There's no doubt that AGV owes a lot to Valentino Rossi, as the Italian star of MotoGP racing has been protecting his head with the legendary brand's helmets since the early years of his illustrious career. Predictably enough, it was the nine times world champion that offered his expert assistance in developing the latest generation of sport helmets.
The Pista project took off in 2012 replacing AGV's previous top helmet, the GP-Tech. The new model presented at Misano, Italy, is essentially an improved version of the Pista GP, adding an R to the name and a world-first to its specs. The latter comes on the shape of a hydration system built-in to the helmet. It consists of internal channels engineered into the helmet's shell that lead to a drinking valve at the chin area and is completely removable.
At the lower back of the helmet an elastic tube will supply water from any of the standard hydration kits that are available for racing leather overalls and typically involve a water bag housed in the suit's aerodynamic hump.
Aside from the innovative hydration system that promises to do away with fussy long tubes stretching from the rider's back all the way under the helmet's chin bar to the mouth, the Pista GP R features improved aerodynamics thanks to the new, wind tunnel-tested Biplano spoiler.
The Integrated Ventilation System has also been upgrated with brand new metal air vents that have been developed in MotoGP to maximize air flow through the helmet's interior.
Finally, AGV informs us that its new flagship helmet offers an even wider field of view to the rider, with 85 degrees vertically and 190 horizontally. This is achieved with the new Class Optic 1 anti-fog visor, equipped as standard with Max Vision Pinlock system and the patented Visor Lock System that was introduced with the first generation of Pista helmets.
With all the latest features, the hydrated R version tips the scales at 1,350 g (2.98 lb), adding just 100 g (0.22 lb) to the superlight weight of the current Pista GP – measured with the smallest of four available shell sizes.
It is expected to be available by November with a starting price of €1,200 (US$1,350) for the single-color helmets. Adding graphics will probably set you back another €200 ($225) – judging by the pricing of the current model.