I’m a thousand miles into life with my Project 46 AGV Pista. You can read my initial impressions on it here, from when it arrived a couple of months ago. I was looking forward to getting it on track and I’ve had a few opportunities to do just that. The biggest test was a bit of a washout. The Ducati 899 Panigale launch was in Imola, which was a good thing. Unfortunately the riding day was cut short due to the fact there was ankle deep water on some of the apexes by 2pm. Anyone that’s ridden in fierce rain will know how crucial visor performance is, both inside and out. I left the little rubber bungs in the vents, my thinking being that it’d stop the rain coming in as I wobbled round. I snapped the visor shut and paddled out for the first session. After four hours of riding, it was clear that the 899 Panigale is an incredibly capable bike in the wet. What was more apparent was that the visor on the Pista is amazing. Without a Pin Lock or any other kind of internal anti fog device, the performance was nothing short of outstanding. I know it’s not a good habit and it’s one that I rarely suffer from anymore, but I do sometimes (like 100+mph laps of Imola in the rain on a brand new Ducati, sharing the track with Carl Fogarty) hold my breath in technical sections of a track. Only briefly, but usually enough to put the inside of my visor under considerable pressure when I exhale post apex. With the Pista there was no reaction at all. The outer shape also seems to have little trouble directing standing water to the edges of the visor. Carry enough speed, look left then right and the rain will roll to the edges and out of your field of view. Simple.
I wore the earplugs that came in the box and didn’t notice wind noise at all. A short road ride without them prior to the launch proved to be a fairly noisy one, so I did exactly as AGV intended and decided to wear the plugs whenever I wear the lid. Until I went on the Kawasaki Z1000 launch last week. It was a conscious decision to ride without them and I was intrigued to see how the Pista would perform should I end up plug less. A day and a half of reasonably flat out road riding in Southern Spain followed. By the end of each, there was no headache, no ringing in my ears and no stiff neck. All of which I usually suffer with after a long ride with the wind constantly bashing my ears. Another tick in the box for the Pista. I’ve yet to try and switch the dark visor for the clear one, but with the weather doing what it’s doing, I think it’s about time I had a fiddle. I think the main reason I’m reluctant to do so is because I don’t want to find a reason not to like this helmet. Based on the performance of this helmet I’ve experienced so far, I probably shouldn’t worry. If you’re reading this before the 2013 Motorcycle Live show at the NEC, go and find one of these on the AGV stand and have a play. If you’re reading this in the future, click here and find out where to buy.