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    Choosing a helmet isn’t something you can take for granted, especially when you’re starting out. Here’s a complete guide on how to choose your ideal helmet.

    By DemoneRosso | 20 October 2021 | 1 min

    A helmet should be chosen in a conscious way, as you weigh up the unique features and strengths of each model
    Before choosing the type of helmet, it’s good to be aware of its construction, sizes and homologations
    Features such as maximum safety, a wide field of vision and comfort are all key for any type of helmet
    The full-face helmet is most similar to what professional riders wear, particularly light, stylish, and with advanced sports aerodynamics
    The modular offers great comfort and practicality and can be opened when stationary to allow the rider to communicate or stave off the heat
    Adventure helmets are inspired by the off-road world, their peak protecting against the sun and any debris. They can be used in different configurations

    Choosing a helmet: where to start 

    Deciding on a helmet is a sort of life philosophy. Each type tells a lot about the style, aspirations and character of the rider who wears it. But regardless of choice, what features need to be taken into consideration in terms of structure, safety, size, homologation and type? It’s a good idea to know so that you’re fully aware when buying one.   


    What does a motorcycle helmet consist of?  

    The shell  

    Every helmet is made up of many elements, all equally important in providing safety, comfort and performance. The first component you can see is the outer ‘shell’, which can be made of various materials, each with its own strengths. The goal of the shell is to protect the head against the penetration of external objects and to distribute the force of impacts over as wide an area as possible.   

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    The absorbent material, EPS  

    The innermost layer with respect to the shell is EPS, expanded polystyrene, which is there to absorb the force of impacts. The density of the EPS is differentiated according to the area of the head that it has to protect, to optimize protection and lightness.   

    EPS is not an elastic material, by nature, so it doesn’t return to its original shape after compression following an impact. That means that it can no longer absorb impacts in the compressed area. That’s why a helmet that has cushioned an impact must be replaced.   


    The interior of a motorcycle helmet 

    The interior and padding are in contact with the head. These are decisive, together with other factors, in making the helmet comfortable. Attention needs to be paid to using materials that are optimized to wick sweat away from the head, to the seams and that these don’t irritate the skin through contact. Interiors must be removable so they can be washed periodically.  


    The retention strap  

    The strap is the component that lets you ‘tie’ the helmet. When fastening, the tension can’t make it too tight against the throat, but at the same time it can’t be so loose that the helmet comes off accidentally.  

    There are two types of fastening:  

    • Double D fasteners are usually dedicated to racing helmets, adventure helmets and motocross helmets. 

    • Micrometric fasteners are most often found on touring and city helmets, since they’re practical to open and close even when you’re wearing gloves. 

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    AGV Tourmodular

    Lightweight, comfortable and ultra-protective modular helmet, set up for use with integrated DMC communication system. Designed for maximum comfort and safety on long trips.

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    The visor and how to assess the best one 

    The visor protects you against more than just air and insects. Effectively, it has to act as a shield that can protect your face against impacts, no less than the protection the shell gives the rest of your head.  

    AGV has increased the thickness of the visors up to a maximum of 5 mm, to offer unprecedented strength and protection, without of course affecting their optical properties. Preferably, the visor should be in optical class 1, the same as prescription glasses, in order not to get tired after a few hours’ ride.  

    At the same time, the visor should be as wide as possible to ensure a wide field of vision both horizontally and vertically.  

    One of the secrets is the design of a small-sized visor opening mechanism that therefore doesn’t take space away from the visor itself. A miniaturized mechanism also avoids a reduction in EPS volume, enhancing the helmet’s protective capabilities in the temple area.  



    Choosing the right helmet size 

    Helmet sizes range on average from XS to XXL, but XXS and XXXL are also available on some models. The size range for each helmet alternates different shell sizes in order to adapt the helmet to the best fit for each person’s head 

    The first step is to measure the head, checking the circumference with a tape measure. The circumference must be measured with tape placed horizontally, just above the eyebrows in terms of height. Using the table provided by the manufacturer to find the corresponding size will give the correct measurement, or at least the size for the first helmet to try. That’s right – heads with the same circumference can have different shapes, so it’s always a good idea to try a helmet before making a purchase.  

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    Can a tight helmet be widened?  

    Helmet fit can be customized. On many AGV models, the interior padding can be replaced with padding of a different thickness. You can use thinner ones, for greater volume, or thicker ones, so that the helmet fits better on your face and head. 


    How to recognize a homologated helmet  

    The step of understanding whether or not a motorcycle helmet is homologated might be taken for granted, but it’s absolutely essential. Homologation is a form of certification required for the helmet to be regularly placed on the market, and attests that the product complies with the standards imposed by the regulations in force.  

    The label with all helmet homologation information is sewn onto its strap. But how do you read the numbers and acronyms?  

    MicrosoftTeams-image (35)

    • The letter E indicates that this is a helmet with European homologation, while the following number indicates the country where the homologation was certified. 3 corresponds to Italy, for example. In the code below, the first two digits indicate the European ECE homologation version, which can be 22-05 or 22-06, the most recent. The following five digits correspond to the homologation number.  
    • The letter(s) /J, /P, /P-J indicate the type of helmet. /J helmets are open-face helmets, /P helmets are full-face helmets with protective chinguard always to be used closed and /P-J helmets are modular helmets that can also be used with chinguard open. The number after the dash is the helmet’s serial number.  


    Safety - what to look out for   

    Whichever helmet you ultimately decide upon, you need to pay attention to several very important common factors – not least, safety. 

    For those who use their bikes a lot, it’s best to opt for a helmet with an outer shell in composite fiber or carbon fiber, and preferably one that comes in a wide range of shell sizes, so that you can choose the perfect fit for your head.   

    For short- and medium-range urban or touring use, thermoplastic resin helmets are undoubtedly a good choice, especially for those who are new to riding, or those who are not looking for featherweight or race performance.   

    Also consider the composition of the absorbent layer, which is safer if it is in EPS that varies in density depending on the points of the head it must protect. 


    Why the ventilation on a helmet is important 

    The ventilation system is also the result of careful study, with air intakes and extractors that are strategically positioned in order to effectively expel heat and humidity.  

    It’s not just a question of comfort and breathability, as increased heat slows down reflexes and affects rider perception. It’s best if the ventilation system, and the entire helmet in fact, is designed and developed in the wind tunnel. Shapes that are more aerodynamic and fluid heighten rider comfort and reduce air resistance.   


    How to understand what helmet type to choose 

    The features of full-face helmets    

    The full-face is the ultimate helmet. We see it on the heads of MotoGP™ riders, and of everyone who wants maximum levels of protection. The main advantage of the full-face lies in its structure, the shell having no gaps other than the visor opening.  

    Studying shells in the wind tunnel has led to increasingly compact and aerodynamic solutions.  

    Aerodynamics is an important aspect for anyone who makes wide-ranging use of the bike, and not only for those who race on track. A helmet with advanced aerodynamics will offer less air resistance, with less rustling and vibration and a more comfortable ride.  


    When to buy a full-face helmet  

    The full-face helmet is the choice of anyone looking for maximum performance and compactness, whether for track use or sportier road use. Its low weight also makes it a great aid to everyone who’s used to riding for many hours at a time, with benefits for the neck muscles and so concentration when riding.  


    The features of modular helmets  

    Created to meet the needs of travelers, modular helmets offer the option of opening and closing the visor and chinguard, with an evident advantage in terms of versatility. But don’t think that the presence of an opening mechanism will disproportionately increase the overall helmet weight. There are some modular helmets with carbon fiber shells that weigh less than many full-face helmets.   

    The chinguard can be opened when stationary and on warmer days, or even just to be able to talk with a travel companion. This type of helmet is equipped with an internal sun visor, convenient when on a long journey as the rider does not have to stop to put on or remove sunglasses depending on the light conditions.   

    Designed for long distances, they focus particularly on comfort, both in terms of practicality and acoustics. They offer good soundproofing, reducing the rumble that can result from turbulence when traveling at motorway speed. It is important that the interior is made of high-quality fabrics that quickly remove moisture from the rider’s head.    


    When to buy a modular helmet  

    The modular option is recommended for those looking for a helmet characterized by practicality. It’s perfect for every aspect of travel, but also for those used to getting around the city, stopping at the lights and elsewhere, and who prefer the feeling of a full-face helmet to the ventilation of an open-face.  


    The difference between full-face and modular helmets  

    Full-face and modular helmets have marked structural differences, which characterize their relative strengths. The one-piece shell and the absence of the chinguard opening mechanism make the full-face the most compact and lightweight solution, if you use the same materials. But it has to be said that the most advanced modular helmets, made entirely of carbon fiber, weigh less than many full-face helmets all the same.  

    The big selling points of modular motorcycle helmets are practicality and comfort. The ability to open the chinguard during breaks is a particular advantage when it’s hot and whenever you need to communicate with fellow travelers.  


    The features of adventure helmets   

    The increasing popularity of maxi enduro bikes has contributed to the popularity of this helmet type. Technically, it is similar to a full-face model with its single-piece shell, but it has its own solutions derived from off-road disciplines, such as the removable peak that protects from both the sun and mud and branches during extreme off-road use.    

    The adventure helmet is also much more versatile than any other solution. In practice, it is a helmet that offers four configurations, depending on whether or not the rider uses the peak, and considering the fact that the visor can be removed and replaced by a pair of MX goggles. Its customizable character makes it suitable for different bikes, as well as different uses, breaking the boundary that ties it to maxi enduros alone. In short, it’s a faithful friend in all situations and with any kind of bike.  


    The features of helmets for the city  

    The most practical helmets for use in the city are open-face, able to provide the right protection, great ventilation and ample visibility for navigating traffic at the same time.  

    The large visor, which in this case covers the whole face, can be opened and closed to many intermediate positions. You should look out for models that incorporate the sun visor, which helps protect your eyes on days of constant sunlight.  


    Helmet color – taste, first and foremost 

    Helmet color is a completely personal choice. There are those who prefer the sobriety of single colors, in classic black and white or in alternative colors, such as visible carbon fiber on the models with shells made out of it, a symbol of technology and performance. There’s also a huge selection of replica helmets, with graphics covering the entire range, so you can support your idols every time you get on your bike. In between, there are endless graphics with varying amounts of color to let you stand out and be recognized on the road and the track.  


    How to know when it’s time to change your helmet 

    There isn’t one answer for all situations. A helmet’s life cycle depends on many things, like where, how and how often it’s used, the care taken with it and much more besides. Some components of helmets, such as EPS and padding, tend to deteriorate over time.   

    The same applies to the various mechanisms and the strap, which tend to wear out with use. The general suggestion is to replace your helmet at least every five years. Before those five years are up, you should replace the helmet when it absorbs an impact or shows obvious signs of wear on parts such as the shell, the strap, the EPS or the mechanisms.  

    AGV Pista GP RR

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    Does helmet homologation expire? 

    There are currently two homologations in force in Europe, ECE-2205 and ECE-2206. The latter came into effect in 2021 and adds numerous impact points to the tests. 2206 also takes oblique impacts into account, so it represents an important step in safety for new helmets coming to market. 

    The law provides for a grace period during which it will still be allowed to produce helmets approved under 2205, until June 2023. After this period, using helmets with 2205 homologation will still be permitted, as there is no statutory expiry date for helmet type homologation.  


    How is an AGV helmet made?  

    All AGV helmets are designed and built to achieve the optimum balance between protection, aerodynamics and performance.  



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