months) starts being easier and easier to drop down. Mine is now at the point where I can make it drop down by shaking my head up and down. (I found this while karting - whenever I hit a kerb, the visor would drop down).
I am also at my third warranty claim (first was a full helmet replacement, second was a repair) on the chin straps -- the double-D red tab that you pull to separate the D’s -- it has a small rubber tab on it. That ripped off.
Then the small red spring used to keep the excess strap clipped also ripped off. And on my second helmet I was being super careful, as I DO love this helmet.
Also, the visor as a tendency to not seal fully on the lower right part (an old symptom carried over from the previous model, the S4-SV and Stealth-SV), but a lot of fiddling with the visor adjustment fixed that.
But still…Excellent interior padding and ventilation and visibility and looks more than makes up for these annoyances."
From "S.M." (June 2013): "Just thought I’d give my 2 cents worth, I bought one of these a few weeks back. Good little helmet, however!
The internal visor when hidden still sits down by about a cm and is right in the top of your vision which is super annoying.
Also I bought a gold tinted AGV internal visor and the optical quality is so much better than the standard one."
From "H.S." (March 2013): "Just read your review on the Horizon AGV helmet, a helmet I know very well, first little thing, try to get a flat black (or matte as you called it) and be amaze with this new painting, looks matte but it is not.
I think you have the idea of the old matte helmets which scratches easily.
And second, the opening positions of the helmet are adjustable, or better, interchangeable, if you look into the instruction bag there are 4 little pins, two blue and two green.
Those little pieces can be mount where the red ones are, and at doing so you obtain with the green ones, the small little ventilation port you did not find on the original helmet supplied.
As for the blue pins, they work in two positions, totally open and totally closed."
From "N.Z." (March 2013): "I own an AGV Horizon, the helmet has a small defogging position, you need to change the small red arc in the face shield with the green one provided in the box."