H-D Cycle King Jacket Vs. Aero Indian Ranger

Discussion in 'Outerwear' started by AeroFan_07, Jun 1, 2021.

  1. AeroFan_07

    AeroFan_07 My Mail is Forwarded Here

    I have been thinking for a while now about this comparison. I never thought I could make it materialize, as by all appearances the options to purchase one of the two jackets here was extinct. Then, it suddenly materialized, almost unexpectedly.

    As has been discussed in another thread, the Vanson-sourced Cycle King jacket was a short run commissioned by the Harley Museum in Milwaukee, WI. It has a D-pocket, a full-round belt, stitched down top loops, decorative studs on the zipper pulls, #10 nickel main sipper, and #5 nickel zips on sleeves and pockets, all Vanson branded. The liner is a Woolrich Rob Roy red/black plaid. This jacket is Steerhide with a waxy finish as the photos show. The jacket listed here is a Size Large. It is not offered in numeric sizes.



    ** Background brought to you by the Mississippi River

    Fit details – This is a boxy, straight-cut jacket that does not have much physical taper. The jacket may relax some as it starts to break in; it has only been worn an hour or so at this point. Also the sleeves in this model are indeed large – they almost look wide enough to install armor into them. Had this all been known, I could have considered sizing down to a Medium, however I doubt the sleeve & back length would have been sufficient going that route.

    Dimensions for a Size Large:

    - Shoulders – 19”/48cm

    - Pit to Pit – 23.25”/59cm

    - Waist – 21.5”/54.6cm

    - Sleeve (Straight) 25.5”/64.8cm

    - Sleeve width (3” from Shoulder)

    - Back – 25.25”/64cm

    To me this is surprising – I had to measure it again to be sure. How could 1.5” less Pit to Pit feel boxier to me? (Compare to IR dimensions below)

    DSC_0950.JPG DSC_0955.JPG DSC_0972.JPG DSC_0973.JPG

    The Aero Indian Ranger is more familiar to this forum. Mine arrived in mid April in Horween FQHH, and it has probably seen about 10 hours of wearing time at this point. It is a modified size 44, with the waist taken in a bit from normal stock width. This jacket, due to the alterations Carrie at Thurston Brothers recommended, fits me better in several ways from the Vanson – Cycle King as the fit photos show (in second post). As noted in prior posts, this jacket features:

    - Rob Rob Lightweight Red/Black tartan lining.

    - Mixed hardware (all #5 brass for zippers)

    - Full nickel snaps with backing snap-down ability

    - Front-half belt that tapers ever so slightly to the middle

    - One interior pocket with no closure

    Dimensions for a Size “44”

    - Shoulders – 19.5”/49.5cm

    - Pit to Pit – 25”63.5cm

    - Waist – 21.5”/54.6cm

    - Sleeve (Straight) 25.5”/64.8cm

    - Back – 25.5”/64.8cm

    So which one do I like better? Well, it is hard to say. They are both unique in their own special ways. I am very thankful and humbled to own both of these at the same time. I do not have the ability to have dozens of jackets of any similar caliber, so it is quite a neat experience to own these two great jackets and get them broken in over the next few years.


    From a fit perspective, I prefer the Aero, it’s much closer to an “ideal” fit on me and would be better with one more layer on underneath as the fit photos will show. For some reason, the Front Quarter Horse Hide on this jacket is some of the nicest I have handled; it is just glossy enough and very slick/smooth to the touch. It already is showing a bit of tea core, but I do not mean to hurry the break-in on this jacket. I actually really like it being basic black with the red and black lining and mixed hardware of bright brass and plated nickel (or plated brass in the case of the belt buckle.) interestingly the #5 brass Talon reproduction main zipper has a nice, solid feel and the chin-link style pocket pull zippers just look so very detailed.


    The Vanson is on the larger size for me. However, as the leather itself starts to break in, I believe it will settle down and be a very versatile, rugged jacket that has some interesting details. The #10 zipper is a plus, it is sturdy and handy to use, and looks great on this pattern. The leather itself is rather flat presently, however it is already taking shape – the waxy feel is evident and it looks like grain is beginning to pop out. I am hoping this will develop into a great jacket as time and use occur.

    DSC_0949.JPG DSC_0951.JPG
    Mysteryo, Yamahana, Shine and 5 others like this.
  2. AeroFan_07

    AeroFan_07 My Mail is Forwarded Here

    And then some fit photos for fun and intrest. I had a lot of fun taking these today, hope you all find them fun and a bit of a change of pace...

    DSC_0895.JPG DSC_0897.JPG DSC_0899.JPG

    ^^Vanson Cycle King


    ^^Vanson Cycle King

    DSC_0912.JPG DSC_0913.JPG DSC_0920.JPG
    DSC_0924.JPG DSC_0928.JPG

    ^^Aero Indian Ranger


    Attached Files:

  3. Jules Myers

    Jules Myers Familiar Face

    Sharp looking jackets. They look great on you!
    AeroFan_07 likes this.
  4. Jin431

    Jin431 Call Me a Cab

    Bay Area CA
    Lovely jackets and fantastic photo op session!
    AeroFan_07 likes this.
  5. TooManyHatsOnlyOneHead

    TooManyHatsOnlyOneHead One Too Many

    Love it. General population is going to say it's kind of the same jacket. But lots of nuances in the details. Ive been tempted by both along the way.
    Edward, Jin431 and AeroFan_07 like this.
  6. JMax

    JMax I'll Lock Up

    Awesome. You know who to PM if you decide to move the Vanson? Me, that’s who. The IR ain’t shabby either. Two stunners. Congrats.
  7. handymike

    handymike I'll Lock Up

    Great jackets, Congratulations!
    ...that location ain’t shabby either. :)
    Jin431 and AeroFan_07 like this.

    TREEMAN One Too Many

    Nice write up 07 !!
    AeroFan_07 likes this.
  9. navetsea

    navetsea I'll Lock Up

    East Java
    great pics and setting, it has Fallout/ Wasteland feel to it, you desperately need some patina to blend in with that environment :D
  10. Canuck Panda

    Canuck Panda A-List Customer

    Indian vs Harley, hard to decide then, still hard to decide now. Both are AWESOME (Thumbs up emoji didnt work sorry).
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2021
  11. jacketjunkie

    jacketjunkie Call Me a Cab

    Great review, thanks! I like the fit of the Vanson better, but the Aero is nice too!
  12. Carlos840

    Carlos840 I'll Lock Up

    They are both beautiful.
    I also give the Vanson an edge, but the Indian is probably the only Aero i would still consider buying new...
    Both great jackets!
    AeroFan_07 and Monitor like this.
  13. Marc mndt

    Marc mndt My Mail is Forwarded Here

    Beautiful jackets, great write up. Thanks for taking the time.
    AeroFan_07 likes this.
  14. oneterrifichog

    oneterrifichog Practically Family

    Signal Mountain, TN
    The HD Cycle King is really nice. Is this the version the HD Museum had in their store for a short while? Good job Vanson on a well made repro with a decent sized zip.
    AeroFan_07 likes this.
  15. Psant25

    Psant25 One Too Many

    Great looking jackets @AeroFan_07. Very cool photos and backdrop too
  16. ton312


    Nice Randy! IMO the Vanson just annihilates the Aero...how on earth did you find one?
    gtrplyr, Carlos840 and AeroFan_07 like this.
  17. Vanson for the win !!
  18. gtrplyr

    gtrplyr One of the Regulars

    I gotta vote for the Vanson, likely because I'm lucky enough to own one. Almost impossible to find one now. If I'm not mistaken, they're made from the now discontinued X150 leather. Very cool jacket. They do run big as I originally got a Large but exchanged it for a Medium (I'm rarely a medium). I like the length of the Vanson on you better as well. I personally like jackets to cover one's belt.
    AeroFan_07, ton312 and jacketjunkie like this.
  19. Mysteryo

    Mysteryo One Too Many

    Nantes (FR)
    They both look great on you, but I have a slight preference for the Vanson in terms of shape, especially at the back. Congratulations, anyway: both jackets are top notch!
    AeroFan_07 likes this.
  20. dudewuttheheck

    dudewuttheheck My Mail is Forwarded Here

    Nice jackets. Similar, but by no means the same. I actually think the Vanson looks like a better fit. Must be Vanson's skill with patterns.
    ton312 and AeroFan_07 like this.

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