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Freewheelers vs. The Real McCoys vs. Vanson Cross Zip Jackets

dudewuttheheck

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3,602
I have been without a cross zip for a little while now and I've never owned a cross zip motorcycle jacket, but recently I have purchased three of them.

The first one is a Freewheelers La Brea in the color called 'auburn' which looks extremely similar to vintage brown. This one is a size 38. For the most part, I have been taking size 38 in my latest Freewheelers jackets and this one fits just about perfect. I wish it was slightly shorter, but I wish almost all of my jackets were a little shorter and I still think this one looks amazing. Getting this color was a surprise as it has not been run since 2017 if I remember correctly.

It looks equally good zipped and unzipped in my opinion which is difficult to pull off, but crucial for a cross zip jacket. I despise when the two sides of a leather jacket touch when unzipped and I do not have to make any special effort to prevent that with this jacket which I love. As usual, the Freewheelers pattern and quality are top notch. Only Greg from Field Leathers does neater stitching and the pattern of this jacket is just brilliant. Most Japanese jacket makers just do not do patterns well, but Freewheelers nails it every time in my experience.



The next jacket I got was a Real McCoys J24. This one is a modern classic and despite how common it and other j24 copies are in my style of clothing, I still wanted one just because I think it looks great. I had an opportunity for a great deal on a size 42 in the older, slimmer model. I was pretty sure that it would be too big... and it was. I like my leather jackets to be rather short and slim and this one was a bit too wide in the chest and much too long for my taste. Plus, in this size at least, it looks much better zipped than unzipped. It looks too big unzipped. I sold it to a friend on here and replaced it with a Vanson C2 that I had tried to buy on here a few months ago.

This jacket is awesome and shows how much fit really matters. This jacket is not very well stitched compared to the RMC and especially the Freewheelers. On one of the lapels, there is a second, extremely sloppy stitch line that looks horribly unsightly. The SPI is lower than a slammed Golf GTI and there are plenty of errors.

As for the leather, it's love and hate. I love the grain on it, but I hate how the finish has peeled off in places in an extremely unsightly way. This is not some beautiful tea core leather, this is a jacket that is losing its finish when it looks like it isn't supposed to be coming off.

Even with all of those issues, I LOVE this jacket. The pattern is so fantastic. It's short, well proportioned, has a decent amount of taper, and fits me pretty darn well. I don't love the back of the jacket. That is something the Schott Perfecto does better, but I would still take this one over any Schott because of the pattern.

As much as the RMC is a better jacket and in terms of leather and construction quality, it absolutely is better, I like this jacket more because of how it fits me. The RMC even in size 40 would probably not look as good on me as this one does. I don't think I like this jacket enough for it to be my only black leather jacket, but it will work for now and for the price I got it for, it will be staying in my collection for the foreseeable future. I feel pretty darn bad ass in this jacket... simply because its a black moto jacket that fits me well. I had said that I wanted a Vanson for a while because of their patterns... and my first Vanson did not not disappoint in that aspect.

Freewheelers:
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RMC:
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Vanson:
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tmitchell59

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6,177
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Illinois
I like the Vanson. #1

The Freewheelers is without question beautiful, but a bit too perfect; the McCoy too big, The Vanson style suits you better than the D pocket on the McCoy, The Vanson looks right and real. I know less about Vanson than the other two, but beats them to me. I understand why you wanted it.
 

dudewuttheheck

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3,602
I like the Vanson. #1

The Freewheelers is without question beautiful, but a bit too perfect; the McCoy too big, The Vanson style suits you better than the D pocket on the McCoy, The Vanson looks right and real. I know less about Vanson than the other two, but beats them to me. I understand why you wanted it.
The rmc was definitely too big which is why I moved it on immediately. I was really excited for the Vanson and it exceeded my expectations.
If it were up for a vote, the Vanson would get my vote.
In terms of how it looks on me right now, definitely the Vanson is number 1. In fact, I think it competes eith my Bodie in terms of how good it looks on me. Plus this one is the most bad ass jacket I've had. Despite its flaws, I adore it. The fact that it's a bit sloppy and beat up actually works in its favor weirdly.
 
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15,686
I first scrolled down past the text to see the pics, to get a better context of what you're saying and literally stopped scrolling at the first Vanson pic, how perfect it looks. Not that the others don't but Vanson fits you absolutely sick. And honestly, I know their stitching can be utilitarian but the leather, the creases, hide, it all looks perfectly comparable to its $3000 brethren. Thought for a second it's that FCL Vanson knock-off as I forgot you had an actual Vanson incoming.

That's one of the things I've been saying for years; These new guys, they can stitch well and have some nice hides but Vanson's been at it for decades, perfecting their jacket and only during such rare occasions we see one showcased against other brands, does that fact become pretty damn obvious.

As for the hide, your jacket's made of my favorite type of leather Vanson's been using. I know it's weird at first but this hide is actually a lot less processed than most other fancy leathers. No teacore, no shiny finish or nothing - This is pure naked cowhide, quickly chrome-tanned and then lightly dyed. What you can do is literally grab a can of shoe creme and restore the entire jacket to look like it's brand new. It's super tough while being soft and easy to maintain. You won't ever do anything to it you can't fix at home.

Keep this jacket.
 

Imuricecreamman

One Too Many
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1,406
That Vanson looks amazing. Great look when broken in. That Freewheelers is a piece of jewellery.
Like Marc says, time to look for that perfect Herc, Sportclad or Oakbrook. I think the shorter length of those jackets would be perfect for you.
 
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marker2037

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Curacao/NJ, USA
Vanson, by far is the best fit. The RMC doesn't fit you at all. The Freewheelers looks great also and is a beautiful jacket, but with your style the Vanson just screams to be worn. The beauty of jackets like the Vansons and Schotts out there is they were meant to be worn hard and rough. It's harder to do that with jackets like the Freewheelers considering the initial cost they have.

I've been waiting to see pics of both of those jackets on these boards since you got them!

edit: I do agree with Carlos regarding the shoulders on the Japanese jackets.
 
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Carlos840

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Personally i think the FW and RMC are the wrong shape for you.
Both jackets are very V shaped, and you are very A shaped, because of that the shoulders look empty and oversized on both jackets.
The Vanson on the other hand fits you great, i would not change a thing about it.
 

matchankh

One of the Regulars
Messages
114
This makes me want to get a vanson c2. It looks so badass.

Anyone know how does the new c2s compare to the older ones in terms of hide and fit? I have checked out their website but they look kind of different. It seems they are cut longer in the body and the sleeves don’t look as trim?
 

Brandrea33

Practically Family
Messages
698
I like the Vanson. #1

The Freewheelers is without question beautiful, but a bit too perfect; the McCoy too big, The Vanson style suits you better than the D pocket on the McCoy, The Vanson looks right and real. I know less about Vanson than the other two, but beats them to me. I understand why you wanted it.
I agree. Tommy eye the Vanson looks the best.
 

Mich486

One Too Many
Messages
1,627
Vanson perfect t-shirt fit, FW outstanding jacket and I think it also fits you pretty damn well. I vastly prefer the FW :)

RMC I think you might do better with a 40 in the new 2021 fit.
 

MrProper

Call Me a Cab
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2,999
Location
Europe
This makes me want to get a vanson c2. It looks so badass.

Anyone know how does the new c2s compare to the older ones in terms of hide and fit? I have checked out their website but they look kind of different. It seems they are cut longer in the body and the sleeves don’t look as trim?
I also took a look at the C2 right away. But with the product pictures no "want to have" feeling arises. In addition, Vanson unfortunately does not respond to emails.
 

matchankh

One of the Regulars
Messages
114
I also took a look at the C2 right away. But with the product pictures no "want to have" feeling arises. In addition, Vanson unfortunately does not respond to emails.

I don’t normally pay too much attention to off the rack jackets as most are too long for me. But it seems like this vanson could work as we share similar height and chest size.

But the product pictures don’t look nearly as good as Jake’s pictures. Are the early versions better?
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D5F7EEB0-99D5-43D7-B6B3-48AB7E7FAD7B.jpeg
 
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JMax

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Messages
8,719
Vanson looks out of this world. Hard to beat a dialed in Vanson. FW looks great. While the RMC would match your preferred fit sized down, I don’t think it looks as bad as you think, especially zipped up.

That Sportclad that just sold would have been the perfect vintage jacket to jump in with.
 

Carlos840

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4,850
Location
London
I don’t normally pay too much attention to off the rack jackets as most are too long for me. But it seems like this vanson could work as we share similar height and chest size.

But the product pictures does not look nearly as good as Jake’s pictures. Are the early versions better? View attachment 411851 View attachment 411853

I have an early version (Black and gold label without flags) and it is the worst Vanson i own, the pattern is horrible, super short, weird collar, massive hourglass shape.
Construction is horrible, stitching is wavy, full of start/stops, the collar/lapel snaps are not symmetrically placed and the collar looks like crap if you snap them, it is really the worst Vanson i have handled.
I own around 20 Vansons and the older models have all been the worst of the bunch, i would now only buy recent ones with the current label. I know other members have the opposite experience but it has been mine.
 

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