Thinking about buying an Aero or other Horsehide MC Jacket - advice needed
So if any of you saw my other thread, I went and tried a Schott 689H jacket out, but I don't think the sizing is going to work for me. So it's time to hit the drawing board again.
What I am looking for is a cafe racer style Motorcycle jacket with a shirt collar and zip cuffs. I'd like brown horsehide for the leather. I generally wear a 44.
Getting an Aero (maybe a highwayman?) sounds like the obvious choice - the wait sounds too long, but I keep hearing that it's worth it. I really like the Highwayman, but I'm a little worried that the cut will be too boxy. Does anyone have any advice about ordering an Aero or some "do's and don'ts"?
Schott will also make a custom fit version of the 689H in Brown Horsehide, but the custom order would cost more than an Aero.
I also like the Lost Worlds Suburban, but I don't think I can financially justify spending $1000 on a jacket, even if it will last forever.
Another nice option is the Vanson Enfield, but it's only available in black cowhide (although I hear their cowhide is super thick and tough).
Also, what other comapnies make a nice Horsehide motorcycle jacket? I'm wondering if there are others that I haven't heard of yet.
Thanks in advance for any help!
I'll Lock Up
The Vanson "Enfield" is a very nice MC jacket...and in horsehide..does come in Brown.
I had one a few yrs ago that was stolen at a Harley rally. I wear a 34 shirtsleeve...and the Vanson sleeve was aprox 26" which fit perfectly for bike riding. I did size up one size for the Enfield.
Aero makes a nice zip sleeve HighWayMan...and of course with your measurements should fit perfectly. They are not really boxy..or blousey...but just not as tapered or form fitting as a HalfBelt...or cafe style jacket.
In any event...if ordering a stock jacket be sure and ask for body and sleeve measurements.
As the post on my new highwayman will show, you can get one with the straps at the same level as the half belt. According to Mark, the actual cut of the two are the same, just the straps and detailing are different.
I'll Lock Up
I'd go Lewis Leathers, but you're looking for HH
I'd go Lewis Leathers, but you're looking for HH. I like the way cow leather wears in and develops more balanced character whereas HH creases according to is own accord. JMO. Good luck finding your dream jacket.
I've sent a few e-mails back and forth with Mark from Aero USA this week, and I'm very impressed with his quick and inforamtive answers. I think I will be taking the plunge and ordering an Aero soon.
Just a quick question on Aero jackets - how thick is the HH they use? I really liked the feel and thickness of the Schott HH jacket I tried, but it has a much thicker lining as well as the felt they glue to the leather. I'm curious how the aero will compare.
Do Aero's have that thick, solid, substantial feel to them? The wool lining will not be as thick as what I am used to, so I'm curious how the jacket will hand and look. It will be nice to have a jacket that I can wear in somewhat warmer weather due to the thinner lining.
I am hoping that the Aero is nice and stiff and thick - I kind of like the challenge and commitment of breaking it in.
I'll Lock Up
If you look at the top pic above(Highwayman)...it will give you an idea of Aero's regular heavy FQHH. It will be thicker and stiffer than your Schott. I have both an HH Schott and quite a few Aero HH jackets to compare. Aero's HH is like no other..and developes great marbling and charactor. It will also have a more transparent waxylike finish that,with wear,will give it a burnished look..rather than a deeply dyed heavy finish like your Schott. It is really something to behold...and quite unique to Aero. The Schott is a nice jacket...but Aero's HH is,in my view..the premium of premium. I do think that you will notice quite a difference...and be delighted.
Hoosierdaddy - How do you like the look and fit of your Highwayman as opposed to your Half Belt? Also, is the half belt longer than the Highwayman or about the same?
I am working out the details of my order right now, and I am trying to decide between a Highwayman, a Half Belt, or what Aero calls the "Ace Cafe" - it is like a Half belt with two straps, and zip cuffs. I will nedd to ask if this one is cut different or not.
Regardless of model, thes are the features that I have decided on thus far:
- Brown FQHH
- Shirt Collar (like Highwayman or Half Belt)
- Zip Cuffs
- Nickel Hardware, and I like the zippers in the pictures below (not sure what they're called.
- Slightly longer Sleeves (for motorcycle riding - I'm not sure if I ned to ask for this or not)
- No action back (unless it would make more sense for handlebar reach)
- One chest pocket on left, and one vertical inside hidden pocket on the right (I'm left handed, so this will be nice)
- "Common Riding" wool lining - I need to go look through more options, but there are something like 500 tartans at Lochcarron, and I didn't have the patience to look through them all.
- Leather panel on the inside lower back like the Cafe Racer if possible (this seems to be a tougher option for this high-wear area where it will be rubbing on my belt and belt loops)
- I also would like a trimmer cut than the Highwayman - not super tight, but a little more fitted and less boxy.
I figure you are all pretty familiar with the Highwayman and Half belt, but here are a few pics I borrowed from Aero USA to help explain the "ACE Cafe":
I wonder if they can do the half belt back without the "scrunching" that occurs where the upper back meets the belt?
I am undecided on these collar snaps - I think they would be helpful when riding my motorcycle, but they're a little ugly the rest of the time.
For some reason, I think these double buckles are kind of cool. Regardless, I hope I don't need to cinch them up this tight to get a good fit - I have never liked that "rolled up" feeling on the sides of my jackets.
I concur w/ HD. I've got a King o' the Road - I've got other fqhh jackets, and the Aero is just amazing. Thick, heavy, very substantial .
...and I hate wimpy leather.
Definitely worth the wait, and I got mine when Mark said I would!
I'll Lock Up
The standard Aero Highwayman and Halfbelts seem practically the same length. Although I have more Halfbelt styles...I still favor my Highwayman as my "go to" utility jacket. Probably because once broken-in that style is quite comfortable to wear.
I do have different preferences concerning a motorcycle jacket,however. I do like a simple Halfbelt design for riding without a front belt. Actually I,also,don't really think that collar snaps are necessarily needed on heavy leather. It won't slap the face like a more flimsy denim or twill IMO..it's just too heavy. I think on most tradition MC jackets collar snaps are more of a fashion statement on the larger collars...and a way to fold over and snap closed to cover the open neck. For me..an action(or bi-swing) back is a must while riding my motorcycle. It just allows for better movement and reach. I most definately would add an inch length in the sleeves and body to the standard jacket. In the better jackets zip sleeves are more tapered in order to not allow cold air to enter the sleeve. A liitle longer jacket length insures that the back isn't exposed above the belt when leaning over as well. I tend to wear my leather MC jacket more often on colder days or when long rides last after dark well into cooler damp temps. So I prefer a slightly warmer liner than just a twill. Aero's hvy twill leaves me with a chill...so a more insulating lightweight wool is better for me.
In my view the "Ace Cafe" style jacket pictured would make a fine MC jacket. I would only add an action back...make sure the sleeve and body length is long enough...and add an inside G-1 type pocket(or two). I understand your concern about the side adjusters...however..they do allow for adjustment..and as the jacket molds to the body and breaks-in...the leather becomes more relaxed than so stiff looking. Rather some adjustment...than the jacket made too trim. In fact..the double side belts flow nicely with the back belt.
Lastly..."vintage" FQHH might be a consideration since it is a bit more relaxed right out of the box. Aero FQHH is indeed heavy hided.....