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Best Stock Jacket w Armor ??

Discussion in 'Outerwear' started by jpk_NJ, Aug 13, 2018.

  1. jpk_NJ

    jpk_NJ One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    243
    Location:
    NJ
    Just getting into biking and looking for a proper stock jacket that has Elbow/Shoulder armor pockets built in. Not looking to retrofit any of my existing jackets. Any suggestions on what maker / model you guys would recommend? Again, has to be stock that Id get within a week. New triumph arriving this week! In case it matters, Im about 5'9 160 so usually looking at 19"shoulder/23 pit in most jackets.
     
  2. JMax

    JMax Practically Family

    Messages:
    820
    I would go to Vanson’s website and check out their armored jackets. Whole bunch of them in different styles. I have the perforated force with armor, love it.

    Johnson Leathers also has armored jackets.
     
    Guppy likes this.
  3. ton312

    ton312 I'll Lock Up

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    5,828
    Location:
    Chicago
    Vanson v-7 sold thru union garage NYC would be my vote. No first hand experience but it looks the absolute business.
     
    ProteinNerd and Guppy like this.
  4. Guppy

    Guppy One Too Many

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    1,843
    Location:
    Cleveland, OH
    I have it. It's very nice, but a premium cost. If you are new to riding I'd suggest starting with something more modestly priced. There are good used armored vanson jackets all over ebay for $300-400. That's what I would recommend.
     
  5. dan_t

    dan_t Practically Family

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    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    Really depends on what look you’re going for.
    Dainese, Alpinestars are both exceptional products from a safety perspective. They may (or may not) meet your aesthetic needs though.
     
  6. jpk_NJ

    jpk_NJ One of the Regulars

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    Location:
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    Got convinced into trying an off the rack Vanson due to their recent promo for 15% off. Liked the AR3 model but when I viewed the size charts / notes, saw its clearly a bit too long unless you have a long torso. Like 27"back length on a 42. Ended up trying their cross zip Force model. Hopefully it doesn't end up looking too "village people" on me!
     
    El Marro likes this.
  7. jpk_NJ

    jpk_NJ One of the Regulars

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    Location:
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    Guppy - I did like that V7 but the pocket on the right hand side instead of left definitely irks me. And at that price premium I could probably have a custom from JL.
     
  8. Edward

    Edward Bartender

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    18,655
    Location:
    London, UK
    Be interested to see what you make of the Vanson. They have a lot of nice looking jackets - though a shame that they don't seem interested in offering the armour options in their more classic designs.
     
  9. roadking04

    roadking04 One of the Regulars

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    168
    Location:
    Ashtabula, Ohio
    Fox Creek is making their classic jackets with armor provisions. I am not a big fan of naked leather. I have one of their vests and a pair of chaps. Excellent customer service, thick leather, and built well. I just don't care for the naked leather part.
     
    Edward likes this.
  10. Edward

    Edward Bartender

    Messages:
    18,655
    Location:
    London, UK
    Thanks - I've looked at them before, they certainly look an option, though I'm wary of ordering from the US when I can't try on first. Might check them out when I'm next over there (though I need to pound to get out of the toilet first!). Never understood why more people aren't offering the classic designs with armouring in them - I can only assume this is still a newly growing area of interest in the market.
     
  11. Guppy

    Guppy One Too Many

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    1,843
    Location:
    Cleveland, OH
    Because armor completely changes the jacket, and it needs to be redesigned from the ground up. This can be done with a nod to classic style, but the end result will still not look classic.
     
    willyto and roadking04 like this.
  12. Bfd70

    Bfd70 Practically Family

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    508
    Location:
    Chicago
    Imho armor for street riding is not super vital. In a crash there is impact (rider and ground or vehicle) risk, and abrasion (rider and ground) risk. A good leather jacket will protect your upper body from abrasion. Over the ankle lace or zip up boots will protect your feet and ankle from abrasion. I do think there is an advantage to armor’d pants as hips and knees are a popular impact/abrasion point and denim offers little protection. Jacket armor is typically only in elbows, shoulders, and maybe back. In my experience elbows are not a high impact point (for everyday street riding, low side get offs on track days are another story). Shoulders are an impact point but armor or not, if you high side onto your shoulder a break is likely, particularly the clavicle. These are anecdotal observations from spending some time working on an ambulance. Unfortunate 1st hand experience is that when you highside the natural reaction is to put your hands out. No jacket protects your wrists from impact and that can mean that wiping the ole back side is.....an adeventure at minimum for quite some time. Low siders aren’t terrible if you manage to be clear of the bike and not stop abruptly by meeting a fixed object.
    Lastly, and while it goes without saying in much of the world, but not this vicinity, if you don’t have a helmet on, don’t worry about a jacket unless you want to make sure you look cool at the morgue.
     
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  13. Edward

    Edward Bartender

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    18,655
    Location:
    London, UK
    Traditionally, yes - though I believe this can and will change as the armour panels have become much more flexible and thinner in recent years. There's been a significant surge in the number of 70s style jackets with modern CE-approved plates in them in the last few years; it's only a matter of time before somebody sticks them in a 50s style jacket. TBh, though, I'd be happy enough to accept a level of 'wrong' in the look for the added advantage - but then I'd think nothing of adding flashing indicators to a Gold Star either.... ;)

    As with anything else, of course, it's all about calculation of acceptable risk... it's nice to see the safety gear becoming less obtrusive now (at least the regular stuff; I'd never have any interest in the kind of massive, separate back protectors that are standard track wear, but then I'm also not licking vees at the reaper in the mode of the Dunlop boys, God rest their souls...).

    Some of the sights I see here in London.... a helmet to ECE standards has been a legal requirement since 1973, but it's amazing the people I see out there in hotpants and t-shirts, as if they think only their head is vulnerable! Mostly scooter riders are the worst. Can't imagine the law changing there, though - much too difficult to enforce. I expect we'll see open face helmets phased out in due course, though interestingly I see a trend for retro motocross style helmets appearing on the street, the draw being the compromise between the feel of the open face but with the jaw bar to protect what is statistically the highest impact point on the head.
     
  14. Bfd70

    Bfd70 Practically Family

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    508
    Location:
    Chicago
    ^ no helmet law at all here. My estimate would be 30% of people wear one.
     
  15. jpk_NJ

    jpk_NJ One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    243
    Location:
    NJ
    So the Vanson Force arrived today. Unfortunately, I was left VERY underwhelmed / disappointed to be honest. In both hide and construction quality. Though in full disclosure, Im used to Aero / Simmons Bilt / some Schott.

    This Force Jacket (Police Model w Armor) was supposedly made in their "Competition Weight" leather. Honestly, it was significantly thinner than the CXL Steer used by either SB or Aero. It was also nothing like the Vanson hides I recall from 5+ yrs ago. Apart from weight, the topcoat was very plastic'y / cheap looking with a heavy even finish on it. I doubt it would ever wear down, patina or change in appearance. Then the stitching /finisihing, attention to detail was lacking. Uneven bottom hem. Shoulder epaulets cut uneven with the double ply leather not trimmed flush at the points.

    Needless to say, this is going directly back for a refund. No desire to try my luck on an exchange.
     
  16. JMax

    JMax Practically Family

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    820
    Too bad, total opposite of mine on a number of fronts. And mine is the perforated version. Perhaps an “off batch” of leather discussed in another thread a couple of weeks back? This does seem to be a more common occurrence lately. Glad my eight Vanson are already purchased and i’ve no need to push my luck. Good luck hunting down the jacket you want.

    Edit:: How does it fit and have you put it on and sat on bike? Ridden in it? It should feel great and comfortable on bike. The weight of it should “disappear”. If not, wrong size or whatever. These things are made to ride in, not impress by stitch count, etc.
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2018
  17. Guppy

    Guppy One Too Many

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    1,843
    Location:
    Cleveland, OH
    You'd be surprised... I've seen what old vansons looked like when they were new, and it's pretty unbelievable how they go from plasticy looking to amazing.

    But yeah, on all the other points you mentioned, that would be a major disappointment for me, too.
     
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  18. Edward

    Edward Bartender

    Messages:
    18,655
    Location:
    London, UK
    That's a shame. You're not the first I've heard of express surprise at how light the hide felt on a Vanson in recent months.
     
    Guppy likes this.
  19. Hh121

    Hh121 Practically Family

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    751
    I am not surprised, the construction is not as good as before, my returned Enfiled has strange shape collar , asymmetrical side buckles, one much higher than other, and the hand warmer pocket can’t even fit my hand , it is so shallow and can only fit 2/3 of my hand.
    But who will notice that? Except in small circle like here. They are busy with collaborations, I don’t think they cares.
     
  20. JMax

    JMax Practically Family

    Messages:
    820
    I think I have said this before but a way to ensure the Vanson is spot on is to tweak it a bit to make it “custom” or get a collaboration jacket. Pretty sure I mentioned the first part in other discussions. Nobody wants to wait lol. I don’t blame them at all.
     
    El Marro likes this.

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