Good Wear Hercules

Discussion in 'Outerwear' started by Boyo, Dec 22, 2019.

  1. Seb Lucas

    Seb Lucas I'll Lock Up

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    Now you see, around here I always thought that the PC answer (a curious term) was Goodwear is better than pretty quality much anything except perhaps Langlitz or Himmel.
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2019
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  2. Superfluous

    Superfluous My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    GW stitching and seams are palpably better. That said, Aero jackets are also fantastic and the differences in construction do not affect the durability of the jackets.
     
  3. ton312

    ton312 I'll Lock Up

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    I had a different experience. The seems nor the stitching was any better ( I would say they were worse!) and the hide was disappointingly flimsy. I immediately asked to return the jacket. The seller (a member here) was gracious enough to accept. I believe it has been sold along to another member who is very happy with it. Perhaps there is something I’m missing? I received a bad egg? I don’t know but I can’t recall a time I was more underwhelmed, given the hype machine behind the brand.
     
  4. Monitor

    Monitor

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    ^ Same with the LW hype. You know something if off when a $100 Natal is a heavier jacket than a $1500 LW.
     
  5. regius

    regius Call Me a Cab

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    Was it a GW Hercules? Or another model by john


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  6. Seb Lucas

    Seb Lucas I'll Lock Up

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    Hah.. Best put together and stitched jacket I ever saw was a Korean made Banana Republic leather jacket. Exquisite.
     
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  7. Blackadder

    Blackadder Call Me a Cab

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    It really depends on what you like. To me the LW Buco J-23 doesn't look right. It is too thick. Doesn't really look or feel like an original Buco J-23 and it will not age like an original. At the very least it is not brown core. I am not expert in leather but I have a feeling that a thick veg tanned leather jacket may not be wearable given that veg tanned leather is more rigid than chrome tanned. I have seen examples like Geruga, old Toyo enterprise and even old RM jackets made of the wrong thick veg tanned leather. The leather along the folded seam tends to crack easily because of the rigidness and thickness.

    A Horween CXL half belt may have the same pattern as the original but the original was't made of a thick oil leather. A Schott horween CXL 628 after 60 years of wear will probably still not look like a 50s Beck 333 does now even if you let it just dry up without any conditioning.

    A "flimsy" A-2 made by Goowear or Eastman will have a closer resemblance to the original ones than a 80s Cooper Goatskin A-2 not only because of the pattern but the leather used.

    For the reason above, I have never bought a Horween CXL repro jacket because the crease, drape and colour (dye) are all gonna be quite different to an original given the characteristics of the tanning process.
     
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  8. ton312

    ton312 I'll Lock Up

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    No it was a Ventura? I believe. I’m not terribly familiar with his models beyond the Arcaidia, which is his his best imho.
     
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  9. ton312

    ton312 I'll Lock Up

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    I understand. I’ve never bought a repro to emulate an original, rather to exceed it. In some ways they do, in other ways they do not.
     
  10. Blackadder

    Blackadder Call Me a Cab

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    That is the dilemma. Many of the materials today far exceed those used on vintage originals. Alpaca and wool lining is pretty much obsolete. The modern synthetic materials are warmer, lighter and less itchy. A new Alpha civilian MA-1 has far thinner synthetic lining than the original military spec wool pile MA-1 and yet it is at least as warm as the original. Yet some people finds the new one too flimsy and does not believe it can keep them warm.
     
  11. Seb Lucas

    Seb Lucas I'll Lock Up

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    That's a good example. And that's because this hobby is often about perceptions of authenticity and beauty rather than function. In the end this is a subjective aesthetic matter as many have said before. Where it does matter for me is robustness. If a new Alpha with its thin lining wears out much faster then it does matter to me.
     
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  12. Superfluous

    Superfluous My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    Weight ≠ Quality

    Rather, weight = weight.

    I am not suggesting that Natal is not also high quality -- I have never handled a Natal jacket and, therefore, I have no knowledge regarding its relative attributes. However, the mere fact that the jacket is unusually heavy is not what makes it a quality product. A jacket needs more than weight to qualify as high quality.

    Please explain why Natal jackets are quality products, other than being unusually heavy? What are the other positive attributes of the jacket?
     
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  13. Carlos840

    Carlos840 Call Me a Cab

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    Fully agreed, my 2.9kg Lost world is IMO better quality than my 3.6kg Vanson, and my 1.9kg Lewis is better quality than my 2.7kg Alexander Leathers...
    My Eastman is only 1.5kg and it is a very high quality jacket, I see no direct relationship between quality and weight.
     
  14. Mich486

    Mich486 One Too Many

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    Leather quality has nothing to do with its weight...

    A lot of cheap mall jackets are made with super thin leather so I understand why when first getting into this hobby one may associate weight with quality.

    After handling a few jackets though it seems like an obvious step to understand that a cheaply made and looking leather can be very thick and conversely a very high quality leather can be relatively thin.

    I can’t get over the “thicker is always better” mentality in leather, denim etc.




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  15. Monitor

    Monitor

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    Weight = Quality if weight is your main selling point, like it is the case with the Lost Worlds. So if you have another maker building even heavier jackets than you, what are you left with? In LW's case, better stitching and a more refined finish, they've got Natal beat there but does aesthetics > quality, which I will translate to durability & functionality, on a motorcycle jacket?

    Not for me. Is stitch count more important than making a functional shoulder gussets or having the sleeves close up tightly around your wrists? Absolutely not.

    I'd rather be hard pressed to find any negative attributes. The jackets are heavier, they're cut better, good enough room in the shoulders and chest while tight around the abdomen. Slim-ish sleeves that close up tight around the wrists. Warm, quilted liner, fully functional gussets... Not to mention the jacket looks the part, too, being classically styled and IMO much nicer looking than many LW styles. Weird thin belt on the Speed Demon and the coin pocket placed up too high. Or those zippers on the Cafe Racer, with the zipper teeth half exposed as on the worst of the worst of Pakistani cross zips...

    One little thing I first check on any riding jacket is whether or not the pocket zippers close downwards. On any Natal / WD jacket they do, no exception (that I have seen) while LW still can't seem to figure that one out.

    Like I said, it's a good product but I don't see the hype. It's well made, something I got over within a day. I am wearing it daily for the fact that it is a very functional, warm and tough jacket. Which is why I love my Natal Leathers so... I don't see why is one a thousands of dollars better than the other. I just don't.
     
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  16. Carlos840

    Carlos840 Call Me a Cab

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    Maybe i see this in an unusual way, but to me leather is now pretty meaningless in the quality equation.
    Most of the jackets we talk about are made with what i would describe as quality leather.
    Is CXL better than LW, worst than Vicenza, equal to Shinki? It's all a subjective call based on personal preference.

    The fact that we all have different bodies makes patterns just as hard to be objective about.

    Stitching/attention to detail is IMO the real show of quality.

    I don't mean to sound like a dick, but all it took was for me to look at the pictures of Natal jackets on this thread to see that they are not on the same level as LW (full disclosure i have never handled a Natal):

    https://www.thefedoralounge.com/threads/natal-leather.84202/

    Looking at post #4

    The main zipper is completely wavy on the left lapel, both sides have different stitch count. The pockets are not symetrical and their angles aren't square, they also are IMO pretty messy (pic 8 shows a missed stitch and an extra solo stich where it shouldn't be there).
    I can also see a few inconsistencies in the stitch spacing, where the stitch count becomes tighter and tighter before jumping a big fold and becoming looser again (last picture, the seam going from the pit to the gusset).
    Or the opposite, if you look at picture 8 and 10, you can see that on either side of the bottom hem, at the junction between front and side panels there are a couple stitches that are almost 1/2" long!
    The same thing can be seen on the back, picture 4, junction between kidney panel and side panel on the right side.

    To me these Natal jackets are on the level of attention to detail i have seen on Schott jackets, it does the job, i am sure they are sturdy enough to be completely functional on and off the bike, but i don't see much precision in the details or the execution, and i would never see them as being on the same level of "quality" as LW or Freewheelers or RMC.

    If i can spot this in pictures, i am sure i would find at least 5 "mistakes" if i held it in my hands.
    My LW, FW and RMC have 0.

    Now, i am not saying that this is not me being crazy, i fully admit that the difference might not be worth it to a lot of people, but it is worth it to me.

    Picture of the mistakes i wouldn't tolerate:
    (I also don't think the pockets are well shaped, and the fact that the stitch count is completely different on both sides of the main zipper is pretty poor)
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2019
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  17. Mich486

    Mich486 One Too Many

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    I agree that certain patterns are more suitable to certain body types than others but if one pattern look consistently off on differently shaped people than I think the pattern could do with some tweaks.

    From what I can see, Himel has got the best patterns. If properly sized, I’ve yet to see one example of a bad fitting Himel jacket.


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  18. red devil

    red devil Call Me a Cab

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    Wow this thread evolved so much is just a few hours! Just trying to catch up here:

    As cryptic as a wise man, well done! :D
    Oh wise man, are you saying that we need to wait an average of 6 years to get a GW? 42 years for seven jackets might sound like a speck of dust for such a long lived man as yourself, but how are we mere mortals supposed to achieve such a feat?

    I wonder if other members will start seeing their jackets or if as usual some customers will be given priority over others...

    Didn't Himel mention GW being superior to his work at some point? They are friends aren't they in any case?

    @Monitor your Natal is cowhide isn't it? Why are you even comparing it to a horsehide jacket?
     
  19. red devil

    red devil Call Me a Cab

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    There are certainly some bad patterns that should not exist anymore, but saying that Himel has the best patterns is a step too far.

    Although Himel customers seem to be getting good fitting jackets overall, calling him the best is completely ignoring other makers who provide fantastic fitting jackets.

    I will mention as an example BKS made to measure, their work in improving the patterns for riding as well as the bespoke process which is extremely detailed goes beyond anything I have seen so far.

    Are they the best? I wouldn't even attempt to say it

    Edited for clarity
     
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  20. Mich486

    Mich486 One Too Many

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    Never heard/seen of BKS. A quick google search seems to show they make motorcycle gear?

    I should rephrase my observation like this: I think Himel has the best patterns amongst the leather jacket makers usually discussed here. Just my humble opinion of course and entirely based on fit pics.


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