Can you put a price on your head?
My first car cost £400. It was a red 1984 Mini (on the logbook at least) and it had the previous owner’s nickname scrawled across the rear windscreen in huge white letters. He told me it was a great runner, pointed out the good bit (singular) and said that the Wolfrace slot mags matched my eyes perfectly. I paid up immediately and can remember as clear as day the feeling like the cats meow as I crabbed my way past the guardroom at Brompton barracks in Chatham. Two hours later I was at home, trying to explain to my parents why none of the wheels on my new car pointed in the same direction, and why it had the word ‘Dodgy’ written on the back window.
Despite the snapped sub frame, the drum brakes that should have been discs and the door that never quite shut, I felt safe enough to drive that thing flat out at every single opportunity. It had a seatbelt and a roof, nothing could go wrong.
That feeling of relative safety, regardless of the price, is something I’ve spent a fair portion of the last few days thinking about. Until three days ago, I’d never worn an AGV Pista GP. If you haven’t heard of the Pista, it’s the finished product from the AGV Extreme Standards Project. The features are lengthy and it’ll take me longer than three days to get my head around how effective they are, but my initial feelings are that this could well be the best helmet I’ve ever been lucky enough to push my baldy head into.
The Carbon Fibre outer shell is flawless, the fit way beyond comfortable. I genuinely spent an hour checking out the detail touches. The air vents don’t operate with a traditional slider but do have rubber bungs for lighter weight and Syrian grade pub bullshit ammo. The visor aperture is perfect. Raise your eyebrows as high as you can while you read this, notice how you can’t see any part of your face? That’s how much view you get of the road, no chin bar to obscure the clocks and no edge trim at the top to reduce your view of apex or traffic light. I was lucky enough to get a race visor with mine, it made easy work of a sunrise over Brands Hatch, and was still going strong as the sun set over Crystal Palace that night. It’s important that I also point out how cool the GP looks with the too dark for the road race visor, because safety aside, looking cool is important. It’s clear that Valentino Rossi -honorary president and brand ambassador at AGV- did more than just lend his name to the project, this is a helmet that feels like its been designed with going fast and safety in equal, massive measure. That feeling of relative safety that tenuously led us to this point, is one that is absolutely connected to the price of the Pista GP Project 46. Out of the box it costs £799.99, on my head, it feels priceless.
The red Mini lasted precisely two months before I admitted defeat and sold it to somebody that really liked Wolfrace slot mags and welding. I get the feeling the Pista will last plenty longer than that. I’ll report back after the first thousand miles.
If you can’t be bothered to wait, click here for more info and purchase details.