The good stuff for less money
Last season, we tested the AGV Sport Laguna suit; raving on about it through an initial review and several subsequent crash tests. Our conclusion then was that the Laguna was a superior value at $999 and well worth any rider’s consideration. The $799 Monza is AGV Sport’s midrange offering in a 1-piece leather racing suit. When it arrived here at the TrackdayMag.com offices, the Monza had a tough act to follow.
We loved our AGV Sport Laguna test suit. Obviously, rather than comparing this Monza to other leathers in the $800 price range as we should have; we were going to have to hold the suit up against the Laguna we’d previously tested. What sort of compromises would AGV Sport have made to bring this Monza suit’s price point down by twenty percent? Would it be worthy of the same respect and accolades we’ve heaped upon our oft-crashed Laguna?
Upon checking the spec sheets for the two suits, we found almost no differences. In the protection department, you can’t tell one from the other. With both, CE approved armor and a removable, washable liner reside within a shell of premium, top-grain leather in 1.4 to 1,6mm thickness. As noted previously in our test of the Laguna suit, AGV Sport is obsessive in its stitching techniques, rendering it nearly impossible to grind through their suit’s seams in a crash. Titanium shoulder caps, pre-curved arms and a speed hump are featured in both suits. Teramid Kevlar and pleated leather panels are used to help the suit conform to the rider and allow for freedom of movement in either garment. Similarities between high-end and midrange are the rule here, not the exception. Essentially, the Monza does without the Laguna’s neoprene cuffs in its sleeves but does come with the additional feature of a zipper that can be opened upward from the crotch when necessary for, um… pit stops. Otherwise, the specifications hardly differ between the suits. Clearly, materials, construction and safety have not been compromised. So how can the Monza be sold for $200 less?
One major and expensive difference between these suits is that the Laguna uses larger panels of leather with printed graphics, where the Monza features a more traditional style of construction which uses smaller pieces of leather in contrasting colors. The drawback? The Monza has more seams than the Laguna and is therefore a bit heavier. Also, it should be noted that even AGV Sport’s incredible sewing techniques are less strong than a solid sheet of leather would be, so more seams would technically mean more areas of potential weakness. Given what we’ve observed from crashing AGV Sport products in the past, this potential weakness is not something we’d be concerned about.
The second and most noteworthy difference between the two suits is in how much air they flow. While the Laguna is perhaps the most well-ventilated suit we’ve ever tested, the Monza is only average. It does offer some perforations in the torso and a pair of vents in the rear of the suit that can be zipped open or closed but is nowhere near as effective as the Laguna at keeping you cool. Does this matter? It depends on where and how you ride. Were price no object, an aggressive racetrack attacker who rides in the heat of summer would opt for the Laguna every time. Cooler climates and/or a less aggressive riding style would favor the Monza. There’s no question that all the extra scoops, perforations and air channels in the Laguna drive its price up, so doing without them is another way the Monza’s retail was held to $799.
The final difference we noticed with the Monza was its fit. It is specifically stated on AGV Sport’s size chart that, “The Laguna is a race-tight fit and is smaller than these measurements.” The Monza does not carry that warning, since its cut is more street/sport oriented. Our tester for this article, TrackdayMag.com Associate Lee Dean, is a muscular, six foot three inch, 260 lb Law Enforcement Officer. Cops like Lee are the reason why your parents always told you that crime doesn’t pay. A size 52 Monza fits his intimidating form with comfortable ease. Incredibly, AGV Sport produces suits up to size 60, making them the go-to brand for big and tall riders.
Having thoroughly inspected and track tested the AGV Sport Monza 1-piece suit, we have to declare it a major bargain. The Monza shares the all-important specifications of design, construction and materials that make its big brother Laguna a runaway winner in the $1000 class, yet this suit sells for only $799. Its buttery soft leather, understated graphics and obvious quality make the Monza appear to be a far more expensive garment than its asking price would indicate. If you’re a $1200 suit buyer with only $799 in you checking account, the AGV Sport Monza 1 piece leather suit is exactly what you’re looking for.
AGV Sport Leathers are available exclusively through MotoNation.