The K5-S, launched in 2016, is the upgraded version of AGV’s standard K5 and claims to sit squarely in the middle of their range.
On the face of it, the K5-S appears to be an attractive option for the new or experienced rider looking for a low priced top brand.
Does it live up to the hype?
Let’s dive in.
The AGV K5-S is a premium sports bike helmet for road use, coming onto the market in 2016 at around the £400 mark.
We have seen the price fall over the years and it now sits in the low to mid price range, suiting newer riders looking for a sporty first helmet in attractive colors as well as fair-weather riders looking for a cool feeling and cool looking helmet for the summer.
Major retailer’s websites, such as sportsbikeshop often have the K5-S on sale in various colour schemes.
Safety and Construction
From a safety perspective, AGV has created a Carbon-Fibreglass shell that has the prerequisite ECE 22-05 and a 4 star Sharp rating.
It’s light, weighing in at just 1,390g and offers a high level of peripheral vision, clearly a key safety requisite for new and experienced riders.
The K5-S is certainly no ‘ug bug’, and AGV have created a rather saucy looking lid.
They claim to have created the K5-S using wind tunnel design technology to reduce drag and increase aerodynamics (is it just me or did we all assume that everyone did this?) which will offer a significant benefit for anyone riding a naked bike.
This extra attention to detail has resulted in nicely defined channels around the chin guard and the K5-S’ distinctive rear spoiler, giving the helmet a fantastic well-defined sporty and aggressive look.
A Kaleidoscope of Colours
It’s available in Mono or Multi colour schemes. The Mono options are attractive, but this helmet really excels with its vast array of ‘Multi’ colour schemes, they are superb and will surely cater for most tastes.
However, one note of caution, these colour schemes do come at a cost. Some retailers’ prices swing based on these colour schemes, which come with macho sounding names such as Hurricane 2.0, Tornado, Typhoon, Thunder, Darkstorm and the slightly weird and out of context Marble.
It pays to shop around online and seek out the best deals as they do vary and if you’re not fussy, you will be able to find some good prices.
See the full range of colours on SportsBikeShop
The K5-S scores highly in the fit and comfort department with upgrades to the helmets internals. AGV offer a good range of sizes, and they’ve cleverly created a small (MS) and large (ML) size, to offer two medium options.
Some users have reported the lid being a tight fit, so it may be an idea to err on the side of caution and opt for a larger fit, but helmets usually need an element of ‘breaking in’ and often loosen up over time once your chops have rubbed up against them.
The internal guts are fully removable, washable antibacterial microfibre inserts and it’s clear that all stitching has been hidden to improve comfort.
The luxury levels are further enhanced by the neck roll (and some other inserts) being clothed in a material called Shalimar, a super soft suede-like material bearing no connection to the legendary 80’s sequin-clad R&B group.
There is also a chin curtain, which helps reduce wind noise, and the removable breath deflector/nose guard is a nice addition. Further removable earpieces offer voids for earpieces and Bluetooth comms systems such as AGVs easy share (mentioned later on in this article).
Noise levels have had mixed reviews, with criticism around high speed ride noise levels.
However, it’s rare to see a review extolling a helmets ‘zero’ noise levels in this price range, and it’s a well-ventilated lid, so some noise will be experienced during those hot summer, high speed, open vented journeys.
See here if you are looking for the quietest motorcycle helmet.
The main visor comes with an anti-scratch coating and is relatively simple to remove and replace with out any tools, allowing you to upgrade to other AGV visor options easily.
A further feature is a small button under the lip of the visor (called the Micro opening Systems) that when pressed gently pops the visor open, which can also offer a further vent option during hot rides (and making it easier to open the visor).
Internal Sun Visor
However, the K5-S’ party trick is its internal drop-down sun visor, an absolute boon when the sun is low in the sky. A small latch operates the sun visor at the side of the main visor; however, this is tricky to use when wearing gloves, which lets the visor down to some extent, making it fiddly to operate when travelling.
Many users have also complained that the sun visor isn’t quite dark enough, but this is a personal preference between limiting the sun’s impact on your vision, whilst still being able to see during the UK’s ever changing light levels. Some users have reported that it also fits well over standard glasses negating the need for specialist motorcycle sunglasses.
Vision is further improved via Pinlock visor technology with a pin lock insert kindly supplied in the box.
Although this is a well ventilated helmet, a pinlock is a welcome addition, helping you wave goodbye to steamy obscured vision that can catch out an unsuspecting rider when temperatures and weather conditions rapidly change mid-ride.
Surprisingly it has a double D ring retention strap. This I feel needs a certain level of consideration for the modern rider.
I’ve found I prefer modern ratchet systems over fiddly D rings, which can take a bit of getting used to especially with cold fingers.
As a rider, you have enough things to consider when escaping out onto the road on your machine, without having to look like a plonker trying to wrestle your lid off outside your local biker café.
I’m assured that once you get used to them, they offer a greater level of adjustment and I guess it’s another skill to master.
Some K5-S owners have also complained that the small retaining stud on the end of the strap flaps around like a loon during high speed rides, but it can be removed.
This helmet is well ventilated. AGV’s so-called ‘Internal Ventilation System’ offers 5 vents and two extractors.
The vents are located in the front chin section, two elongated brow vents, a large temple vent and an additional exhaust vent below the rear spoiler. All have open close/switches.
The adjustable exhaust vent is a nice touch to prevent water from entering the helmet if riding in a low race position.
Some other additional features include a small void at the back of the helmet to fit AGV’s proprietary ‘Share’ communication system. A nice feature if you want to communicate with a pillion or other friends during a ride-out.
Although AGV appears to offer regular firmware updates, this system will have limitations and may not provide as many features and advancements as other cutting-edge comms systems.
Looking at some of the great deals available for the AGV K5-S, it offers a tremendous all-round mid (and dare I say almost low) price package.
It does have some drawbacks; It’s not going to be super quiet, but comfort levels balance this out.
The D ring system is a personal turn-off for me (and potentially other uncoordinated fat-fingered incompetents), and it’s mildly irritating that the internal sun visor is tricky to operate at speed. Still, muscle memory will improve this once any user has used the helmet for a while.
But, those things aside, it’s a great looking option for the price, with a top-end logo emblazoned on it.
Crucially, it’s lightweight body, and removable washable interior will make it easy to live with long after the novelty of having a new helmet recedes, making it a helmet I would happily wear day-in, day-out.