Review of the AGV AX8 series of motorcycle helmets

Review of the AGV AX8 series of motorcycle helmets

AGV-AX8-crash-helmets-featured

AGV AX-8 series crash helmets (including Evo, Naked and Dual Evo)

The AGV AX8 series of helmets are all based on the same basic helmet shell but they’ve been reconfigured to change the base-level motorcross helmet into a dual-sports or adventure helmet by adding a combination of visor and sun peak. So we’ll cover the helmet components that are common across the range as well as assess the elements that make for these different models in the review below.

But for starters, here’s some main points covering the AX8 helmet range and a description of their differences at-a-glance.

  • Not SHARP or Snell safety tested
  • Composite shell (except pure carbon version)
  • Sizes XXS-XXXL
  • 3 Shell sizes
  • Large visor aperture
  • Double-d ring fastener
  • 1.3Kg size M (very light)
  • Expect to pay £249-£359 (depending on model)

The AGV AX-8 range – unravelled!

AGV AX8 – the basic motocross offroad helmet.

AGV-AX-8-dual-carbon-matt-crash-helmet-side-view

AX8 Dual Evo features both clear main visor and adjustable peak

AGV AX8 Evo – a slightly evolved version of the AX8 with different internal padding and slightly changed chin guard shape (designed to reduce interference with a neck protector and decrease the risk of impact traumas).

AGV AX8 Dual Evo (and Dual Carbon) – adventure helmet suitable for on or off road and touring. Note Dual Carbon is actually the same composite of carbon, aramid and fibreglass found across the range). The Dual Evo also has an extra top centre vent.

AGV AX8 Evo Naked (and Naked Carbon) – same as Dual Evo but without a sun peak, designed to work best on naked motorcycles. Again, Naked Carbon version exposes the carbon fibre weave but is actually still a composite shell.

Safety

All the AX-8 range share the same shell construction, namely a composite of fibreglass, aramid and carbon fibre – what AGV call CAAF.

All the range are both ECE approved for sale/use in Europe and DOT certified for US sale, but none have been independently tested by either SHARP or Snell, so it’s difficult to say how well they’ll perform in an accident in comparison to other helmets.

AGV-AX-8-Evo-Arma-crash-helmet-side-view

AX-8 Evo crosser helmet in Arma graphics

The shell of the AX8 is manufactured in 3 different sizes which is good in terms of fitting and, arguably, safety (read more here).

However, what we can say is that AGV have a great reputation for building safe crash helmets. They’re (at the time of writing) our 2nd safest crash helmet brand and of all their composite helmets tested by SHARP to date, all have scored either 4 or 5 stars for safety out of a maximum of 5, with the average score being 4.5.

It’s never entirely safe to second guess how well any helmet performs by looking at past performance, so we’ve erred on the side of caution and scored the AX-8 an average 3 star rating for safety. However, we’d expect all AX8s to perform well so if and when SHARP do test the AGV AX8, we’ll update this review as soon as the results are available.

Obviously, it’s not just the crash helmet shell that contributes to safety, but the overall design of the helmet does too – hopefully helping prevent an accident in the first place.

So other features which are great to see and should contribute to keeping you safe include: it has a wide aperture to give great all round vision; the visor’s coated in AGVs own anti-fog coating (with mixed reviews though); and there’s a double-d ring fastener which, as long as you tighten them up correctly, are about as safe as fasteners come.

Looking to buy an AGV?

We recommend either Sportsbikeshop (UK) for outstanding service and good prices, or FC-Moto (Ger) for decent prices and a great range. Please click either link to see their full range and latest prices. Read about why you should buy from our recommended retailers.
AGV-AX-8-naked-mono-matt-black-motorcycle-helmet

The AX-8 Naked (no peak, with visor) in matt black

Helmet Noise

Helmet noise is massively subjective – one person’s noisy helmet is another’s whisper quiet helmet. Riding position, motorcycle type and previous helmet experience all contribute to your view of how quiet you’ll rate your new helmet.

Overall though, folks reckon it’s about average. If you’re riding with one of the dirt/motocross versions without a visor or chin curtain, you’ll broadly find it noisier than the dual sports or naked versions. But then, if you are wearing an AX-8 Evo, you’ll probably be motoring off road so either won’t notice it or might even want to hear sounds from outside the helmet, keeping a close ear on engine revs for instance.

The chin curtain does help knock a few dbs off the noise – although consensus seems to be that the curtain’s pretty poorly made and either falls off or disintegrates (one of the main complaints of the AX8). Both closing the vents and fitting the visor does help reduce noise though. But don’t expect the AGV AX-8 to be the quietest helmet you’ve ever owned, cos it probably ain’t gonna be.

One other thing to note if you’re thinking of using one of the visored versions to take on the road (the Naked or the Dual Evo). There’s quite a few folks reckon there’s an irritating whistling noise, especially at higher speeds and especially noticeable when doing shoulder checks/life savers. Not everyone complains of it so you might be lucky, but worth being aware of.

AGV-AX-8-evo-naked-multi-karakum-camo-motorcycle-helmet-side-view

The AX8 Naked in Karakum design

Either way, bung in some decent ear plugs and you should be fine – unless you’re the kind of person a niggly whistle might get to in which case you might want to look elsewhere.

Sizing

The AGV AX-8 range is available in sizes XXS-XXXL, so a wider range of sizes than most helmets we see.

In terms of look and safety, it’s best to have a helmet shell size that more closely matches your fitment size, so it’s good that the AX8 comes in 3 shell sizes, with the smaller shell fitting sizes XXS-S, middle shell fitting sizes M-L and the larger shell covering sizes XXL-XXXL.

A few buyers have noted that the fitting sizes for the AX8 can be a bit on the small side, so if you either measure your head and find your between sizes (or just know you’re usually on the cusp) then we advise you to a)order the smaller size and b)make sure you buy your lid from a retailer with a generous no quibble returns policy and ideally free returns, just in case.

AGV-AX-8-Evo-Arma-Energy-helmet-rear-view

Rear view of the AX8 Evo Arma

Ventilation

Nothing massively remarkable to mention in the ventilation department.

On most models, there’s a single chin vent with open/close slider and two forehead vents (ditto) in all versions of the AX8. The chin vent’s are easy to operate in gloves, the forehead vents less so. The Dual Evo version has an extra vent top-middle with a slightly fiddly open/close slider to the rear of the vent.

Air that’s pushed into the forehead area is channeled around the skull through channels in the EPS shock absorbing liner and exits the shell via 4 rear exhaust vents. So far so normal.

One interesting feature though, is that the whole chin vent gubbins on the Dual Evo and Naked models can be popped out and replaced by the motocross version which loses the plastic slider and replaces it with a metal mesh. Looks meaner (if mean’s what you’re after!) and much more practical for off-roading. Note, the dirt/motox version comes with the metal grill as standard while the visor versions (dual & naked) come with the plastic road version.

Overall, if you’re riding the off-road version of the AX8, you’ll probably have no issue with lack of ventilation (nss!) but owners reckon the visor versions are about average for ventilation.

AGV-AX-8-evo-mono-white-crash-helmet-side-view

Most models are available in solid versions, including this AX8 Dual Evo in white.

Visor & peak

According to users, the visor aperture on the AGV AX8 is nice and big, with lots of owners saying it’s the biggest they’ve worn.

Having said that, some serious dirt riders reckon it’s smaller than some other crosser helmets they’ve used, saying goggles that fit other helmets are a struggle in the AX8. So if you’ve some favourite goggles you like to use, it’ll be worth either trying before you buy – or same advice as in the sizing section above – find a retailer with a great returns policy (see our recommended retailers).

If you buy a version with a visor, note that it’s not a quick-change visor and you’ll need a flat head screwdriver to remove it. Otherwise it’s a large visor with an opening tab bottom left and a nice positive ratchet. It also comes with AGVs own anti-fog coating, although a few owners reckoned it’s not up to much and can wear off quickly.

But there’s also a couple of more serious problems reported.

AGV-AX-8-Evo-Multi-whip-dirt-bike-helmet-side-view

AGV AX8 Evo Whip. It’s a long helmet, front to back!

First off – either the visor doesn’t open as far visors found on most motorcycle helmets or the shape of the bottom edge of the visor means the bottom of the visor can interfere with rider vision. It’s not a problem reported by the majority of riders but if you’re riding a more lean-forward bike like a sportsbike, it’s possibly more likely to be a problem for you.

Secondly – and this is reported by quite a few owners – it seems the visor gasket that seals the visor against the helmet and stops rain getting in, can scratch the visor when you open it. If it does occur, the scratches seem to appear towards the top of the visor and in the peripheral vision. It sounds like this might be caused by the rubber gasket being a bit too hard – or possibly because of the quality of the visor (we’ve seen quality problems with Chinese-made AGV visors before). Either way, it’s another niggle some owners mentioned in their reviews of the helmet.

Onto the peak. All versions, except the Naked, come with a peak. It’s adjustable and removable (and comes with spare screws and blanking plates in the box).

AGV-AX-8-dual-evo-multi-grunge-crash-helmet-side-view

Grunge design on the Dual Evo.

Overall, owners think it’s well designed. It can catch the wind a little especially at speed and one or two owners reported it vibrating slightly, but generally it seems to work well.

Comfort

The AX-8 has a fully removable and washable internal lining and is made from what AGV call a Dri-Lex fabric that’s antibacterial and wicking.

Owners mostly say it’s very comfortable (though obviously that’s only going to be the case if you get a helmet that fits right in the first place) and the lining feels high quality. AGV say the dual sports version of the helmet is suitable for high mileage types and owners broadly seem to agree that it’s comfortable for using for long days in the saddle.

There are some who find it a little tight around the ears and, unusually, there isn’t a cut out to accommodate speakers like there is with most helmets. And this may accounts for some owner being aware of the lining touching their ears.

AX-8 Evo Naked carbon motorcycle helmet

Proper streetfighter style helmet in carbon – the AX-8 Naked Carbon

The AGV AX-8 comes with a breath guard and removable chin curtain (though many users reckon the chin curtain is poor quality and drops off in no time).

Looks & Graphics

Given the range of AX8 helmet models, there’s a massive range of designs and colour schemes around. Most are available in the usual solid colours, but if you want to see the latest designs, we recommend you click through our links to our recommended retailers further down the page where you’ll be dropped onto their AGV helmet pages and see the latest available designs and helmet prices too.

AGV AX-8 Videos

Here’s a couple of videos showing you around the AX-8. First, AGVs video showing the AX-8 carbon crosser helmet. Second, a look at the AX8 Dual Evo.

Other stuff – audio, weight

AX-8 Evo Klassik dirt motorcycle helmet

Klassic design of the AX8 Evo. This is the stripped down dirtbike helmet without visor.

We’ve touched on the audio before, but it’s worth mentioning that the AX8 isn’t really designed with communication systems in mind. Some owners have managed to fit them – including a Scala Rider Q2 – and found enough space behind the padding to fit the speakers. But if you need a helmet that’ll work with your bluetooth, either check out our communications-ready crash helmets pages or, if you really want an AX-8, it’s probably worth seeing the helmet in person before you buy.

The only thing we’ve not really mentioned is that the AGV AX8 is a very light helmet, with the medium version weighing in around 1.3Kg (2.87Lbs) which is really light. In fact, lightness is the one feature most mentioned by owners.

Crash Helmet Buying Guides

For (hopefully!) other useful information to help you when buying your next helmet, check our various guides - or have a look at our top helmet lists where we've got the top 10 rated helmets overall and best budget/safest/full face/flip-up helmets.

Best places to buy an AGV crash helmet?

We've chosen two of the best places to buy from - whether it's an AGV or any other helmet/gear.

If you want piece of mind when you buy, Sportsbikeshop is based in the UK and offers outstanding service (9.8/10 on Trustpilot) including 365 day refunds. They may not be the cheapest but are our recommended retailer for quality of service.

FC-Moto widely offers some of the best prices in Europe, has a great range, scores a decent (8.7/10 on Trustpilot) - and are based in Germany. If you want a good choice and decent prices, we recommend you buy from here.

Please click either picture below to visit the AGV pages at either shop where you can see all the latest colour schemes and prices. And if you buy from either, we get a small sum from the sale at no extra cost to you - a massive THANKS (it's how we finance the site)! Read about why you should buy from our recommended retailers.

Click to visit Sportsbikeshop

Click to visit Sportsbikeshop

Click for FC Moto

Click for FC Moto - then use their site search to find the helmet


Alternatives to the AGV AX8?

We suggest you check out our pages covering all our MotoX helmets here or our adventure bike helmet reviews here.

Definitely want an AGV?

Here you'll find all our AGV crash helmet reviews and previews including full face, flip-up and open face helmets.

Overall/Summary

There’s no denying the AGV AX8 is a great looking helmet. If it was on looks alone, we’d have to give it a five star rating.

And it was a great idea by AGV too – produce an off road helmet that really works, then add a visor to make a really durable adventure bike helmet that’s good for both on and off road. What could possibly go wrong?

Well, the basic off road version of the helmet is widely liked and performs well. Like all of the family, we can’t know quite how well they’ll perform in an accident because they haven’t been SHARP tested yet; though we’d expect them to do well.

But it seems that when AGV added the visor to make the Naked and Dual Evo versions that a few niggles crept into the picture. Which is not to say they’re not great helmets; most owners still seem to love their AX8s. But it’s the reported problems with the visor that seems to let it down.

We’d certainly say the AX-8 in all it’s forms is worth a look. But if you’re thinking about buying one (and with that fantastic mean and moody look who can blame you) go into it with your eyes open because it’s possible that one of the problems owners report may stop this great looking helmet becoming your perfect riding partner. If not, we’re sure you’ll be very happy together.

Star Ratings

1 COMMENT

  1. Having purchased an AGV AX-8 Dual Evo recently, I narrowly avoided what could have been a serious accident caused by the helmet.

    I was filtering between 2 large vehicles when what I can only describe as a flow of water came rushing down the inside of the visor, due to the visor design (slightly angular) this refracted the light sort of similar to looking through a glass filled with water, leaving me unable to see.

    Needless to say this is not a good situation to find yourself in whilst travelling at motorway speeds on a motorbike. I had no other choice but to flip the visor open with one hand whilst between 2 large vehicles and was then immediately blinded by the spray being kicked up by these vehicles. I had to apply my brakes whilst trying to shelter my eyes, abandon the maneuver and attempt to pull over to the side of the road and try to work out the problem.

    I couldn’t find an immediate fault so carried on, albeit very slowly, with my journey avoiding spray where possible. On further investigation (running the visor under a tap on drip) it turns out that the seal was not stopping water from entering the inside of the visor.

    I contacted AGV and was sent a new visor saying that this would fix it, it did not. I then contacted them back and asked to escalate this issue and the branch manger for the UK basically told me that AGV tried to fix it and did not care about the near accident I had.

    Horrible position for a company to take to a paying customer.

    Will never buy AGV again based on this. I am going to take other avenues to reclaim my money as this item is completely unsafe and has left me without a helmet, meaning I will have to purchase another one.

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