AGV gets real with the Pista GP

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AGV has upped their game with the new AGV PistaGP. They used a freakin’ lazer to scan Valentino Rossi’s head and designed the helmet from the inside out around the resulting 3d model, unlike the traditional method of creating the outer shell first then going inside. The new visor mechanism is minuscule at 71% smaller than before. And then there’s the shape: small, lean and reptilian, it looks more like something out of Tron than a motorcycle helmet. I once said that the XR1R was the nicest helmet ever, but it looks like the PistaGP may be poised to steal the crown.

Update: Now with 77-photo mega gallery

In the past few months Dainese/AGV’s innovation has brought airbag suits and 1400g dual sport helmets to market. Their previous top-of-the-line racing helmet, the GP-Tech, didn’t boast such forward thinking. While it looks rad in dazzle camo, the GP-Tech doesn’t have great visibility, it’s big and heavy (1560g!) and the visor mechanism flat out sucks. But, finally, the replacement for the aging GP-Tech has arrived.

Here’s how the new PistaGP compares to the outgoing GP-Tech:
1250g down from 1560g
193% more ventilation area
71% smaller visor movement area (area devoted to visor movement)
48% less HIC index standard (Head Injury Criterion)
44% less lift
36% less g-force transmitted to the head (compared to the ECE regulation)
15° more upward vision
9% larger visor area
6% smaller lateral section
3% smaller front section

AGV used lasers to scan Valentino Rossi’s head (not surprisingly, he says it fits great) and they used their 3D model of The Doctor to design the helmet from the inside out, starting with the liner, then the EPS impact protection, and finally the carbon outer shell. At 1250 grams, it ties the XR1R for lightness and it’s appreciably smaller than the GP-Tech it replaces. The design was informed by 28 hours in the wind tunnel and comes in four carbon fiber shell sizes with four places to adjust the removable and washable liner. There are four “always open” intakes (truly a helmet for racing) and two exhausts, but plastic covers are included to cover the intakes in bad weather. The visor is incredibly thick, measuring 3.3 mm (more than 1mm thicker that the XR1R shield), and benefits from a locking system like that of the HJC RPS-10 to reduce the risk of accidental opening.

”I consider the PistaGP helmet a tribute to Gino Amisano, an entrepreneur I admired for his ability to innovate, the records he achieved, and the competitive spirit with which he faced every challenge. The new helmet is part of the AGV Standards project, which, in line with the qualities established by Amisano, revolutionizes the way helmets are designed, setting new records for protection and ergonomics that are clearly evident,” said Lino Dainese.

  • Ben

    Best looking helmet ever.

    • Sean Smith

      +1 Can’t wait to get my hands on one.

      • Daniel Mast

        Question on your XR1R article. Are you still wearing it? Are you still loving it? Considering a switch from Arai and it seems like the XR1R could be the move for me.

        • Sean Smith

          I was wearing it when I broke everything, so it’s retired now, but I loved every it dearly. I’m planning on getting another one.

    • Michael

      Agreed it looks bloody gorgeous! Any idea on price, Sean? Probably in the 3k-4k range eh?

      • Sean Smith

        Probably $500-700. Only Arai does silly stuff like that.

        • Jericho7


        • Edward

          That’s the price of the GP-Tech – my guess is over $1k but not $4k.

          • Sean Smith

            Seeing as this is a replacement for the GP-Tech, it would make sense that it costs about the same. There’s no new or special tech here, it’s just a very nicely designed carbon helmet.

            • Edward

              Ah, I didn’t realize this would take the GP-Tech’s place in the lineup. I would consider this over a Corsair V at that price point, but isn’t the selling point that it will be custom-fitted to some extent? Otherwise, I’m not sure that the marginal improvements make it all that exciting (though it does look better). It would be hard to see how a custom-fit could happen for $700, though if that were offered, I would imagine there’s a market at an even higher price.

              • Sean Smith

                AGV’s press release made it sound as though the helmet would be custom-fitted for Rossi, and possibly other racers, but that the retail version would be based on the scans they did of human heads. They didn’t really give any information about how many or whose human heads were scanned (except for Rossi), a retail release date, colors and designs, or price. There are 77 (mostly Rossi themed) pictures though. ;)

    • Coreyvwc

      Really? It’s looks right at home in the GP paddock, but I think it’s going to look super “power rangerish” anywhere else… Very cool concepts though!

  • 85gripen

    You can’t tell from the pictures where it must bulge out on the sides to accommodate The Doctor’s substantial ears.

  • longtravel

    Sooo… when will these (or the Corsa street version) be available to us mere mortals?

    • Lucas Worthing

      I’m thinking the same thing…when and where can I get one?

  • Ben

    Wonder if this will have the weight inconsistencies that XR1R owners have reported. Hope not, because it looks great.

    • Sean Smith

      I’m 99.999% sure it will. They all do.

  • Mike

    So does this include laser-scanning my head too? Or is this helmet only for folks that have Rossi-shaped heads? So confused.

    • Ben

      Its better than making a helmet for “Cataloged head form 73″ and hoping it fits people

    • Ben W

      Do they? Maybe it only stands out because weight is such a major selling point of that helmet, but people are reporting major discrepancies not easily attributable to size differences. I haven’t seen people going out of their way to weigh other helmets, so I have no idea.

  • Jhon Alexander

    Some of those features look a little too familiar for comfort…considering they had our stylebook from a former advisor back in ’09,,,or am I just crazy?!

    • kidchampion

      I think they look markedly different. Maybe some of the features look similar, to you, but it would seem like a bigger crime if they stole your overall style, which I don’t see here. I don’t have a dog in this fight, so I may see this differently.

  • Jericho7

    “a freakin’ lazer” :-D

    • Matt

      +1 HFL FTW

  • the_doctor

    I want one like this, with all the specs listed on the helmet itself. Like a 427 on a Camaro.

  • Chris

    Cant wait until this is normal practice. Go to the bike store, get your head scanned, wait 4-6 weeks and have whatever helmet you ordered with a custom liner designed to fit perfectly.

    • stempere

      With standard shells and custom liners, it may not be so far off.
      I guess they’ll use a mold and not laser tech though, because of the price. And let me tell you, having you head covered in goo is not a pleasant process (i had to do it for a half prostetic face for a photoshoot a few years back).

      • Bryan

        Actually you don’t even really need lasers. It is very possible now to make accurate 3d models using just digital photography. Check this out:

        • Mike

          Heh. Have you actually used 123Dcatch? Spent a weekend making lumpy models of my wife’s head before giving up on it.

    • Mark D [EX500]

      With the advances 3D printers are making, we might not even have to wait 4-6 weeks. Helmet shops will be like Lenscrafters.

      • JTB

        With helmets the outer shell shape is primarily aero dynamics and appearance. The key for passing the regs is the EPS. That can be made to fit any head properly. Like Long , Round and Intermediate ovals. As long as the helmet passes what ever its target certifications are it can be what ever shape or thickness needed. The part about shell sizes is you can have a more consistent design across the range with out “Q-bert” or “Bobble” heads on smaller riders and ample protection for larger riders. It would be great to be able have a scan and go head form for every rider but testing and certification sampling would be a logistic nightmare and sampling by the required DOT standard would have to be revised. We all know how easy it is to get a government agency to change it s rules.

        • Chris Davis

          You could do it, but you’d have to leave the EPS alone. It comes down to re-thinking the construction of the liner and building it to fit the gaps between your skull and the EPS.

          • JTB

            Chris, I agree the “comfort” liner is important but if you look at one when you remove it you realize in many cases when people complain of “hot” spots or pressure points when trying a helmet on its the EPS putting pressure through the comfort liner. We work with different types of foam for the comfort liner for different areas in the liners. Its trying to balance airflow, moisture absorptions & retention, and comfort. The scanning of the head is great but that is more for getting the EPS shapes to match than comfort liners correct. A correctly shaped EPS will feel much more comfortable than the incorrect shape for the riders head. Thats why trying on a helmet before buying it is key.

            • Chris Davis

              As you point out, the adjustment of EPS is not practical from an individual fit perspective. However, as an aftermarket solution, a custom made liner is doable. I’m not talking about tinkering with what you currently see. That’s just crude toying with foam thickness. I’m talking about going well outside of that box.

  • Kerry

    Seems best suited for riding while your chin is on the gas tank.

  • Gene

    How’d I know there’d be a pic of Rossi mugging with his head replica?? :-)

  • Fizzy Fox

    Now all he needs to do is actually win a race.

    • Sean Smith

      I’m pretty sure he’s done that a few times.

      • Fizzy Fox

        Haha! True! But he crashed out of damn near every race last year. I’m sure this helmet will help his ride, though. :-P

  • Scott-jay

    Seventy-seven picture gallery; for a helmet?

  • Chris Davis

    Pista! Pista! Get this helmet offa me!

    Seriously though it’s cool to see the thought and engineering going into the design rather than just styling around some existing EPS and tweaking vents and wings.

  • oldblue

    Yup, Pista. That oughta be a big seller in Australia.

    And never trust anyone who wants to scan your head. They did that to me last year and put in six titanium screws and three plates, but didn’t bother giving me a helmet…

  • Case

    When is it available to try on and/or purchase?

  • mugget

    Now that looks like an awesome helmet. You can just tell the work that’s gone into it – there’s a helmet that actually looks like it’s made with the purpose of helping you go faster.