Back in the timeline of my motorcycle sales career, I managed to piss off the Arai rep who serviced the dealership I worked for by ordering an AGV helmet after having already ordered an Arai through him. A young racer named Valentino Rossi was rampaging the 125cc GP class, and his helmet design was one of the coolest I’d ever seen. The AGV didn’t fit as good as the Arai and I had to pay full-pop instead of the bro deal the Arai rep was giving me, but I wanted Rossi’s design that bad. Years later, returning from San Francisco’s Halloween festivities to where my T595 Triumph Daytona was parked on some side street, I arrived to find my beloved Rossi AGV cut from the bike, only a dangling D-ring left to prove it once existed. I still hate whoever that guy was.
I’ve owned a few AGV helmets since then, and they’ve all managed to not fit my head in the most comfortable manner, and I always loathed removing their comfort liners because it seemed impossible to refit the liner in exactly the same way whence it came. I haven’t owned or tested all the current models of AGV helmets, but I can say of the new K-5 that it’s the best AGV to ever have come my way. Its intermediate-oval interior fits my intermediate-to-long oval noggin pretty well, and I’ve managed to remove and reinstall the comfort liner such that you’d never know it had ever been removed.
In addition to the comfort provided by the K-5’s intermediate ovality is the wide selection of sizes in which it comes: XS, S, MS, ML, L, XL, XXL. Note how AGV provides two sizes of Medium; Medium-Small and Medium-Large. Sizing is compartmentalized by using two shells, one for XS-MS and the other for ML-XXL, and four inner liner sizes: XS-S, MS, ML-L, XL-XXL.
AGV claims the weight of the MS K-5 to be 3.1 pounds. The ML in our possession tipped the scales at 3.8 pounds. Part of the discrepancy can be attributed to the ML’s use of the larger shell size. Considering the K-5 boasts an internal sun visor and remains a sub-four-pound helmet is still pretty good.
The internal sun visor is of the light- to medium-tint variety. If that’s not dark enough for you, the K-5’s cheek pads feature areas where padding has been removed to allow for easy ingress/egress of sunglasses. The anti-scratch sun visor is easily removable for cleaning or replacement, but it could stand to have another ¼- to ½-inch added to the bottom portion to better shade the light. The K-5’s faceshield is also an easily removable, one-button affair. There’s a convenient, centrally located anti-fog switch that’ll crack the bottom portion of the faceshield just enough to help keep the shield clear when travelling slowly through humid temps. When closed, the seal around the eye port isn’t the tightest, allowing some air and moisture past the barrier.
There are four air intakes on the front of the helmet, and one exhaust port at the rear. The only easy-opening vent is the center one near the crown of the helmet. The brow vents, although good looking, are smooth with nothing to grab onto, making them exceedingly hard to open or close with gloved fingers. The rear vent has a latch, but it resides atop another apparatus whose occupation, it appears, is to make operating the actual vent more difficult. The latch for the chin vent is located inside the helmet. It’s operation is convenient if you don’t like using a chin curtain – which I never ride without.
I read on the interweb people complaining about excessive wind noise with the K-5, but I experienced nothing out of the ordinary. Wind noise is attributed to many things: the bike, its windscreen, rider’s height, weather conditions, etc., and these must all be taken into account before a proclamation can be made of wind noise being excessive. There are large areas around the ears, which I found very comfortable due to the elephant-size things attached to the sides of my head. Wind noise is somewhat reduced by installing the included ear pads.
The big difference between the new K-5 and the older K-3 SV is shell construction. The K-3’s shell is a polycarbonate one, where the shell of the K-5 is manufactured from a carbon composite (carbon fiber/fiberglass mixture). There’s a difference in weight; the K-5 being lighter, and a difference in price; the K-5 being more expensive (about $150 more). Both models are DOT and ECE certified.
AGV is promoting the K-5 as a sport-touring lid, and we agree with that label, stressing the sport side of the equation. The helmet’s aggressive looks, venting placement, and rear spoiler conspire to make the K-5 seem more appropriate aboard a GSX-S1000F rather than a FJR1300. The helmet’s biggest touring contributions come from its not-so-racey fit, and its interior sun visor.
At $349.95 for solids and $399.95 for graphics (sadly, no Rossi models…) the K-5 seems an appropriately priced helmet when considering its features and benefits. The quality of its construction, especially its removable interior lining, is much better than on past AGVs, and its intermediate-oval shape should fit the heads of a lot of U.S. motorcyclists. Get more information at AGV.com, or ride down to your local AGV dealer and try one on for size.