Combining the comfort of a street helmet with the lightweight functionality of an off-road lid, crossover helmets like AGV’s new AX-8 Dual are intended as a one-lid solution for adventure riders. Can one helmet really do it all? Our recent dual-sport adventure in Big Bear (see page 48) was the perfect opportunity to find out.
Based on AGV’s excellent AX-8 motocross helmet, the Dual comes configured for street use with a removable faceshield, modified visor peak and additional ventilation. The DOT/ECE-certified shell, made from a mix of carbon, Kevlar and fiberglass, is remarkably light. Our size medium sample weighed just 3 lbs., 1 oz., about a half-pound lighter than most of its competition. Added top venting and a variable chin vent (interchangeable with the AX-8’s fixed-open option) provide excellent airflow, even at low speeds off road. Coolmax/Dry-Comfort interior padding is removable and washable—a must for dirt duty.
On-road performance is only okay. The new floating visor has been redesigned to reduce sail effect, but it still buffets above 60 mph—especially when you look to the side or come too close to a passing vehicle’s wake of rough air. Removing the visor (AGV calls this street fighter-style) helps somewhat, but this looks silly. And even with the visor removed, the AX-8 Dual is significantly louder than a conventional street helmet. Off-road functionality, using goggles instead of the faceshield, is better. The screw-off shield isn’t quick or convenient to change, however, and the hinge mechanism remains exposed to collect dirt and snag the goggle strap. A screw-on hinge cover of some sort would be nice.
The versatile AX-8 Dual was fine for our multi-day, multi-surface Big Bear adventure, but trips like that are rare. For the other 99-percent of our riding, most of us would opt for a comfortable street helmet on the street and a purpose built off-road helmet in the dirt.
AGV AX-8 Dual Helmet
Contact: AGV Helmets
VERDICT 3.5 out of 5 stars.
Among the best crossover helmets available. But just like a dual-sport bike, it's a compromise by design.