The AGV Sportmodular is the world’s first all-carbon-shell modular (flip-up) helmet and its light weight certainly makes it less tiring on a long trip.
It costs $899 for the glossy carbon, $999 for white and grey, while the two “Multi” (Red and Hi Vis Yellow) are $1099.
Apart from being surprisingly light at 1295g, they are beautifully made with a fine carbon weave, super-gloss bright paint finish and plush interior.
The previous lightest modular helmet was the Shark Evoline Pro Carbon Helmet. It weighs 1565g and is made of a mixture of carbonfibre and multi-axial glass fibres.
Although it’s light, the Sportmodular has the same impact protection as their Pista SGP-R helmet. They are worn by MotoGP riders such as Valentino Rossi and three-time World Superbike champion Troy Bayliss.
AGV designs their helmets in Italy but the Sportmodular is made in China, obviously to their high quality standards.
I checked it over thoroughly and it is superbly made with great fit and finish.
The telling point of many modular helmets is the flimsy or clunky nature of the hinge mechanism and chin bar locking system.
AGV’s Sportmodular has a very secure system with a single red button at the bottom which is easy to find.
The chin bar swings up smoothly and locks into the up position well. It is quite secure in that position at speed, although it is not legal to ride around with the chin bar up.
It uses a standard chin strap with secure titanium double-D ring lock. However, the strap is a bit short and won’t reach the press clip to hold the surplus strap. Maybe I’ve got a fat chin.
Modular helmets are great for touring when you are on and off the bike often to take photos, talk to friends or your pillion, or to fill up, without having to remove your helmet.
But they are usually the heaviest of any type of helmet which is very tiring on as long day’s ride.
The light weight plus wind-tunnel-tested streamlined design makes this a delight to ride in all day long.
Interestingly, the visor also locks in position and you have to push a button at the centre front to unlock it.
I’m not sure why this is needed. Even with the visor slightly open, when I turn my head at highway speed, it doesn’t suddenly fly open.
The visor has no distortion and a wide 190-degree field of vision. Of course, in slow-moving traffic, it’s often great to flip up the helmet for even better vision. But remember, police may consider that illegal, even though they do it all the time.
The visor can be easily and quickly replaced with a unique and easy to use locking mechanism.
I swapped the clear visor for the tinted visor and fitted a Pinlock anti-fog insert as they are both Pinlock ready.
I didn’t actually need to fit the tinted visor they sent me as the helmet comes with a handy drop-down tinted visor that you can operate by a lever on the bottom left of the helmet.
However, the tinted visor is claimed to be UV resistant and we should all be aware that you can get a sunburnt nose and cheeks even when wearing a full-face helmet.
So I tested the UV-resistant claims with a Melanoma Institute Australia wrist band. It detects UV rays and turns from white to bright purple in the sunshine. It hardly changed from white behind the tinted visor.
The drop-down visor is also UV-resistant, but not as much, according to the wrist band. It also leaves a small gap that allows a bit of sun on the tip of your nose and cheeks.
Interior comfort is provided by a thick and plush liner and the fit for my head shape is perfect with no pressure points.
The plush interior feels snug and there is a removable under-chin gusset that keeps the wind out. It’s very cosy in winter.
I haven’t tried it yet in summer, but AGV claims the soft hypoallergenic 2Dry liner soaks up sweat and can be removed for washing. It is also Sanitized to be odour-free.
It comes with a patented ventilation-enhancing reversible crown. One side of the crown is made of smooth Ritmo to keep your head cool and the other is a soft Shalimar material to keep your head warm.
They are labelled so you know which is which. I couldn’t tell much difference, except that the Shalimar feels softer.
There are three large vents on the Sportmodular: on the chin bar, the crown and at the back to let the air out.
While the chin bar vent doesn’t make much difference, opening the vent on the crown when the rear vent is open is almost like switching on a fan.
AGV claims the rear lip profile directs rain and spray away from the neck. I can’t verify their claim as we haven’t had rain for a while!
Noise and music
Like most modular helmets, it is noisy because of the hinge mechanism and the split shell right were your ears are.
But it’s not as loud as most because of its sleek and smooth shell design that has low drag, reducing fatigue on your neck over a long day’s ride.
My only complaint about the Sportmodular helmets is that even though it has soft pockets to put speakers in next to your ears, it’s difficult to fit a Bluetooth unit.
The bottom of the shell is too thick and the left side has the drop-down visor lever, so the Bluetooth unit doesn’t fit properly via its clamp and it has be moved further back.
You need to use stick-on pads to fit the unit, but the sides are scalloped so there is no flat surface to properly fit them.
It is also difficult to hide the wires under the lining.