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Schott, Legendary USA and Vanson

Viking752

One of the Regulars
Messages
280
Location
Central Florida
I have a Schott 141 in Naked cowhide, probably my favorite hide of all my jackets. I also have a Legendary USA cafe racer built by Schott, not sure but I believe it’s made from the Schott Steerhide. Now I have a Vanson AR2 original cafe racer in ”medium weight” in my sights but have never owned a Vanson. Sounds like opinions vary on quality, stitching etc. if you have owned a Vanson, would this be an upgrade from my jackets mentioned, a downgrade or simply a lateral move?

in order
Schott 141
Legendary USA
Vanson AR2 original in question
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Canuck Panda

Call Me a Cab
Messages
2,424
The Schott is easily the best leather (full grain naked...etc) out of the three.
The Legendary looks like run of the mill 3.5oz cowhide. Some of these can turn out to be gems, but takes time. Some just stays that pebbly printed look. No one knows until many years and wears later.
The Vanson unfortunately has the crappiest leather out of the three. But it's also priced the least compared to the other two.
Good selection of riding jackets you have. Literally Good/Better/Best for MiUSA. All East Coast though. You need some love from the Westcoast brands.
 

Viking752

One of the Regulars
Messages
280
Location
Central Florida
The Schott is easily the best leather (full grain naked...etc) out of the three.
The Legendary looks like run of the mill 3.5oz cowhide. Some of these can turn out to be gems, but takes time. Some just stays that pebbly printed look. No one knows until many years and wears later.
The Vanson unfortunately has the crappiest leather out of the three. But it's also priced the least compared to the other two.
Good selection of riding jackets you have. Literally Good/Better/Best for MiUSA. All East Coast though. You need some love from the Westcoast brands.
Thanks for the insight on the Vanson, seems like a good jacket and I could have it at a decent price. But unless the Vanson is over the top and clearly superior to what I have then maybe I will pass. The Schott 141 I own is hard to beat in my mind both in style and leather so maybe that’s my answer. However, if I knew more about the West Coast brands then maybe I would give them a chance As well.
 
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Viking752

One of the Regulars
Messages
280
Location
Central Florida
They're different, not necessarily better or worse. Really subjective, and depending on what you want and find desirable in a jacket. If you have them all, you can see for yourself and decide.
Thanks for the insight, the seller of the Vanson is an increasingly rare breed that accepts returns. So maybe a try on is in order.
 

dannyk

One Too Many
Messages
1,812
Vansons are usually the best fitting, and best designed for actual riding. They have many designs and models made specifically for riding and many that can have padding or perforated leather added to them. Schotts are not really made for riding. In the sense they try to keep their heritage look and design so they were once the cutting edge for riding in the 50s-60s and havent moved with the times. Vanson offers both fashion and real riding jackets. Plus they have the most customization options. Now if youre just buying seconhand or buying a stock jacket obviously youre not getting your choice of measurements nor leather. Vanson used to have a lot of really nice leather options except one tannery they were using burned down, one leather maker died, and another closed permanently due to covid. The last 4 years or so for them have been brutal on that front. I havent paid attention to their offerings the last 2 or so years so no idea what their current tannery/leather situation is. As was said above if were talking stock leather the Schott will be the prettiest/nicest and Vansons usually the heaviest but very boring. They do offer other leather options as I said but no idea if any of them are nearly as nice as what they once offered. So to me Schotts can be very pretty and I currently own a 618hh and love it. Ive also owned several older Vansons that Ive loved-one that was definitely a heritage/fashion design and another newer made for riding model. Both very nice. So depends on what youre looking for really and what youre willing to spend. Because Schott actually does do custom stuff but they charge a fortune extra for it, while Vanson has minimal upcharge. The best advice one can give is decide what youre looking for fashion, heritage, riding, and then decide what your budget is. Since youve already kind of done all this a lot of what I said doesnt matter but going forward this is the best info I can provide for people.
 

Viking752

One of the Regulars
Messages
280
Location
Central Florida
Vansons are usually the best fitting, and best designed for actual riding. They have many designs and models made specifically for riding and many that can have padding or perforated leather added to them. Schotts are not really made for riding. In the sense they try to keep their heritage look and design so they were once the cutting edge for riding in the 50s-60s and havent moved with the times. Vanson offers both fashion and real riding jackets. Plus they have the most customization options. Now if youre just buying seconhand or buying a stock jacket obviously youre not getting your choice of measurements nor leather. Vanson used to have a lot of really nice leather options except one tannery they were using burned down, one leather maker died, and another closed permanently due to covid. The last 4 years or so for them have been brutal on that front. I havent paid attention to their offerings the last 2 or so years so no idea what their current tannery/leather situation is. As was said above if were talking stock leather the Schott will be the prettiest/nicest and Vansons usually the heaviest but very boring. They do offer other leather options as I said but no idea if any of them are nearly as nice as what they once offered. So to me Schotts can be very pretty and I currently own a 618hh and love it. Ive also owned several older Vansons that Ive loved-one that was definitely a heritage/fashion design and another newer made for riding model. Both very nice. So depends on what youre looking for really and what youre willing to spend. Because Schott actually does do custom stuff but they charge a fortune extra for it, while Vanson has minimal upcharge. The best advice one can give is decide what youre looking for fashion, heritage, riding, and then decide what your budget is. Since youve already kind of done all this a lot of what I said doesnt matter but going forward this is the best info I can provide for people.
I ride motorcycles of all types, street bikes, dirt bikes etc. but my favorite riding is dual sport or adventure riding. Which lends itself to wearing purpose built textile jackets and pants that are abrasion resistant and waterproof. I wear my leather when I am road riding but also I wear leather when going to dinner or whenever I can. Honestly, the jacket that I wear the most while riding is a 20 plus year old FMC Pakistani cross zip that has the thickest leather of all my other jackets that are many times the price. I know Vanson has the heritage of a more serious riding oriented company. My example above is what you said, a pre-owned Vanson that was probably a stock model that happens to have my measurements. Maybe not a fair comparison to what I currently have but it does intrigue me enough to possibly give it a try. Thanks again for the insight, if not only for me but for others seeking knowledge as well.
 

JMax

I'll Lock Up
Messages
8,706
I don’t think the Vanson is Comp Weight. Looks like their Firenze hide. If you like naked hides you probably will like the Firenze.
 

Viking752

One of the Regulars
Messages
280
Location
Central Florida
I don’t think the Vanson is Comp Weight. Looks like their Firenze hide. If you like naked hides you probably will like the Firenze.
Thanks, I know on the label it says ”medium weight” and after research I believe you are correct with the Firenze . And yes I do like the naked cowhides for sure.
 

oneterrifichog

Practically Family
Messages
807
Location
Signal Mountain, TN
Ok so I received this Vanson today. I went riding this afternoon and found it very comfortable and one of the best off the rack jackets for riding I have owned. Now it is not a "techno" jacket and I don't wear those; it is simply a decent classic riding jacket that is perfect for me. The competition leather is decent and pliable and a lot thicker than Harley jackets or other types. I have owned several Schott jackets in both steer and horse and the Vanson Competition weight might be a bit thicker but certainly a good comparison to anything Schott offers. Service was excellent Nick was helpful and courteous everytime I called. While it was only a short 50 mile ride through the hills near me I did not find the jacket restrictive like some of the higher end jackets like LW or Aero this is a riders jacket which is the only reason I purchased it. Looks like I have "keeper".

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Viking752

One of the Regulars
Messages
280
Location
Central Florida
Ok so I received this Vanson today. I went riding this afternoon and found it very comfortable and one of the best off the rack jackets for riding I have owned. Now it is not a "techno" jacket and I don't wear those; it is simply a decent classic riding jacket that is perfect for me. The competition leather is decent and pliable and a lot thicker than Harley jackets or other types. I have owned several Schott jackets in both steer and horse and the Vanson Competition weight might be a bit thicker but certainly a good comparison to anything Schott offers. Service was excellent Nick was helpful and courteous everytime I called. While it was only a short 50 mile ride through the hills near me I did not find the jacket restrictive like some of the higher end jackets like LW or Aero this is a riders jacket which is the only reason I purchased it. Looks like I have "keeper".

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Nice jacket, I appreciate the insight on the Vanson. It looks good and appears to fit well.
 

roadking04

Practically Family
Messages
931
Location
The Rock 'n Roll Capital
The Schott is easily the best leather (full grain naked...etc) out of the three.
The Legendary looks like run of the mill 3.5oz cowhide. Some of these can turn out to be gems, but takes time. Some just stays that pebbly printed look. No one knows until many years and wears later.
The Vanson unfortunately has the crappiest leather out of the three. But it's also priced the least compared to the other two.

I have had a few Vansons and Perfectos. I have to agree with Panda. "Newer" Vansons just have crappier leather. My last model E I gave away to my brother, I really didn't feel right trying to sell it. I have never seen him wear it since I gave it to him. I should have sent it back when I opened it up, but I was excited and NEEDED a riding jacket at the time, and thought it would break in and look like real leather. I am BY FAR, no leather expert at all, but I could instantly tell that it didn't compare LEATHER WISE, to my other jackets. Fit, function, and hardware was very good and a better RIDING jacket than my Aero M/C jacket. I am not a Vanson hater, but I wish they would up their leather game.
The Schott 141 I own is hard to beat in my mind both in style and leather so maybe that’s my answer.

Both the Vanson and the Schott use great "motorcycle grade" hardware, so I would call that a wash. Both are INTENDED to be m/c jackets and I think both work on me for a true motorcycle fit/pattern on my body type (middle age dad bod). I think the Schott overpowers the Vanson in leather quality. Just my opinion. Might not hurt to try it out for yourself, if you can return.
 

morrison2951

Practically Family
Messages
601
Location
F-V, NC
If you can find a vintage Vanson HH Comet, it's awesome leather. Unfortunately, they stopped using HH years, maybe decades ago.

Some of the sweetest leather in my closet.
 

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dannyk

One Too Many
Messages
1,812
I have had a few Vansons and Perfectos. I have to agree with Panda. "Newer" Vansons just have crappier leather. My last model E I gave away to my brother, I really didn't feel right trying to sell it. I have never seen him wear it since I gave it to him. I should have sent it back when I opened it up, but I was excited and NEEDED a riding jacket at the time, and thought it would break in and look like real leather. I am BY FAR, no leather expert at all, but I could instantly tell that it didn't compare LEATHER WISE, to my other jackets. Fit, function, and hardware was very good and a better RIDING jacket than my Aero M/C jacket. I am not a Vanson hater, but I wish they would up their leather game.


Both the Vanson and the Schott use great "motorcycle grade" hardware, so I would call that a wash. Both are INTENDED to be m/c jackets and I think both work on me for a true motorcycle fit/pattern on my body type (middle age dad bod). I think the Schott overpowers the Vanson in leather quality. Just my opinion. Might not hurt to try it out for yourself, if you can return.
Yup definitely the issue like I said the last few years Vanson has had the worst luck with tanneries. 3 of their people closed or died. Their newer stuff I hear isn’t at all what it used to be. Hopefully they figure it out because with how great their service is, the minimal up charge compared to other comparable makers for customization, the great combo of heritage and purpose built-can’t beat them for the price. Unless of course the leather is still crap. So fingers crossed they figure it out. If someone’s biggest need/want is nice leather if the choice is Schott or Vanson right now the edge goes to Schott.
 

El Marro

My Mail is Forwarded Here
Messages
3,234
Location
California
Ok so I received this Vanson today. I went riding this afternoon and found it very comfortable and one of the best off the rack jackets for riding I have owned. Now it is not a "techno" jacket and I don't wear those; it is simply a decent classic riding jacket that is perfect for me. The competition leather is decent and pliable and a lot thicker than Harley jackets or other types. I have owned several Schott jackets in both steer and horse and the Vanson Competition weight might be a bit thicker but certainly a good comparison to anything Schott offers. Service was excellent Nick was helpful and courteous everytime I called. While it was only a short 50 mile ride through the hills near me I did not find the jacket restrictive like some of the higher end jackets like LW or Aero this is a riders jacket which is the only reason I purchased it. Looks like I have "keeper".

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The Vanson Colorado if I’m not mistaken. Looks like a nice jacket that will only get better with wear.
 

erikb02809

One of the Regulars
Messages
250
Location
Newport, RI
I've owned one Schott Perfecto (this was over a decade ago, not sure what model number), and went through 3 Legendary USA Trojan models before they sent me one that didn't have rather significant assembly issues (like a 12" section of the lining not being sewn in for some reason).

I've also owned a Vanson CHP from Thurston Bros from wayyyyy back when they were Insurrection, a Vanson Thunderbird, and a Vanson-manufactured Logan's Closet X-0 jacket.


None of these purchases were more recent than 2017, and most of them were before 2012. So, plenty could've changed. But, based on my experience with these older purchases - hands down, Vanson makes the better jacket.

The Schott ones had decent leather. The Trojans were HH, and the Perfecto cowhide if I remember correctly. Nothing special, and I recall there being some issue people had that the HH they were using had some sort of artificial felt glued to the back to make it feel thicker. The manufacture on the Trojans was overall good, but there would always be like, one HUGE dumb mistake like I mentioned with the lining. The craftsmanship on the Perfecto, on the other hand, was straight up terrible. There was a section on the inside where they had gone off track and sewed for a good 6 inches, realized it, removed the thread and re-sewn, leaving the empty stitch holes. The bottom on the zipper ribbon on one sides was fraying right out of the box. And the epaulettes were uneven. Not a fan.


With the Vansons, the Thunderbird had no issues whatsoever, where the other two had some QC issues, but nothing as severe as with the Schotts. If you look close on the X-O, there's definitely some funkiness going on with the assembly of things near the sleeve zippers and also the decorative topstitching being really crooked on one of the concentric ovals on one of the elbows, and on the CHP, there was a mark from where they had scored an X to install a snap on the chest, but it was in the wrong spot so they did it a couple inches over, but meanwhile, that X was still in the leather. That actually kinda drove me nuts.

As far as fit goes and moving around in goes, the Vansons fit me better, but the Schotts weren't bad either.

If the prices were equal, I'd still give the nod to Vanson. But with the increase in pricing for Schotts in recent years, I wouldn't think twice about going with a Vanson over a Schott.

HOWEVER, because we're talking about a Vanson you don't own yet versus a Schott you already own and are happy with, presumably one without any major QC issues - I'd say you're probably looking at a fairly lateral move. Also, fwiw, I live a couple towns over from Fall River, and last time I visited the Vanson showroom was right before the pandemic hit in 2020. I tried on a few jackets and the leather seemed fine to me - on par with previous examples of comp weight I had handled for the most part.
 

oneterrifichog

Practically Family
Messages
807
Location
Signal Mountain, TN
I've owned one Schott Perfecto (this was over a decade ago, not sure what model number), and went through 3 Legendary USA Trojan models before they sent me one that didn't have rather significant assembly issues (like a 12" section of the lining not being sewn in for some reason).

I've also owned a Vanson CHP from Thurston Bros from wayyyyy back when they were Insurrection, a Vanson Thunderbird, and a Vanson-manufactured Logan's Closet X-0 jacket.


None of these purchases were more recent than 2017, and most of them were before 2012. So, plenty could've changed. But, based on my experience with these older purchases - hands down, Vanson makes the better jacket.

The Schott ones had decent leather. The Trojans were HH, and the Perfecto cowhide if I remember correctly. Nothing special, and I recall there being some issue people had that the HH they were using had some sort of artificial felt glued to the back to make it feel thicker. The manufacture on the Trojans was overall good, but there would always be like, one HUGE dumb mistake like I mentioned with the lining. The craftsmanship on the Perfecto, on the other hand, was straight up terrible. There was a section on the inside where they had gone off track and sewed for a good 6 inches, realized it, removed the thread and re-sewn, leaving the empty stitch holes. The bottom on the zipper ribbon on one sides was fraying right out of the box. And the epaulettes were uneven. Not a fan.


With the Vansons, the Thunderbird had no issues whatsoever, where the other two had some QC issues, but nothing as severe as with the Schotts. If you look close on the X-O, there's definitely some funkiness going on with the assembly of things near the sleeve zippers and also the decorative topstitching being really crooked on one of the concentric ovals on one of the elbows, and on the CHP, there was a mark from where they had scored an X to install a snap on the chest, but it was in the wrong spot so they did it a couple inches over, but meanwhile, that X was still in the leather. That actually kinda drove me nuts.

As far as fit goes and moving around in goes, the Vansons fit me better, but the Schotts weren't bad either.

If the prices were equal, I'd still give the nod to Vanson. But with the increase in pricing for Schotts in recent years, I wouldn't think twice about going with a Vanson over a Schott.

HOWEVER, because we're talking about a Vanson you don't own yet versus a Schott you already own and are happy with, presumably one without any major QC issues - I'd say you're probably looking at a fairly lateral move. Also, fwiw, I live a couple towns over from Fall River, and last time I visited the Vanson showroom was right before the pandemic hit in 2020. I tried on a few jackets and the leather seemed fine to me - on par with previous examples of comp weight I had handled for the most part.
Time will tell as far as the aging on this jacket and compared to the Schotts I have owned over the last few years.... well they are all passed on now to others. The leather was thinner than this Vanson and while neither the Vanson nor the Schott compares to my Aero's or my LW's horsehide or steer the cost is considerably less too for the Vanson. My Aero's are for a different wear and the Lw's too damn tight around the waist for riding but this jacket is going to be my work horse on the bike rain or shine so we will see. I will post again in a few months..
 

Viking752

One of the Regulars
Messages
280
Location
Central Florida
If you can find a vintage Vanson HH Comet, it's awesome leather. Unfortunately, they stopped using HH years, maybe decades ago.

Some of the sweetest leather in my closet.
The Vanson I am looking at has the same style label as the one you have posted., which appears different than other possibly newer models . Any idea on the age range? And yes, that jacket looks to be a fine example. Thanks for sharing.
 
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morrison2951

Practically Family
Messages
601
Location
F-V, NC
The Vanson I am looking at has the same style label as the one you have posted., which appears different than other possibly newer models . Any idea on the age range? And yes, that jacket looks to be a fine example. Thanks for sharing.

If it has the horsehide label, buy it! I have three of them now and they do not dissapoint.

Believe Vanson discontinued horsehide use over a decade ago now.
 

Viking752

One of the Regulars
Messages
280
Location
Central Florida
If it has the horsehide label, buy it! I have three of them now and they do not dissapoint.

Believe Vanson discontinued horsehide use over a decade ago now.
I apologize, I was mistaken with the labels. Thanks but I don’t think I got that lucky. I believe this one may be the Firenze cowhide.
 

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