Lesco Cafe Racer Review

Discussion in 'Outerwear' started by AeroFan_07, Mar 11, 2017.

  1. AeroFan_07

    AeroFan_07 My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    Ok so here's a short review of a jacket I took a chance on, a Craigslist found from Minnesota. This is a "size 44" Lesco Made in USA cafe racer jacket. Came with a liner, and with seemingly very little wear. Was not very expensive, and decided to take a chance and try it out. Here's the size details so we have an understanding of a factory-made, general quality jacket from the late 70's or early 80's:
    P to P: 21.5"
    Shoulders: 18"
    Torso: 22.5"
    Sleeves: 25"
    Back: 25"
    So not suprisingly, this jacket runs small for a tag size of 44, and what I found most interesting is the way the middle of the chest seems to tighten up on me, more than toward the waist.
    IMG_4606.JPG

    Interestingly, my right arm looks to be longer than the left, and I've seen this with other jackets as well. The zippers, and the zipped sides function well and seem to be of good quality. This jacket is made of mid-weight cowhide leather, and weighs in just over 5-lbs. Seems to have some good patina and grain for this vintage of jacket, but really not worn out. Just well broken in. The 3-piece back seems to be in good condition too:

    IMG_4607.JPG
    This Lesco has a pretty good action back, it gives good flexibility and on a bike, would serve well to facilitate movement and looking over one's shoulder for a head check. That said, the leather is on the thin side for riding, certainly not as durable or thick as many other jackets I have tried on.

    The lining is a "carpet" type zip-in vest. It's ok and I'm glad it's still in the jacket, however I have taken it out whenever I wear it, since it's pretty tight to begin with, and it's only minor in terms of additional warmth.

    So for someone looking to start out, these jackets are great. You can find Lesco's all over ebay for under $150, and most of them were US-made. What you can't really find is history. I've looked and looked, and there just does not seem to be a lot of information about this brand, what they produced, etc. Feel free to share info if you know. This is a neat semi-vintage jacket but ideally needs to be out of the open road, being worn and enjoyed.
    IMG_4609.JPG
     
  2. Guppy

    Guppy My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    Nice review.

    Lesco makes a fine jacket, for the period. I've owned several, all diagonal zip perfecto-style jackets, and they were made with decently heavy leather. The quality of the leather and the construction have all been very nice. I'm less crazy about the linings and removable linings, which are just OK, but hey, it was the 70s, a decade of terrible fabrics.

    In the 70's less was known about protection in a motorcycle crash, and things like armor inserts hadn't really been invented yet. Hell, a lot of people debated the merit of wearing a helmet. And bikes by and large were smaller, with less power (and worse brakes and suspensions). So by today's standards protective gear has come quite a long way since then.

    I think, zipped up, this one definitely looks too tight on you, particularly at the chest. You'd probably fit a 46 better. But if you leave it unzipped, or half-zipped, it works.
     
    AeroFan_07 likes this.
  3. AeroFan_07

    AeroFan_07 My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    So this jacket has a new home, a friend of mine in a rebuilding state in life, who pulls it off perfectly! Literally looks custom made for him. Once he's had it a while I'll see if I can get a fit photo of it on his back. I hope he can get many great years of use out of it!
     
  4. TREEMAN

    TREEMAN One Too Many

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    Great news....!!!
     
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  5. JVanBro

    JVanBro Familiar Face

    Messages:
    83
    A great looking jacket for its new owner. I also had one which was sadly too small for me I bought in a lot with several other makes. Lesco went the same way as other manufacturers in Detroit after the 70s.

    Sent from my SM-T550 using Tapatalk
     
  6. PeterRocco

    PeterRocco One of the Regulars

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    Location:
    Staten Island New York
    Hi
    I just bought a vintage Lesco.
     

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  7. TREEMAN

    TREEMAN One Too Many

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    1,476
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    Congratulations !!
     
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  8. PeterRocco

    PeterRocco One of the Regulars

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    115
    Location:
    Staten Island New York
    Hi Thank You. You Guys are Great!!!
     

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