Known for the best protective motorcycle gear and leathers, AGVSPORT has been satisfying avid motorcycle riders and racers for the past 35 years. A lot has happened in these past 3 decades and a lot of milestones have been achieved in the protective motorcycle by AGVSPORT. And to let you in on the journey of AGVSPORT to success is why we’re here.
We’re going to talk about some of the biggest milestones and historic achievements that AGV Sports Group claimed so that you, the motorcycling enthusiast can truly understand how we’re the best in the protective apparel business and realize the integrity of our business model which is, “Designed by Riders, for Riders”.
So, sit back, relax, and make sure you read this piece till the end.
AGV Helmets – The Root of AGVSPORT
Who was Gino Amisano?
Amisano Gino was a legendary Italian entrepreneur who was born in Italy in 1920. It was he who created the protective helmet empire that was AGV, the helmet manufacturing company. How did he give rise to such a great business company? Let’s talk about that.
Gino Amisano founded the company AGV in 1946 as a leather seat and motorcycle saddle manufacturing company. The company took the initials of his name and town and started the legendary path to motorcycling product glory in the business.
The Beginning of AGV Helmets
In 1947, Gino created the first AGV motorcycle leather safety helmet, which was the beginning of a new revolutionary era in the field of the motorcycle protective gear industry. Gino created the company’s first motorcycle racing helmet in 1953 which led to the creation of the first modern Italian helmet which was made of fiberglass, which led to the creation of the Model 160 helmet.
With the production of the first leather pudding bowl-shaped, crisscross inner lining and harnessed helmet that provided incredible comfort and support to the rider’s head, AGV separated themselves from their competition, and Gino Amisano was titled the “King of Helmets” in Europe.
After that, it was a straight path to success for AGV as the all-time great in the field of professional motorcycle racing, Giacomo Agostini was signed by them in 1967, who ended up becoming a 14-time world champion, ahead of every racer ever till even today.
Fast forward a couple of years and in 1969, Alberto Pagani wore the first full-faced Italian motorcycle helmet in an Italian race and it belonged to no other company but AGV. The revolution had then begun since AGV started mass production of full-faced helmets in 1971. And AGV was becoming known more for their helmets than their saddles and leathers.
In 1977, AGV also established a mobile clinic named Clinica Mobile to treat riders and racers who were injured during events which showed how dedicated and invested AGV helmets were to provide motorcycle riders and racers with not only quality products but also safety and protection. This is one of the most widely known mobile clinics in today’s world.
The Success of AGV Helmet
From there on, sponsoring champion racers like Randy Mamola to Kenny Roberts and even the great Valentino Rossi, AGV helmets made the most impact in the protective gear industry around the world.
AGV helmets merged with one of the largest competitors they had in Dainese in 2007. AGV helmets carried on the legacy of the great Gino Amisano who left the world in 2009 and led the company to even further success in the field of motorcycle protective gear and equipment.
The Beginning of AGV USA
Who is Michael Parrotte?
Michael Parrotte is the founder of AGVSPORT which is one of the biggest protective gear suppliers in the US and many other countries around the world. AGVSPORT came into being after a lot of hard work and historic decisions.
At the time when in the 70s, Gino Amisano was widely referred to as the “King of helmets” around Europe and elsewhere, Michael got into bike riding and become one of the most avid motorcycle enthusiasts while studying at the American School of Paris for three whole years.
How it all started
Around this time, AGV helmets were the kingpin in the protective gear industry across the world. The leading sponsor of many major racing events including the Grand Prix where superstar motorcycle racers like:
- Giacomo Agostini
- Barry Sheene
- Steve Baker
- Kenny Roberts
And many more wore AGV helmets, AGV not only sponsored racers but entire race series and events like the AGV World Cup and even the Formula One Grand Prix car racing event where the racers wore specialized AGV helmets. All this great AGV buzz inspired Michael and tempted him to reach out to Gino.
Michael Parrotte and Gino Amisano
After returning from his studies, Michael approached Gino Amisano through a letter which was about discussing the possibilities of bringing the AGV helmets and products to the large motorcycle market of the US. This discussion was successful and the pair reached a deal in late 1976.
Michael Parrotte created a new company known as AGV USA which was granted exclusive rights to the AGV Brand and its products in 1976. The first helmets that arrived in the US arrived at the port of Baltimore in 1977 which became the year of recognition for AGV USA.
Road to Success – AGV USA
As Michael was always an avid motorcycle racer, he moved through many different race circuits in the US, using the AGV gear and promoting it across the country in different events.
In their first season, AGV USA sponsored their first racer who was a 14-year-old motorcycling enthusiast from Louisiana named Freddie Spencer and this was where AGV USA really kicked things and started their road to ultimate success.
For several years AGV USA was known as the exclusive supplier of AGV helmets in the country of the USA, providing motorcyclists with top quality amazing helmets imported all the way from Italy which guided AGV USA to a lot of fortune.
Establishment of AGVSPORT
Michael Parrotte saw the demand and popularity of the motorcycling sport in the US and knew that AGV USA needed to be bigger than it was. That is when he decided that he need to discuss the possibility of something much bigger and better for riding enthusiasts of the USA.
AGV Sports Group
A company destined for success and greatness in the motorcycle protective apparel industry was born in the year 1985. This year, through the mutual dealing of Gino and Parrotte, AGV Helmets Italy provided the company with a license to produce apparel under the brand name AGVSPORT.
This joint venture between Gino and Parrotte is what gave rise to what is known as one of the biggest brands in the motorcycle protective gear industry, providing the best quality protective apparel, to professional and casual bike riding enthusiasts not only in the US or Europe but around the world.
The Beginning of AGVSPORT
In the year 1985, the incredibly popular and successful American Grand Prix rider, Randy Mamola became the first-ever sponsored racer for AGVSPORT who wore the first-ever racing gloves made by AGV known as CX-1.
This was the start of the legend that AGVSPORT is right now. AGVSPORT was established because Michael Parrotte realized the need for a protective gear company for riders from all backgrounds.
Professional riders to club-level amateur riders who couldn’t pay for extremely high-end AGV helmets and products. In the same year, after the successful beginning of the protective apparel, full protective leather suits and boots were also started being produced in Italy and shipped to the US for the motorcycle apparel market.
The First International Importers of AGVSPORT
Soon after the successful launch of AGVSPORT, in 1987, Yamaha Motor Canada became the first-ever official international importer of the products and apparel of AGVSPORT. This was a step ladder to success around the world for AGV Sports Group as they were now making their mark in the protective motorcycle gear international market.
The Rise of AGVSPORT
At the start of the 1990s, famous Italian designer Sergio Robbiano designed the logo for AGVSPORT. Sergio was the best choice for this because he was already associated with AGV and Spidi and had also done extensive design work for Ducati and Bimota. One of his first creations was the Bimota V-Due 500cc two-stroke sportbike which was a wonderful creation.
Even though the company was very young and under normal circumstances, it would need many more years to become as big of a competitor for other motorcycle apparel companies in the US, due to the sheer experience and drive of Michael Parrotte in the field of Motorcycle racing, the company under the brand AGVSPORT reached the peaks of success and fame in a few years only.
AGVSPORT wasn’t just focused on aesthetics like other fashionable apparel companies. AGVSPORT understood the balance between fashion, quality, perfection, and performance. Every product from the gloves to the suits and the boots and everything in between was created to provide maximum performance for every customer.
Due to the rising success of the brand, AGV SpA bought major shares of the AGV Sports Group in 1992. This was because riders loved the AGV apparel so much that they wore the same outfits for multiple events over the years. And the demand for AGV branded protective apparel was rising tremendously.
Keith Code’s California Super Bike School Partnership
In 1989, Keith Code’s California Super Bike School started its partnership with AGVSPORT, making the use of AGV leather suits and protective apparel necessary for all the instructors and students of the bike school.
The instructors and students put the suits through an enormous amount of stress tests and rigorous training in order to check the wear and tear resistance of the fabric and leather. In fact the instructors and students some days spend entire sessions in outfits which essentially means that they’re living within our leather.
You might think that the sponsored professional racers are responsible for maintaining the performance and protection of the leather suits and apparel but in reality, these instructors and students are the ones who get full credit for testing and allowing AGVSPORT to better their products to reach maximum potential.
List of Professional Racers Sponsored by AGVSPORT
Throughout AGVSPORT’s journey, in the ’90s, many different professional racers from around the world were sponsored by AGVSPORT with their protective gear and apparel. In order to give you an idea of the greats who’ve worn the leather, here’s a list of some of the major sponsors of AGVSPORT.
- Loris Capirossi – Known for being the former 250 cc world champion for Aprilia, Loris Capirossi was the first Grand Prix rider to make 300 race starts, making his at the 2010 Qatar Grand Prix. He competed between 1990 and 2011 and wore the AGVSPORT suits for a long time in his career.
- Ben Bostrom – He has won over 7 superbike world championships and comes from the incredibly talented and famous Bostrom family. He was also one of the most popular sponsors of AGVSPORT in the 90s.
- Miguel Duhamel – He is one of the most popular Canadian former professional motorcycle racers. He is the son of Canadian Motorsport Hall of Fame member Yvon Duhamel. He is tied with Toni Elias for the fourth-winningest rider in the AMA Superbike series with 32 wins. Duhamel was inducted into the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame in 2016 and was one of the most important racers for AGVSPORT.
- Troy Bayliss – Troy Bayliss is an Australian professional motorcycle racer. During his career, Troy won the Superbike World Championship three times and a MotoGP race all with Ducati. He finished his career after winning the 2008 World Superbike title. His 52 World Superbike victories are one of the biggest feats in motorcycle professional sport. Troy was another one of AVGSPORT’s more popular signs.
- Mat Mladin – Mathew Mladin was also an Australian professional motorcycle racer who last raced in 2009, riding a Yoshimura Suzuki in the AMA Superbike series. He won the title seven times which is 3 more than anybody else and holds series records for wins, poles, and poles in a season. He is also one of the best signs that AGVSPORT sponsored in the 90s.
There are many more world champions and incredible racers as well. Ultimately, the list shows that with enough training and hard work, you can also become one of these bike racing greats and you can start your journey right now by getting entry-level or professional equipment from AVGSPORT.
AGVSPORT – A Behemoth of the Protective Apparel Industry
After so much success in such a little time of fewer than 15 years, it was now time for AGV Sports Group Inc. to become an independent entity in the field of protective apparel. All the shares of the company were purchased back from AGV SpA in Italy.
It was in the fall of 2001 that AGVSPORT was officially recognized by the Italian AGV helmet company as an independent professional brand, owned entirely by AGV Sports Group which was a completely separate entity from AGV Helmets. Dainese is the company that owns AGV Helmets in 2020.
AGVSPORT has played an incredibly important role in the development and growth of the protective gear industry when it comes to a sport like a motorcycle racing through the use of innovation and drive.
Reason for Success
The reason for such great success of AGVSPORT was that in addition to more than twenty-one years with AGV Helmets, Michael Parrotte has worked as a consultant for KBC Helmets, Vemar Helmets, and Suomy Helmets.
This experience of living and working in the highly scientific and technical world of safety helmets has always influenced AGVSPORT’s product development and upgrade process.
AGVSPORT in today’s industry
In today’s industry, AGVSPORT is sitting comfortably at the top of the business chain as the leader in the protective apparel field by continuing the age-old business model “Designed by Riders, for Riders,” which combined performance and aesthetics together.
AGVSPORT has always been on the cutting edge of safety apparel design and construction along with performance assurance and amazing quality.
AGV Sports Group is as famous and successful in today’s world because of the fact that it was and will always remain the company of avid motorcycle enthusiasts who don’t only produce but also use the products and test the apparel they create.
This ensures that you, the customer, will experience the best and safest products we have to offer, and we hope that you will actually be able to feel the history of Gino Amisano and the progress of AGVSPORT every time you ride wearing the leather and textile of AGVSPORT.
At AGVSPORT, we ensure that every apparel and protective gear product is made focused on quality and performance, not aesthetics. But in doing so, we make sure that what we make doesn’t only give satisfactory results in testing but also provides happiness to the customer to look at.
That is why, you, the avid motorcycle riding lover, should do business with AGVSPORT to get the best riding experience of all time.
About the author: Michael Parrotte was the Vice President of AGV Helmets America, and a consultant for KBC Helmets, Vemar Helmets, Suomy Helmets, Marushin Helmets, KYT Helmets, Sparx Helmets. In addition, he is the founder and owner of AGV Sports Group.