In 1946, when he was 25 Gino Amisano stopped being an accountant and started making leather saddles and racing helmets for cyclists, expanding into seats and backrest pads for Vespas and Lambrettas.
A year later and the company AGV SpA. an acronym of Gino's initials and the town, Valenza, where the company was located made its first motorcycle helmet. Gino had seen that some of the better protected motorcycle racers of the day wore "pudding basin" style helmets from England and so AGV started making motorcycle helmets. In his words "Where I came from, they used wooden lasts to mould shoe uppers, but I needed to mould my first helmets in the shape of heads, not feet. So, I approached Borsalino of Allesandria, the famous hatter. and he lent me the moulds I needed."
These first helmets were hand made of leather, formed over the borrowed moulds, oven dried and then painted with the company's logo. The Colours of which are those of the Italian flag and it was always a source of pride to Gino Amisano that these colours were often on the lead racer's helmet.
As the first AGV helmets were completely hand made early production was just five a week, but Gino was a true pioneer and had the luxury of being able to experiment with different materials.
This experimentation led in 1954 to the creation of the first modern fibreglass helmet, Gino utilising the relationship he had with Piaggio, he was still making the seats for Vespas, to initially manufacture the outer shells at their factory in Grugliasco.
Never one to rest on his laurels Gino continued to innovate and in 1955 AGV launched their Jet helmet, a design based on those worn by fighter pilots. This modern, eye-catching helmet created quite a buzz at the London International Motor Show and went into production in 1956.
AGV had always been involved with motorsport an in 1958 became the first company to use a motorcycle race to advertise themselves, hanging banners at the most photographed bends.
The late 60's saw AGV sign their first sponsorship deal with motorcycling world champion Giacomo Agostini. It was also at this time that Gino Amisano saw the full-face helmets coming out of the USA and decided to launch them in Italy. The first rider to wear an AGV full-face helmet in an Italian race was Alberto Pagani at Imola in September 1969 - which he won!
AGV has always innovated and with Gino's advice the full-face helmets evolved to have a sculpted chin bar and recess at the nape of the neck to allow the riders to get low over the tanks reducing aerodynamic drag.
From this early days many racers have associated themselves with AGV: Giacomo Agostini, Troy Bayliss, Steve Baker, Luca Cadalora, Johnny Cecotto, Emerson Fittipaldi, Fausto Gresini, Niki Lauda, Marco Lucchinelli, Randy Mamola, Guy Martin, Joan Mir Mayrata, Angel Nieto, Nelson Piquet, Kenny Roberts, Keke Rosberg, Valentino Rossi, Barry Sheene, Marco Simoncelli and Franco Uncini bringing AGV more than 130 titles on the world motorsports stage.
Today AGV produces a range of motorcycle helmets, full-face, open-face, flip-front, adventure and touring; all utilising AGV’s "Extreme Standards", their integrated technical development and construction approach that "designs around the head" and which AGV claims achieves measurable improvements in fit, comfort, weight, size, aerodynamics and protection.
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