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AGV Numo Evo Helmet Review

AGV Numo Evo Review
AGV Numo Evo Flip-up Motorcycle Helmet Review
by "Burn" for webBikeWorld.com
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Summary

The new AGV Numo Evo flip-up helmet is now the top of the GT range in the AGV helmet lineup.

A new AGV Skyline (review pending) is now in the second spot in the GT lineup, moving the AGV Horizon (review) into third position.

The AGV Miglia II (review) continues to anchor the lineup as the company's second and "value-priced" flip-up.

The Numo Evo occupies that nebulous middle range of flip-up motorcycle helmets; i.e., not too cheap and not too expensive.

The styling is all new and it brings the helmet into the current AGV styling theme, distinguished by sharper angles that appear to "cut through" the air.

Our Numo Evo has a few minor quality issues; hopefully these will be addressed as the production run matures.

Overall, the Numo Evo feels about like a mid-range flip-up, but not quite up to Nolan N104 (review) standards, although the N104 does have a higher list price.

In the end, I have mixed feelings about the Numo Evo; some of the features seem a bit "generic flip-up" without the build quality that would make it an outstanding value in this price range.

AGV Numo Evo Top View
Pricing and Placement Strategies

Flip-up helmets are a different animal in more ways than the obvious. At the low end, you have bargain-basement flip-ups for around $120.00 and the high end is occupied by the Schuberth C3 (review) at a lofty $630.00 and up.

My sense is that the majority of flip-up buyers are value-oriented and for them, the HJC CL-Max II (review) at around $115.00 is a no-brainer.

The mid-range is where it gets tricky. At the high end of the mid-priced flip-up motorcycle helmet market is the Nolan Nolan N104 (review). It lists at up to $500.00 but can be found at around $330.00 at discount. The Shoei Qwest (review) doesn't quite have the solid build quality of the Nolan N104 but nearly matches it on price, at $369.99 list and around $320.00 street.

The Numo Evo has a list price of $299.95 and a street price of $269.95 (here). That makes it more or less a direct competitor of the popular HJC SyMax III (review) at $299.99 list and $269.99 discounted and at the low end of the mid-priced range, the Nolan N91 (review), which lists for $299.95 with a street price around $230.00. It would be tough to choose between the three.

This is a hot part of the flip-up motorcycle helmet market that has niche pricing from the very bottom to the high end of the mid-range to the very high end, with helmets like the Schuberth C3 DOT (review) out there in the stratosphere.

I'm a flip-up kinda guy -- always have been -- and I've tried 'em all. My feeling is that the Numo Evo is a pretty close competitor of the HJC SyMax III and it "feels" and "wears" similar to the Nolan N91, but both of those helmets may have the quality edge on the Numo Evo.

Paint, Graphics and Overall Quality

A flip-up helmet, by its nature, has more moving parts than other helmet types and none of the flip-ups -- including that expensive Schuberth -- feel as rock-solid as a decent full-face helmet. The parts that are necessary to make the flip-up flip have a tendency to creak and groan and there's always that hollow plastic sound when the rotating flip-up visor is slammed home.

Some of the flip-ups handle this better than others; for example, the Numo Evo shell feels sturdy, but I'd have to say that some of the moving parts and the overall quality don't quite meet my expectations of a $300 helmet.

For example, the chin vent slider on our helmet has a very rough and sticky feel; the problem is that the plastic cover slides up and down behind the vent openings and seems to hang up in there or the cover thickness is greater than the space it has been allotted. This makes the operation of the chin vent both difficult and inconsistent and -- since this is a feature that the owner will use quite often -- is a constant reminder of the quality lapse.

There is a gap on the side plates where the rotating flip-up visor meets the helmet shell and a light press on either side has the plastic moving in and out a millimeter or two. Also, the eye port gasket design is such that it doesn't meet at the upper corners, which can allow water to drip inside the helmet here and inside the side plate gap.

The operation of the rotating flip-up visor also feels slightly rough. This is partly due to the design of the visor release, which is located under the center of the chin guard.

That stiff rotating flip-up visor release has a lot of travel, which means it must be pulled down quite far to release the visor. Combined with a very stiff return spring, it sometimes takes two hands to release the visor -- one to hold the top of the helmet down and the other to yank on the release. It just seems that the release is more difficult to use than it should be, especially compared to other flip-ups.

Were I picking nits -- which I guess I am -- even the AGV decal at the front of the helmet gets a strike on this helmet, because a piece of dirt got caught underneath, so there's a tiny lump that can be seen -- something common on the 100-buck helmets but frowned upon on a helmet costing three times more.

Otherwise, the paint on this example is excellent, with that "hard" feeling clearcoat that should provide good service over the life of the helmet.

The top vents have a better feel than the chin vent and the little sliders even have a rubberized coating for good grip.

The liner is unique in that it's open along the entire top, which exposes the vent channels and holes in the EPS but, to be honest, looks a bit cheap.

So the bottom line here is that the Numo Evo needs a bit of tightening up in the QC department, although a couple of the design features may also be at fault and those would be harder to address. I might let the quality lapses slip if the helmet cost less (I initially thought it was a $200.00 replacement for the Miglia II), but at a list price of 300 bucks, it gets a sharper eye.

Score: We give the AGV Numo Evo a "Very Good" rating for overall quality. See the Summary Table at the bottom of the page for a description of our rating system.

AGV Numo Evo Slide Show
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AGV Numo Evo Helmet Fit, Internal Shape and Liner

The internal shape of the Numo Evo feels consistent with the rest of the modern AGV helmet family. It's what I'd call a "Neutral" to "Slightly Narrow" fit that works well for me and even for some "Round" heads (as defined in the webBikeWorld Motorcycle Helmet FAQ).

Upon first seeing the Numo Evo, I was afraid the sharp front profile would compromise the room in front for my chin, but in a genius of design, somehow this isn't a problem. I can feel the ledge of plastic where the built-in chin curtain attaches to the back of the chin guard however.

This helmet is a size large, which actually surprised me because I hadn't even looked at the size at first when Rick handed it to me. It feels about a 1/2 size big, so I think it should fit a 60 to 60.5 or perhaps even a 61 cm head. It fits Rick's 60.5 cm "Round" or "Earth" shaped head as well as it fits my narrower shape.

The liner doesn't quite have a "luxe" look, with a few wrinkles along the bottom where it tucks into the shell. But it does feel comfortable and even the large gap along the top, ostensibly to allow lots of air flow, doesn't affect the comfort.

The sides and the cheek pads are comfortable and slightly tight, but I can fit a pair of straight-temple eyeglasses inside.

The ear pockets are adequately sized and they have a generous speaker pocket molded in with a foam insert that can be easily removed to install intercom speakers. Installing a third-party intercom can be tricky however; the designers placed an arrow-shaped exhaust vent right along the spot where the intercom module attaches. So you're going to need an intercom system with a small module, something like the Sena SMHR-10 (review), with its remote intercom and battery module.

webBikeWorld Internal Shape Estimator: AGV Numo Evo
Narrow Med. Narrow Slight Narrow Neutral Slight Round Med. Round Round
Helmet Shape
Helmet Shape
Helmet Internal Shape Examples (see more Motorcycle Helmet Shapes)
Arai
Profile
Arai
Vector 2
AGV
K4 EVO
AGV
Stealth
Arai
RX-Q
Bell
Arrow
Arai
Quantum II

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: We'll give the AGV Numo Evo an "Outstanding" rating for shape, comfort and thick padding.

AGV Numo Evo Helmet Liner
The AGV Numo Evo liner has a unique design.
AGV Numo Evo Ventilation System
Large vent holes in the EPS cap and exhaust channels in the rear (arrows).
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AGV Numo Evo Face Shield, Eye Port, Flip-up Visor and Outward Visibility

Despite the slightly awkward downward pull and rough feel on the rotating flip-up visor release, the visor feels solid and it has a noticeable detent as it clicks into the fully raised position.

The helmet is homologated as a full-face and "Jet" in Europe and as a full-face only in its DOT version. There's a locking lever on the right-hand side that locks the rotating flip-up visor in place in the raised position, allowing the helmet to be worn in that configuration in its "Jet" mode in Europe only.

The lever is still there on the DOT version, so it can be used to ensure that the visor remains upright as you're fueling up the rig or ordering that burger in the drive through.

The visibility out the eye port is about average for a flip-up helmet, with slightly less than average sight lines towards the bottom, but overall it's fine.

Three Face Shield Detent Modes

The face shield has a unique feature; there are three plastic inserts that have the detents molded on and they can be removed and replaced with inserts that have different detents.

The Touring mode with 3 detents  is standard. Two other inserts include the Race mode with 1 detent (face shield is either open or closed) and the City mode, which adds a fourth detent for a small defogging position to the Touring mode. Unfortunately, the additional inserts were missing from our box and we contacted AGV USA, who is mailing them out to us.

The clear face shield measures 2.185 mm thick on our helmet and has excellent optical properties. Many different optional face shields are available in a variety of colors.

Internal Sun Visor

The Numo Evo includes an internal rotating sun visor. It operates with a simple lever on the left-hand side and the sun visor can be stopped in an intermediate position.

The sun visor operates smoothly and efficiently, but the curvature along the bottom and a large cutout for the nose remain in the line of sight and can be a distraction.

Other Features

The face shield is anti-fog and anti-scratch treated at the factory and it seems to be effective. The chin vent flows a lot of air, which helps defogging also.

webBikeWorld Eye Port Visibility Estimator: AGV Numo Evo
Visibility Poor Below Average Average Above Average Outstanding
Vertical
Horizontal

Score: The AGV Numo Evo rotating flip-up visor system and face shield gets an "Excellent", while outward visibility rates a "Very Good".

AGV Numo Evo Top Vent System
AGV Numo Evo top vents with rubberized coating on the sliders.
AGV Numo Evo Chin Bar
Chin vent slider has a rough feel on our example but the chin vent works well.
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AGV Numo Evo Ventilation and Air Flow

The chin vent system on the Numo Evo works very nicely, despite the rough-feeling slider that is apparently catching on something inside as the plastic vent doors slide up and down.

Once the vent is open, it is efficient and the Numo Evo has a nice surprise with direct vent channels through the chin bar -- rare on a flip-up helmet. A built-in chin curtain is attached to the helmet and this helps to improve the efficiency of the chin vent system.

The top vents operate independently and the sliders are easy to find, with small rubberized nubs that provide a good grip, even when wearing gloves. The vent sliders open half-way and all the way but the slots are pretty narrow with a 4.5 mm opening.

The top vents appear similar to the vent system used on other AGV helmets and have the same problem -- they're just too small for optimal air flow.

This is too bad actually, because the unique vent channels inside the helmet, if provided with a large quantity of air, seem like they would really work well. The "cap" of EPS on top has large holes molded in and the idea is that the air passes in to the helmet through the front vents, then down on to the rider's head through those holes, unimpeded by any liner fabric.

Two channels in the rear of the EPS are supposed to flow air down and out the back, although there are no rear exhaust vents in the upper part of the rear of the helmet.

But the nice internal system just doesn't seem to get the amount of air it deserves because of the narrow slits that form the top vents. We tried blowing air through and even then we can't really feel any air coming down through the vent channels inside the helmet.

It's a shame really, because the system seems to have a lot of potential but really does need larger front vents to make it work.

Overall, I rate the chin vent system as Excellent but the top vents are just average.

webBikeWorld Opinionator: AGV Numo Evo Ventilation
Location Poor Below Average Average Above Average Outstanding
Top/Upper
Chin/Face

Score: We'll rate the ventilation system of the AGV Numo Evo as "Very Good" overall.

AGV Numo Evo Face Shield Removal Mechanism
The harp-shaped lever at the bottom is the face shield release.
AGV Numo Evo Reflectivity
The Numo Evo has some reflective material on the chin curtain and at the rear on the liner.
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AGV Numo Evo Sound Levels

We're also evaluating an AGV Skyline helmet and I had the opportunity of riding with both helmets during the same ride. I probably shouldn't have worn the Skyline first, because its quiet and secure-feeling ambience spoiled me. Putting on the Numo Evo on the same ride immediately brought out the differences.

The Numo Evo is actually fairly quiet for a flip-up helmet, but it just seems a step down in terms of sound control and quality from the Skyline, which makes me wonder why AGV lists the Numo Evo at the top of their "GT" helmet lineup. In my opinion, it should be placed just above the Miglia II instead and while they're at it, how about making the list price of the Numo Evo about $249.99 instead of $299.99?

Bottom line though is that flip-up helmets are generally louder than the average full-face helmet but the Numo Evo is quieter than the average flip-up. Noise levels at the vents and along the bottom part of the helmet seem well controlled.

webBikeWorld Opinionator: AGV Numo Evo Noise Levels
Location Very Quiet Quieter Average Louder Very Loud
Upper
Lower

Note that our helmet evaluations are normally a combined effort of several riders over time, on different types of motorcycles with and without windscreens. Evaluators wear correctly fitted, high quality earplugs (even when evaluating motorcycle intercom systems) and (usually) a helmet liner. It is strongly recommended that hearing protection is used when riding a motorcycle.  See the wBW Earplugs and Hearing Protection page 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 type of clothing that is being worn. For more information on helmet noise, visit the wBW Motorcycle Helmet Noise page.

Score: We'll give the AGV Numo Evo an "Excellent" rating for noise control.

wBW Video: AGV Numo Evo Helmet
AGV Numo Evo video on the webBikeWorld Vimeo Pro channel.
Helmet Weight

This AGV Numo Evo in size large weighs a hefty 1932 grams (4 lbs., 4-1/8 oz.), which puts it at the very heavy end of the helmet weights chart. Fortunately, the weight is evenly balanced and the helmet doesn't feel as heavy when riding.

But just for comparison, its competitors are much lighter. The Bell Revolver in size L weighs at 1808 grams; the HJC Sy-Max III in size L weighs 1778 grams; the Nolan N91 (XL, ECE version) weighs 1809 grams and the Nolan N-104 (L) weighs 1741 grams.

The champ is the Schuberth C3 DOT in size L at a svelte 1603 grams -- good even for a full-face.

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: We rate the AGV Numo Evo as "Poor" for its hefty weight.

AGV Numo Evo Flip-up Visor Open
AGV Numo Evo face shield in city defogging position.
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Miscellaneous

The Numo Evo uses a micrometric quick release buckle which works well and the padding underneath is adequate.

The helmet meets the DOT standard in the U.S. and it's homologated as a full-face and "Jet" in the European ECE version. It is available in sizes ranging from XS to XL in one shell size.

webBikeWorld Overall Opinionator: AGV Numo Evo
Picks...
...and Pans
  • Style and shape.
  • Comfortable liner.
  • Chin vent.
  • Built-in chin curtain.
  • Shell feels solid.
  • A few quality issues on ours.
  • List price seems about $50.00 too high.
  • Heavy.
  • Upper ventilation has a lot of potential but front vents are too narrow.
Conclusion

The AGV Numo Evo is a good-looking flip-up helmet. It's relatively quiet but with some of that hollow noise that is common in flip-up helmets. The liner is comfortable and the chin vent works well and has vent channels through the chin bar, which are not often found in a flip-up motorcycle helmet.

The helmet is very heavy, but at least it's well balanced. The downside is that the upper ventilation is disappointing and there are a few gaps in the side plates. The operation of the chin vent and the release for the rotating flip-up visor have a rough feel.

The Numo Evo would be an excellent buy if the list price were about $50.00 less at perhaps $249.95. It seems like it's aiming a bit out of its league, however, at the current list price of $299.95, where competitors like HJC SyMax III (review) at $299.99 list and $269.99 discounted; the Nolan N91 (review) $299.95/$230.00 and even the Nolan N104 (review) with a list of $500.00 and a street price of $330.00 at discount are available.

And don't forget the Shoei Qwest (review) with a list price of $369.99 list and $320.00 street.

We've been impressed with the continuing improvement of AGV helmets in each iteration and the Numo Evo gets high marks for its design, which makes it a standout compared to other flip-up helmets. Perhaps some of the quality issues on ours will be addressed as the production run matures, but in the meantime I'd have to be honest and say that the helmet seems a bit overpriced, all things considered.

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wBW Review: AGV Numo Evo Helmet
Manufacturer: AGV Helmets List Price: $299.95
Sale Price: AGV Numo Evo $269.99 with this link.
Colors: Black, Silver, White and High-Visibility Yellow. Made In: China
Sizes: XS to XL Shell Sizes: One Star Rating (1-5): Three Star Rated
Review Date: March 2014
Ratings Scale: For reference, our ratings scale is subjective and ranges from Unacceptable to Poor, Neutral, Very Good, Excellent and Outstanding.
Note: Item was provided by a retailer, distributor or manufacturer with these Terms and Conditions.

Note: For informational use only. All material and photographs are Copyright © webWorld International, LLC since 2000. All rights reserved. See the webBikeWorld© Site Info page. Product specifications, features and details may change or differ from our descriptions. Always check before purchasing. Read the Terms and Conditions!

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Not all comments will be published (details).  Comments may be edited for clarity prior to publication.

From "J.G." (March 2014): "Comfortable light and quiet a real shame the vent covers dropped off, the sun visor mechanism broke and the rubber seal came off, unfortunately I lost my receipt so I couldn't swap it."

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