Off road, on road and anywhere in between: AGV’s AX-9 adventure helmet.

AGV AX-9 adventure helmet review.

AGV’s been making AX off-road helmets for over a decade now. The old AX8 was a great – if slightly flawed – helmet (you can read the AX8 review here).

But one of the cool things about AX helmets is their ability to morph from road helmets into full on dirt helmets and back again with just a tiny bit of fiddling to remove the peak, shield and shove on some goggles. And the new AX9 is no different.

It really doesn’t take long to convert, so you can ride to your favorite dirt track, then switch to adventure mode and get wet and dirty in no time.

Only, the last model was a smidge of a compromise. The shield system was slightly below-par (it could scratch through a design flaw and the bottom could get in your line of sight) and there wasn’t anywhere to fit your comms unit – all of which was enough to put quite a few buyers off.

So now there’s the new AGV AX-9 with the promise of improvements in all those areas and more. Let’s take a look…

  • Full face and adventure helmet
  • Composite fiber and carbon versions
  • 3 Shell sizes
  • Double D-ring fastener
  • Wide Pinlock-ready shield
  • Removable/adjustable peak
  • Composite version – 3.4lbs (1.55Kg)
  • Full carbon version – 3.2lbs (1.45Kg)
  • Sizes XS-XXL
  • Expect to pay around:
    • $500-550 composite version
    • $650 full carbon version

Best place to buy this AGV crash helmet?

We recommend Revzilla (PA) for outstanding service and free shipping or you can click through to the AGV helmets pages at Amazon if you prefer to buy from there. Please click any link to drop onto their AGV helmets pages or see here for more info about our recommended stores, including T&Cs.

Safety

(more about helmet safety)

AGV’s no stranger to throwing every safety trick in the book at their helmets.

AGV AX9 antarctica motocross helmet front
AGV AX-9 Antarctica front on

So you’ll probably not be surprised to discover that the ‘standard’ composite version of the AX9 is constructed from some pretty fancy materials.

Namely, a composite of carbon, aramid (i.e. Kevlar) and fiberglass, that’s moulded into three different shell sizes to ensure all fitment sizes are optimally formed.

These three shell sizes correspond to fitment sizes XS-MS, ML-XL and 2XL (note there’s a smaller and a larger medium fitment available) and should mean you get the right helmet form/size/weight and shock absorbing padding to suit your body size. So all good there (read more about shell sizes here if you don’t know what I’m banging on about).

Something else that’s all good is AGV’s reputation for building high quality, safe helmets. At the time of writing, they’re our 3rd safest helmet brand (based on their UK SHARP test scores; AGV doesn’t get their lids Snell tested) and their last 8 tested helmets have scored a staggering 4 or 5 (maximum) stars out of 5!

Obviously, we can’t second guess what the AGV AX-9’s going to score if SHARP were to test it. But AGV has a track record of producing some excellent and safe lids, so we’d expect it to score highly.

AGV AX9 pacific road fluo grey yellow crash helmet rear
From the rear – AX9 Pacific Road in grey/fluo yellow

Of course, all helmets on sale in the US have to be DOT certified and that should give you some confidence in the protection offered by the AX9 too as it’s a pretty stringent standard for any helmet to pass.

The AX-9 also has a quad density polystyrene shock absorbing inner. Multi-density liners cushion shocks of different speeds and are what all the big brand helmets offer. So again, that’s a good thing to see inside the AX9.

OK, so AGV looks to have got the basic safety spec spot on – as far as we can tell without headbutting things in anger!

And other safety features looks useful too.

They claim a super wide shield to help give great peripheral vision – and say it’s taller than most to to help with forward vision if you’re tucked in a bit.

It’s also a Pinlock ready shield though a Pinlock anti-fog insert isn’t included in the box in the US (though it is if you’re buying in Europe – I guess it’s just foggier over there!). All meaning you’ve no need to ride round with a foggy shield if you buy an AX-9. If it fogs up – buy a Pinlock for around $30.

AGV AX9 solid white crash helmet side view
Solid gloss white AX-9

It uses a double-d ring fastener to keep it securely fastened to your head. They’re great – just make sure you tighten it up enough each time you go for a ride. If it’s not tight, helmets can come off under impact so tighten it up well.

All in all, things on the safety front look pretty sorted for the AX9. We’ll not know for sure until some testing labs get their hands on them. But looking at the evidence so far, we expect the AGV AX-9 to give you excellent protection.

Ventilation

(more about helmet ventilation)

There’s a single central chin vent plus a couple of forehead vents in the AX-9.

It sounds like a fairly conventional layout. But given ventilation on the old AX-8 was decent and AGV has stated they’ve improved it a ton on the new AX9, we’re hoping it’s all going to be even better..

Looking at the chin vent alone, we can see that it’s mega configurable, allowing you to adjust it several ways to maximize ventilation if there’s not enough.

Out of the box, there’s a slider to open/close the chin vent. That’s all standard fayre. But behind that front panel is a removable/washable filter which will come in handy if you do lots of off-roading.

To access the filter, you can push in the bottom snapper and that front panel comes off so you can get to it for cleaning – or you can remove it completely if you want to get more air through.

And if you want to get eve more air, you can also leave the whole filter assembly off entirely.

If you decide to ride like that, there’s an internal closing mechanism that you can access behind the chin bar so you can still block it off if things get too breezy (or rainy). Nice touch.

AGV’s routed the chin ventilation so it diverts up behind the shield to help with demisting as well as routing onto the face to help with cooling.

AGV AX9 solid gloss black crash helmet rear
Rear view of the solid gloss black AX9

Onto the top vents… they’re closable via a couple of sliders and they route air through the helmet shell and into the helmet as you’d expect.

There weren’t any problems with the head vents on the old helmet and there’s no reason to expect the AX9 won’t be at least as good as the AX8 (and hopefully be a load better).

We’ve heard figures of up to 3x better airflow than the old helmet on the grapevine so it seems AGV has made a real effort to make the AX9 a mega airy helmet.

And of course, if you ever find things get too hot despite these loads of venting options, you can always pull off the shield and shove on some goggles. That should cool things down even more!

As always, if having a helmet that vents really well is important to you – you might want to check out our Best Venting Helmets pages.

Shield

(more about shields)

I’ll not bang on about some of the problems with the old AX8 because most of you won’t have experience of the old helmet (and you can read about it in our old AGV AX8 review if you’re interested).

Suffice to say it looks like AGV’s moved things on a notch with the AX9.

AGV AX9 pacific road yellow crash helmet front
Front view of the AX-9 Pacific Road showing that massive shield aperture

The shield is Pinlock ready but, as mentioned, there isn’t a Pinlock anti-fog insert included for the price which is a real shame for a helmet at this price point.

It’s not a quick change shield either, I guess because most quick release systems need you to fully open the shield first before pulling it off; and if you do that on the AX9 there’s a massive sun peak in the way, so it just won’t work.

But it is a wide and tall shield for good all round vision. AGV claims 190º horizontal and 110° vertical which sounds decent to me.

Usefully, it’s also got two opening tabs left/right too which just makes things that bit easier – left hand opening when you’re on the move, right hand opening when you’re stopped and pulling in the clutch for example.

Obviously, the AX9 can be configured several different ways so you can do some serious dirt riding in it should the mood take you.

AGV expects most riders to use their AX9s predominantly on the road, but if you do decide to whip off the shield and stick some goggles in, just don’t expect it to take as many types of goggles as a true motocross lid because that shield hole’s a bit too small for some of the larger goggles out there.

AGV AX9 full carbon motorcycle helmet side view
Full Carbon fiber AX9 showing new larger sun peak

Otherwise, the shield system on the AX9 looks like it’s been well thought out. Let’s hope it doesn’t have any of the teething problems owners had with the old AX8 shields.

Sun Peak

(more about sun shields)

Likewise, there’s a few changes to the AX9’s sun peak to improve things there.

It’s a bit bigger than the old helmet peak to give better shading, plus it’s been slightly redesigned because the old one was prone to a bit of vibrating and catching the wind on the move.

AGV reckons the new peak has better aerodynamic performance and it’s a bit more polished to hide bolts and screws. It’s also adjustable so you can tailor the angle to maximize protection for your preferred riding position.

Comfort and Sizing

(more about comfort and sizing)

AGV’s never really had any problems with making a comfortable helmet and with some of the quality materials they’ve thrown into the AX9, this should be all day comfortable too.

It’s been designed to cater for the most common head shape – which means it’s a medium oval internal shape.

Inside, you’ll find a removable/washable comfort lining using materials with fancy names like Ritmo, Nabuk and Shalimar.

You’ll find more info on these fabrics here – but in essence they’re hyper comfy materials that’ll suck sweat away from your head, kill germs and keep you cool and comfortable.

You’ll also find a glasses groove in the cheek pads to stop the stems of glasses or shades digging in.

AGV AX9 antarctica motocross helmet side
Profile view of the AX-9 Antarctica

And AGV’s moved this new AX into the 21st century by including generous speaker pockets too. Unlike the old AX8 which had no space inside, you now can slap a bluetooth kit onto the AX9, drop your headphones into the speaker pockets and ride in connected-comfort without speaker-induced ear ache.

Finally, you shouldn’t have a problem with weight on the AX-9 either. The composite fiber version weighs around 3.4lbs (1.55Kg) and the full carbon a reasonably light weight 3.2lbs (1.45Kg).

Looks & Graphics

AGV must think that adventure bike riders are a conservative bunch because, while the AX9 is a massively versatile helmet, the form of the helmet is pretty traditional and all the graphics are fairly muted.

At the time of writing, we’ve put examples of all the available designs on this page – but to see any newly released designs and good deals, please click through to our recommended retailers below (all recommended for amazing service and online ratings).

Best place to buy this AGV crash helmet?

Revzilla are based in Philadelphia and offer outstanding service (at the time of writing 9.8/10 at Reseller Ratings) as well as 30 day refunds and free shipping on orders over $39.99 to 48 states.

You can jump through to the AGV helmets pages at Amazon if you prefer to buy from there - but make sure you only buy from the most reputable sellers.

Please click any picture below to visit their AGV helmets pages. And if you buy from any store, we get a small sum from the sale at no extra cost to you - a massive THANKS! (it's how we finance the site). Click here for more info on our recommended stores.


Shop for AGV helmets at Amazon

Click above to drop onto their AGV helmets pages or *quick view store T&Cs here.

AGV AX-9 Helmet Video

Here’s a good 10m look around the AX-9 (and comparison to the old AX-8) from Revzilla.

Other stuff – warranty

All AGVs come with a fairly stingy 2 year warranty, though make sure you register it on AGV’s website and you’ll get an extra year (or an extra 2 or 3 for sports helmets).

Overall/Summary

The AGV AX range of helmets have always been very versatile helmets meaning you don’t have to buy more than one helmet if you’re after both a road and dirt helmet.

And with the new AX-9, AGV’s built on what was great about the old AX8 and it looks like they’ve further developed it to sort the few problems owners reported on the outgoing helmet.

AGV-AX9-pacific-road-crash-helmet-side-view
Pacific Road graphics, this time in black and white with red piping

Which should mean the AX-9 is a superb all rounder adventure helmet, capable of giving all day comfort on the road as well as decent performance when you take it onto a trail or green lane.

We’d expect protection to be excellent (though we won’t really know until it’s been independently safety tested by Snell or SHARP).

But with it’s versatility, wide/tall Pinlock-ready shield, excellent build quality and comfort, the AGV AX-9 looks to be a corker of a helmet and well worth considering (along with our recommended alternatives below) if you’re looking to buy a road or adventure bike helmet.

Good Alternatives to the AGV AX-9?

If you’re after a new adventure bike helmet, we recommend you check out these tried and tested helmets.

Arai’s Tour X4 is another premium adventure helmet that’s multi-configurable for on or off road riding. It’s a fiberglass shelled, Snell certified helmet with excellent ventilation and comfort, EQRS and a fab 5 year warranty.

Shoei’s Hornet ADV is another Snell tested/approved adventure helmet. It’s a quality fiberglass helmet, also with a 5 year warranty, and comes with an optically correct shield.

If you’re looking for something cheaper, Bell’s polycarbonate MX series are great value and owners love them. They come with a 5 year warranty too and cost about half of the others.

Best place to buy this AGV crash helmet?

We recommend Revzilla (PA) for outstanding service and free shipping or you can click through to the AGV helmets pages at Amazon if you prefer to buy from there. Please click any link to drop onto their AGV helmets pages or see here for more info about our recommended stores, including T&Cs.

Other Adventure/Dual-Sports helmets?

There are lots of other Adventure/Dual Sports crash helmets out there, so please check out our Adventure motorcycle helmets page to see all our other reviews and previews. Or, if you're looking for the safest tested helmets on the market, you might want to take a look at our safest motorcycle helmets pages where you'll only find helmets that are Snell certified or SHARP four or five star rated - so you'll know you're wearing the best protection out there.

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