The AGV Corsa (and Corsa-R) is AGVs second-in-line sports/racing crash helmet. The carbon fiber Pista GP-R was developed alongside Valentino Rossi and is a no holds-barred helmet that’s designed for folks who spend their days on the track or tucked in at high speed. It was also very, very expensive. So AGV created the composite fiber Corsa (carbon/aramid/fiberglass); it’s more or less the same helmet but it’s designed to be a little cheaper (or shall we say less expensive!) and more rider-friendly. It’s still meant for use on the track and with a sports bike, but it’s supposed to be mildly less extreme and easier to live with.
- Designed for sportsbike riders
- Carbon/aramid/fiberglass full face
- SHARP 5/5 safety rating
- DOT/ECE certified
- 3Lbs/1.35Kg (light)
- Wide, optically correct 3.3mm visor
- Great ventilation
- Typical price range: $799-$999 (model dependent)
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Corsa or Corsa R?
The Corsa was upgraded slightly in 2017 to become the Corsa-R. The R version has double-sided pads inside the comfort lining (choose between warm or cooling sides) as well as a slightly thicker 5mm visor and uprated ventilation. There’s also EQRS now fitted to the R.
AGV have an excellent reputation for building safe crash helmets (they’re joint 3rd in our safest helmet brands review). The Corsa is no let down. Its shell is made of a composite of fiberglass, Aramid and carbon fiber and it obviously does its job well because it scored top marks in the SHARP crash helmet test.
Most top-of-the-range lids are manufactured in three helmet shell sizes (different from fitting sizes) but the AGV Corsa comes in four, reflecting AGVs desire to make a lid that fits everyone. It also points to the fact that having a helmet that closely matches your head size is probably safer, having the right ratio of EPS polystyrene padding to shell size.
Another safety feature, that we’ll come onto more in the visor section, is that the Shield opening is wide and high – both giving better visibility and hence helping with safety both on the road and track. It’s also much thicker than normal to give added crash protection.
For other safety features, check the Racing section below. But for now, suffice to say in terms of safety, AGV have done a great job.
Of course, racers probably aren’t that interested in a super-quiet helmet because they wear ear plugs. And that’s reflected in the Corsa’s relatively poor showing in terms of noise suppression. Sure, it’s got a chin curtain that does cut out some noise, but AGVs focus on ventilation and performance is at the cost of making a helmet that’s noisier than most. Again, if you’re going to be using it on track lots or religiously use ear plugs for every journey, that’s not going to be a deal-breaker for you. But most owners say it’s around average to poor for quietness.
Size & Comfort
As mentioned previously, the Corsa comes in four shell sizes. That wide variety of shells is echoed in the larger than usual range of internal fitments – from XS to XXL as usual but with two medium sizes instead of the more conventional one – there’s an MS and a ML. The MS being size 57-58 and the ML covering sizes 59-60. So if you buy a Corsa, double check you order the right size.
If that all sounds a bit of a worry, then fear not. Owners are amazed at how well the Corsa fits – and for good reason. The AGV blurb does say that the helmet’s been designed from the inside out – putting the size and shapes of their customer’s head at the centre of the design, rather than creating the shell then fiddling around with the internals so it fits. And while this could be marketing-speak, it is actually reflected in owners’ views with most saying that if it doesn’t fit perfectly out of the box, a little fiddling with the lining can create a great fitting for anyone this side of an ET head shape!
That’s because the helmet liner is both adjustable, using velcro straps to shorten or lengthen it, and has small pockets that allow you to add foam inserts, again to adjust the shape. And by all accounts, it works very well with no problems with fit or comfort once the size and fitment’s correct.
The lining itself is made of lycra and Shalimar (weren’t they a 70’s disco outfit?!) and it’s fully removable and washable – though there was a problem with the studs shearing off on early models so be careful when you pop the lining out.
Ventilation is another area where the AGV Corsa is good. If you’re at the track all day, you need lots of ventilation and AGV (using feedback from Rossi and others) have increased the amount of air the vents bring in at race speeds.
Unlike the always-open vents on the Pista GP-R (to be fair, you can push a rubber bung in them!), all vents on the Corsa are closable with a slider. Apparently they’re often a bit stiff at first but work OK after a bit of use and getting used to them, and they bring masses of air through the EPS lining, past the comfort lining and onto the head to keep you cool. There are a couple of rear exhaust vents too to remove the hot air.
Having said all that, reports from owners are that the ventilation’s great, but only when you’re going over 50 and especially when you’ve got your head down in a race tuck – otherwise they’re only average. Many people find the forehead vents very fiddly to operate, especially with gloves too. So overall, ventilation is good, but with a couple of caveats.
Given that good vision and trouble-free operation is a vital prerequisite for any racer, it’s good to see that AGV have done just about everything right here. The shield aperture itself is wider than normal to give outstanding peripheral vision (in fact one owner said he had to re-calibrate his stopping markers on the track because he could see so much more!) but it’s also taller. That means when you’re tucked in, the top of the shield opening shouldn’t get in the way of your vision.
Which is a great touch and really shows they listen to their customers – or rather it would do if it wasn’t for a potential fly in the ointment. It’s been said that the top edge of the visor can distort a little, reducing the effective viewing angle. It needs saying that it’s only one or two owners which report these problems, but it’s worth being aware. I’d expect that AGV have sorted both these flaws by now since the helmet’s been on the market for a good few months at the time of writing.
That last problem is slightly perplexing (perspexing?) because the shield on the Corsa is an optical class one shield, meaning it’s manufactured to be optically true without distortion, so maybe it was a bad batch that got circulated. It’s also a 3.3mm shield which is much thicker than normal and designed to offer extra protection during a crash – and it has a central locking mechanism to stop it flipping open too. Nice.
The Corsa’s shield also has a really nice quick-release mechanism; just crack open the shield, pull a tab and out it pops. To insert the shield, it just clicks in to place at either side.
The Corsa is, of course, designed to work for racers. So there’s lots of features that racers will appreciate. Not only does the Corsa look cool, but it’s designed to be stable while riding at speed. It has a small front area where it attacks the air to reduce wind resistance and channels the air over the helmet and towards a rear spoiler. The spoiler has the dual purpose of reducing helmet lift and directing air over the rear hump of your race suit. It’s also designed to break off in an accident rather than dig in and rotate the helmet, which is a great touch.
Not only is the helmet’s aero designed to work with the hump of your suit, but the bottom edge is shaped to reduce the possibility of collar bone fracture in the event of a fall. There’s no information as to whether this works, but it’s good to know AGV have thought it through. It might just make the difference between pulling yourself up out of the gravel trap and dusting yourself down – or a lengthy/miserable trip to hospital.
Looks & Graphics
If you’re paying top dollar for a race lid, you want all the technical aspects to be covered of course, but you also want it to look the business too. Well, AGV seem to have done it right because the Corsa looks lean and purposeful. And while there’s only a limited number of graphics available – and they’re very much down to personal preference – the fact that both Valentino Rossi and Guy Martin use one (OK they use a Pista GP but they look the same!) and the fact the Corsa is available in both Rossi and Guy Martin’s colors is going to add to the Corsa’s kudos. AGV do a plain gloss black & white version, as well as a couple of Rossi graphics (Soleluna and the funky Misano) and the recent Guy Martin replica (at the top of the page) but most options are a variant on their popular Velocity color scheme.
Here’s a completely independent and unbiased video (ahem) from AGV UK showing the AGV Corsa Italy. It’s worth a watch though as it does give you a feel for the helmet and explains many of the features of the lid.
Other stuff – fasteners & weight
The Corsa comes with a double-d ring locking mechanism on the strap. A medium sized helmet weighs in at just under 3Lbs (1.35Kg) making it a very light helmet – most owners are surprised just how light the Corsa is.
Useful helmet buying information
You can find useful articles and resources to help you buy the right crash helmet and get the right fitting here.
The AGV Corsa is a great helmet for racers and fast sportsbike owners. It’s been designed to be a more user-friendly and cheaper version of the Pista-GP, their top of the range track-only lid. And it works. The amount of thought and attention gone into safety is second to none. It’s comfortable, has great aero and ventilation and its shield system works very well on the track. As long as you don’t have niggles with the shield (see the shield section above) and can live with its uncompromising nature (and the price) then you’ll be very happy with the Corsa – one of the best sportsbike crash helmets around.
You can check out reviews of other AGV crash helmets here.
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