The AGV K1 S is a wallet-friendly, entry-level helmet that impressed MCN product guru Justin

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The AGV K1 S initially caught my eye as one of the first lower cost motorcycle helmets to be certified to the more stringent ECE 22.06 standards. Its predecessor, the K1, has long been the Italian firm’s entry level lid, and I was keen to see how this new version would perform. I’ve worn it for 3,100 miles in all weathers over the last 11 months, mainly on the daily commute, and although it’s been good, there are one or two things that prevent it from getting a perfect score.


  • Fits well
  • Feels light
  • Easy visor change
  • Well ventilated


  • Vents are stiff to operate
  • No visor lock
  • Specs are a tight fit
  • Comfort
  • Visor
  • Ventilation
  • Noise
  • Looks
  • Quality
  • Value
  • Overall
Weight 1,500 grammes
Construction Polycarbonate
Chin strap type Double D ring
Intercom ready Yes
Drop down sun visor No
Pinlock Visor prepped, but insert extra
Interior Fully removable
Shell sizes 2
Warranty 2 years
Safety standard ECE 22.06
  • Thermoplastic shell
  • High density EPS
  • Collarbone safe profile
  • Dry-comfort liner
  • Integrated spoiler
  • Adjustable vents
  • 190 degree horizontal field of view
  • Quick release visor
  • Pinlock prepared
  • Double D ring strap
  • Removable and washable interior

Is the AGV K1 S comfortable?

The K1 S fits very well, cradling the head sufficiently so as not to apply undue pressure at any one point. Although the lining has a premium feel to it, there isn’t much in the way of padding around the top of the head, making comfort levels more firm cushion than sumptuous pillow. The neck roll, on the other hand, forms a soft, squishy seal around the nape and along the jaw line which not only keeps draughts out, but adds a reassuring sense of security.

AGV K1 S interior, black with red piping

Tipping our scales at 1,448 grammes the K1 S is an average middleweight and carries that mass well, to feel light and balanced in use. At speed there’s very little to interfere with the airflow and I’ve worn it for hours at a time without any issue at all. The ‘Eyewear Fit’ slots at either temple are a bit meagre though, and keep spectacle arms pressed fairly firmly against your head. It’s on the limits of what I’d consider comfortable, but falls short of creating a pressure point.

AGV K1 S helmet showing spectacle groove

How good is the visor?

I really like the K1 S’s quick release visor release mechanism, it’s one of the easiest I’ve ever used and makes visor changes possible in under 10 seconds with very little effort. Which is handy when light conditions change, as it doesn’t have an integral drop-down shade. Simply pull the red tags at either side to release, then line up the tabs on the visor with the slots in the mechanism and push in with a click to install. It really is that simple.

AGV K1 S helmet quick release visor mechanism

Although the visor is Pinlock prepared, the insert is extra (£28.99) as is a range of smoked and iridium visors (from £49.99). What I’m not so keen on is the lack of a positive lock for the visor in the closed position, which can allow it to leak in heavy rain, both at the top and under the leading edge. It’s not a huge amount, but a single drip down the inside is enough to be distracting.

The field of vision isn’t great either. It’s fine peripherally but get into any sort of a tuck and the upper edge of the aperture severely limits the view ahead. Riding a sportsbike is almost guaranteed to give you a bad neck, as you have to keep it craned to see where you’re going, but on a naked it’s not an issue.

What is the ventilation like?

The K1 S has five adjustable air intakes on the front and two fixed exhausts in the rear spoiler. With them all open airflow is significant, providing a palpable cooling stream that quickly draws heat away from the head and out the back. The three brow intakes are easy enough to reach, although very stiff to operate and require a particular technique to get right.

AGV K1 S brow air intake vents

To open or close the chin vents you need to slide a finger through a slot in the chin curtain and fiddle around for a lever on the inside. It’s virtually impossible to find when wearing gloves and in winter you’ll be lucky to get enough purchase on any of them, so best leave them closed when it’s cold out or you’ll be freezing your noggin in no time.

AGV K1 S chin vent operating lever

In addition to the main vents, there a small tab under the visor which allows a slight draught in for de misting. It’s just enough to keep a Pinlock clear, but if your glasses don’t have an anti-fog treatment, you’ll need to crack it open the first position which is a gaping 5cm that will let rain in if it’s wet out.

Is the AGV K1 S noisy?

I always ride in earplugs but compared to a lot of the helmets I’ve worn the K1 S ranks as one of the more quiet. The overall shape is relatively smooth with little to cause turbulence, and although I’ve not tried it with one, should be fine with an intercom. While we’re on that subject, although there isn’t a specific system to fit the K1 S, it does have provision for speakers so that a generic Bluetooth intercom can be used.

K1 S with rider wearing glasses

Does the K1 S look good?

With its aggressive sculpted chin bar and integrated rear spoiler, the K1 S has shades of the range topping Pista GP, giving it that all important race track refugee look. This particular colour scheme, called ‘Dreamtime’, is based on a design originally used by Valentino Rossi during winter testing at Philip Island in 2007, and the Aboriginal art inspired take on the Doctor’s traditional livery gives it seriously cool vibes. I love it!

AGV K1 S front right three quarter view
AGV K1 S rear left three quarter view

How well made is the K1 S?

Although certain elements, namely the vents, are awkward to operate, they don’t feel like they’ll break any time soon despite my hamfisted attempts to open and shut them. I’ve changed the visor numerous times and the mechanism seems sturdy enough to withstand many more.

The lining uses a single type of fabric on the skin facing side, which has a plush, premium feel. It offers little resistance when you slide the helmet on or off, even when you’re hot and sweaty. The entire liner comes out for washing, and although simple to remove takes a bit more patience to install.

AGV K1 S brow vents and thermosplastic shell

The only thing that gives its budget pedigree away is the thermoplastic shell, which by its very nature feels and looks a little, well, plasticky. It meets (or exceeds) the required standards though, and with a substantial 4 density EPS (the inner polystyrene layer), I doubt that AGV have scrimped on safety. After 11 months of all season abuse it still looks exactly as it did when I first opened the box, so the finish is obviously to a high standard.

Is the AGV K1 S good value for money?

Starting at just £159.99 for a plain colour, the AGV K1 S is pretty punchy in terms of value. It well made, nicely finished and feels good to wear, plus comes with AGV’s 2 year warranty and dealer back up, which is standard across the range.

AGV K1 S chinstrap with manufacturer's logos


It may have a few negative points, but as a good looking, day-to-day lid that’s easy on your wallet, the AGV K1 S has a lot going for it. It’s comfortable, functional and durable, with a high end feel to the interior and ventilation is superb – even if the vents are hard to operate. Ok, it doesn’t have a drop-down sun shade, but it’s so easy to change the main visor that it’s barely an issue, and what it loses in convenience it makes up for in EPS – and I know which I’d rather have.

Other helmets to consider

Price: £179.99 (was £229.99)

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