We’ve expounded the virtues of the AGV AX-8 Dual at length, but here’s the short version: weight, price, vision, ventilation, looks, safety. Those factors together make it probably the most appealing helmet on the market right now. Want one? The old model is widely on sale for $200. Half off. Do this year’s upgrades make it worth spending more? Here’s the three changes.

1. The screws that hold the peak on are now metal instead of plastic. The old plastic one did round off incredibly easily, so metal is a good upgrade. I stopped bothering taking the peak off at all though, doing so has now tangible effect on aerodynamic stability.

2. The dropped the tacky “AX-8 Dual” graphic on the sides. Already a clean helmet with bold lines, this makes it even more bold, simple and striking. The old graphics were lacquered in.

3. The new helmet gains a dinky rubber pad on the chin with the words “shock absorber” molded into it. I guess it’s supposed to stop little bumps from being annoying. The chin does protrude a little farther than a traditional full-face, but I’ve never really noticed that bumping the chin was a problem.

There’s also apparently more cushioning inside. My old AX-8 is heavily worn (I’ve ridden in it for a year now, both off and on-road), so it’s hard for me to say for certain, but the new one does feel a bit plusher inside.

I know if I was shopping, those changes wouldn’t merit spending an extra money. $200 is a hell of a deal for an incredibly light (1,400g for a medium), ECE 22.05 (softer for fewer concussions), extremely versatile helmet like this. It works equally well in the city, on the highway or off-road, either with goggles or the visor in place. Just don’t buy one for trackdays or high-speed canyon riding, it gets a bit buffety above 120mph or so. And make sure you try one on first, like all helmets, shapes and sizes are unique and fit is all important.

What am I going to do with the old one? Guess I’ll save it for dirt riding to keep the new helmet nice and shiny and free of Eau de Wes.

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