When you saw Agostini race, you listened to the music of his MV, watched him triumph in every race and asked yourself how on earth he always managed to be so totally perfect.
AGV, FIRST IN SAFETY.
LEGENDARY HELMETS SUCH AS THE FIBREGLASS X-3000, DEVELOPED WITH GIACOMO AGOSTINI, AND THE KR-2000 FOR KENNY ROBERTS, HAVE WON A PLACE IN HISTORY.
When Gino Amisano saw the fi rst full-face helmets come out in America, he immediately decided to launch them in Italy - starting with motorcycle racing of course. But he hadn’t anticipated the suspicion with which the full-face helmet was greeted.
They were years of rapid progress, but motoring has always been traditionalist and wary of change. There was, for example, still a raging debate in the specialist press between those who favoured the new-style gear lever mounted centrally on the transmission tunnel and the conservatives, almost all Lancia enthusiasts, who preferred a steering-column-mounted gear lever.
Older riders, with the English-speakers to the fore, claimed in interviews that full-face helmets were far from safe since they obscured one’s vision and impeded one’s hearing, and that true bikers should - when it comes down to it - bear the scars of their crashes on their faces.
The first rider to wear a full-face helmet in an Italian race – and it was of course an AGV - was Alberto Pagani, racing at Imola in the Nations GP in September 1969. Agostini and the MV Augustas, already world champions, weren’t there due to a row with the federation, which had for the fi rst time ever left the Monza track out of the championship. Pagani won the 500 race riding the Linto, powered by two Aermacchi top ends bolted onto a single crankcase.
The AGV full-face’s fi rst outing was an out-and-out success. Then Ago started using one after some initial hesitation, just making slight changes to the graphics, and from 1971 there was a full-face boom as they went into mass production.
First there was the X-80 and then the X-3000 which, following Agostini’s advice, featured a sculpted chin bar that enabled the rider to get right down on the tank for the straights, while also being recessed at the nape of the neck to allow greater freedom of movement. AGV was also the fi rst manufacturer to make a two-colour fi breglass full-face helmet.