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Freewheelers leather jackets

Brandrea33

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655
She did a great job on those sleeves! If only she could wave a magic wand and have made mine longer:rolleyes:
 

Canuck Panda

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2,253
Freewheelers Rodbuster Vest.

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(High) Pricing of (top tier) Made-in-Japan leather jackets, has always deterred me from getting one. I didn't understand the reasoning behind it. Why does it cost two to three times more than a (top tier) Made-in-USA or UK jacket. Yet, I just can't seem to get it (Freewheelers/RMC) off my mind. Very confusing internal conflict for me. Almost equivalent to chasing a girl who plays the hard-to-get game, which never worked out well for me, but that's another long story.

So I will try my best to keep pricing out, and look at this vest strictly as just another leather maker.

The deerskin leather used on this Rodbuster vest is at least 3oz thick. I believe it's advertised as 3.5oz/4oz (1.4mm/1.6mm). It is very "naked" so no top coating, or full aniline. This will scratch easily but scratch also buffs out, there are lots of oil in this leather. All the grains are very natural and intact. Compared to my other game hides I would say this is at the top end of leather selection. First grade leather selection.

The pattern design is a very relaxed one. There is no \ / taper. It's cut with a relax / \ shape. But there is a waist cinch at the back to bring things in. This FW vest also has very unique pockets setup.

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The construction is where this FW leather vest shines. The top stitching is very close (1/16") to the edge, creating a very refined look. Many Made-in-US/UK jackets are sewn like this too, but they only do this type of top stitching around the welt pockets or collar. This Freewheelers vest did it almost for every seam. This type of stitching has everything to do with looking refined, often found on luxury brands. More delicate stitching takes more labor hours. But the refinement is only apparent to the owner 1 feet away. Looking at it from 4 feet away there is no difference.

FW vs GW
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FW vs FL
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FW vs Giogio Armani (Is this luxury brand still relevant? I grew up 80s/90s and it was one of the top brands back then, Kevin Costner before Water World)
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So yes, overall this FW vest is quite awesome, from leather to construction. But once I put the price into the equation then it ain't so awesome anymore.

And we're back to square one, pricing. It is possible to get the same vest, same material, same construction, from other makers, for less money. But Freewheelers did this vest first. They put in their sweat and time to develop this garment, should they not get compensated for their hard work?

Thumbs up on design/leather quality/construction. Thumbs down on pricing.
 

Observe

One of the Regulars
Messages
186
They made leather products of "Old" Real Mccoy's. After the bankcruptcy of "Old" real mccoy's, "Eight" stopped to deal with them. Because "new" real mccoy's are yakuza (Note: Japanese mafia)

I realize it's an old post, but can anyone elaborate further on this particular connection? I would be interested to hear more.
 

TheBigEraser

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Messages
204
I realize it's an old post, but can anyone elaborate further on this particular connection? I would be interested to hear more.
Are you referring to the old/new RMC? Basically in 2001 old RMC was bankrupted due to fraud of their leather suppliers. Afterwards Hitoshi Tsujimoto, owner of NYLON, an apparel retailer, took over the company and they became the new RMC. However due to conflict with Tsujimoto, the old RMC core team parted their way one by one, and they established their own brands, including Toys Mccoy, Bootleggers, Colimbo, The FEW and Pherrow’s.
 

Blackadder

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I realize it's an old post, but can anyone elaborate further on this particular connection? I would be interested to hear more.
RC was formed by Miyoshi-san in 2004 (after Tsujimoto-san took over RM). Miyoshi-san was a former associate/employee of RM. AFAIK Miyoshi-san relies on a traditional leather wholesaler and leather workshops to produce his products. I am not sure if he owns the wholesaler and workshops or if it was a partnership. Somehow I remember hearing about Miyoshi-san's mother being involved in the setup that it is family business. I just cannot remember from where.
Anyway, fact is RC was also started by a former associate of RM.
In addition to all those companies formed by former RM associates, BR started as a collaboration between RM and Toyo Enterprise. Initially a side project by Toyo with help from RM's former owner.
 
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Observe

One of the Regulars
Messages
186
Thanks, I was referring to the yakuza connection mentioned in the post, just wondering if anyone had any more information about that.
 

Blackadder

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Thanks, I was referring to the yakuza connection mentioned in the post, just wondering if anyone had any more information about that.
Oh that. Everybody seems to say that about him. Other than he was arrested for assaulting his tenant in 2007, there is no official record of any shady past. His son was a professional baseball player and is working at RM now.
 

Canuck Panda

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RC was formed by Miyoshi-san in 2004 (after Tsujimoto-san took over RM). Miyoshi-san was a former associate/employee of RM. AFAIK Miyoshi-san relies on a traditional leather wholesaler and leather workshops to produce his products. I am not sure if he owns the wholesaler and workshops or if it was a partnership. Somehow I remember hearing about Miyoshi-san's mother being involved in the setup that it is family business. I just cannot remember from where.
Anyway, fact is RC was also started by a former associate of RM.
In addition to all those companies formed by former RM associates, BR started as a collaboration between RM and Toyo Enterprise. Initially a side project by Toyo with help from RM's former owner.
I've been reading up on Miyoshi san's social media posts. It seems he gets his leather from different places. Shinki and others in the Himeji area, and also Sumida area. The distance between the two location is quite far, about 400 miles. It also sounds like the work shop is located near the Tokyo area instead of the Western Japan Kansai area. Does any one know more?

I've also read that Miyoshi san has personal connection to leather wholesaler, like family business type of deal. It was credited as one of the main reason he has better access to first grade leather than everyone else. I will know more for sure when I can get my hands on more RC jackets. But from what I've experienced, the RC horsehide is really that good. He basically made a more wearable version of the fame CXL FQHH. Same multi tone deep finish, same robust and heft but not stiff when cold, CXL characteristics Badalassi pliable temper.

I also suspect these two Fine Creek jackets are actually produced by Miyoshi san as well:
FCJK015_Leon The Nostar Custom
(brown)
ACJK048 Original Island
 

Canuck Panda

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2,253
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After seeing all the other awesome FW La Breas here. And many long searches later. I found an used one on Yahoo Auction for a little over what a new RC jacket would cost.

Don't meet your heros. The high expectation of these (when new) $3k uber jackets will always end in disappointment and mild depression. I have a section on my rack for these jackets. Even at used price it hurts. This is the last time I buy into these uber jackets. F my habit. Don't meet your heros.
 

Kuro

Practically Family
Messages
710
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After seeing all the other awesome FW La Breas here. And many long searches later. I found an used one on Yahoo Auction for a little over what a new RC jacket would cost.

Don't meet your heros. The high expectation of these (when new) $3k uber jackets will always end in disappointment and mild depression. I have a section on my rack for these jackets. Even at used price it hurts. This is the last time I buy into these uber jackets. F my habit. Don't meet your heros.
I don't share the same experience. Both of my FW jackets have provided me tremendous satisfaction. I can't see in the photos you shared how it could be a disappointment and depression... Unless it does not fit.
 

Observe

One of the Regulars
Messages
186
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After seeing all the other awesome FW La Breas here. And many long searches later. I found an used one on Yahoo Auction for a little over what a new RC jacket would cost.

Don't meet your heros. The high expectation of these (when new) $3k uber jackets will always end in disappointment and mild depression. I have a section on my rack for these jackets. Even at used price it hurts. This is the last time I buy into these uber jackets. F my habit. Don't meet your heros.

Looks great but I understand where you're coming from.
 

Canuck Panda

Call Me a Cab
Messages
2,253
It's the buckle. My heart sank when I saw the buckle. And everything just spiraled downwards from that point on. I don't want to sound like a spoiled prick. But for this amount of dollars, the buckle is not something to mess up on. A skipped stitch here and there I can accept but the cheap stamping buckle no. I will get it swapped out to something cast solid brass but it really put a bad taste in my mouth. The La Brea design is out of this world but the damn buckle... why cheap out on the 5 dollar buckle on a 3k dollar jacket?
 

Kuro

Practically Family
Messages
710
It's the buckle. My heart sank when I saw the buckle. And everything just spiraled downwards from that point on. I don't want to sound like a spoiled prick. But for this amount of dollars, the buckle is not something to mess up on. A skipped stitch here and there I can accept but the cheap stamping buckle no. I will get it swapped out to something cast solid brass but it really put a bad taste in my mouth. The La Brea design is out of this world but the damn buckle... why cheap out on the 5 dollar buckle on a 3k dollar jacket?
Could it not be a "reproduction" of the buckle from the jacket they used as the pattern? I mean, they used nice zippers, could have cheaped out on all the hardware if cost was something to cut that did not include material and labor. I think I have seen the similar buckle used on vintage jackets. FW went so far to have the snaps embossed with Leathertogs on the inside pocket of the LaBrea, consider some of that cost. I think the buckle is just a representation of what an original used, as cheap as it was, not going to change it because something better could have been done, reproduction etc...

Really though? All the quality materials, construction, design, and the buckle throws you? It looks like a buckle, works like a buckle. Must be a buckle! :)

I think it is too much focus on one item instead of the whole. THAT IS A BEAUTIFUL JACKET, and you are looking for a reason to be disappointed. That buckle will last as long as everything else on the jacket.

Just my two cents. You are not required to listen.
 

Kuro

Practically Family
Messages
710
It's the buckle. My heart sank when I saw the buckle. And everything just spiraled downwards from that point on. I don't want to sound like a spoiled prick. But for this amount of dollars, the buckle is not something to mess up on. A skipped stitch here and there I can accept but the cheap stamping buckle no. I will get it swapped out to something cast solid brass but it really put a bad taste in my mouth. The La Brea design is out of this world but the damn buckle... why cheap out on the 5 dollar buckle on a 3k dollar jacket?
For example. For all I know this is a fake Leathertogs jacket. However, it does not look like one. I see this style of buckle on many of their vintage jackets. Most are hard to see because I don't see high resolution photos. But this looks similar.


Someone with more vintage knowledge will weigh in I am sure.

Another: https://lostworldsinc.com/Leathertogs_Horsehide_Motorcycle_Jacket.htm

One more: https://www.thefedoralounge.com/threads/what-does-this-gail-leathertogs-sell-for.99588/post-2631089
On this photo, you can see the hammered pattern well. It is similar to the FW jacket.
 
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Canuck Panda

Call Me a Cab
Messages
2,253
Could it not be a "reproduction" of the buckle from the jacket they used as the pattern? I mean, they used nice zippers, could have cheaped out on all the hardware if cost was something to cut that did not include material and labor. I think I have seen the similar buckle used on vintage jackets. FW went so far to have the snaps embossed with Leathertogs on the inside pocket of the LaBrea, consider some of that cost. I think the buckle is just a representation of what an original used, as cheap as it was, not going to change it because something better could have been done, reproduction etc...

Really though? All the quality materials, construction, design, and the buckle throws you? It looks like a buckle, works like a buckle. Must be a buckle! :)

I think it is too much focus on one item instead of the whole. THAT IS A BEAUTIFUL JACKET, and you are looking for a reason to be disappointed. That buckle will last as long as everything else on the jacket.

Just my two cents. You are not required to listen.
Yup, its the buckle. I was so laser focused on what it was not. It drove me nuts for two days already. I tried to reason it out too but no use which is why I just got more confused. The jacket is made with very high standards I don't fault it. But I kept coming back to look at the buckle...
It's a beautiful jacket no argument there. I got hung up on a damn buckle! Talk it out definitely helped to snap out of that funk a bit. Thank you!
Still getting that buckle swapped out though. Damn buckle!
 

Carlos840

I'll Lock Up
Messages
4,731
Location
London
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After seeing all the other awesome FW La Breas here. And many long searches later. I found an used one on Yahoo Auction for a little over what a new RC jacket would cost.

Don't meet your heros. The high expectation of these (when new) $3k uber jackets will always end in disappointment and mild depression. I have a section on my rack for these jackets. Even at used price it hurts. This is the last time I buy into these uber jackets. F my habit. Don't meet your heros.

What is wrong with it? Looks like a good jacket to me!
 

Carlos840

I'll Lock Up
Messages
4,731
Location
London
Yup, its the buckle. I was so laser focused on what it was not. It drove me nuts for two days already. I tried to reason it out too but no use which is why I just got more confused. The jacket is made with very high standards I don't fault it. But I kept coming back to look at the buckle...
It's a beautiful jacket no argument there. I got hung up on a damn buckle! Talk it out definitely helped to snap out of that funk a bit. Thank you!
Still getting that buckle swapped out though. Damn buckle!

All the original leathertogs i have seen had either the same buckle that FW used or an even worst wire buckle.
It's just what Leathertogs used to use back then...

Complaining about a reproduction being too accurate is a bit weird, maybe in the future learn a bit about your heroes before you meet them.

BQuSt23.jpg
 

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