Back in 2012, Italian helmet company AGV revolutionized their own brand by attaching an aerodynamic spoiler to one of their helmets, and now they’re out to do it again by releasing two new helmets in 2017 — the Corsa R and Pista GP R. Both helmets come with a variety of improvements over their predecessors and the results show.
The AGV Pista GP R.
The Corsa R and Pista GP R have evolved with improvements over the previous Corsa and Pista GP through feedback from AGV’s top-level racers and continue to lead the way as the company’s flagship track models. Claimed to be “100-percent the same helmet as MotoGP” riders are using, the Pista GP R is race ready while the Corsa R uses many of the same features and offers the same protection and considered to be “the ultimate track helmet” by AGV.
Both helmets come in seven different sizes (XS-XXL) which include four different shell sizes and different padding for proper fit. The Pista GP R’s is constructed of 100 percent carbon fiber for a slight weight savings of 95 grams over the Corsa, which has a shell built of a carbon/Kevlar/fiberglass mix.
Both the Pista GP R and Corsa R use AGV’s new 5mm thick visor that allows for a wider field of vision and better protection.
AGV employees constantly boast about the impressive field of vision on their helmets, and they have a reason to. Both employ an all-new visor that is 5mm thick (instead of 3.3mm) for more protection and is homologated as Class Optic 1, which means it offers the highest level of transperacy possible. The visor also allows for 190 degrees horizontal of view (most helmets on the market are 170 to 180) and 85 degrees of vertical view, which they say is the result of a very small visor mechanism.
Ventilation issues have been addressed by engineers in both helmets with each using reworked vents and air channels to improve cooling and reduce visor fogging in all conditions. Each helmet is also fitted with a new visor closure system.
Both helmets employ a new ventilation system, but the Pista GP R features large external scoops (shown here) to help draw more in.
Engineers gave the Pista a few touches to separate it from the Corsa and make it ready for world-class racers to use including a hydration system with a Camelbak drinking valve that is accessible during riding. It also gets a new aerodynamic spoiler which contributes to the 4 percent improvement in aerodynamics over the previous Pista GP; top metal vents for more strength, large external scoops to feed air into the vents, and an adjustable crown pad for personalized fit.
Finally, one last unique feature of only the Corsa R is the world’s first double-sided crown comfort pad that allows you to adjust for varying conditions. On one side of the pad AGV used a Shalimar material meant to help keep your noggin warm in cool weather, and on the other the company employed a Ritmo material to keep you cool and dry in hot temperatures.
Riding in the AGV Corsa R.
Riding in the Corsa R
To my pleasant surprise, when I first tried on the new Corsa R as part of its press introduction at Buttonwillow Raceway, it fit. Unlike my previous experiences with AGV helmets, there was no messing with different sized pads, no trying a size up or size down — it just fit. And it fit well.
The AGV team redesigned the inner workings of both helmets, and what they had come up with was a couple of helmets with a very balanced and improved fit. Size small (my usual size) fit near perfectly and didn’t fit too tight like other AGV’s have in the past. The inner lining and cheek pads were both very comfortable and soft, yet properly snug making me confident the helmet would protect me if all went wrong.
Chasing young MotoAmerica Racer Benny Solis around Buttonwillow Raceway in the AGV Corsa R.
Visibility in the Corsa R is phenomenal and the large eyeport allows you to use all of your peripheral vison possible without any piece of the helmet obstructing your view. The helmet’s aerodynamics, too, are a plus; I noticed hardly any buffeting even at high speeds. And though it wasn’t hot the day of the press launch, the ventilation worked well and the airflow inside the helmet was calm.
My only complaint about the Corsa R is the high-fitting shape of the shell leaves the back of your neck feeling exposed. AGV chose that shape to be contoured around the body to help reduce collarbone injuries during crashes, but really takes away confidence that the helmet is there to do its job. Of course, some may say that it feels light or natural, but I like to feel as protected and covered as possible.
The AGV Corsa R.
If you’re in the market for a new helmet early this year and AGV’s new offerings have caught your eye, there’s no doubt that the Corsa R and Pista GP R are great choices. AGV has done its homework and delivered two new helmets with improved fit, aerodynamics, ventilation and styling; but they’ve also delivered a large price tag (the Corsa will start at $799.95 and Pista at $1399.95).
Without question I would recommend the Corsa R if you are a true Dainese/AGV fanatic, but if the budget is tight it wouldn’t hurt to suggest looking at other options that offer the same performance. And don’t ever skip finding the helmet that fits best. Ever.
The Corsa R will be available in the United States February 1st, 2017 with prices starting at $799.95 for solids and 999.95 for graphics. Likewise, the Pista GP R will be available the same date and will be priced at $1399.95 for solids and $1599.95 for graphics.