Top-tier racing helmet adapted for everyday use on the street.
AGV has released a brand new model for its claim of the upper-echelon racing sector of the motorcycle helmet market. The AGV Corsa priced at $849.95 offers street-friendly features such as quick-adjusting vent valves and tunable comfort features that the track-dedicated version (the $1400 full carbon fiber Pista GP) lacks. Over the summer in the Californian heat, we’ve been street and track testing the all-new Corsa model in the Velocity white/black/red paint scheme and have discovered a real race-bred piece of safety equipment with plenty of amenities appreciated for street use.
Exterior Construction - AGV Corsa
The AGV Corsa shell is comprised of three different types of composites (carbon fiber, fiberglass and aramid) woven together to create the “SSL” (Super Super Light) shell exterior. The shell also integrates venting ducts that perform extremely well with the minimalistic interior lining and cushioning. Unlike the Pista GP that utilizes clumsy rubber plugs to block airflow when unwanted, the Corsa has traditional sliding valves that enable opening and closing of the venting system on the fly. The Corsa also features a rear diffuser that while extremely functional when cutting through the air, is anchored to the helmet shell by three plastic screws designed to easily break off in a crash reducing protruding surfaces of the helmet that can get hung up when sliding across the ground.
The visor system on the Corsa is rather unique as well. Locking the visor in the closed position is accomplished by a centered latch on the upper portion of the chin bar on the front of the helmet. Opening the visor can be executed quickly with either hand as a result of the centered release button. A completely redesigned lock and release mechanism enables extremely simple visor swaps as well. Spring-loaded and locking levers on each side disengage the latch on the pivoting mechanisms allowing the visor to slide right out of the pivot points without having to fight with the visor and worry about breaking fine components.
Comfort and fitment were obviously high on the engineers’ list when designing the Corsa. In order to achieve the proper fit, AGV offers intermediary sizes such as “Small Medium” and “Medium Large” to ensure a wider range of shell sizes are available to riders.
READ MORE: The AGV AX8 Helmet Review
Furthermore, pre-cut padding pieces are included with each helmet to tune the fitment to each rider’s unique head shape. These foam pieces are easily slipped into pockets in the removable liner to add pressure to the cheek/ear area as well as the upper, rear portion of the head. The two strips of padding that run from front to back along the top of the rider’s head can also be adjusted outward or inward by repositioning the Velcro anchors in the upper liner. Like most helmets these days, the microfiber interior liner is also fully removable and washable.
The AGV Corsa is an extremely functional helmet. The venting system on the Corsa performs better than almost any other helmet we’ve tested in recent years. When the ducts are open and freeway speeds are reached, a very noticeable stream of air is felt rushing across the top of the rider’s head. This is due to the simplistic venting system and direct duct path that includes three large inlets on the front of the helmet, above the visor and two exhaust ports in the rear.
The interior liner also does not have much material along the top of the head allowing for direct airflow to run through the top of the interior of the helmet. Additional inlet ports are located on the frontal chin bar but like other helmet models, the effects are minimal. On the downside, all of this air flow and minimalistic interior material creates a rather loud helmet when piloted. However, this is a racing helmet after all requiring some comfort luxuries to be sacrificed in order to add value to other, more functional benefits.
Aerodynamics properties are also excellent with the Corsa. Thanks to the hefty, pointed chin bar and large rear diffuser, the helmet is very stable at highways speeds as well as full race pace on the track. When checking an adjacent lane before a lane change or keeping tabs on the field pulling up the rear, head swivel is smooth and linear. Abrupt head jerking and forces from turbulent airflow are minimized allowing for predictable and precise movement. It is almost as if the helmet is swiveling along a rail when checking blind spots at speed. This is an area of performance in which the Corsa definitely surpasses the competition.
The field of vision is quite large with the Corsa even when in a full head-down tuck. The 3mm thick visor offers excellent impact protection but also obstructs vision a bit. Most notably along the top edge of the visor, the rider’s view of the road ahead becomes distorted as the thickness and curvature of the visor varies creating a very distracting situation (especially when moving from visors without this flaw). Another issue with the visor was encountered with the pivoting system.
Though the visor opening and closing action is smooth and effortless, the pivoting mechanism does not have enough resistance to allow the visor to remain partially opened when in motion even at very low speeds. This became annoying on hot days when riding through traffic in the city or the pits at the track when not enough fresh air is flowing through the venting system. As a result, the only positions the visor can really maintain are completely open, partially cracked as the visor latch rests on the locking mechanism or completely closed.
The AGV Corsa is an extremely high performance racing helmet with excellent properties for the race track adapted for the street. The venting system, aerodynamics and tunable interior liner are top notch. However, certain aspects of the visor design and interior noise levels could be improved to create a near flawless racing lid. At the end of the day, the AGV Corsa is a helmet that performs exceptionally well on the track and is able to transfer a good amount of these accomplishments to the street as well.
A pure racing helmet will never satisfy all luxuries that comfortable street riding demands nor was it designed to, but the Corsa does a great job at balancing both duties. Slapping the icing on the cake, AGV is currently offering the Corsa at a 30% discount bringing the $850 price tag below $600: http://store.agv.com/p/corsa-velocity-white-black-red?pp=24 Enjoy.