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Best Overall Motorcycle Jacket

Gypsymoth82

Familiar Face
Messages
91
Location
Ottawa
I'm looking for options for the best all-rounder Leather Motorcycle Jacket. I want something that is wearable on and off the bike (no armour), tough but nice leather and functionally beautiful. I've bought and sold many jackets in the past as I never seem to get it quite right.

Basically I'm looking for the Rolex Submariner of Riding jackets.

Really looking forward to your opinions and advice.

Cheers,

Morgan
 

Blackadder

My Mail is Forwarded Here
Messages
3,607
Location
China
I am afraid it may be a bit different when it comes to a motorcycle jacket. When riding, one often needs a jacket one can layer underneath. A shorter length jacket is also more appropriate. Off bike, most people like to just wear a t shirt with a mc jacket hence they go for a skim fitting. People also like a longer jacket that can cover their untucked t shirt.
 

TREEMAN

Call Me a Cab
Messages
2,171
Location
USA
I am afraid it may be a bit different when it comes to a motorcycle jacket. When riding, one often needs a jacket one can layer underneath. A shorter length jacket is also more appropriate. Off bike, most people like to just wear a t shirt with a mc jacket hence they go for a skim fitting. People also like a longer jacket that can cover their untucked t shirt.
A motorcycle jacket long enough to cover an untucked shirt is way too long IMO…
 

Guppy

I'll Lock Up
Messages
4,114
Location
Cleveland, OH
I'm looking for options for the best all-rounder Leather Motorcycle Jacket. I want something that is wearable on and off the bike (no armour), tough but nice leather and functionally beautiful. I've bought and sold many jackets in the past as I never seem to get it quite right.

Basically I'm looking for the Rolex Submariner of Riding jackets.

Really looking forward to your opinions and advice.

Cheers,

Morgan

For actual riding, not posing, and for widest purpose, my best motorcycle jacket is my First Gear Scout IV.

I've probably had it for a dozen years now, and I think First Gear used to be Heine Gericke, and later changed their name to River Road, and from there I haven't been following them closely.

It has armor pockets for back, elbows, and shoulders. It has huge pockets, where you want them. It has a removable windproof thermal liner. It has ample ventilation. And it fits like a riding jacket.

I can wear it in all weather, from freezing to 100F. It's an outstanding, modern jacket.

I haven't tried them all, but I'm satisfied with the Scout IV, and have been for over a decade. They were around $500 MSRP. I got mine for about half that on clearance. Been really pleased.

I have a good couple of dozen motorcycle jackets, from a whole bunch of makers and it's the best, most versatile. It's not classic in its styling, and probably can't be found anymore.
 

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Blackadder

My Mail is Forwarded Here
Messages
3,607
Location
China
A motorcycle jacket long enough to cover an untucked shirt is way too long IMO…
That may be true. How about those trendy low rise jeans then that some may wear to say a club but not while riding. You would need a longer jacket then.
 

The Big Kahuna

New in Town
Messages
21
Now that is indeed a question and half !

I am not an armoured jacket wearer and or fan personally tho' I realise others may have strongly held contrary opinions.

I have "cross zips" , not my first choice , and straight centre zipped jackets both collared and "cafe/Mandarin collared".

Some jackets will be better for "off the bike" once you get to your destination ( WORK for example if you ride there !)

I reckon goat leather is amongst the best options , but do have both steer and horse jackets myself.

My SUGGESTION get what you like the look of in the leather you fancy , and that will become your own personal
"best overall motorcycle jacket".
 

Ingramite

Familiar Face
Messages
90
Location
The Texas Hill Country
I'm looking for options for the best all-rounder Leather Motorcycle Jacket. I want something that is wearable on and off the bike (no armour), tough but nice leather and functionally beautiful. I've bought and sold many jackets in the past as I never seem to get it quite right.

Basically I'm looking for the Rolex Submariner of Riding jackets.

Really looking forward to your opinions and advice.

Cheers,

Morgan
My suggestion is to compile a list of the important things that jacket should provide to you while you're riding.
Motorcycling is an important concern apart from all others. It warrants the serious consideration that a written list will give. Clarity of focus. Then dedicated and well thought out equipment.

When I go through this drill myself, well, I always wind up with a jacket that looks like nothing but a dedicated motorcycle jacket. Sure, beautiful leather and nicely fit but a motorcycle jacket that won't pass for anything else.
I know it's the fit. Even a smooth jacket hangs and drapes, sleeves too long, zippers and snaps.

Here's another consideration, your bike. Different seating geometry calls for some leeway. Sport bike or cruiser?
Leaning forward or leaning back? How are the sleeves rotated? As an example, I like the tail of my jacket to be long enough that I can lean back and capture it against the seat. My arms are up on high handlebars = added sleeve length.

Leather alone, or even with a thin liner, is cold riding when it's down below about 45 degrees. My impression is that at some point folks up north can legitimately throw in the towel and just admit that it's so cold that it's uncomfortable to ride. My climate is 45 degrees tonight and maybe 80 degrees tomorrow afternoon. Layering and electrics keeps me riding most of the year. Yeah, more bulk just got added to that leather jacket, huh?

I'll wear a motorcycle jacket out walking around if I'm on a motorcycle trip. That's purely a concession to limited packing room for jackets on a fully loaded bike. Otherwise I look like a tent salesman wearing a sample.

Of course the other side of this coin is to take a little spin on your bike wearing a fashion jacket. If you can tolerate that then you're good to go.

My disclaimer is that I'm old and stubborn. The looking good ship has already sailed for me. Now it's about staying comfortable when I'm on two wheels.

I'm in for the replies too. Maybe something I haven't tried yet.
 

Aloysius

One Too Many
Messages
1,527
That may be true. How about those trendy low rise jeans then that some may wear to say a club but not while riding. You would need a longer jacket then.

Even then, maybe long in the sense of those long tails. Long in the front would ride up.
 

barnabus

One Too Many
Messages
1,115
Location
GB
@Gypsymoth82 it's a bit pointless to offer answers without knowing what your priorities are on the bike. Style? Comfort? Safety? Versatility?

No point suggesting a Vanson C2 for example, if you're dead set against the style of a cross zip.

The best jacket on the bike probably won't work brilliantly off the bike because it'll be designed specifically to work ON the bike.

What do you already know you like? The Rolex Submariner of motorcycle jackets is no good if you simply don't like a Rolex Submariner.
 
Messages
15,703
Echoing @Guppy here, literally the best motorcycle jacket that I have ever owned was by First Gear by Hein Gericke. And it was seriously at least one level over any Vanson that I had tried on or anything else.

Massively heavy, soft leather
Removable armor with installed soft (foam) armor
Removable termo-insulating lining, good for ANY winter & once removed, the jacket can easily be worn on a warm day due to light mesh lining
Removable neck warmer!
Two hand-warmers and super deep D-pocket for anything plus one kidney panel pocket
Back vents
Fully functional deep shoulder gussets with vents
Side laces for waist adjustment, comboed with a belt
8 lbs heavy
And so on...

To me personally, almost none of the jackets mentioned on the Fedora Lounge qualify as motorcycle jackets, especially next to this thing. Not even Langlitz. Some Vanson models but that's about it.

s-l1600.jpg

s-l1600.jpg

il_1140xN.2598084670_cbo9.jpg
 

Carlos840

I'll Lock Up
Messages
4,863
Location
London
I ride all year round, motorcycle is my main mode of transportation.
Out of my 60+ leather jacket collection my most used ones on the bike are Lost Worlds, Vanson and Langlitz.
These three brands are IMO the best you can get if talking about old school unarmored riding jackets.

My most worn ones are:

Moose LW LT/A, it's a great pattern to ride in, super good range of movement and very easy to live with, enough room to fit a thcik jumper, good cold insulation compared to horse hide:

2b3b95D.jpg


This Being my favourite LW jacket i also have a HH version, not was warm in winter but i wear it a lot in summer:

49TDKUk.jpg


Vanson Chopper, my favourite summer riding jacket, nothing bad to say about it:

DUecRck.jpg


Langlitz Columbia, probably the most comfortable of all three, actually the most comfortable pattern i own, but i find the leather less interresting than the LW and the Vanson:

e9KsOl3.jpg



Most other brands discussed on TFL are IMO not tought enough to be called motorcycle jackets, i would never ride in a Lewis Leathers, or a Thedi, Aero or Freewheelers, i would not trust them to save my skin...
 
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Liveinstyle33

One of the Regulars
Messages
101
I ride all year round, motorcycle is my main mode of transportation.
Out of my 60+ leather jacket collection my most used ones on the bike are Lost Worlds, Vanson and Langlitz.
These three brands are IMO the best you can get if talking about old school unarmored riding jackets.

My most worn ones are:

Moose LW LT/A, it's a great pattern to ride in, super good range of movement and very easy to live with, enough room to fit a thcik jumper, good cold insulation compared to horse hide:

2b3b95D.jpg


This Being my favourite LW jacket i also have a HH version, not was warm in winter but i wear it a lot in summer:

49TDKUk.jpg


Vanson Chopper, my favourite summer riding jacket, nothing bad to say about it:

DUecRck.jpg


Langlitz Columbia, probably the most comfortable of all three, actually the most comfortable pattern i own, but i find the leather less interresting than the LW and the Vanson:

e9KsOl3.jpg



Most other brands discussed on here are IMO not tought anough to be called motorcycle jackets, i would never ride in a Lewis Leathers, or a Thedi, Aero or Freewheelers, i would not trust them to save my skin...
I have never ridden a motorcycle and don't plan too, however I am curious to know why you would not trust Lewis Leathers, Thedi, Aero or Freewheelers, especially Aero to save your skin. Do you feel the strength of the leather and the stitching is lacking, or is something wrong with the fit of these brands that you find compromises your protection?
 
Messages
15,342
Location
Chicago
IMO and from various experiments when I did ride, the Vanson model E is impossible to beat. Pocket placemat is perfect, action back allows for full range of reach without fatigue, and the laces dial in the fit. The jacket fits tight to the body and the cuffs zip down to allow zero wind interference. It also looks superb.
B4AC4268-A1E3-4904-8FE2-47F17F82EF08.jpeg

Can’t be topped for functionality, form and value imo.
 

Carlos840

I'll Lock Up
Messages
4,863
Location
London
I have never ridden a motorcycle and don't plan too, however I am curious to know why you would not trust Thedi, Aero or Freewheelers, especially Aero to save your skin. Do you feel the strength of the leather and the stitching is lacking, or is something wrong with the fit of these styles?

My problem is mostly with the choice of leather.
IMO none of the leather they use is strong enough for motorcycling. Thedi and FW us a thin veg tan that would be useless on a bike. Aero offers CXL and Vicenza which are also not MC jacket leathers.
The patterns of Thedi and FW are good enough to work on a bike but the leathers are lacking, the Aero patterns are IMO not great on a bike or anywhere else for that matter.
 

Liveinstyle33

One of the Regulars
Messages
101
My problem is mostly with the choice of leather.
IMO none of the leather they use is strong enough for motorcycling. Thedi and FW us a thin veg tan that would be useless on a bike. Aero offers CXL and Vicenza which are also not MC jacket leathers.
The patterns of Thedi and FW are good enough to work on a bike but the leathers are lacking, the Aero patterns are IMO not great on a bike or anywhere else for that matter.
I see, I trust your advice, you have the experience to know. But one thing, what do you mean "anywhere else for that matter" for Aero patterns?
 

Carlos840

I'll Lock Up
Messages
4,863
Location
London
I see, I trust your advice, you have the experience to know.

If you don't ride, my advice is not that useful...

If i never intended on riding a motorcycle my favourite MC jacket would be the LaBrea, its a great jacket, i just don't trust it enough to ride in it:

8LJifCG.jpg


Same comment about the JH-1, IMO it has such a clean look it is hard to beat:

ie2J6wd.jpg


I also really REALLY like the Lewis MKII, i love the design.
The fact that this design is almost 100 years old but still feels so current is incredible to me:

oOLeHOm.jpg


These three are probably my favourite MC jackets that i don't use to ride in because of leather and general construction.
To me they have switched from "motorcycle gear" to "motorcycle inspired fashion" but they are great jackets.
 

Carlos840

I'll Lock Up
Messages
4,863
Location
London
I see, I trust your advice, you have the experience to know. But one thing, what do you mean "anywhere else for that matter" for Aero patterns?

Sorry i missed the last question, i mean i don't rate the Aero patterns particularly high...
I find them uncomfortable to live with, the four Aeros i have are the most uncomfortable to live with jackets i own.
To me they hang on the neck uncomfortably, they have poor forward/upward reach, and the fit usually relies on a larger than normal pit to pit to try and make up for poor pattern design. (24 to 25" pit to pit on a size 40!). To me Aeros usually feel too small and too big at the same time.
Some people love them, i don't...

Saying that, they are well made for the money and use good materials (other than the zippers), i just don't like how they fit.
 

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