THE HISTORY OF AGV HELMETS & AGV SPORTS GROUP
In 1946 a young, post-war Italian businessman from Valenza, Gino Amisano, began producing leather seats and motorcycle saddles. One year later he repurposed his skills to start AGV SpA (helmets) designing some of the earliest motorcycle protective leather helmets on the market in Italy. As safety testing and standards were not commonplace in this time of history, Amisano was one of the first to begin producing protective motorcycle racing helmets with his 1954 model 160 helmet. Fast forward sixty one years and worldwide the AGV name is living legend.
After the production of the first leather “pudding bowl” shaped, crisscross inner lining and harnessed helmet, which would mold to the riders head, AGV had thus separated themselves from the competition, and Gino Amisano would soon be known as the “King of Helmets” in the European industry.
To attain such a high status, a “King,” AGV had to establish their dominance in the helmet industry. They started with a riding helmet, but what was to follow?
Their first step was by producing a protective jet helmet in 1956, later signing the best motorcyclist to ever participate in the sport in 1967, Giacomo Agostini, who would go on to win 14 World Championships while wearing AGV helmets. The first AGV full faced helmet worn in racing was in an Italian race, worn by Alberto Pagani, in 1969. And finally by creating and sponsoring the now famous “Clinica Mobile, this mobile clinic which would treat injured riders at the race track starting in 1977. It was clear that AGV had a commitment to excellence, both in safety of their products and the sport itself.
It was right about this time that Michael Parrotte began riding motorcycles while attending the American School of Paris for three years. During this time AGV was the undisputed King of the helmet world in Europe while Bell Helmets reigned supreme in North America. During this time in Europe AGV Helmets were worn by many of the top Grand Prix Riders – Giacomo Agostini, Barry Sheene, Angel Nieto, Johnny Cecotto, Steve Baker, and Kenny Roberts. AGV was not just the sponsor of racers but of race series. The AGV World Cup consisted of 200 mile events at Daytona, Paul Ricard, and Imola.
Shortly after returning to the US Mr. Parrotte wrote a letter to Mr. Amisano enquiring about the possibility of importing AGV Helmets into the US. Communications continued and in late 1976 AGV granted the exclusive rights for the AGV brand to Mr. Parrotte and his new company AGV USA. The first helmets arrived in the port of Baltimore in the spring of 1977. As an avid road racer Michael traveled the race circuit promoting and selling AGV as well as participating in races. During this first season AGV USA sponsored their first racer, an up and coming fourteen year old from Louisiana-named Freddie Spencer.
After years of operating as the exclusive importer of AGV helmets, Parrotte saw yet another opportunity in the motorcycling market by producing safety apparel for riders, particularly club racers who needed very durable and safe products and who did not have unlimited budgets. In 1985 Mr. Amisano licensed the use of the AGV tradename to begin a joint venture with Mr. Parrotte in this new sector. In the first year American GP rider Randy Mamola began wearing AGV gloves, the CX-1. AGV road race suits and boots quickly followed, all handcrafted in Italy at the time.
After only a couple of years of business in the US motorcycle apparel industry Yamaha Motor Canada became the first international importer of the AGV apparel.
After the success of the AGV motorcycle safety apparel in the United States and Canadian markets, the decision was made to expand the name from AGV to AGVSPORT for cosmetic reasons particularity the Suits, Jackets, and pants. The AGV logo was perfect for helmets and worked for Gloves and Boots but was too short for use on arms and legs. So in the late 1980’s the AGVSPORT brand was born. For a number of years products were branded both AGV and AGVSPORT depending on their styling requirements.
In the early 1990’s Italian designer Sergio Robbiano designed the AGVSPORT logo. Sergio was the top designer for AGV and Spidi and had done extensive design work for Ducati and Bimota. One of his first creations was the Bimota V-Due 500cc two stoke sport bike.
The company may have been young in age, but with the years of helmet industry knowledge that AGVSPORT founder Michael Parrotte brought with him from his early years with AGV SpA proved to be invaluable when creating high performance safety apparel. As many other producers focused of fashion, Michael focused on safety, performance, and value over all else.
In 1992 AGV SpA purchased a majority ownership of AGV Sports Group.
The reputation for durability spread throughout the club racing world and it is not uncommon to see AGVSPORT suits twenty years old or more still being used by club racers today. This ultimately led to a great and long-lasting partnership, now for more than 25 years, with Keith Code and the California Super Bike School, where all instructors would be suited up in AGVSPORT leather suits.
The California Superbike Schools’ instructors and students have been using and abusing AGVSPORT leather suits for more than quarter century. These suits are put to a stress test like no other often being used for days on end, rain or shine year after year. These instructors and students often remain in their suits for the entirety of the day’s lessons, and essentially are living in our leathers. You may think the top sponsored riders would be the best example for why our suits are of the highest quality, but it is the instructors and students at this school that showcase how our suits can literally handle the heat and take a beating, all while staying safe, cool and comfortable.
Throughout the 1990’s AGVSPORT apparel began to explode on the racing scene, beginning with Loris Capirossi wearing AGVSPORT apparel while winning an FIM GP World Championship in 1991. Back in the US the list of sponsored riders started to look like a who’s who of the racing world: from the US the riders Ben Bostrom, Eric Bostrom, Thomas Stevens, Kurtis Roberts, Aaron Yates, and Roland Sands; from Canada Miguel DuHamel, Pascal Picotte, and Steve Canadians; and from Australia Troy Bayliss, Sean Giles, Craig Coxhell, Josh Waters, Jamie Stauffer, and 7-time AMA Super Bike Champion, Mat Mladin.
It was now time for AGV Sport Group Inc. to become an independent entity and all the shares of the company were purchased back from AGV SpA in Italy. But it was not until the fall of 2001 that AGVSPORT was officially recognized by the Italian helmet company as an independent brand, owned by entirely by AGV Sport Group Inc. Today AGV Helmets is owned by famed Italian apparel manufacturer Dainese .
Since that time AGVSPORT has enjoyed a comfortable position in the apparel industry. By continuing their age old business model “Designed by Riders, for Riders,” and “The Science of Safety” which combined years of helmet industry knowledge. AGVSPORT has always been on the cutting edge of the safety apparel design and construction. AGV Sports Group has always been, and will always be, a company of avid riders and enthusiasts who are wearing and always developing AGVSPORT apparel. This ensures that you, the customer, will experience the best and safest products we have to offer, and we hope that you will actually be able to feel the history of Gino Amisano and progress of AGVSPORT every time you ride and are wearing any of our AGVSPORT leathers or textiles.
Each AGVSPORT product is designed by riders for riders, and function is never sacrificed for aesthetics. By keeping product development and design in house and using experience riders, we are staying true to the dedicated following of discerning motorcycle enthusiasts who respect the quality and value of AGVSPORT performance driven products. We at AGV Sports Group are among the sport’s greatest enthusiasts.
Our Mission Statement
AGV Sports Group is a company which has quietly provided some of the best protective gear, in the world, for motorcyclists over 27 years. We have remained one of the oldest rider-owned and operated apparel companies in the motorcycle industry. AGV Sports Group produces high quality protective apparel, offering top performance at a great value. Born in the early days of AGV Helmet’s entry into the US market, AGV Sports Group has a unique technical outlook on the design of our protective apparel.
Our commitment to materials and design innovation has played a major role in the evolution of the AGVSPORT product line. Our products are engineered to be strong, light, abrasion resistant, cool, and comfortable. From affordable entry-level products, to world class high performance safety apparel for professional racers, AGVSPORT products are geared for the serious rider or racer.
The list of riders who have worn AGVSPORT products, at some point during their career, reads like a Who’s Who of road racing: Randy Mamola, Loris Capirossi, Troy Bayliss, Kurtis Roberts, Steve Crevier, Ben Bostrom, Eric Bostrom, Thomas Stevens, Pascal Picotte, Roland Sands, Mike Hale, Randy Renfrow, Aaron Yates, and seven time AMA Superbike Champion Mat Mladin. AGVSPORT has been the official leathers for Keith Code’s California Superbike School for more than twenty years. Unlike most other apparel manufacturers, the identical AGVSPORT products worn by the professional riders can be purchased by the general public.
In addition to the information we collect from our world-class professional riders, a lot of input is received from our customers and our own personal experience. We are passionate about the sport. All of the personnel involved in product development at AGV Sports Group are riders, and are among the sport’s greatest enthusiasts.
Each product is designed by riders, for riders, and function is never sacrificed for aesthetics. By keeping product development and design in house and using experienced riders, we are staying true to the dedicated following of discerning motorcycle enthusiasts who respect the quality and value of AGVSPORT performance driven products.
AGV SPORTS GROUP: A Quarter Century and Beyond
With 25 years in the making, AGVSPORT products have exceeded expectations in not only providing superior protection for racers and street riders but also in the business world. AGVSPORT leathers are no stranger to the podium and the same winning leathers can be purchased by the public. They are also celebrating the 20th Anniversary of sponsoring the number one superbike school in the nation, California Superbike School, and have recently established a partnership with Motonation, their official U.S. distributor.
Washington D.C. (PRWEB) August 12, 2010
This year marks the 20th anniversary celebrating AGVSPORT’s sponsorship of the California Superbike School. Keith Code, founder of the number one bike school, has taught over 100,000 racers including 15 superbike champions who have taken AGVSPORT leathers to the podium. To add on to their historic year AGVSPORT has reached a long term and exclusive licensing agreement with their official U.S. distributor Motonation, a San Diego based company offering products from Premier American and Italian companies. Motonation now has coverage from head-to-toe of the highest quality motorcycle gear from AGVSPORT, SIDI boots, and VEMAR helmets. With a continued relationship with Keith Code’s California Superbike School and the addition of Motonation as the new US license holder and distributor AGVSPORT continues to grow and be one of the most recognized names in racing and sport apparel.
Founded in 1985, this year marks the 25th anniversary of AGV Sport’s Group Inc which is one of the oldest riders owned and operated motorsports apparel companies in the industry. Under the direction of the founder Michael Parrotte, AGV Sports Group makes sure their products are engineered for maximum functionality without compromising abrasion and tear resistance as well as comfort. With the origin of the company being the importation of AGV Helmets from Italy, the company has a strong technical mentality based on the world of helmet manufacturers.
Michael Parrotte AGV Sports Group
“…Laguna feels as if it had been created by a serious racetrack rider who’d decided once and for all to fix what he didn’t like about wearing leathers.”
Apparel design is always geared to their core market being the serious rider and/or racer. Identical products worn by AGVSPORT professional riders, most notably seven-time AMA Superbike champion Mat Mladin, can be purchased by the general public. Each product is designed by riders for riders and function is never sacrificed for aesthetics. Keeping product development with Road Racers and Sport bike enthusiasts in house, they stay loyal to their dedicated followers who respect the quality and value of AGVSPORT gear and apparel.
The 2010 product line has had nothing but good review, which can be seen on the company’s blog site, most notably from trackdaymag.com regarding their Laguna suit. “Overall, the functionality of the AGV Sport suit was so good that when he switched back to his regular leathers later in the day, our tester immediately felt hot… This is one serious suit and the price is right in line with the cost of similar garments from other top brands.” The review goes on to say that the Laguna suit has immense functionality and comfort even after a tedious day at the track. It can be purchased through Motonation or found at one of AGVSPORT’s vendor displays on an upcoming weekend.
Moving forward this year AGVSPORT will have a display garage in the paddock at the 2010 Red Bull Indy MotoGP at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway the 27th to the 29th of August. In addition to the MotoGP, they will also be present at the New Jersey round of the AMA Pro Superbike Championship at New Jersey Motorsports Park the 3rd to the 5th of September. A full range of 2011 AGVSPORT products will be available at both events.
For more information please visit www.agvsport.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Toll free 800-777-7006
AGV Sports Group, Inc.
P.O. Box 547
Buckeystown, Maryland, 21717
Download or order a free 2011 catalog.
History & Mission Statement
The list of riders who have worn AGV Sport products at some point during their career reads like a Who’s Who of road racing – Randy Mamola, Loris Capirossi, Troy Bayliss, Kurtis Roberts, Steve Crevier, Ben Bostrom, Eric Bostrom, Thomas Stevens, Pascal Picotte, Roland Sands, Mike Hale, Randy Renfrow, Aaron Yates, and seven-time AMA Superbike Champion Mat Mladin. Unlike most other apparel manufacturers, the identical AGV Sport products worn by the professional riders can be purchased by the general public.
Each product is designed by riders for riders and function is never sacrificed for aesthetics. By keeping product development and design in house and using experienced riders, we are staying true to the dedicated following of advanced riders who respect the quality and value of performance driven products.
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Click Here or on the image below to visit the AGVSPORT website.
Track riding is an athletic endeavor. We crawl all over our machines as we do a lap, punishing muscles and gushing sweat. We expect our leathers to be protective, accepting that there will be certain compromises to our mobility and comfort as a result. Now imagine your dream leather suit. You’d be protected, absolutely comfortable, completely unhindered in your movement around the bike and you’d look like a million bucks in the bargain. Do such leathers even exist? Well, now they do.
We tested this suit during an unseasonably hot trackday at Gingerman Raceway in Michigan. After our first session in the new AGV Sport Laguna 1-piece leather suit, we were spouting words like, “Ergonomics! Design! User friendliness!” In use, the Laguna feels as if it had been created by a serious racetrack rider who’d decided once and for all to fix what he didn’t like about wearing leathers. The suit worked so well that we immediately took it back off so that we could study the garment more closely in an attempt to determine its secrets. The Laguna provides a very different experience from suits we’ve tried in the past and we wanted to know how this had been accomplished.