UPSHIFT TESTED: AGV AX8 ES EVO HELMET

Words: Adam Booth      Photos: Simon Cudby 
The AGV AX8 ES EVO, a dual-sport and adventure touring helmet, is an upgraded version of the original AGV AX8. The new and improved AX8 ES EVO is ready for riders who love off-road riding and those who love on road riding. It is great for those who do both and want a helmet that can transform to meet their needs. The key feature of the AX8 Dual EVO is its ability to be worn in three different configurations. The visor and shield are removable, allowing you to use the helmet completely free of attachments. If you are more of a dirt guy you can run the visor and remove the shield and use goggles in the large eye port. The third option of configuration is with the visor and shield and is how we tested. 

SSL layering is what AGV calls the process of combining carbon, Kevlar and fiberglass in the shell design. AGV states the weight as 3 pounds, 4 ounces and on our scale it weighed 3 pounds, 5 ounces, (Simon, can you weigh it to be sure?) an acceptable variance and one heck of a light helmet. An updated shape to the chin area and a wider softer base edge helps limit interference with any back protector, reducing the risks of impact traumas. The AGV liner is plush with increased thickness for improved comfort and is made from Coolmax and Dry-Comfort materials, coated with a sanitizing finish. The cheek pads and main liner are removable and washable.

Air ducts on the AX8 EVO are integrated into the shell and closable.  Don’t expect the air ductsto radically cool your brain. The overall venting of the AGV AX8 leaves a lot to be desired. While the intake vents flow nicely, the exhaust vents seem a bit restrictive, hurting the ability to draw out the hot air. The mouthpiece also has a closable air vent that allows some air into the helmet but we wouldn’t mind if it flowed even more freely when open. Of course if you flip up the shield or run goggles without the shield the ventilating characteristics completely change. The shield, non-scratch anitfog polycarbonate has two indents between closed and fully open, allowing the shield to be slightly open when rolling down the road, providing needed venting when temperatures are high.

In general the AX8 EVO is a very comfortable helmet with good styling for both street and the dirt. Even with the visor attached wind noise isn’t bad at freeway speeds. The eye port is very large, providing excellent vision. For some head shapes the big eye port will also leave a lot of open space on the forehead. Not specifically designed for sunglasses means you’ll have to see if yours fit. Some do, some don’t depending on the style.

The visor (or peak, however you’d like to refer to it) flows plenty of air when riding without a windshield, but on our Africa Twin we experienced an annoying vibration of the visor, causing the whole helmet to vibrate and our eyes to go blurry when sitting on the edge of wind protection of the windshield. We didn’t experience this on any other bikes, but it was enough to have to tuck fully behind the windshield or remove the visor for extended road sessions on the Africa Twin. On our 1190 we didn’t get the vibration nearly as bad. The shape of the windshield has a big effect on the vibration.  

The AGV AX8 DS EVO is a premium dual-sport or adventure touring helmet with great features, a comfortable interior, a cool look and it has the ability to transform to suit the terrain you like to ride. It meets both the ECE and DOT certifications. AGV has a very good track record for safety. Retail pricing is $399.95 to $419.5 depending on color.  www.agv.com

Chris Glaspell

Upshift, 23986 Aliso Creek Road Suite 450, Laguna Niguel, CA 92677

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