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Is goatskin inappropriate for a motorcycle jacket?

Discussion in 'Outerwear' started by Joel Shapiro, Apr 14, 2012.

  1. Joel Shapiro

    Joel Shapiro One Too Many

    For a long time, I've wanted to order a 1947 Columbia MC jacket from Langlitz in horsehide, but unfortunately, they don't have any horsehide and may not ever again. They suggested goatskin and I saw some samples. I preferred the brown because it seems a little thicker, and I'm just wondering if a goatskin motorcycle jacket won't be authentic. Were old MC jackets of the 40's ever made in goatskin? Is it considered too thin to provide protection in a crash by itself? Also, if anybody has any experience with the Langliz goatskin, please post. Thank you.

    P.S. The new Langlitz site is up. Better website, but the same bad pictures. www.langlitz.com
  2. Aerojoe

    Aerojoe Practically Family

    I don't know what kind of goatskin Langlitz uses but I have an ELC A-2 in goatskin that is like body armor. I think you could try to stab me while wearing this jacket and the knife wouldn't pass through the ultra hard leather. It has two years and the leather didn't break in yet. On the other hand, I have another goatskin jacket that is thin and very supple. Nothing to do with the former

    Definitely, I think the answer to your question depends on how each producer process their hides, in this case Langlitz.
  3. Joel Shapiro

    Joel Shapiro One Too Many

  4. ButteMT61

    ButteMT61 I'll Lock Up

    I don't equate goat to MC riding, but that might be my hang up. Twice I've met pavement with heavy steer, and it saved my body. I would not have the same confidence in goat, but open to hearing other's experiences.
  5. Peacoat

    Peacoat Call Me a Cab

    I have heard that goat is a tough hide and can be appropriate for a motorcycle jacket. I tend to agree with Butte, however, and would rather stick to the tried and true.
  6. Otter

    Otter One Too Many

    I believe that goat is naturaly more water resistant than cow or horse, my A2 goat seems to bear this out, BUT, from the hides I have seen it is thinner and more flexable so as a bare hide jacket for riding I would say that you would nne some type of armour in there.
  7. ButteMT61

    ButteMT61 I'll Lock Up

    I hesitated because in researching hides and jackets, I've read that goat is second in toughness only to kangaroo. Now that said, it may be the thickness of typical goat hides or what the "tough scale" actually is. I have no idea on how this is measured unlike minerals and metals measured with tensile strength and mohs hardness scale - repeatable and measurable tests.
    I have no issues wearing a goat A-2 downtown for a cup of coffee on a bike, but no way am I wearing one instead of a proper riding jacket out on the highway or long distance or in the Streets Of Willow. Just me and my closeup time spent on the blacktop of Mulholland Drive. :)
  8. Seb Lucas

    Seb Lucas My Mail is Forwarded Here

    Goat is and has been used for bike jackets. It is probably, after kangaroo, the most abrasion resistant of hides. You need 3oz goat.

    Remember though that Wade from Insurrection Leather says that cow is a better bike hide than horse. He races bikes and knows his stuff, so you probably don't have to get goat just because the HH is no longer an option.
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2012
  9. ButteMT61

    ButteMT61 I'll Lock Up

    Can you show me some links to makers of these biker jackets? I can't recall ever seeing any.
  10. I've seen an awful lot of vintage leather jackets in goat that look like what became "a biker jacket". However, they are utility/work jackets, that just happen to have some of the features of later bike jackets. They almost never have any kind of reinforcement stitching or padding at elbows, shoulders etc.

    I think you would be mad to get on a motorbike wearing some of the thin vintage goat hides I have handled. It would keep the asphalt from your skin for about a nanosecond.

    But, if you're looking for the style of a motorcycle jacket, without the substance (i.e. you're not going to ride a motorcycle), goat is a very serviceable hide.

  11. dr.velociraptor

    dr.velociraptor One of the Regulars

    Langlitz is a big fan of Goat for their MC jackets, I tend to think Langlitz caters to older guys looking for comfort and classic styling as their main concern and goat fits that bill. I still don't think goat is a good leather for an MC jacket, too soft and it will grab the road and make you tumble, you want a tight hide and hard so you slide IMO.
  12. ButteMT61

    ButteMT61 I'll Lock Up

    Yup, slide is the key. If you hit something, no jacket is much help, but the slide - of which I have two to my credit - eats through just about anything quickly. However, my Hein Gerrick and Z-Custom leathers held up and saved my bacon. Still cracked my arm bones, but kept all my skin. That's why I wear a bike jacket, not to look good (although you can do both of course).
  13. Seb Lucas

    Seb Lucas My Mail is Forwarded Here

    Johnson Leathers in San Fran produce biker jackets in goat
    Gibson and Barnes make some biker jackets (including a police model) in goat (or cow)
    Himel Bros are selling an impressive D pocket biker jacket in veg tanned goat right now - if you have a coupel of grand...
    Langlitz, naturally do and they've been mentioned.
    And I've seen many goatskin biker jackets from the 1930's through 1950's by now defunct makers. Baron K suggests they are too thin - maybe true by today's standards and who would wear a vintage jacket on a bike?

    Of the goat I have seen, Aero's 3-3.5oz is the hide I would get if I wanted a goat biker jacket.
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2012
  14. Stearmen

    Stearmen I'll Lock Up

    Caddys & Goats

    I can speak from experience. I was hit by a 70s Cadillac back in 1980, slid down the hill on my right side, only damage was a carpet type burn where I was wearing 501s! The jacket was an early Navy G1 in Goat, thats why the Navy used it back in the day, very abrasive resistant, and it slides well to. Unfortunately, my left shoulder hurts when it gets cold thanks to the square Caddy hood!
  15. Tony B

    Tony B One of the Regulars

    Joel if you want a style they do but they have no horse why not get a price off them for making you a jacket with you providing your own leather and if it is alright get them to tell you what footage you would need, get your own horsehide and send it on to them. Horween sell direct to the public now....if you live in USA at least.
  16. rayban

    rayban New in Town

    Goatskin jacket

    I think that goatskin in itself makes a good leather. And i am sure a classic jacket made of goatskin would look great. Personally however I wear nothing but protective clothing when riding my bike. A Dainese sports combi (with full armour) for most of the year (even at +30 during the summer months) and a goretex winter jacket (also with armour) with leather pants during the winter. I need it because I spent a lot of time on the road.

    I would love to wear a Barbour International jacket if I would own a classic bike. Well... I dont. But if I did I would probably be too scared to ride without protective clothing. The necessity of this has been hammered in to me.

    Then there's also a more professional aspect. I work for the fireservices. I know what a human body looks like after a bike crash. Even at 50 km's an hour when no hard objects have been hit. I had to scrape flesh of the asfalt, or clean the road surface with a high pressure hose too many times to feel good about not wearing my Dainese sportscombi.

    But there are people who think otherwise. I can't recall the many times I was taken over by another bike during summer where the rider as well as his female compagnon (or one of their children) were dressed in a t shirt (ever heard about UV rays?) a pair of shorts or a miniskirt (very cool) with toeslippers to match.And I was going at 130 km/h.

    So if you ride a bike please do keep the people who work for the emergency services in mind. We like a good nights sleep as well as you do. Believe me that it is not cool ( it feels horrible to be honest if I or my collegues arrive at the scene of a bike accident) if you have to administer almost an overdose of morphine to a young woman that has been in a bike crash, wearing denim shorts and having lost half the flesh and muscles on her (once no doubt beautifull) legs. The white spots you see then are the bare bones.
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2012
  17. Tony B

    Tony B One of the Regulars

    Yep, when I used to ride I always wore a full face crash helmet because I knew an ex fireman and he showed me a picture of a bloke's face after he had gone down the road face first in an open face crash helmet, everything was grated away upto and including the nose , not damaged or scraped just not there anymore , it was all over the road.

    And the only bike jacket I kept from years back is 2mm leather, it weighs 10 pounds dead....I took tarmac seriously after seeing stuff like that pic.
  18. Aerojoe

    Aerojoe Practically Family

    I do believe you :) It must be quite disgusting to clean pieces of brains and skin from the road. Very graphic explanation.
  19. dr.velociraptor

    dr.velociraptor One of the Regulars

    Not for nothing but I'm sure there are many many disgusting accidents with a car involved, there are definitely risks involved in life. Leather sans armor will work just fine in a slide, if hit by a car or a tree going 50 MPH nothing will really help you out.
  20. Joel Shapiro

    Joel Shapiro One Too Many

    Well, that's really the issue, I guess. I don't ride, but I don't want to wear a jacket that looks the part but isn't. A motorcycle jacket, even if not used for riding, should serve the function of a motorcycle jacket, and I don't see the point of buying an expensive motorcycle jacket that can't be ridden on a motorcycle. After all, how can it truly be a vintage MC jacket if it can't be worn on a bike? Wow, I'm convincing myself...

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