As I was browsing through the AGV Sport gear during the show, I noticed the Breeze jacket and as soon as my fingertips hit the butter-soft leather, I knew it was something different.
If you’re not sold on textile mesh (and many of you aren’t, based on the emails we’ve received), then the Breeze jacket may be just the ticket.
The jacket is simple by design, to keep the weight low and the comfort level high.
So it’s back to basics: a comfortable jacket with perforated leather and a couple o’ pockets. That’s it. No membrane liner, quilted insulation, fanny pocket, hydration bladder or any of that other overly-complex hardware.
Just a nice leather jacket reminiscent of the 20th Century (remember that?) with 21st Century build quality.
The new-for-2012 Breeze jacket is a distant cousin to the Aero Sport 2 and it’s somewhat of a rarity in summer motorcycle gear — a lightweight leather jacket with excellent ventilation.
The Breeze isn’t made from race-thick double cowhide or anything like that. The cushy leather is perforated in the chest, along the sleeves and across the back. It’s butter-soft and feels instantly broken-in. It gets softer each time you wear it, quickly becoming a favorite.
The jacket is designed for hot-weather riding, so there are a few compromises in the design, but no more so than the typical textile mesh jacket.
For example, the elbows and shoulders in the Breeze are made from a single layer of the soft leather, although non-perforated leather is used in those areas for some semblance of abrasion protection.
The jacket also includes CE-rated armor in the shoulders and elbows and a (slightly) better than average 8 mm thick removable back pad.
The Breeze jacket is available in all black or black with orange, blue or red highlights. The red and black version shown here is a classic color combination that looks just as good on a sportbike as it does on a cruiser.
The red, blue and orange colors are outlined with reflective piping in the front and on the shoulders.
The simplicity of the design is actually refreshing and there isn’t much to get in the way — literally or figuratively — of its primary purpose: that is, keeping the rider protected while providing excellent ventilation.
That it does so with a lot of comfort and a good dose of style is a bonus.
The non-perforated leather along the inside and outside of the arms does block some of the air, but the ventilation is unimpeded through the perforated leather in the chest and the rear of the jacket.
The typical taffeta-type mesh polyester inner attached lining keeps the leather off the rider’s skin while allowing all of that air to flow right in.
But where the heavy Blaster leather is stiff and thick and has never acquired that broken-in feeling, even after all these years, the AGV Sport Breeze jacket is instantly comfortable.
Other than referring to the leather as “top grain leather”, AGV Sport doesn’t say much more about it, but it’s similar to the hide found in a dress or street jacket. In other words, this is not your average motorcycle jacket leather, with a “hand” that feels much more expensive than it really is.
The softness is also an advantage in another way: it helps keep the jacket comfortable and pliable in hot weather until you get moving beyond about 10 MPH or so, when the air starts to flow right through the perforations.
The stitches have a rich look and feel and are very nicely done, with double rows used in some areas and hidden seams in others, like where the perforated leather on the front meets the solid leather on the sides.
The quality of the stitching, absence of any hanging threads and tight seams definitely adds to the overall ambience of the Breeze jacket.
Features, Pockets and Zippers
NNot much to talk about here, as the Breeze continues its “simpler is better” theme with two YKK coil-zipper hand pockets in front and another vertical pocket just inside the left placket. That’s it and it’s all you need, really.
The main zipper is also a YKK version, using heavier nylon teeth instead of the coil design.
The runner is of the locking type, so you can zip it down half-way if you like and it’ll stay there. A simple hook-and-loop strap across the top of the zipper keeps everything looking tidy.
The collar is lined on the inside with a swath of that soft leather and a thick padded neoprene-type bumper covers the top, keeping it comfy around the neck.
The sleeve ends open with a 7″ (180 mm) YKK zipper, backed by an added section of the soft leather underneath. There’s a small hook-and-loop strap at the sleeve cuff, which provides a minimal amount of adjustment.
The sleeve end zipper pulls do not lock and I do wish the cuffs had more adjustment, because the sleeve diameter feels a bit large and I can’t get the cuffs as tight as I’d like.
The one minor complaint I have about the Breeze jacket is the absence of width adjustment in the sleeves.
Adjusters would have been nice (albeit detracting from the jacket’s sleek look) because the sleeve diameter feels at about one size too wide for my arms, which are usually proportional for a men’s size large motorcycle jacket.
You can see this in the photos of the model, who borders on size XL. He is a regular at the gym (he’s a firefighter and EMT Paramedic) and his arms are definitely bigger than mine, yet there’s still some extra room in the sleeves, as you can see.
Regarding the jacket sizing, the overall chest size and length of this one (labeled as a size large) feels correct for about a 43-44″ chest.
The jacket has a letter size attached (L), yet both the AGV Sport website and the retailer websites have the jacket listed in European and U.S. numerical sizes. The retailers use U.S. number sizes (I assume). Everyone should get together and come to an agreement on a plan for less confusion…
The sleeves also feel a bit too long for a size large by perhaps about 5 mm or 1/2″.
Neither the slightly large diameter nor the length are deal-killers, and not every owner will notice this as an issue, but average-to-thin riders who otherwise take a size large probably will.
On the plus side, the nicely shaped elbow armor does remain in position, so even with the slightly-too-large sleeve diameter, I should be fine.
webBikeWorld Overall Opinionator: AGV Sport Breeze Jacket
Excellent overall quality.
Glove-soft leather that feels expensive.
Good quality stitching and construction.
Excellent air flow.
Immediate comfort and that broken-in feel.
Arms feel about one size too big and about 5 mm too long for the jacket size.
Could use locking zipper pulls on the sleeve cuffs.
Would like more adjustment at the sleeve cuffs.
The AGV Sport Breeze leather perforated jacket is a good substitute for those not fond of textile mesh jackets for hot-weather riding. The jacket flows plenty of air and the very soft leather feels really nice.
The price is reasonable, especially considering the quality and style and I can definitely recommend the Breeze jacket for your consideration.