My new Cafe Racer...is it you?

Discussion in 'Outerwear' started by JanSolo, Mar 18, 2009.

  1. JanSolo

    JanSolo Practically Family

    Hello all.

    in the past I had several different Aero Cafe Racer jackets. They were all sharp looking, extremly well made and hard wearing. But somehow I always wanted the Cafe Racer to be more versatile and maybe a bit more comfortable and all around less "bikish". "Why don't you then just order a different type of jacket?" some of you might ask now. Because I like the slim and sharp fit and the simple overall layout of the pattern, that's why...:p

    Anyway here's my new jacket with a couple of unique twists:

    Cafe Racer modified:

    -Size 40 plus 1 inch on sleeves, 1 1/2 inches on body.
    -Full size M422a collar with extra plushy mid brown fur trim and throat latch
    -Thick spray finish seal jerky horse with glazed aniline finish on top.
    -Highwayman sleeves but in the Japanese configuration (much slimmer than standard).
    -Two bottom set-in pockets with A2 pocket flaps, one vertical inside pocket.
    -1 inch wind flap.
    - Jacket is fully lined in o.d. green Gabardine (B10 outer shell cloth), which is as durable as standard cotton drill but much smoother and therefore easier to wear. Beautiful stuff!
    -Superb nickel finish Aero zip.


    The bare jacket and close-ups:
    http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3475/3364550323_a4849551e7.jpg?v=0
    http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3650/3365375816_ca459a657a.jpg?v=0
    http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3550/3364556969_d7e947272d.jpg?v=0
    http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3652/3364560241_8f1102a14a.jpg?v=0

    When worn (please excuse the grumpy facial expression):
    http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3464/3364563537_6ba65dd926.jpg?v=0
    http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3192/3364611323_bcd9eff2f5.jpg?v=0
    http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3163/3364569911_2e16757329.jpg?v=0
    http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3461/3364573069_ee85d40126.jpg?v=0

    In action:
    http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3548/3364576199_a5f52bbbae.jpg?v=0

    Overall I am very pleased with the result. What do you think?

    Jan
     
  2. Elmonteman

    Elmonteman One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    113
    Jan, that's a beautiful jacket. You're definitely designer material. I'm surprised that the jerky horse looks so smooth. Thanks for some great ideas.
     
  3. Fenton

    Fenton Familiar Face

    Messages:
    58
    Location:
    Cologne
    great ideas Jan! I particularly like the cargo pockets and was considering getting them for my new highwayman ... bugger, should have done it
     
  4. jake431

    jake431 Practically Family

    Messages:
    518
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    Do you have any pictures of the back? Great jacket.

    -Jake
     
  5. felix03

    felix03 One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    124
    Location:
    Castro Valley, CA
    Love it! The lining colour is such a nice, understated touch.
     
  6. eClairvaux

    eClairvaux One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    257
    Location:
    Monaco di Baviera
    I like the pockets!

    Did you go for the plain or bi-swing back?
     
  7. JanSolo

    JanSolo Practically Family

    I went for the bi-swing back. As you may probably know the bi-swing back on the Cafer Racer is what Aero calls a "Bikers Bi-Swing Back" which gives you more lateral freedom of movement. But it's not as pronounced as the back of a proper M422a where the gussets are running down to the halfbelt. Although I have seen Cafe Racers being made with that type of back as well.

    I went for jerky HH because I wanted a slightly more grainy leather but my emphasis was clearly on thick skins. Unfortunatly the more jerky the skins get the thinner they get. That leather is still thick enough for A2s or other military jackets but my Cafe Racer is deep down in its soul still a motorcycle jacket therefore I went for the thickest jerky skins Aero could offer.
    Will said that it took 1 1/2 hours to cut the jacket because it was so difficult to find enough matching panels.
    The leather on my jacket is now almost as thick and heavy as FQ horse but less stiff and more pliable. I love the result.

    Jan
     
  8. eClairvaux

    eClairvaux One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    257
    Location:
    Monaco di Baviera
    As I wrote elsewhere, I am waiting for my own Cafe Racer and opted for the plain back, just because i want it to be as clean and simple as possible. I hope it will not restrict my movement too much anyway.

    However, again a very interesting design of yours. Btw. have you got any black jackets?
     
  9. JanSolo

    JanSolo Practically Family

    As long as you plan to wear your jacket as a casual jacket the plain back is just fine but if you really want to use your Cafe Racer as a bike jacket a bi-swing back is a good idea. Apart from that the sleeve length also plays an important role.

    Here I am, summer 2008, wearing my plain back, black FQHH Cafe Racer, size 40:
    http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3452/3364842287_f73748613e.jpg?v=0

    Jan
     
  10. Jerekson

    Jerekson One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,597
    Location:
    1935
    The action shot accentuates the jacket particularly well lol
     
  11. icecold

    icecold One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    103
    Location:
    xvbnvb
    Great Jacket. I am particularly intrigued by the lining. besides the colour, how is the thickness and the durability of the B-10 outer shell material? I think that it is a great idea. The aero cotton drill is tough, but i bet not nearly as tightly woven as the gabardine.
     
  12. JanSolo

    JanSolo Practically Family

    Thanks for your kind words. You are probably right in saying that the B10 Gabardine is more tightly woven than Aero's cotton drill but cotton drill uses a thicker and harder spun thread with more twists per inch which results in a thicker cloth. When it comes to durability I think both materials are comparable, Gabardine being more comfortable due to its smooth surface and cotton drill being a tad harder wearing.
    I went with the B10 cloth because I wanted a simple and attractive alternative to cotton drill with a smoother surface. Apart from that I fell in love with the colour...
     
  13. bobjones

    bobjones A-List Customer

    Messages:
    315
    Location:
    The Big Apple
    Hi Jansolo, could you describe this type of sleeve in more detail:

    "-Highwayman sleeves but in the Japanese configuration (much slimmer than standard)."
     
  14. JanSolo

    JanSolo Practically Family

    As it says...;) Apparently Aero has some slimmer sleeve patterns for the Japanese market. This was something I was totally unaware of until Will mentioned it. The zipped sleeve on a Cafe Racer is quite trim, in fact much trimmer than the standard Hgwymn sleeve. On this jacket I wanted a different less "bikish" sleeve configuration which should be comparable in width. So Will came up with his suggestion and I happily agreed. I am very pleased with the result.
     
  15. bobjones

    bobjones A-List Customer

    Messages:
    315
    Location:
    The Big Apple
    Ths j-solo, I ask because this is one of the items I had looked at and considered changing on my Hwyman, as I didn't think the larger opening of the Stockman sleeve would make sense in this type of slimmer-fitting jacket.

    I ended up not asking for it because I didn't think there was a solution like what you've described, and was afraid of tampering with the pattern and coming up with something that wouldn't leave enough room in the sleeve for comfortable movement if I wore a shirt and a sweater underneath the jacket.

    My other concern with the Hwyman sleeve is that the armhole is too low-cut, so you get the batwings when lifting arms to shoulder height. This is an issue with the Stockman where the jacket goes over my head when when lifting my arms that way.

    I had also thought of getting the Cossack sleeve with the button closure...
     
  16. JanSolo

    JanSolo Practically Family

    Options, options, options....I know what you mean!
    Getting what you want can sometimes be a lottery with Aero because they allow you to change/create almost any detail on your jacket. This is something totally unique but can sometimes be quite painful when amateurs like you and me come up with ideas which can be realized and therefore aren't rejected but don't make really sense...
    BTW: No other sleeve than the Stockman sleeve would make sense on the Stockman...
     
  17. bobjones

    bobjones A-List Customer

    Messages:
    315
    Location:
    The Big Apple
    Not only is there the plethora of options, but the lack of expertise and visualization I can suffer from prevents me from being able to get a sense of how the modification would look on a worn item. Part of my hesitation to change things much is the fear of losing the "look" of an item, the Hwyman has a certain "look and feel" to it that even minor edits could screw up.

    I would imagine for a few million pounds Aero could commission a software house to develop a CAD-type program to help show potential changes online in real time, whereby once a customer has established all of their changes, can then just submit the order to Aero to manufacture. I think we'd all have to buy alot more jackets from Will before he'd have the dough to put something like that in place...

    You're right about the stockman sleeves, but I think the Hwyman sleeves are identical to them, i.e., 3 piece, same armhole size, cuff and overall shape, placement on jacket frame, etc., if I'm not mistaken.
     
  18. Tally Ho!

    Tally Ho! New in Town

    Messages:
    19
    Location:
    Southern Germany
    Hey dude - I just LOVE the last ("in action") pic!

    Check six!
     
  19. Metatron

    Metatron One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,490
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    Really nice. Kind of reminds me of a cross between a G-1 and a Luftwaffe fliegerjacke.
     

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