When you see Valentino Rossi tearing across the tracks of the MotoGP circuit, he’s wearing an AGV TiTech helmet. That’s a pretty good endorsement, and I’m sure AGV pays a king’s ransom for #46 to wear their wares. The nice thing about trickle-down, is that we can buy (prices range from $500 to $680, depending on the graphics) and wear a helmet that is built to the standards of a MotoGP champion.
While slipping an Italian-made TiTech on my head doesn’t get me one step closer to Rossi’s brilliance, it is a reassuring feel. AGV says the TiTech has a "racing fit, very snug," and there can be no argument about that. It’s snug, but not uncomfortably tight. In fact, when you initially put the helmet on, you might think it’s too small. But, get it on and let it settle before you decide (this is a helmet better bought in a shop than online). Every skull has a different shape, of course, so your mileage may vary, but my head agrees with the AGV shell.
As far as features go, AGV has the basics covered. There are two titanium vents on top with three position switches (full open, partially open, closed), and closeable vents on the chin. Airflow is good, but not great. The removable and washable plush Cool Max liner works in concert with the Carbon-Kevlar shell to make the helmet comfortable. Part of that comfort equation is how quiet the TiTech is at high speeds. I find earplugs to be annoying, and this helmet saves me from premature deafness.
The double D-ring chinstrap cinch is traditional, and an easy-to-use snap confidently holds the otherwise dangling strap. The XQRS (Extra Quick Release System) for the shield is a no-tool design. It’s not quite the easiest shield replacement system out there, but it’s close. Tear-offs can be added for racetrack use. The helmet has both DOT and BSI (UK) approvals, along with a three-year warranty.
The AGV TiTech is one of my go-to helmets, and the Tattoo Silver graphic (shown) works with a variety of machines. If you’re a Rossi fan, there are seven different graphics designs with his name on them; if you’d rather not wear a helmet with Rossi graphics, there are still a dozen choices.