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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.

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