Everything old is new again in the world of helmets and the latest to join the retro helmet rage is the very stylish AGV X3000 race replica.
The X3000 range is led by a $999 limited-edition tribute to the legendary 15-time world motorcycle champion, Giacomo Agostini.
There are 10 colour choices ranging in price from $599 in solid colours to $699 for multi-colours and $799 for the Gloria.
Style and function
The X3000 retro helmet series replicates the original helmet that AGV founder Gino Amisano worked closely with Ago to develop.
It features a low chin guard, tapered bottom and the contoured chin piece that Ago requested so he could lean his head on the tank.
The low chin guard not only looks retro, but also provides a wide aperture for good vision.
That’s a great primary safety feature, but what about secondary safety – crash protection?
Top UK-based SHARP helmet rating system has not tested the X3000 series yet.
However, our survey of all their ratings shows AGV is the second-highest rating in safety behind Shark.
AGV also rated third in the Canstar Blue helmet customer satisfaction survey.
The fibreglass shell and EPS structure are in three sizes for a close fit and safety.
They also feature a sturdy double-D chin strap clasp.
Retro helmet road test
Australian importer Link International sent me a $699 black and white Legends to review.
It’s a handsome helmet with high-quality gloss finish and luxuriously plush leather and fabric interior. The lining is breathable, replaceable and washable.
The helmet could easily go on the mantlepiece for all to admire.
However, this is for test, so I’ve taken it on several rides to test comfort and practicality.
Fit is different for every head. AGV helmets fit my particular head shape well with no pressure points on my head.
However, I seem to take one size larger than with other helmets, so it’s important to try it on in a store, rather than (or before) ordering online.
Pulling the helmet on it feels very comfortable. There is an ear recess where you can fit your Bluetooth intercom speakers without hurting your ears. It’s a snug fit, but I found I can still wear earphones without pulling them out as I pull on the helmet.
Speaking of Bluetooth, there is no way to use the clamp attachment as there is no gap between the lining and shell. Instead, you will need to use a sticker mount.
There are two traditional magnetic snap-latches on either side of the visor. You can open the visor with just your left hand, leaving your right hand free to stay on the throttle.
Closing the visor requires a firm push on both sides and the middle to fit the seal around the wide face aperture.
Most retro helmets have large gaps around the visor. It may be traditional, but it makes them noisy and tiring on a long trip.
This has a rubber ring around the aperture for a firm fit. It is easily the quietest retro helmet I have tested with the visor closed.
However, there are a lot of different whistling sounds when the visor is open.
Like many retro helmets there is no chin spoiler to deflect wind and noise.
Surprisingly, not a lot of wind noise comes up through the chin gap. Yet you do get a lot of cool ventilation for your face.
There is only one long and narrow vent at the front of the visor. It is blocked by a removable black rubber gasket.
Pull it out and it feeds cooling air straight into vents at the top of the aperture that channels into the shell.
Together with the facial air flow, it’s surprisingly cool on a hot day.
But with no chin spoiler it might be a bit breezy in winter.
Changing the visor from clear to tinted or vice versa is not as easy as many modern helmets that simply pop into place.
This one is held by a screwed-in plate and a circlip on each side.
To undo, pull off the small black plastic cap and unscrew the round metal plate with an allen key (not provided).
Pull out the circlip, careful not to drop the two plastic gaskets that locate the visor.
That’s five pieces to remove.
It’s needlessly fiddly, time-consuming and will fill up your swear jar.
If style and safety is your thing, try the X3000 which is the most practical of the retro helmets I’ve tested.