New Generation AGV visors
Here's why these AGV visors are scratch happy; they are treated on both sides with a single 'hybrid' anti-fog/anti-scratch treatment.
I am the product designer behind the MCN award winning V2 Sponge, and still own and run the company that sells them, and these AGV visors gave me sleepless nights when they were launched 2 years ago.
2 years ago when we did a Magazine cover mount, we had a flurry of users talk about damage - this in a matter of days doubled, trebled and then quadrupled the amount of complaints about damage we had received in the previous 3 years. The common denominator was that ALL of the visors were new model AGV's.
I picked up the issue with AGV at the Cologne show in 2008. Their product manager was naturally upset that this was happening and we engaged in an open and honest chat. What became apparent was that the recent relocation of production to China for the lower end of the AGV range was linked to this - the top range stuff is still made in Italy and doesn't have the same issues.
This meeting at Cologne was followed up with an exchange with AGV's quality manager. The reason he gave for this problem, which I simply didn't believe at the time, is that the new visors (on the Chinese made lids) were made using a single dip of a hybrid coating. Old way = specialist coatings each side, new way = single coating of dual purpose stuff. Motivation? probably cash.
Anti-fog coatings by their nature swell and soften when wet. This obviously makes them more susceptible to scratching.
How does this pass the EC22.05 testing for anti-scratch properties? - the EC22.05 test is carried out using dry sand dropped onto a visor which is on a rotating turntable. I believe if the sand was wet, the visors would fail dramatically, as it is, because the coating functions okay as an anti-scratch when dry, it passes.
I have been publicising the fact on the www.visorvision.co.uk homepage since I found out, and we now include product warnings on inserts and bags about these specific helmets - we believe the range of the problem extends to at least the following: Stealth, S4, K3, K4, Longway, Airtech - but there might be more as new models adopt the same tech.
It's a real tough one to try and deal with - I have spoken to the UK importer who at the time hadn't heard of the issue, but then very quickly caught up to speed and asked their dealers to reiterate the care instructions, and clean only with soap and water, and warranty claims for any other damage would be null and void.
It's a shame, their lids are good, but this lets them down. For a look at the marks on a new AGV that signify if you'll get a problem, click on the banner on the www.visorvision.co.uk homepage and there are details there.
The sooner they change these coatings the better, not just because they aren't compatible with the UK's favourite visor cleaner (well, I would say that...!) but because they are simply not good enough in real world use, as proven by the readers of MCN here.
Tin helmet now on, and I'll await the call from AGV....(whistles)