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Seeking a vintage motorcycle jacket with modern safety

VintagePilot

New in Town
Messages
1
Location
San Diego, CA
I really like the looks of the Barbour and Belstaff jackets but was wondering if anyone knows of a company that makes vintage looking motorcycle jackets with CE type armor in the elbows and shoulders? It looks like some of the Belstaff jackets do.

Modern motorcycle jackets just look strange on an old bike. A helmet will be following after this purchase.
 

Edward

Bartender
Messages
23,690
Location
London, UK
As per Zaxxon's post, they are available. What I seem much less of are leather (rather than textile) jackets n the old style but with modern protection. I suppose it's because the looser-fitting jackets conceal armour more easily without compromising the old-school look of the thing.

The other alternative might be to go for some sort of armouring that is designed to be worn as a separate piece, under the jacket - like this:

juggernaut-sleeveless-front-medium.jpg


http://www.highvelocitygear.com/all-products.html

These people also make insertable armour - http://www.highvelocitygear.com/jacketarmor.html

jacketarmor-medium.jpg


Might be possible to buy a bunch of this stuff and work with a custom jacket maker like Aero to insert it into one of their standard designs?

For the bottom half, if you're into the Brando look, there seem to be a lot of companies producing denims designed specifically for bike use now:

http://www.hoodjeans.co.uk/ is just one such.

Helmet might be an area you'll need to compromise on, depending how old school you want to go, and how much safety protection you want (the old open face v full face debate). Might also be affected by helmet laws where you are. Is it a requirement in CA, or is it up to the individual's own sense of safety? Over here a helmet is a legal requirement with a set legal safety standard certification system. The old pudding basin helmets are excluded under that.
 

rocketeer

Call Me a Cab
Messages
2,612
Location
England
As per Zaxxon's post, they are available. What I seem much less of are leather (rather than textile) jackets n the old style but with modern protection. I suppose it's because the looser-fitting jackets conceal armour more easily without compromising the old-school look of the thing.

The other alternative might be to go for some sort of armouring that is designed to be worn as a separate piece, under the jacket - like this:

juggernaut-sleeveless-front-medium.jpg


http://www.highvelocitygear.com/all-products.html

These people also make insertable armour - http://www.highvelocitygear.com/jacketarmor.html

jacketarmor-medium.jpg


Might be possible to buy a bunch of this stuff and work with a custom jacket maker like Aero to insert it into one of their standard designs?

For the bottom half, if you're into the Brando look, there seem to be a lot of companies producing denims designed specifically for bike use now:

http://www.hoodjeans.co.uk/ is just one such.

Helmet might be an area you'll need to compromise on, depending how old school you want to go, and how much safety protection you want (the old open face v full face debate). Might also be affected by helmet laws where you are. Is it a requirement in CA, or is it up to the individual's own sense of safety? Over here a helmet is a legal requirement with a set legal safety standard certification system. The old pudding basin helmets are excluded under that.
These moto cross vests(top pic) are an excellent choice, I am looking for one to fit under my Eastman A2, but you do need to find an oversized jacket. I believe HJC also make a Brando lookalike jacket complete with all the armour sewn in. OK they are not Schott Perfecto's but I though I would mention it to say that they are out there.
J
 

mrc

Familiar Face
Messages
88
Location
seattle
I'm not a fan of armor for the street, but a friend of mine insisted on getting armor after a few tumbles...he had gotten his earlier moto jackets at Insurrection in Seattle and they recommended purchasing a Forcefield armor shirt and then getting fitted to a jacket in the store. He ended up in an Aero cafe racer (he already owned one, but it was too small to get armor underneath. I thought it was a neat, clean idea because he didn't have to have all the various pockets for the armor installed...
 

Grizzly Adams

A-List Customer
Messages
364
Location
New Mexico
You know, of course, that armor will do little that a good thick leather will not do just as well, or better - right? IMHO, of course, but based on taking a few tumbles. YMMV.:D
 

rocketeer

Call Me a Cab
Messages
2,612
Location
England
You know, of course, that armor will do little that a good thick leather will not do just as well, or better - right? IMHO, of course, but based on taking a few tumbles. YMMV.:D
You cant beat thick leather for abrasive slides, but should you hit anything such as kerb stones or posts etc with your sticky out bits such as elbows, knees and shoulders, armour may save a visit to hosplital for a smashed joint.
I have both unarmoured and modern power ranger gear by the way and wear whatever suits my mood.
Belstaff's are great looking but look dirty after only a short time, look great on older(pre Rocker look) bikes but Rockers did wear them in the 60s , if British is your thing.
Older helmets are ok but you stand a chance of facial damage should you kiss the tarmac. There are modern open face with more padding and also non safety conforming replica 1960s helmets available now, from the old 1960s TT Mike Hailwood style 'Pot' helmets to replica Everoak Racemaster types. The Japanese love em!
John(an old 1970s ex Ted and Rocker)
 

Edward

Bartender
Messages
23,690
Location
London, UK
These moto cross vests(top pic) are an excellent choice, I am looking for one to fit under my Eastman A2, but you do need to find an oversized jacket. I believe HJC also make a Brando lookalike jacket complete with all the armour sewn in. OK they are not Schott Perfecto's but I though I would mention it to say that they are out there.
J

Yes, if you like the Perfecto style (and especially Sixties variants thereon) it doesn't seem to be too difficult to find a jacket that is 'close enough' to a vintage look as a compromise.

You know, of course, that armor will do little that a good thick leather will not do just as well, or better - right? IMHO, of course, but based on taking a few tumbles. YMMV.:D

Honestly, if I ever do buy a bike and take up riding properly, it'll be purely for pleasure and I probably would make a few compromises. I've got no interest in riding at high speeds (i.e. anything much over forty five miles an hour..... I never cared to drive a car faster than that in my driving days either! I failed my first driving test for - in the words of the examiner - "driving too slow". lol). I probably would be as safe with the safety equipment that is the same as they wore back in the day. It seems to me that the advantage the armour offers is less roadrash avoidance (which I agree, a goo leather could help), and more impact-absorbent, which I don't think leather can do. Certainly, a lot will depend on speed you ride at, not to mention (as my dad would say), "the other idiots on the road". IMO, motorcycles are much less dangerous than are other road users who don't know how to deal with motorcycles - something that has happened in the generations since cars became more affordable and supplanted the motorcycle as the working man's transport (those lucky enough to afford their own transport, mind, and who lived where it was necessary). Of course increased speeds don't help, but it seems to me ignorance is the biggest killer.
 

rocketeer

Call Me a Cab
Messages
2,612
Location
England
Yes you will have to make a compromise, you can get killed just as easily at 30MPH as you can at 180. For years I rode my BSA in a 60s 'Rocker' style, that is jeans and a lancer style leather jacket, coupled with a kangol open skid and bomber pilots goggles I looked the biz. Then I bought a Hayabusa and bought the gear to go with it because it looked better.
When I get the BSA back together I'm going to my local bike club in my Power Ranger outfit on it and then on the Suzi Busa wearing my 'Rocker' gear just for fun.
Some think fashion is important on the old vehicle scene, In the right place yes, but dont let it get the better of you if riding/driving every day.
 

Magister

Familiar Face
Messages
60
Location
CT
British Motorcycle Gear sells a couple of armored versions of the Belstaff Trialmaster, as well as some cafe racer styles.
 

Jay-ninja

New in Town
Messages
3
Location
Devon UK
I know this thread is a bit old but thought I'd update it. I have a bit of a penchant for wax cotton jackets. I recently bought a jacket from Chequered Flag (http://www.chequeredflags.co.uk/waxed-cotton-motorcycle-jackets-c-12.html?sesid=8r696vsa6evqhl69cggif6hod3), a small UK company that sell a range of wax cotton jackets under the brand name of Vintage Speedwear. x

They are currently selling a black Trialmaster style jacket on ebay at a very reasonable £89. They also sell a de-luxe in Black or Brown and that has a zip-out liner and pockets for armour - So that might be of interest to retro bikers.

Here's a quick review;

Chequered%20Flag%20Jacket.jpg


I wasn't sure what to expect for only £89 - But actually this jacket is really impressive. It's a heavyweight 12 Oz wax cotton with a check lining that's exactly the same pattern as my Barbour International. The fit is good - not tailored but equally not too baggy. It has all the features you'd expect from a Belstaff Trialmaster, four main pockets, a zipped inside pocket, adjustable cuffs and buckle and strap at the neck plus shoulder and elbow patches. As for it's ability to keep the rain out, well I wore it on the bike through a 40 minute rain shower and it kept me dry !

What don't I like about it, not much really. The press studs are shiny brass yet the buckles are antique, so it's a shame they didn't use antique all round. Also the press studs don't feel quite as good quality as my Barbour Intl, they spin around on the fabric rather than being stamped firmly on - that said they don't feel at all like they are likely to fall off. A nice detail is it also has two mesh vent studs under each arm.

Another 'interesting' feature are the interchangeable flags on the left breast pocket - again a nod to Belstaff. Basically you get a selection of flags; Union jack, Stars & Stripes, Welsh, Scottish and Irish which use velcro to attach them to the tag under the pocket.

The shoulder and elbow patches, well again being picky, but it would be nice if these were double stitched like a Belstaff rather than just single.

I've worn the jacket solidly over the past month and I have to say I'm loving it - It just feels solid. This jacket is the cheapest in the Speedwear range but I have say it certainly doesn't feel budget.

Here's the ebay link if anyones interested;

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Classic-W..._Men_s_Coats_Jackets&var=&hash=item8bbcaebe7d
 
Last edited:

Jish1969

Familiar Face
Messages
95
Location
Buffalo, NY
I was in the same quandary last year; looking for a retro jacket with modern protection, and stumbled across the Firstgear Kenya jacket. While it doesn't get any points for vintage looks, to me it has a more modern cafe look. It has CE approved armour in the shoulders, elbows, and a spine guard too. The venting is great, and it has a liner and fleece faux turtleneck for cold weather riding. I have owned it for a year now and love it. I got it in the olive color, which is really just brown.
kenya_OLV_front.jpg
 

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