AGV Helmets World Famous Historic Italian Brand AGV 76 Years of Victory

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AGV Helmets World Famous Historic Italian Brand, AGV is as Italian as bocce ball and torta di mele; it is to motorcycle road racing as cheese is to tortellini – and its premium helmets could, and still can be found on the heads of such racing greats as Giacomo Agostini, Barry Sheene, and now Valentino Rossi. Not that you need to be a professional racer, now that the company produces helmets for touring, offroad, and urban riding as well.

Amisano Gino Valenza - AGV helmet founder

AGV was founded in 1947 by Gino Amisano (1920–2009), in the village of Valenza in Italy’s Piedmont region, hence Amisano Gino Valenza. Trained as an accountant and worked as a partner in a company making leather saddle covers and helmets for cyclists, Amisano’s timing was perfect, as Lambretta and Vespa introduced their first scooters in the post-WW2 period. AGV began cranking out leather saddles for those revolutionary and fashionable Italian personnel carriers – along with an equally innovative leather helmet. Let the games begin.


In 1954, after experimenting with a range of alternative shell materials, AGV created the first fiberglass helmet. Two years later, the classic “pudding bowl” design was replaced with the much more protective enveloping design of the “Jet” helmet. Still open-faced, it at least covered the sides of the head and wrapped around the base of the skull, in the style AGV still produces today as the X70.


Racing and AGV are intricately linked, and it was one of the first helmet manufacturers to actively involve top riders in the testing and development of its designs, starting with MV Agusta star Carlo Bandirola, an early adopter of the first fiberglass design. The great Renzo Pasolini didn’t abandon his beloved AGV Jet for a full-face AGV model until the `70s. 

AGV helmet show in Italy

AGV helmet show in Italy

AGV was also a pioneer of trackside advertising; in 1958 it displayed its banner outside a prominent corner. Today the company’s red, white and green logo represents the rear view of an AGV: Amisano liked to joke it was the only view its competitors would ever get of Agostini

Amisano Gino Valenza - AGV helmet founder

In 1972, Amisano began a program of rider sponsorship that continues today. Marco Lucchinelli, Franco Uncini, Kenny Roberts, Barry Sheene, Randy Mamola, Johnny Cecotto, Steve Baker, and Angel Nieto all benefited from AGV’s largesse, in addition to Ago and Vale. Rossi was even made an Honorary President of the company in 2008 in appreciation for his contributions toward AGV helmet evolution. 

Amisano Gino Valenza on magazine 2012

It’s all about safety, and racing. AGV was a big sponsor of Dr. Claudio Costa’s lifesaving Clinica Mobile, which began providing trackside medical assistance to riders in 1977.

In 1969, Alberto Pagani wore the first full-face helmet to appear at an Italian Grand Prix, at Imola. It wasn’t quite an AGV innovation, but the company claimed its new full-face improved the comfort, aerodynamics, and field of vision of the revolutionary Bell Star from the US, quite a low bar frankly. The significantly enhanced safety of the full-face helmet meant it was rapidly adopted not just by all the top motorcycle riders, but in Formula 1 as well. Within a few years, Emerson Fittipaldi, Niki Lauda, and Nelson Piquet were all racing in AGVs.

AGV full-face helmet

In July 2007, AGV was acquired by fellow Italian motorcycling innovator Dainese, a maker of fine leathers, boots, and gloves, a great symbiotic relationship that combined the abilities of the two companies to cover the rider from head to toe. That same year, AGV announced a new integrated technical design and construction approach called AGV Extreme Standards, which means these helmets not only meet DOT and ECE standards but also make them capable of protecting athletes in a performance race setting, where speeds are much higher. The Pista GP was the first Extreme Standards helmet, launched in 2012. All current AGV helmets are now designed to the Extreme Standards, ah, standard.

AGV K6 full-face agv helmets

In 2015, Investcorp, a leading global provider of “alternative investment products,” acquired an 80% stake in Dainese/AGV, providing a substantial investment to keep things humming along into the future. We hope. 

The following is a sample of our favorite AGV lids.

AGV Helmets FAQ

What Does AGV Stand for?

For those who weren’t paying attention during that long drawn-out intro, the company founder was named Gino Amisano (1920–2009), who began AGV in the town of Valenza in Italy’s Piedmont region. Hence Amisano Gino Valenza – AGV.

Are AGV Helmets Good?

For a long time there many of the company’s helmets weren’t the most comfortable, possibly the result of shells that weren’t the best fit for lots of American heads. Following the acquisition by Dainese in 2007, though, they really seem to have stepped up the game in every way, including fit, comfort, and overall quality. With the adoption of Extreme Standards technology, beginning with the 2012 Pista GP – a standard which it now follows in all its helmets – AGVs are also some of the most protective helmets you can buy, exceeding DOT and ECE standards.

How Much Is an AGV Helmet?

How much have you got? You can spend $1699.95 for the most expensive limited edition Pista GP-RR. Or as little as $209.95 for a Matt Black K1. They are definitely in the premium helmet category, but AGV is so prolific with its designs it seems like there are always great closeout deals to be had, too.


Information for this article was partially sourced and researched from the following authoritative Government, educational, corporate, and nonprofit organizations:

AGV Extreme Standards


Picture of About the Author:

About the Author:

Michael Parrotte started his career in the motorcycle industry by importing AGV Helmets into the North American market. He was then appointed the Vice President of AGV Helmets America. In total, he worked with AGV Helmets for 25 years. He has also served as a consultant for KBC Helmets, Vemar Helmets, Suomy Helmets, Marushin Helmets, KYT Helmets, and Sparx Helmets.

In 1985, he founded AGV Sports Group, Inc. with AGV Helmets in Valenza, Italy. For over 38 years now, the company has quietly delivered some of the best protective gear for motorcyclists in the world.

Click Here for Michael’s LinkedIn Profile

Click Here for the Complete AGV Helmet & AGVSPORT History

Click Here for All AGV Sports Group Social Media Information

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