Home / News / AGV Tourmodular Helmet & Insyde BT Comm System Review

AGV Tourmodular Helmet & Insyde BT Comm System Review

Aug 14, 2023Aug 14, 2023

Modular helmets are lids that you either love or hate, feel you are too young to wear, or are too cool for school (even the best modular helmets seem to have this stigma).. I felt the same in my twenties, simply because they didn’t exist back then. As my second modular lid, the Tourmodular is better in almost every way than my Nolan N100-5. Quiet, comfortable, and relatively lightweight. I feel it’s less expensive with an equal-quality alternative to Shoei or Schubert flip lids.

I need to admit something at the start of this review. I tend to be a jacket, hand tools, and helmet junkie. Even though I’m a one-bike-at-a-time owner, that monogamist trait ends with my motorcycle ownership. Before the AGV Tourmodular (ATM from this point forward) I wore a Nolan N100-5 modular helmet, which was my first modular lid. My buddy Jim who reviewed that lid suggested it to me. I tried on Shubert and Shoei Modulars, but they just didn’t fit me well. Plus with only two shell sizes they made my head look ginormous even though I only wear a medium. Although the N100-5 fit me well, I found it too noisy for me. Nolan also only uses two shell sizes, but it didn’t look like I had a melon head.

Before the Nolan, I owned and wore an Arai XD4, an Arai Quantum II, Bell MX-9 Adventure, Reevu MSX1, and a Suomy Vandal. The ATM filled all the gaps I discovered in my Nolan; it is quiet, more comfortable, flows more air and the drop-down sun shield is not picky like the Nolan. And my gosh the peripheral vision on the ATM is quite amazing. Removing and reinstalling the face shield is easier than any other helmet I’ve owned.

The AGV Insyde comm system (IS) which I’m also reviewing here is made specifically for the ATM by Cardo. I prefer Cardo over Sena, but everyone has their preferred comm system. The Insyde system works with Sena as well for bike-to-bike communication, but only in Bluetooth mode. I also have the Cardo Packtalk Edge so it made sense for me to purchase the Insyde system.

Let’s start with the obvious, what the helmet looks like before shoving your noggin into it. I purchased the Frequency Matt Gunmetal-Red graphic helmet in size medium. I have a round head rather than an oval shape. Arai helmets fit me like a glove, Shoei’s not so much. Hope that helps you with your head shape. I love the look of the helmet and feel it matches my bike, a 2022 Ducati Multistrada V4S Sport.

Of course, the portion of the ATM that makes it modular is the chin bar that both raises and lowers. I know that my sub-50-year-old riding pals give me grief about wearing ‘an old man’s lid’ but I see envy in their eyes when we stop to grab some water and I don’t have to remove my crown. I simply lift the lid! So I’ll focus on that aspect of the ATM right now.

One of the things that gave me just a bit of doubt about the N100-5 was the ability to flex the helmet when the chin bar was in the raised position. Not a lot, but enough to make me wonder just a bit how solid the helmet would be in a crash. I’ve only crashed in my Arai Quantum IIs so I’m pretty sensitive about wearing great gear. Unlike my N100-5, the ATM side panels do not flex nearly as much when the chin bar is raised. I believe this because the ATM’s shell layers contain three different materials, carbon fiber, aramid, and fiberglass. The N100-5’s shell consists of polycarbonate. When twisting or squeezing the side panels when the chin bar is raised produces a significantly less amount of flex in the ATM.

The engagement clamps on each side of the chin bar along with the attachment studs on either side are both beefy and engage in a very positive manner with a very satisfying CLICK when the chin bar is lowered. The actual device that allows the chin bar to disengage from the studs is a lever, not a button. The lever pulls down away from the chin bar and is not a button that is pressed. It is a secure method to lift the chin bar and can be done easily with a gloved hand, with either my summer Knox Handroid Pod Mark IV Gloves or winter KLIM Hardanger HTD Long Gloves.

As with many of the newer modular helmets, the ATM sports a quick-release slider strap. The ratcheted slider portion is made of metal, not plastic. It engages in a very positive manner along the entire ratchet length. The small pull tab located on the opposite side makes releasing the chin strap very convenient.

Part of the new ECE 22.06 regulation specifies that the neck strap prevents the rolling of the helmet off the head as it rotates forward. The ATM has an additional strap attached to the chin strap that is also attached to the rear of the helmet on each side.

The ATM comes with a chin curtain that is not pre-installed. On my Nolan, I enjoyed the chin curtain, but on the ATM I do not. The primary reason is the curtain is completely flat and does not have a curve that conforms to my chin. When the chin bar is lowered, the curtain hangs on my chin just above the lower curve. So I have to wedge my finger in there, which is always gloved, and pry the curtain down so it is under my chin.

I removed the chin curtain and didn’t notice any more noise or wind entering the lower portion of the helmet than with it installed. YMMV.

As I mentioned earlier, the face shield is a Level 1 rated for optical clarity and I have found it to be extremely clear. More clear than any of the other shields on my other helmets. The included Pinlock 120 spans a very large area of the shield when installed

This is the first helmet I’ve owned where the face shield mechanism is located in the shield and made of metal. I find it extremely easy to remove and reinstall it into the helmet. Simply pressing the metal tab on the face shield down releases it from the mating helmet side.

Reinstalling the face shield is just done in reverse. Easy. I did run into an issue on the left side of the ATM. The small metal ring that resides in the helmet fell out. After examining the right side it appears that a small plastic tab that retains this ring on the helmet was missing. I simply reinstalled the ring and will be careful when removing the left side so as not to lose this ring.

I have written to the retailer who sold me the helmet and they requested the following photos which they’d forward to AGV; front, back, and both sides of the helmet, along with the serial number located on the chin strap. As of the publication of this article, I have not heard back from them or AGV. Another website that reviewed the ATM also had this same issue.

This is the first face shield I’ve owned where the shield is locked into a very slightly cracked open position. It allows a flow of air to enter the ATM which is welcome on hot days when riding at high speeds. A small button located just below the face shield releases it from being locked in place. Fully pressing the shield down creates an extremely tight seal.

Pressing the face shield release button and simultaneously lifting the face shield easily accomplishes raising it with one finger.

It’s also very cool that for the locking ‘cracked open’ position, you can adjust the amount of ‘crack’ you want….

Although I didn’t photograph this, I did test the waterproof nature of the completely closed face shield and no water penetrated the seal around the face shield. No wind enters at high speeds. Since the seals around the face shield are made with rubber and not PVC, I believe this contributes to the tight seal.

AGV says they tested the ATM in a wind tunnel resulting in zero lift at 80 MPH. Because my bike has an adjustable windscreen I cannot say firsthand how the helmet performs with no wind protection. I can say that the helmet exhibits no lift whatsoever as I ride. And at speeds well above 80 when my bike Joy had a mind of her own. She’s made it clear on a few occasions that she wants triplets….

One of the benefits of a modular helmet is that most if not all come with a drop-down sun shade. Other than a Transitions face shield, I find these features valuable. In the past, I carried both a smoked and clear shield when traveling. Simply being able to slide a sun shield down when needed is so convenient. The ATM’s slider for the drop-down sun shade is located on the left side of the helmet on its lower edge. It has a very positive sliding mechanism with the ability to slide down or up to any position. It only locks in the complete down or up positions. The sun shield lowers quite a bit into the helmet. So it offers a good amount of sun protection. My only wish would be if it was fog resistant, but that’s common with most if not all drop down sun shades.

Of all the helmets I’ve owned over the years, the Arai’s have consistently had the most comfortable lining and padding. Having said that, the ATM is a very close second. All lining is removable and washable. The fabric upholstery is extremely soft as is the padding. The ATM liners are both removable and washable. The ATM uses Ritmo and Shalamar fabrics – smoother for the cheek pads and the other with a brushed knap for your noggin. For someone without any hair, it felt great, no chaffing or ‘that not-so-fresh feeling.’

The fabrics wick moisture well. They’ve installed a plastic-bottomed neck roll, which stops the padding from absorbing water when you ride in the rain. The piping is light reflective as well.

I had mentioned that the cheek pads install via a very clever ‘rail system’ where channels are built into the interior of the ATM where yellow rails slide into them for the cheek pads. There are four snaps toward the front of the cheek pads which secure them further. I found that removing and reinstalling the cheek pads was much easier than my other lids.

The ATM has two primary and two auxiliary vents; one primary on the chin with the two auxiliary vents on each side of the primary chin vent. The primary one is a simple press to open or close, easily done with a gloved hand. The two side chin vents are pushed outward to open and toward the center of the chin to close. I use one hand to both open and close these vents by simply pinching them together with my thumb and forefinger. Or spreading them to close the vents much like pinching on a cell phone screen. Easy and the amount of air that flows through the chin vents is well-circulated and does not blow into my eyes.

If I need even more venting, simply leaving the locking face shield up, just cracked works well too.

The other main vent is located on the crown of the head. It is also an easy-to-manipulate button that slides forward or backward to open or close the vent. And just like the chin vent, it’s easy to operate with a gloved hand. The rear exhaust vents on the ATM remain open and cannot be closed. The amount of air flowing through the helmet on a warm to hot day easily cools my shaved head.

To date, the warmest ambient temperature I’ve ridden in was 89 degrees Fahrenheit. And throughout the ride, my head remained cool with plenty of air flowing through the lid.

Now that I’ve gone over all of the technical portions of this lid, let me tell you how it feels as I ride. As I mentioned before, this is my second modular lid. The fit of my Arai head (round more than oval) is great. No hot spots, and no pressure points after the cheek pad broke into my face. I did have to adjust the chin strap to give me more slack so that the ratchet is ⅔’s inserted into the buckle. I was amazed that the noise level of the ATM is lower than my Arai XD4, at about the same level as my Arai Quantum II which is my track-only lid. I no longer have to wear my Vibes High-Fidelity Earplugs for street riding.

The ventilation of the lid is also excellent. YMMV because I wear a no-hair hairdo, a shaved head. The difference though is when my head sweats there is no hair to absorb the moisture, so the lining of any lid is critical to us chrome domes. The ATM’s moisture absorption is excellent and does not smell funky and when it eventually does, it’s washable. Just as important is when it’s cold. Even the stubble that grows on my head helps insulate my scalp from the cold. During very cold months, I avoid doing a clean shave on my head so I have ‘some’ insulation. I sometimes wear a silk skull cap to replicate hair insulation. On only the coldest of days/nights do I find I need that cap when the top vent is closed.

The drop-down sun visor, the main face shield, and the modular chin guard all function flawlessly. The one bitch I do have is with the P/J lever that locks the chin bar in the up position securing it for ECE certification.

First of all the lever is on the right-hand side of the ATM, so even if I could flip the lever forward or backward, I could not do so while riding. And the lever is so stiff that I need to remove the ATM, use a flat-end screwdriver, or something similar to move the lever back or forth. I only ride with the chin bar up once I get into town anyway. I have no plans to ride without the chin bar much since I’ve had eight concussions in my life. Five from two-wheelers and three from fights….

AGV has partnered with Cardo for their Tourmodular helmet communication system. I have used the Cardo Packtalk Edge and have been very happy with its performance. Since the Insyde is a Packtalk unit that does not hang outside the helmet like the Edge, I felt it was a good option for the ATM.

Before purchasing my first bike-to-bike communication system, the Cardo Packtalk Edge, I had never owned a comm system. Jim Pruner, the man who did the review is someone I respect. I got to meet with him IRL recently. Having a comm unit that is very well integrated into my ATM is something that I prefer. Yes, the Cardo Packtalk Edge fits well into my Arai XD4 and did fit into my Nolan N100-5, but the Insyde was designed just for the ATM. It contains all of the same features as the Edge, and my personal favorite is the natural voice commands.

I’m not going to cover all of the instructions about the Insyde (IS) comm unit. Here is a link to a downloadable PDF that is the complete AGV Insyde User Guide. It will download to your computer. I will go over a few of the things to know when installing the unit. Here are the items included with the IS for the ATM.

The main component is the control panel that is attached to the battery and USB Mini (Ew AGV, really!?) for charging. A boom mic and speakers along with velcro patches and spacers if needed.

The back plate must be removed along with the left side cover. Both then house the control panel and battery compartment. Again, this is all covered in detail in the PDF link I’ve attached above.

As you can see from the photos the integration of the comm unit into the ATM is well done with a very low profile. Inserting the speakers and boom mic is very easy as well. The speaker pockets are well-located and offer maximum clarity and distortion-free volume. I used the velcro spacers which placed the speakers closer to my ears. Everyone is different and I found it best to experiment with the speaker distance.

The boom mike has a dedicated mounting socket located inside the ATM. It’s a little thing, but the mounting point reduces or eliminates the chance of the wire twisting as you twist the boom to adjust the mic’s orientation.

The mic itself has a yellow triangle that should face your mouth. It’s little details like these that impress me with the IS system.

I do not ride in large groups so I cannot speak firsthand if 15 riders using the DMC MESH system work within the rated distance. The most I’ve had in a group were three riders, all using Cardo systems and the system worked well. When one of the riders dropped out of the group, when he came back within range he seamlessly rejoined the group. I came to appreciate the natural voice commands with my Edge unit and it works well with the IS EXCEPT for the commands “Hey Cardo, Music On/or Off” For some reason those two commands are spotty.

I find if I have the ATM chin bar up, it recognizes those commands. I’ve tried to move the mic around when the chin bar is lowered, but it’s hit or miss. No idea why. All other commands are spot on. The other thing I dislike is the use of a USB Mini port for charging. USB C is my preferred connection and I’m not sure why AGV/Cardo chose to use an older format USB plug.

In the end, I like both the ATM and integrated IS system. I don’t worry about remembering to remove the Cardo Edge from the side of my helmet if I leave the lid on my bike to grab a coffee.

I wanted to throw in a review on Lidlox which I have mounted on my Ducati Multistrada V4S Sport. The bike has luggage and I purchased the optional top box so when I”m going to be away from my bike for a time for things like lunch, I store my lid in the luggage.

But if I’m simply going to take a leak, grab some coffee, or a snack and I’m in an area I know well, I lock my helmet on the bike. I put my lid over my left mirror and lock it to the bike using the Lidlox. Here is a video of the owner/founder of Lidlox installing the unit on a bike. I have a soft spot for small business owners since I am one as well. Helps when the product is a good one too.

Because I have helmets with D rings and the ratcheting slider attachment I’m happy that both types are contemplated in this lock.

Here I’ve locked my Arai with D rings and my AGV helmet using his supplied slider bar.

There will be folks who state they take their lids with them all of the time. Others will like to tell me how someone will/has cut the chin strap stealing their lid. I get that, I do. Heck if someone wants to break into my bike’s luggage to get my stuff they will. If they want to steal my bike, they will. If they want to overcome the Secret Service and JFK’s detail….we all know anything can be defeated. I find that for low-risk areas where I have my bike in sight, I’m happy to use the Lidlox.

If you’re interested in picking up a LidLox for your own helmet, you can find more information below.

As has become evident, I like this lid. I tried on both the Shoei Neotec and the Schuberth flip lids. Neither of them fit me well and since both only offer two shell sizes their lids made me look like a bobblehead doll. The combination of three shell sizes, the fit and comfort of my round head, the quietness of the helmet, and the positive features I mentioned above, makes this the right flip lid for me. The most important aspect of any helmet is the protection it offers in a crash. I know firsthand just how important that is. Based on the materials used in the ATM and my own examination of its quality, I made the right choice for me.

Buy here: AGV