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AGV K3-SV-S helmet review

After 1500 miles of riding in cold and cool conditions, our reviewer passes verdict on AGV's popular sports-touring lid
Price from: £179.49 (RRP £229.99)

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Review Conditions
Motorcycle: Derbi Terra 125
Seasons Ridden: Autumn, winter

Riding a bike through winter is unpleasant, but wearing the AGV K3 SV-S made it a bit more tolerable thanks to the Pinlock insert keeping my vision clear and the chin curtain keeping my face reasonably warm.

The K3 SV-S is an upgraded version of the very popular K3-SV, and one of the biggest improvements is a redesigned visor.

I found it gave me a very good clear, wide view. It is easy to remove and install, without tools, which makes fitting the Pinlock a doddle. 

It takes Pinlock 70, their middle grade of insert, and it gives a good level of absorbency and, being MaxVision, covers most of the area you can see in the visor. 

After 30-45 minutes of riding in temperatures below 5°C the insert on my lid began to mist up a little around the edges. 

That’s easily sorted by popping the latch on the chinbar up a little to create a gap and allow in a breeze that solved it for me in most cases.

One thing that did catch me out to begin with was the shape of the Pinlock recess on the inner surface of the visor. When riding under streetlights, the light would refract through the curve at the top and give a blue flash, much like the lights on emergency vehicles. While it’s not obstructive, it’s something to be aware of because it caught me out until I realised what was actually happening.

In the box you get different coloured clips for the visor lifting mechanism, giving you different levels of opening for the visor. The helmet comes with red inserts fitted, but I swapped out to the green ones which give more steps of opening, ranging from a thumb’s width to wide open. I found these inserts offered the best mix of the three types supplied.

There is an internal sun visor, which has a reasonably heavy smoke on it. It’s not anti-fog coated so a couple few breaths with a closed visor in winter made it fog up to a level where I couldn’t really see, so I rarely used the sun visor and just managed without it. In summer I’m sure it’d be fine.

The interior is plush and comfy, with the liner being moisture-wicking, fully removable and washable. 

There are cut-outs in the foam and EPS around the ears to fit intercom speakers without them pressing against your ears and making things uncomfortable. 

I test-fitted a Sena 20S Evo Bluetooth comms system and it fitted well enough. 

For spectacle wearers there is also plenty of space for glasses arms to pass down the side without pressing hard on your temple.

The shape of the helmet is another thing I really like, because it mimics the more aggressive race helmets, with the rear spoiler and lips around the base. In the matt black I wore it looks clean, sleek and sporty, but still doesn’t look out of place when riding an upright bike like my Derbi Terra.

In my experience ventilation isn’t really the strong point of the K3 SV-S, and I found the chin vent to allow very little flow for me. 

It’s operated with a small slider on the inside of the chin bar, which I found difficult to reach. 

This is partly down to the chin curtain. There is a little gap in it to allow a finger though, but I found it incredibly difficult to find the gap while riding. In my opinion it’s also partly a design issue as the switch is just so small. 

To make it a bit easier to open the vent I took the chin curtain out, but obviously that had a detrimental effect on the warmth inside the helmet. I only really needed to do that towards the warmer months at the end of my time with this lid, so it wasn’t too bad.

In winter Lincolnshire’s roads are covered in brown muddy water and road grime, which then dries to a muddy dust that gets everywhere. I found this in the top vent sliders, making them a bit stiff and crunchy when moving them. A good, regular clean and a bit of silicone solution (the stuff you get with a Shoei or Arai helmet) in the sliders alleviates this issue.

For less than £200, I would strongly recommend the AGV K3 SV-S. It’s got all the ingredients for a good helmet… light weight, good looks and ACU Gold approval. 

I think it’s better suited to the spring/summer/autumn months as I found it didn’t do that well in cold temperatures. Still, it’s a versatile, premium-looking helmet, at a really good price.

Vision

Good, wide-view visor. Pinlock 70 is adequate, but in low single-figure temperatures it begins to fog after half an hour or so, Internal sun visor fogs up in the cold and wasn’t quite a dark enough tint for me.

Ventilation

Adequate is the best way to describe the vents on this helmet - enough to keep it cool enough for me on a warmer day, but nothing special. The chin vent is a bit difficult to get to, and riding through winter with the muddy spray off the roads, the top vents get a bit stiff.

Fit & Comfort

Soft padding is comfortable and good cut-outs around the ears mean glasses fit comfortably too. Wide opening at the base of the helmet makes it easy to put on and take off.

Build Quality

Feels solid and well-built. The sun visor is stiff to pull down, but it's secure and the clasp feels solid, as does the visor mechanism.

Features

Comes with all the essentials, and a few extras. Different clips for the visor lifting mechanism are included to give different opening levels. I went with green so I could open it slightly to clear the visor.