Finding a way to shield your eyes from the strong glare of the sun hasn’t always been a simple process. The simplest no doubt is wearing sunglasses, but they don’t always fit well inside a helmet (or they constantly need adjusting while riding, meaning you need to flip the visor up to do so). Some helmets include a flip down visor, but there has been some concern (without any factual evidence, mind you) that making room for a flip down visor comprises helmet safety. Of course, you could always carry both a tinted and clear visor, but that’s probably the worst solution of all.
Bell introduced a nice solution by way of photo-chromatic visors that automatically adjusts the tint to lighting conditions – although when you go in and out of tunnels, it probably adjusts a little too slowly for our liking. But AGV have just announced a very cool (albeit expensive) solution titled AGVisor.
Debuted just a few days ago at SWISS-MOTO (Switzerland’s annual motorcycle expo), AGV says that their system is fast, efficient and doesn’t compromise helmet safety. As you can see in the video below, the function works instantaneously by pressing a button on the left side of the helmet. It’s basically the same principle behind Bell’s photo-chromatic system, but instead of adjusting by sunlight, it changes by electric current.
When powered on in tinted mode, the battery will last for around 12 hours. In standby mode, total battery life before charging is 55 hours. However, AGV have included a mechanical backup that allows you to change the visor tint from dark to clear if the battery runs flat.
It’s no doubt a very cool and clever system, but we’re not sold on any piece of technology that requires regular charging in order to work as it’s just another thing you need to keep on top of. Then there’s the price. It’s been announced that the visors will cost €200 each, or about $223. Considering a Bell photo-chromatic visor is about $120 and a cheap pair of sunglasses costs $20, that’s a huge amount of money for essentially the same thing (although with a quicker tinting action).
Initially, the AGVisor will be made available for the GT Veloce helmet, with other models such as the Corsa Pista and GP to follow.