You know those really expensive studio apartments with exposed brickwork in the center of major cities that you would struggle to afford, well this AGV Pista GP Project 46 V 2.0 helmet is a bit like one of those – modern, exposed, and expensive. It’s very beautiful and desirable too.
At the winter test that preceded Valentino Rossi’s second season with Ducati he revealed a totally new helmet – Rossi had been working with AGV on the sucessor to the AGV GP-Tech helmet (their previous flagship race helmet) and he unveiled what was to become the Pista GP helmet, known only then as the mysterious ‘Project 46’ helmet. It looked totally different from the GP-Tech, and it went on to become Rossi’s primary race helmet.
The first time Rossi wore it during testing the Pista GP was a raw looking helmet that didn’t really have any of the usual brightly coloured Rossi graphics, instead it was stripped back design that exposed the carbon-fiber shell and had all the engineering features and improvements written across the helmet like a blueprint design plan.
It is a striking and understated looking helmet.
AGV have made the helmet available for general sale, complete with all the original graphics that Rossi wore when he first took the Pista GP out on track.
Official Description of the AGV Project 46 Pista GP helmet:
The AGV Pista GP is a full carbon fibre helmet that has been specifically designed for racing. This end product has been the result of the AGV Extreme Standards Helmets project; this has made it one of the most innovative helmets seen on the market for many years. It was designed, developed and tested by AGV and Valentino Rossi himself with one single aim; to create a helmet that offers the ultimate protection for racing.
The ultimate track helmet is now even better, with an included hydration system, MotoGP-developed metal air vents and a wind-tunnel-tested “biplano” spoiler that has multiple wings to maximize aerodynamic performance and add stability at high speed. The 100% carbon fiber shell’s shape is designed to minimize interference with the racing suit, while the interior has an adaptable fit and places no stitching in sensitive areas.
- Shell in 100% Carbon Fiber engineered in 4 sizes with 5-densities EPS structure developed in 4 sizes. The structure offers an extremely compact and light helmet with unmatched safety performance.
- Shell shape is designed to maximize aerodynamic performance and to minimize the risk of impact energies being channeled to the collar bone. Rear shape is engineered to minimize interference with racing suit in racing position.
- IVS (Integrated Ventilation System) ventilation with 5 large front vents and 2 rear extractors hollowed in the shell which direct air to the rider’s head. The unique central upper air intake has been strategically placed in highest air pressure point to capture maximum air flow.
- New Moto GP developed metal air vents, combines unique strength and protection with an innovative external fins structure engineered to capture maximum airflow in the front of the shell and increase air pressure on the rear exhaust, therefore incrementing the speed of air transition inside the helmet, leading to an higher cooling performance. New internal chin channels distribute the air flow evenly thru the entire visor surface. Vents covers are included in the box.
- New wind tunnel tested Biplano spoiler features multiple wings to maximize aerodynamic performance, optimize CX, stabilizing the helmet during high speed riding in any conditions. Biplano spoiler is engineered to detach from the helmet in case of an accident, therefore maintaining helmet’s round shape for increased safety.
- MotoGP developed interiors engineered for maximum performance on the track with a patented structure that allows riders to optimize fit and select helmet height positioning over the head. Developed with top riders, the neck roll offers easy entry, maximum ventilation and adaptable fit. Different thickness crown pad and cheek pads inserts are included in the box, allowing the rider to adapt the helmet fit. Removable nose guard and wind protector.
- The inner of the helmet is designed to offer the highest riding comfort without any stitches in sensitive areas. All parts are easily removable and washable.
- Neck roll: 2way stretch breathable fabric to guarantee the maximum breathability in a lightweight structure, with high strenght Nabuk inserts for durable performance.
- Cheek pads: soft and gentle Shalimar fabric with Sanitized® (antibacterial protection), 2Dry (moisture wicking) and Microsense (premium skin comfort and wearing fluidity) treatments.
- Crown pad: Elastic Microfibre with the same treatments listed for check pads.
- New Patented cheek pads safety release system engineered to remove conveniently cheek pads in case of accident.
- MotoGP developed hydration system included in the helmet with internal channels engineered for smooth tube placement and drinking valve placed inside the chin of the helmet for a constant and smooth hydration during riding. The system is fully removable.
- New Class Optic 1 visor with 100% Max Vision Pinlock® (120) anti fog technology is designed for maximum vertical view on racing position (85°) and unmatched horizontal view (190°). Visor is anti-scratch and ready for track use tear-off. A tear-off kit is included in the box.
- Patented Visor Lock System (VLS) reduces the risk of accidental opening in the event of an accident: visor thickness is from 4 to 5 mm, increasing face and eyes protection in the case of an accident.
- Exclusive metal visor mechanism in metal with roto-translation movement achieves total sealing between visor and shell. Tools free rapid visor release system allows the visor to be removed and replaced in seconds. Mechanism is designed to minimize area, therefore supporting peripheral view and impact performance.
- Double D retention system
Video overview of the AGV Pista GP:
Image gallery of the AGV Pista GP Valentino Rossi Project 46 helmet:
Our Review of the AGV Pista GP helmet:
The AGV Pista GP is AGV’s flagship helmet in their race category and it replaces the GP-Tech that was their race class helmet for many years. The Pista GP helmet is a product of the racetrack and it doesn’t care about your daily commute, this is a helmet that really comes to life at high speed or on a race track. It is the first real commitment from AGV to create something new and revolutionary since they were acquired by Dainese. Don’t be fooled into thinking that this is an update on the very popular GP-Tech helmet, the Pista GP is a completely new helmet that has been built from the ground up, and the differences between the GP-Tech and the Pista GP can be seen at pretty much every level. Let’s look at a few of them and break it all down:
The shell is carbon fiber, and the Project 46 version has no glossy paintjob or design on it so you can appreciate how beautiful it looks by seeing straight through to the carbon fiber, all the seams and connections are practically invisible so the whole shell looks like a single moulded piece of carbon fiber. The shell is basically flawless and the lightweight nature of the carbon fiber construction makes it a real pleasure to hold and handle.
The helmet uses four shell sizes to cater for all head sizes, and the Pista GP was ergonomically created by using lazers to scan the heads of actual people, including Valentino Rossi, and they used the resulting 3D models to then drive the design of the Pista GP shell. Many helmets usually create the shell first and then try and make the inside work as they want it, but the Pista GP can at least back up the claim that it was built from the inside out. This is evident from the moment you put the Pista GP on, the shape falls into the neutral / oval headshape which means it is rounder at the rear and tapers inwards as it moves around towards the front of the helmet.
The helmet is very comfortable to wear and the shape of the Pista GP is completely different from the GP-Tech – the shape of the Pista GP has clearly been informed by feedback from the racetrack, for example, the chin of the Pista GP is low slung (when compared to the GP-Tech) and it is designed to give more protection to riders when they are riding head-down at speed in a tucked position. There is a rear spoiler that is positioned to give extra downforce and stability when riding at speed and in a ‘head down’ position. Our experience was very positive and the general stability of the Pista GP felt solid at any speed. The spoiler can removed and it is also designed to detach in the event of a crash to ensure it doesn’t get snagged on anything if you find yourself sliding along the ground.
So what does the AGV Pista GP weigh? The Pista GP is very light indeed and it comes out of the box at 1250g. Any non-essential mechanisms and flourishes are removed from the Pista GP in order to ensure it is as light as it can possibly be, and the carbon-fiber also contributes to the minimal weight of this helmet. The Pista GP is 1250g down from the 1560g of its predecessor the GP-Tech.
There doesn’t seem to be a compromise between lightness vs strength as AGV claim that the Pista GP absorbs 46% more energy in a crash than the AGV GP-Tech….and to be honest we didn’t fancy actually testing that, so we’ll just take their word on it.
The visor on the AGV Pista GP is another area where it is clear that AGV have thrown away any previous influences from their earlier models and have redesigned it from scratch. The first major change that you will notice is the field of view…..it is huge. AGV have clearly spent a lot of time improving the visor aperture and it gives an incredible extra 15 degrees of vision. AGV have achieved this by lifting the natural horizon line up by 15 degrees, so even when you are in a tuck position with your head down on the tank you still get a clear field of vision and you aren’t obscured by the top of the visor aperture. This is clearly another feature that has come straight from the work that AGV’s R&D teams have done with riders like Valentino Rossi. When Rossi first started using the AGV Pista GP he famously said:
“Great aerodynamics, it feels like I am not wearing a helmet. Excellent ventilation, it is really noticeable. Exaggerated visibility, like switching from the TV to the cinema.”
The Pista GP helmet also features a much thicker visor than any previous AGV helmet models have in the past. The visor is 3.3 millimeters thick and gives an extra 9% of peripheral vision. Shark helmets were arguably the pioneer of using thicker polycarbonate visors to give greater safety and durability, so it is encouraging to see AGV investing in this area also.
The visor also has a new locking and release mechanism. The visor is locked by using a really simple single button that is positioned at the front and bottom of the visor and it can easily be operated with either hand (even in thick gloves) with no messing about with sliders or switches. It utilises a two-position locking mechanism that allows the visor to be opened a crack, or fully opened with another simple press of the button. Closing it is equally as easy, just snap it shut and it locks firmly into place. When closed we noticed that the visor feels very secure with no obvious gaps around the edges of the visor and the aperture. Removing the visor is also simple and it can be removed in a second by using a slider on either side of the visor and then easily slipping it out of position.
Again, it seems like AGV have gone for a complete overhaul with their approach to the interior and padding of the Pista GP. The EPS has been created with variable density – this basically means that it isn’t a uniform thickness all over and it has been created to be thicker where you most need it, and slightly thinner in places where you want to avoid unnecessary or needless pressure (for example, around the ears it is less dense in order to optimise for comfort, but the cheek area and the top of the EPS is more dense to give more protection). In our opinion it works, and even on long rides it felt comfortable at all times and didn’t distract us.
The EPS also have large and strategically placed cutaway sections that are design to improve airflow around the helmet.
The helmet also features a comfortable neoprene neckroll – we didn’t get to ride in very wet weather, but from what we experienced it seemed to seal any gaps and would effectively prevent the cold and wet from seeping in.
Nothing is perfect right, and the ventilation is probably the only area of the Pista GP where we found room for complaint. In order to reduce weight, the vents on the Pista GP are operated by rubber bungs, so you don’t have the usual sliders or wheel mechanisms that you get on other helmets to control ventilation. This has been done to increase the surface area of the vents and to allow greater airflow, while also reducing the overall weight of the helmet by removing extra mechanisms and the required housing for them – in fact AGV claim the vents on the Pista GP improves air intake by 200% when compared with the GP-Tech. Don’t get me wrong, the ventilation is great, but deciding to open a vent while riding can only really be done safely by pulling over and taking the bung out. Will you lose the bungs? Yeah, if you are anything like us then you will almost certainly lose them and end up paying for replacements. It remains to be seen how practical this approach is for the everyday rider, but I guess you need to keep in mind that this is a helmet that has been designed for the track and not for your local shopping trips, so there is reason behind the decision, but it is annoying all the same and doesn’t feel especially ‘premium’.
Despite the minor niggles this is an incredible helmet and an amazing piece of helmet engineering. The Pista GP is unapologetically a race helmet through and through and it really comes to life when it is used at speed. It is light, comfortable, stable, strong, has excellent vision, and feels like it is hardly there and doesn’t get in the way of your riding. Oh yeah, and it looks amazing with sharp aggressive lines that cut through the air. The price tag is hefty, but if you are taking this helmet on to the track then it is easy to see where your money is going, but for riders that are looking for something more flexible and forgiving for everyday commuting then you may want to consider saving some money and going for the AGV Corsa option instead.
Price & where to buy it:
The AGV Pista GP is the top helmet in the AGV range and it doesn’t come cheap. Pista GPs usually retail from aroound the £1000 / $1500 price point, but as this Rossi Project 46 design has been out for a while now you should be able to find this with significant discounts. Check the links below for some trusted sellers that we know have some of the better discounts.
|Get it from Motorcycle-Superstore.com who are US based, will price match and ship globally. Recommended.|
|Get it from Revzilla.com, US based and ship globally. Great reputation.|
|Get it from SportsbikeShop.co.uk, your best option in the UK, also ship globally.|
|Get it from FC-Moto.com who are based in Europe but have US and UK sites and ship everywhere. Recommended.|
|Get it from MotoIn.de, based in Germany but have UK and US sites and ship globally. They usually carry deep discounts on this helmet model.|
|Get it from Amazon, who have stock from various sellers, includig AGV.|
|You can also get stock from a variety of sellers on|