It seems that not a day goes by without AGV the Sports Group receiving a phone call or an email regarding some matter pertaining to AGV Helmets. In this area, not much has changed since 1985.

That’s why we’re thrilled to dedicate this section of our website to the history of AGV Helmets and AGV Sports Group. Here, you’ll find an in-depth exploration of the relationship between these two companies from their early days to the present, as well as the story of how they came to be and continue to evolve over the years.

As someone who has been intimately involved in this history, I’m delighted to offer firsthand insights and exclusive information that you cannot easily find elsewhere online, including images in their raw form that you have never seen before.

The history of the AGV brand name in the world of motorcycling is one of the more interesting to read to learn more about this iconic brand, created by its very charismatic founder, Gino Amisano.

Insights Into AGV Helmets History

AGV (Amisano Gino Valenza) stands tall as a leading motorcycle helmet brand, known not only for its exceptional safety and comfort but also for its innovative designs and legendary history. It’s no surprise that this Italian icon has caught the world’s attention over the years with its sponsorship of cream-of-the-crop professional racers.

From Giacomo Agostini–a 15-time World Champion (1963-1970), Kenny Roberts–a two-time World Champion and a 22-time World Grand Prix winner (1973-1976), to Angel Nieto–who won 13 world championships (1969-1985), and Valentino Rossi–a nine-time World Champion (1996-2021), AGV has been the home of champions for more than half a century. As of 2023, AGV is 76 years old.

But where did it all begin? Get ready for a fascinating story of AGV Helmets, from its founding to now!

The 1940s: A Time of War and Significant Changes in Helmet Innovation

A 1943 photo of Gen. Patton and Gen. Roosevelt wearing the M1, the U.S military’s World War II helmet. Italians wore the M33 (Elmetto Mod. 33) helmet, the Germans wore the Stahlhelm helmet, while the Britons donned the Brodie helmet.
A 1943 photo of Gen. Patton and Gen. Roosevelt wearing the M1, the U.S military’s World War II helmet. Italians wore the M33 (Elmetto Mod. 33) helmet, the Germans wore the Stahlhelm helmet, while the Britons donned the Brodie helmet.

Isn’t it amazing how many of the technologies we rely on every day, once started out from the ruins of war? We are most innovative in a time of strife, and the World Wars was such a time. By the mid-1940s as the conflict climaxed, much of Europe lay in ruins.

But once the guns went silent, there was an explosion of entrepreneurial activity, especially in Italy, where businesses began to spring up and the country began the long journey towards economic recovery.

Seven World War II soldiers captured a moment in a photo after the war had ended.
Seven World War II soldiers captured a moment in a photo after the war had ended.

But it wasn’t all rosy. In the aftermath of the World Wars, vast swaths of the population found themselves grappling with severe poverty and ravaged infrastructure. Among the many challenges faced by people during this period, the state of the roads proved particularly problematic for those who could afford to own a vehicle.

With poor road conditions making efficient travel by car nearly impossible, people turned to two-wheeled transportation options, specifically motorbikes and scooters.

And given their affordability in comparison to cars and their ability to navigate challenging roads with relative ease, these vehicles enjoyed a surge in popularity that was further bolstered by Italy’s favorable climate for open-air travel.

This uptick in demand for motorbikes and scooters naturally led to a concomitant increase in demand for accessories and safety apparel. Riders sought out essential gear, like protective helmets, to protect themselves while on the road, as well as practical accessories, like seat covers, to enhance the comfort and style of their rides.

The result was a thriving market for these products, one that reflected the resilience and ingenuity of people during a time of great hardship and uncertainty.

THE LAUNCH AND MEANING BEHIND THE ICONIC ITALIAN HELMET BRAND

 
The classic AGV logo highlights five interlocking rings against a backdrop of the iconic Italian flag's colors.
The classic AGV logo highlights five interlocking rings against a backdrop of the iconic Italian flag’s colors.

At the age of 26, Amisano Gino (1920-2009), widely known today as the “King of Helmets,” used his accounting education to understand the market demand and quickly pivoted. And with the help of his two friends (whose names remain a mystery to this day), he established AGV in Valenza, Italy. Essentially, Amisano Gino founded AGV Helmets in 1946, with the name A.G.V. derived from the initials of Amisano, Gino, and Valenza (referring to the city).

It’s fascinating how the new establishment initially specialized in creating leather seat and saddle covers for cyclists. Gino’s timing was perfect, as the iconic Lambretta and Vespa introduced their first scooters in the same year. And within the first year, AGV had shifted its focus from bicycles to scooters and was now producing backrest pads and saddles for Lambrettas and Vespas.

P.S: It’s worth noting that Amisano Gino was an accountant by education and had no prior experience as a motorcyclist, despite most internet sources stating otherwise. I have no knowledge that he ever rode a motorcycle ever in his life.

Not long after, Gino and his partners separated, and all the responsibility for leading the company to prosperity fell on him. Despite being a one-man team with only one employee, he rapidly increased AGV’s sales from 20 saddles to 700 saddles within a few weeks by streamlining the production process.

GINO WEDS LUCIANA

 
Amisano Gino weds the love of his life Luciana Morando in 1947.
Amisano Gino weds the love of his life Luciana Morando in 1947.

It was during this time that Gino met Luciana Morando, whom he married in 1947 and brought into the company immediately. Luciana would later become an important force behind AGV’s success.

Amisano Gino and Luciana Morando on a sailboat during their honeymoon.
Amisano Gino and Luciana Morando on a sailboat during their honeymoon.

SWITCHING GEARS

 

In the same year, 1947, Gino identified an opportunity to shift from manufacturing seats to crafting helmets. At the time, there was a noticeable gap in the Italian market as street riders resorted to protecting their heads with leather berets, while those who were fortunate enough imported Cromwell “pudding basin” helmets from the UK.

AGV helmets had humble beginnings, starting as a small business in Gino Amisano’s house (villa), where he and his team produced the first helmets, even as the components were being made in the factory.

Fun Fact: Did you know that the AGV logo is the initials for Amisano, Gino, and Valenza (Valenza is the city the company was founded in) in the shape of a helmet and with the tricolors of the Italian flag?

The rear view of the AGV X3000 full-face motorcycle helmet.
The rear view of the AGV X3000 full-face motorcycle helmet. Today, we have the AGV X3000 Limited Edition DOT—AGO #1

The green, red, and white Italian tri-color logo also represents the rear view of an AGV helmet. Gino liked to joke it was the only view competitors would ever get of Giacomo Agostini (aka “Ago”), a racing legend and 15-time World Champion from 1963-1970.

AGV’S INAUGURATION OF ITS FIRST MOTORCYCLE HELMETS

 
The first-ever AGV helmet—a sleek and minimalist 1/2 design.
The first-ever AGV helmet—a sleek and minimalist 1/2 design.

AGV created the first motorcycle helmet in 1947 by forming leather over a wooden mold and then drying it in an oven at 122 °F until it firmed up. As a pioneer, Gino had the pleasure of experimenting with a wide range of materials to make the safest lids even though standards were non-existent at the time.

But the process was slow and tedious, initially limiting the company’s production to only five helmets per week. It would take sheer determination and an innovative approach to technology and marketing for Gino and Luciana to build and grow AGV at this time of post war recovery. They practically lived in the factory arriving early and often leaving well past midnight.

The 1950s: The First Hard-Shell Fiberglass Helmets

The AGV Model 160, the first fiberglass helmet, introduced in 1954. Since then, we've been racing towards the future.
The AGV Model 160, the first fiberglass helmet, introduced in 1954. Since then, we’ve been racing towards the future.

The 50s brought an upswing in global economies and a post-World War II boom and the dawn of the Cold War. Yet it was at this time that AGV developed Model 160, a first of its kind fiberglass helmet departing from the classic leather pudding-bowl design. It was lighter and more protective than leather and featured an inner harness to secure it on the rider’s head.

The plush and cushioned inner lining of the AGV Model 160, the first-ever AGV fiberglass helmet.
The plush and cushioned inner lining of the AGV Model 160, the first-ever AGV fiberglass helmet.

And Carlo Bandirola, while riding for Italian manufacturer MV Agusta, became the first professional rider to use it on the track. A remarkable success, but AGV did not stop there!

THE BIRTH OF AGV JET HELMET

 
The AGV Jet, the first AGV open-face helmet.
The AGV Jet, the first AGV open-face helmet.

In 1956, Gino introduced a new motorcycle helmet modeled after popular fighter jet pilot helmets. Named AGV Jet, the lid was a thundering success since its unveiling at the London International Motor Show. It was far more protective than other options available at the time and had neat modern lines that endeared it to the masses. So much so that it never goes out of fashion.

Renzo "Paso" Pasolini, wearing the AGV Jet helmet, leans on a corner as he approaches the finish line. He didn’t abandon his beloved Jet for a full-face AGV model until the 1970s.
Renzo “Paso” Pasolini, wearing the AGV Jet helmet, leans on a corner as he approaches the finish line. He didn’t abandon his beloved Jet for a full-face AGV model until the 1970s.

Today, you can buy the replica AGV X70 in AGV colors or other graphics (X70 MontJuic, X70 Paso, and X70 Mino 73) inspired by the unstoppable dual, Giacomo Agostini and Pasolini Renzo. It re-embodies the timeless design of the original Jet with up- to-date protection and comfortable amenities.

Black and Silver Accents AGV X70 Helmet
Black and Silver Accents AGV X70 Helmet.

The AGV X70 carries that same retro style, albeit refined over the years into a high-performance and versatile open-face helmet that suits both city riding and touring. It even features an ACF (Advanced Composite Fiber) fiberglass outer shell, removable and washable interior (neck roll not removable), and a Double D-ring retention system.

ADVERTS AT RACE EVENTS HELPED PUT AGV ON THE LIMELIGHT

 
A racer leans into a tight corner, as an AGV advertisement banner looms in the background. Several spectators can be seen standing behind the banner.
Paso leans into a tight corner, as an AGV advertisement banner looms in the background. Several spectators can be seen standing behind the banner.

In 1958, two years later, AGV became the first manufacturer to advertise with banners at motorcycle races. Gino installed banners displaying the company’s products at strategic places around the racetrack, hoping they would be seen and photographed for TV and print media.

And boy, did it work! AGV was now well on its way to becoming a household name among the motorcycling community.

It’s safe to say that Gino and his team knew how to make a grand entrance! And did I also mention AGV ventured into product placement in movies, starting with Del Sica’s a Place for Lovers in the 60s? This was Gino’s first attempt to bring the brand and its products to new audiences who don’t particularly follow moto sports.

The 1960s: The Advent of Full-Face Helmets and Rising Racing Stars

AGV Helmet founder Gino Amisano and Giacomo Agostini.
AGV Helmet founder Gino Amisano and Giacomo Agostini.

The 60s were cruising altitude for the Italian helmet maker having gained dominance over the European market. Being the visionary he was, Gino had foreseen a massive tidal wave of change over to full face helmets and beat everyone else to the market with a fully developed and better protective modern lid.

THE FIRST FULL-FACE MOTORCYCLE HELMET

 
AGV X3000, the first full-face helmet in Europe.
AGV X3000, the first full-face helmet in Europe.

And in 1969, the AGV X3000 became the first full-face helmet to hit the market in Europe. Unlike the Jet, the X3000 covered the whole head, immensely more protective and modern. But nothing had warned him that the conservative motorcyclist community in Italy would flat out reject what they saw as a radical change.

There were whispers in professional rider circles that the new full-face helmets not only obscured clear vision but also interfered with a rider’s hearing and were thus dangerous. Can you believe that die-hard groups even claimed that true bikers wear the battle scars from their crashes on their faces with pride!

But eventually riders and the general population warmed up to the idea that wearing full-face helmets was just as cool and offered better protection in a crash.

RAISING RISING RACING STARS

 
Legendary racer Giacomo Agostini (Ago), a 15-time World Champion (1963-1970), showcases the iconic AGV X3000 helmet that accompanied him throughout his illustrious career.
Legendary racer Giacomo Agostini (Ago), a 15-time World Champion (1963-1970), showcases the iconic AGV X3000 helmet that accompanied him throughout his illustrious career.

The next avenue for Gino to get his creation out there, as he soon discovered, was to identify and nurture racing talent. In September of 1969, Alberto Pagani took the AGV X3000 on an outing at Imola for the Nations GP as the first professional rider to wear the full-face helmet. Soon, other champions would follow suit and take it on the track.

But perhaps Gino’s first lucky break was Giacomo Agostini (Ago), cementing the brand’s remarkable reputation both at home and abroad. As the official AGV ambassador from 1967 onwards, Ago was crowned champion on his numerous wins for team MV Agusta and later Yamaha mostly wearing the AGV X3000 helmet.

It’s incredible the amount of media attention that his wins generated for AGV!

Giacomo Agostini and Amisano Gino in 1975.
Giacomo Agostini and Amisano Gino in 1975.

In fact, Ago had a penchant for vivid colors, and the X3000’s white, red, and green color scheme perfectly complemented his taste. Now, a modern replica of the AGV X3000 has been available worldwide since 2018. It offers its fans the same nostalgic look and feel but with the safety and comfort of a mode

At $699, the X3000 is also quite a bit more affordable than the $1,599 Valentino Rossi 20 Years Soleluna AGV helmet introduced in Sepang. What’s more, it’s a limited edition with only 3,000 units produced, so if you manage to find one, you’ll be very lucky indeed!

MORE SPONSORSHIPS

 

Somewhere in AGV’s helmet recipe it actively involves world champions in the making of the perfect lid for comfort and safety. Other early adopters were Angel Nieto, Barry Sheene, Kenny Roberts, Randy Mamola, and Johnny Cecotto.

To this clique of elite riders and riding enthusiasts, Gino was affectionately called “Ginetto” or simply the “King of Helmets”. A true enthusiast himself, he had an eye for young talent and the aptitude for nurturing it to stardom. Now, he would sponsor races too!

The 1970s: Race Sponsorships, a Mobile Clinic and More Wins

Steve Barker emerged as the world champion during the 1977 Formula 750 race.
Steve Barker emerged as the world champion during the 1977 Formula 750 race.

The new decade ushered in an explosion in demand for full-face helmets after the successful launch of the X3000 a year before.

In 1971, AGV responded by ramping up production of their X3000 and the X-80 model featuring a sculpted chin for better streamlining when in the tucked position chin to the tank. Three years down the line came the Battle of the Titans, a duel between Agostini and Kenny Roberts both rocking 750s from the Yamaha fold.

Ago would be once more triumphant, but perhaps Gino benefited the most as the top racers donned his helmets in front of hundreds of thousands of fans.

The 1975 AGV Imola 200 Miles.
The 1975 AGV Imola 200 Miles.

Having seen the potential of such racing events for brand visibility, Gino made a new deal with Checco Costa and became an official sponsor of the 1974 race. The following year, AGV was the main sponsor of the event dubbed “AGV Imola 200 Miles.”

The AGV World Cup Logo.
The AGV World Cup Logo.

This remarkable achievement paved the way for the establishment of the AGV World Cup, comprising 200-mile races held at the prestigious Daytona, Raul Ricard and Imola circuits.

AGV IN FORMULA 1

 

Gino’s drive for success knew no bounds, and his reach extended beyond the two-wheeled world. In 1974, he entered the Formula 1 arena, and the results were nothing short of astounding.

For the 1974 Formula 1 season and in a different racing arena, Brazilian racing legend, Emerson Fittipaldi, won two consecutive F1 world titles at McLaren while wearing an AGV helmet. And this pivotal moment laid the foundation for a tradition of triumphs in the world of four-wheeled racing.

ENTER WORLD-FAMOUS AUSTRIAN F1 CHAMPION NIKI LAUDA

 
The world-famous Austrian F1 Champion Niki Lauda.
The world-famous Austrian F1 Champion Niki Lauda.

In 1975, it was Austrian Niki Lauda (Andreas Nikolaus Lauda) who reeled in yet another victory for AGV. He went on to win two more Formula One (F1) Grand Prix world championships in 1977 and 1984, the latter of which came after his remarkable comeback from a near-fatal crash at the Nürburgring German Grand Prix in 1976.

After retiring, he went on to launch his own airline–Lauda Air.

Niki Lauda's horrific crash during the 1976 German Grand Prix, where he suffered severe burns and injuries.
Niki Lauda’s horrific crash during the 1976 German Grand Prix, where he suffered severe burns and injuries.

But Lauda’s incredible determination was on full display when he returned to the track just 42 days after the near-fatal crash, missing only two races, with his fresh burns still bandaged. He finished fourth in the Italian GP, despite admitting to feeling absolutely petrified.

Niki Lauda at the Monza Press Conference with the fresh burns still bandaged.
Niki Lauda at the Monza Press Conference with the fresh burns still bandaged.

In total, Lauda won three championships. And even today, his legendary performance, particularly the 1976 season, remains one of the most captivating and thrilling stories in the storied history of Formula 1 racing.

Niki Lauda’s crash helmet, which was in the AGV Sports Group office in Maryland for many years before being sent to Japan for an exposition where it promptly “disappeared.”
Niki Lauda’s crash helmet, which was in the AGV Sports Group office in Maryland for many years before being sent to Japan for an exposition where it promptly “disappeared.”

Lauda’s helmet initially featured a plain red design with his full name written on the side and the AGV logo on the chin area.

Another image of Niki Lauda's crash helmet, featuring the AGV logo prominently displayed on the chin and his name on the left side.
Another image of Niki Lauda’s crash helmet, featuring the AGV logo prominently displayed on the chin and his name on the left side.

But upon his remarkable comeback after the crash, he donned the modified AGV X1 helmet with a special lining that minimized irritation on his burned scalp.

THE AGV MOBILE CLINIC IS BORN

 
The AGV Mobile Clinic comes to life.
The AGV Mobile Clinic comes to life.

During this time, Gino had crossed paths with Dr. Claudio Marcello Costa’s, son of Checco Costa, the chief organizer of international motorcycle racing events and creator of the Imola Circuit.

As a medical doctor specializing in sports medicine, clinical orthopedics, and traumatology, he was the right doctor to have around in case of a fall during such racing events. Luckily, he and a few of his doctor friends were motorcycle enthusiasts and were willing to volunteer as emergency responders during his father’s races.

AGV sponsored Dr. Claudio Costa’s lifesaving Clinica Mobile.
AGV sponsored Dr. Claudio Costa’s lifesaving Clinica Mobile.

With AGV funding, Dr. Claudio was able to gather a team of medical experts to provide emergency medical assistance to racers in case of a serious injury during a race. In 1977, they acquired a mobile ambulance with more facilities to care for the injured racers, giving rise to the name “Mobile Clinic”.

The idea was loved by fans and professional racers alike, and it showed AGV’s and Gino’s persona of commitment to the safety and well-being of all motorcycle riders.

Through the AGV mobile clinic, Gino’s dedication to keeping racers safe and sound was on full display.

AGV OFFICIALLY ENTERS THE UNITED STATES MARKET

 

In October 1976, Gino granted me (Michael Parrotte) exclusive distribution rights of AGV helmets in the United States. I became familiar with AGV Helmets while attending the American School of Paris for three years as a teenager when AGV was the unquestioned king of the helmet world in Europe.

During this time, I purchased two AGV X-3000 Ago full-face helmets.

AGV X3000 Retro Full Face Helmet.
AGV X3000 Retro Full Face Helmet.

Now, decades later, AGV has introduced a new retro-style X3000 helmet that looks very much like the original while meeting all of today’s safety standards.

AGV-USA BEGINS ITS OPERATIONS

 
Here's a picture of me, Michael Parrotte, with the iconic Suzuki GT 750 'Water Buffalo' at the 1977 Summit Point Raceway.
Here’s a picture of me, Michael Parrotte, with the iconic Suzuki GT 750 ‘Water Buffalo’ at the 1977 Summit Point Raceway.

In 1977, with the assistance of Dr. Elio Grandi–a distinguished Italian-American businessman in the Washington area who played a crucial role in helping me get started with AGV as a teenager–I created the company AGV-USA to launch this new venture of distributing AGV helmets in the United States.

I (Michael Parrotte) am wearing jeans, alongside Dr. Grandi in a gray suit. I first met him when I was 17 years old while assisting him with English-Italian translations through written correspondence via mail. All communication had to be done by writing a letter and mailing it, or in cases of urgency, sending a Telegram, which was very expensive.
 I (Michael Parrotte) am wearing jeans, alongside Dr. Grandi in a gray suit. I first met him when I was 17 years old while assisting him with English-Italian translations through written correspondence via mail. All communication had to be done by writing a letter and mailing it, or in cases of urgency, sending a Telegram, which was very expensive.

The first offices of AGV-USA were on Pennsylvania Avenue, just up the street from the White House.

Dr. Grandi and his wife, Elena Jovacchini, joyfully celebrate their marriage anniversary.
Dr. Elio Grandi and his wife, Elena Jovacchini, joyfully celebrate their marriage anniversary.

Having been an active participant in Italian-American affairs for many years, Dr. Grandi’s exceptional contributions were recognized on multiple occasions by the Italian government.

And in 1979, President Sandro Pertini personally awarded Grandi the esteemed title of Knight Commander of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Italy in recognition of his outstanding achievements.

Dr. Elio Grandi served as the first President of AGV USA in 1977. He passed away on August 4, 2017, in Springfield, Virginia, shortly after the loss of his beloved wife, Elena Jovacchini, with whom he shared 59 years of marriage.
Dr. Elio Grandi served as the first President of AGV USA in 1977. He passed away on August 4, 2017, in Springfield, Virginia, shortly after the loss of his beloved wife, Elena Jovacchini, with whom he shared 59 years of marriage.

AGV FINALLY MOVES TO A PROPER COMMERCIAL FACTORY

 
The first volume shipment of AGV helmets in a truck in early 1977.
The first volume shipment of AGV helmets in a truck in early 1977.

AGV-USA’s start of actual business coincided with AGV’s move into a proper commercial factory in Italy. Although the company had been steadily growing over the years, it was not until 1977 that AGV’s expansion prompted a move to a fully-fledged commercial facility.

Unloaded first volume of shipment of AGV helmets in early 1977.
Unloaded first volume of shipment of AGV helmets in early 1977.

Looking back, unloading that first shipment was a moment of great pride and accomplishment for the AGV team. It was a testament to their hard work and dedication in bringing AGV helmets to the world, and it set the stage for decades of success to come.

The 1980s: A Time of Winning

Gino celebrates the AGV's 35-year anniversary in 1982.
Gino celebrates the AGV’s 35-year anniversary in 1982.

The new decade marked a period of great success for Gino and his team as their efforts and investment in the industry were beginning to pay off. It all began with Kenny Roberts taking the 500 class of 1980.

He was an American professional rider who was proving hard to beat for European pros due to his aggressive riding stance with knee-to-the-ground cornering.

In the same year, AGV was back on top of the world of auto racing with Australian driver Alan Jones piloted his championship, winning Williams FW07B to victory at Calder Park Raceway. That would not be the only win in the auto category for AGV as merely two years down the line (1982), Keke Rosenberg was crowned champion with AGV support, and in 1987, Nelson Piquet also propelled the brand to fame.

Angel Nieto, the Spanish legend and 13-time world champion, widely regarded as one of the greatest motorcycle racers in Grand Prix history, can be seen riding his iconic red Spanish DERBI–the bike he rode for most of his career while sporting a variety of models of AGV Helmets.
Angel Nieto, the Spanish legend and 13-time world champion, widely regarded as one of the greatest motorcycle racers in Grand Prix history, can be seen riding his iconic red Spanish DERBI–the bike he rode for most of his career while sporting a variety of models of AGV Helmets.

Meanwhile, the company also continued to enjoy the spotlight of podium finishes in the motorcycle races with notable wins like Angel Nieto taking his 13th world championship in 1984. Angel was a formidable racer, second only to Ago when it came to winning world championships.

The AGV X3000 Limited Edition ECE 22.05–Nieto Tribute helmet.
The AGV X3000 Limited Edition ECE 22.05–Nieto Tribute Helmet.

AGV also took part in the Paris-Dakar Rally with Belgian Gaston Rahier, a former motocross world champion and two-time winner of the grueling The Dakar competition.

LICENSING THE AGV BRAND NAME TO AGV SPORTS GROUP FOR AN APPAREL LINE

 
 Introducing the first AGV glove – the CX-1. Check out the brochure for more information and at the top, the 1983 Randy Mamola’s AGV KR-2000 helmet.
Introducing the first AGV glove – the CX-1. Check out the brochure for more information and at the top, the 1983 Randy Mamola’s AGV KR-2000 helmet.

In 1985, AGV granted AGV Sports Group, Inc. in Frederick Maryland the exclusive license to design and manufacture merchandise bearing the distinguished AGV name and trademark, except for helmets.

This strategic move, made in alignment with the original agreement between AGV and AGV Sports Group, resulted in the licensing of the brand in various countries, propelling both entities to greater heights.

The AGV CX-1 glove, featuring the top 5 reasons why it should be your go-to choice.
The AGV CX-1 glove, now known as AGVSPORT Laguna, features the top five reasons why it should be your go-to choice.

The CX-1 glove has been worn by some of the most notable racing legends in the world, including Fausto Gresini–an Italian professional motorcycle road racer and racing team manager, Marco Lucchinelli–the 1981 FIM Road Racing World Champion, Randy Mamola–a 13-time Premier Class Race winner, and Carlos Alberto Lavado Jones–a two-time 250cc Road Racing World Champion (1983 and 1986).

AGVSPORT: A BRAND IN ITS OWN RIGHT

 

As the early 1990s dawned, the AGVSPORT logo gradually replaced the AGV emblem on most apparel, owing to the different graphic requirements between helmets and clothing. This aesthetic decision gave AGV Sports Group the freedom to create unique, eye-catching designs that resonated with their discerning clientele.

Here, wearing a sharp black suit, with my hands comfortably tucked into my trouser pockets and glasses resting on my head, I stand proudly at the AGV stand during the Milan Exposition in Italy.
Here, wearing a sharp black suit, with my hands comfortably tucked into my trouser pockets and glasses resting on my head, I stand proudly at the AGV stand during the Milan Exposition in Italy.

Between 1992 and 1995, AGV in Italy acquired a controlling 51% stake in AGV Sports Group, Inc., solidifying their partnership.

Notably, from 1985 to 1999, AGV Sports Group and AGV Helmets US office operated under the same management, offices, and warehouses, underscoring their commitment to providing high-quality, innovative, and unique apparel and merchandise that catered to the needs of racing enthusiasts around the world.

I went on to become the Vice President of AGV Helmets America for 25 years, during which time I also consulted for Vemar Helmets, KBC Helmets, Suomy Helmets, KYT Helmets, Marushin Helmets, and Sparx Helmets, where I shared my expertise and knowledge to help these companies thrive in the competitive sports merchandise industry.

INDEPENDENCE FOR AGVSPORT

 
The AGVSPORT apparel is neatly displayed on a clothing rack in-store, with the AGVSPORT name design board placed prominently on top of the rack.
The AGVSPORT apparel is neatly displayed on a clothing rack in-store, with the AGVSPORT name design board placed prominently on top of the rack.

In the year 2001, AGV Sports Group, Inc. secured the sole, exclusive, worldwide, and perpetual rights to the revered AGVSPORT brand name. This momentous achievement signaled a new era of growth and innovation for the privately-held US corporation.

Today, under my (Michael Parrotte) leadership, AGV Sports Group, Inc. continues to flourish and push boundaries with the iconic AGVSPORT brand name while never forgetting it’s origin from AGV Helmets and it’s legendary founder Gino Amisano.

As a leader in the racing apparel industry, the company has cemented its position by constantly seeking to improve and perfect its products, driving progress and inspiring innovation.

The 1990s: A New Crop of Riders

Wayne Rainey leans into a corner as he races to victory, donning an AGV helmet.
Wayne Rainey leans into a corner as he races to victory, donning the AGV Quasar helmet.

The likes of Ago and Nieto had lived through the transition from the pudding bowl helmets of the 60s to the safer modern full-face helmets and increasingly ever more powerful machines.

But the 1990s brought even more speed with formidable racing machines as the Japanese makers were competing to put out even more insane horsepower.

On the right, in a brown striped suit, you can see Gino Amisano.
On the right, in a brown striped suit, you can see Gino Amisano.

Remember this is the decade when the Suzuki GSX-1300R Hayabusa, the fastest bike of the 20th century, was made. Others were Yamaha FZR1000, Suzuki TLS 1000, Honda CBR900RR and Ducati 916.

And faster machines put riders at even greater risk. So, AGV had to provide ever better protection for its world class riders.

Wayne Rainey’s AGV Quasar helmet.
Wayne Rainey’s AGV Quasar helmet.

In 1993, Wayne Rainey wore the AGV Quasar helmet for the 500-class championship. But even the three-time class champion was unable to secure a win that season as he suffered injuries from a crash that left him paralyzed from the waist down.

ENTER VALENTINO ROSSI

 
Valentino Rossi, a seven-time MotoGP champion, proudly displays his personally designed AGV Pista GP R helmet.
Valentino Rossi, a seven-time MotoGP champion, proudly displays his personally designed AGV Pista GP R helmet.

When Amisano met Rossi in 1996, the bushy haired young rider had just bagged his 100th Grand Prix victory. He was just about to get his own race team for the 125GP competition, and the AGV boss could still see a great future ahead of him.

And so, AGV began its collaboration with Vale right away, and this cordial relationship would go on to change motorcycling forever. For over two decades, from 1996 to 2021, Rossi would not only impact the racing scene but also change the concept of AGV as we know it today.

The 2000s: A Change of Hands

Valentino Rossi is at it again, displaying his hand designed AGV Pista GP R helmet.
Valentino Rossi is at it again, displaying his hand designed AGV Pista GP R helmet.

Nicknamed “the Doctor,” Rossi continued to deliver wins with AGV, taking 9 Grand Prix World Champion titles and with 89 premier class victories. His showmanship and charismatic nature helped put the spotlight on him and AGV even when he didn’t win, and especially when he did.

He went on to become a dominant force in MotoGP in the 2000s and AGV was right there with him the whole time.

GINO SELLS AGV TO THE IMAG GROUP

 

Having achieved unimaginable success in the making of helmets and stars, Gino sold AGV in 2001 to the Imag Group, a Belgian-owned investment company that had recently purchased Lazer Helmets. Gino subsequently retired to a life of winemaking in the Cortese di Gavi Hills on the estate of Novese the Raja.

AGV AND DAINESE: A MERGER OF PASSION AND INNOVATION

 

In 2007, AGV was back in Italian hands as it was bought back by Dainese, a well-known motorcycle leather brand. Their combined experience now provided riders with some of the most advanced integrated protection gear from head to toe.

ROSSI’S CONTRIBUTIONS ACKNOWLEDGED

 
Valentino Rossi wearing the iconic 'Rossi Face' helmet during the Mugello Round in 2008.
Valentino Rossi wearing the iconic ‘Rossi Face’ helmet during the Mugello Round in 2008.

In a momentous gesture of appreciation for Rossi, AGV bestows upon him the prestigious title of Honorary President in 2008. This fitting tribute served to recognize Rossi’s unmatched contributions to the modern evolution of AGV helmets and solidify his status as a pioneer in the field of motorsports safety.

FAREWELL TO A LEGEND: GINO AMISANO

 
Gino was an avid smoker to the end.
Gino was an avid smoker to the end.

On June 30th, 2009, the world loses a visionary as AGV’s founder, Gino Amisano, breaths his last in Nervi, Italy at the age of 89, after a brief yet valiant struggle with bronchial pneumonia. His pioneering spirit and indelible contributions to the motorcycle industry shall continue to inspire generations to come.

The 2010s: The First AGV Pista GP Is Made

The Dainese and AGV union gave us a revolutionary new protocol helmet design that improved the existing full-face helmets almost as much as the change from open face to full face helmets.

THE SWITCH TO EXTREME STANDARDS

 

First introduced by AGV and Dainese in 2007 to revolutionize helmet design, the AGV Extreme Standards–a pioneering construction method centered around the rider’s head, not just the outer shell of the helmet–gets implemented from 2012 onwards to ensure top performance and safety for the rider even under the most perilous conditions.

It pursues the best balance of safety, performance, and comfort. That means tuning for aerodynamics and using special materials for a lightweight and compact helmet that is comfortable to wear.

THE FIRST AGV EXTREME STANDARDS HELMET

The AGV Pista GP Helmet
The AGV Pista GP Helmet.

Forged in the wind tunnel, the new AGV Pista GP offered no compromises for protection, eye comfort and vision or aerodynamics. And its 100% carbon fiber shell shocked many for how light and sturdy it was. Even with the wide 190° of viewing angle, the helmet remains one of the safest ever made.

The new Pista GP gave racer James Hillier the confidence to win the prestigious TT challenge in 2013. In 2019, AGV Pista GP RR became one of the first handful of helmets to achieve the exclusive FIM homologation, which is required for all helmets used in FIM organized racing events, including MotoGP from 2019.

INVESTCORP ACQUIRES DAINESE’S MAJORITY STAKE

 

Dainese makes waves in 2014 when it’s acquired by Investcorp, a global leader in alternative investment products, with an 80% stake. This strategic move infused substantial investment to facilitate Dainese’s relentless pursuit of innovation and international expansion, benefiting its esteemed subsidiary AGV.

The acquisition, valued at $182 million, saw Mr. Dainese retaining a minority stake.

THE FIRST SPORTMODULAR HELMET

 
AGV's Sportmodular helmet: a full-face, flip-front design with lightweight construction for optimal rider safety and comfort. Launched to acclaim at the 2017 Milan Motorcycle Show.
AGV’s Sportmodular Helmet: A full-face, flip-front design with lightweight construction for optimal rider safety and comfort. Launched to acclaim at the 2017 Milan Motorcycle Show.

After celebrating its 70th anniversary in 2017, AGV waited one year then released another marvel of engineering, the first modular sport helmet, the AGV Sportmodular. With its 100% carbon fiber shell, it’s also the lightest modular helmet in its class.

2020 To Date

One of my three AGV AX9 Carbon Fiber Helmet, this one is in my Maryland office.
One of my three AGV AX9 Carbon helmets. This one is in my Maryland office.

In 2020, Thomas Chareyre clinched his eighth Supermoto World Championship title while wearing the AGV AX-8 EVO helmet. AGV proudly supported Chareyre throughout his successful career, and he remains the most accomplished rider in the history of this exhilarating motorsport.

In that same year, Joan Mir was crowned MOTOGP™ Champion with AGV. And over the years, thanks to partnerships with elite athletes like Chareyre and Mir, AGV has earned over 130 championship titles and secured a well-deserved place in the world motorcycling hall of fame.

TOURMODULAR HELMET AND ELECTRIC MOTORCYCLE SPEED RECORD

 
AGV Tourmodular helmet.
AGV Tourmodular helmet.

AGV unveiled its groundbreaking Tourmodular helmet in 2021, the first of its kind to meet the ECE 22-06 homologation, the latest European safety standard. The year 2021 also saw AGV set a new speed record for electric motorcycles with the legendary Max Biaggi at the helm.

AGV PARTNERS WITH ITALIAN BOBSLED TEAM AT 2022 WINTER OLYMPICS

 

In 2022, AGV continued to make its mark in the world of sports by partnering with the Italian national bobsled team at the Winter Olympics held in Beijing from February 4th to February 20th. The team took to the track wearing AGV motorcycle helmets, a testament to the brand’s unwavering commitment to innovation and safety.

THE CARLYLE GROUP BUYS DAINESE (AGV)

 

On March 11th, 2022, the global investment firm Carlyle announces its acquisition of Dainese Group from Investcorp, a move that’s expected to drive AGV’s expansion, with particular emphasis on growth in the United States and China.

The move comes as Carlyle seeks to leverage its extensive experience in the consumer sector and aims to support AGV’s expansion by investing in direct-to-consumer distribution channels, as well as mergers and acquisitions.

With Carlyle’s backing, the leading helmet manufacturer AGV stands to continue its mission of protecting athletes and adventurers around the world.

The Amazing History of AGV Helmets And Gino Amisano – Click Here

See More About AGVSPORT on Wikipedia – Click Here

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