After years of designing innovative helmets for Moto GP road racing, the Italian company, AGV, decided to dip into the dirt side of head protection. AGV is not well known in American off-road, but they seem determined to gain traction in the States by engineering helmets like the MT-X Karma. This is a lid you won’t soon forget, with its modern look and wild graphics. We took time to inspect the MT-X line before we threw one on and were impressed with the technology packed into it. The first thing that comes to mind when purchasing a new helmet for California riding is, how cool will our brain be in the heat? Fortunately, AGV did not skimp on the ventilation. It has four channels hollowed into the expanded polystyrene liner and five integrated vents that provide a cooling heat exchange for those intense summer days, yet it stays warm in winter climates so you won’t be left with a frosty head while riding.
GRAPHICS, VENTED, COMFORTABLE
Finding the right lid for your riding preferences can be a large feat in itself. There are numerous manufacturers fighting to produce the most appealing graphics and shells. The problem is, not all of them focus on what is really important, which is the best protection and comfort possible. With this in mind, AGV did everything but disappoint us in that battle. The comfort-liner cushioning of the MT-X Karma may look like many others, but it is one of the more satisfying linings we have sunk our cranium into. The padding design allows you to feel a snug fit all around your face—from above your ears down to your cheeks. The head mold utilized to create this model left us ample room in the shell to be relieved of pressure points and hot spots. AGV’s inner comfort liner kept the sweat out of our eyes, and it is fully removable and washable. Sizing on this helmet can run a bit big compared to what the sticker says, so make sure to give a couple different sizes a try. Most of us know that a helmet that strains your neck while you’re ripping down the straights is not the definition of comfort. Fortunately, this lid is fairly light, weighing in around 3.4 pounds. It has a fully adjustable visor with wide airflow slots, so it won’t act like a sail in a strong wind. The Italians take into consideration how much buffeting noise their shells create, and the Karma’s design left out the annoying windy whistles. This is truly a light, quiet and comfortable helmet formed around the most important factor—protection.
While all of these attributes make the MT-X Karma an awesome helmet, the most important factor for us is its protection. DOT approval is the staple of the industry, but each AGV helmet goes through more intense safety testing for their in-house standards and the ECE certification. Add its lightweight shell and we felt confident that the MT-X would hold up well in a tumble. The Karma’s eyeport has a wide structure, fitting every goggle we tried, and this helmet is compatible with neck braces. We wore it with a Leatt and didn’t run into any mobility issues.
It’s hard to say no to a helmet that would only set you back $180, but if you’re still not set on this Italian-made hard hat, find a dealer that carries one and try it on for yourself. We love this helmet, and we think you will too. For more information, call (949) 645-9500 or go to www.agv.com.
WARNING: Much of the action depicted in this magazine is potentially dangerous. Virtually all of the riders seen in our photos are experienced experts or professionals. Do not attempt to duplicate any stunts that are beyond your own capabilities. Always wear the appropriate safety gear. Copyright 2008 Hi-Torque Publications, Inc. All rights reserved. Console Login