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Vintage Cafe Racer with closest look to Buco j-100?

Discussion in 'Outerwear' started by Will Zach, May 14, 2019.

  1. Will Zach

    Will Zach New in Town

    Messages:
    28
    Location:
    Northeast USA
    Greetings - first post so go easy on me. Having been a fan of vintage goatskin Cooper US Army field jackets (still good as a winter coat, but boxy), I am just getting into motorcycle vintage jackets, and prefer the clean look of the classic, Buco J-100. The past couple of weeks I have been drinking knowledge from a fire hose at the Fedora Lounge as a lurker. Needless to say, got a sticker shock when looking at original Bucos. But the good news is that so many labels used to make cafe racers - the sheer number is bewildering for a noob... (Vanson, Harley Davidson, Schott, Langlitz, Brooks, Beck, Kehow, Brimaco, Bates, Taubers, Reed, Excelled, Grais, and probably more show up on Ebay).

    So my question is: which of these brands made a CR jacket most resembling a Buco J-100 (I particularly like the single-panel back, although a narrow kidney panel would be okay, too. 4 pockets are okay, two breast and two slash hand-warmers). I'll go with bi-swing arms if I have to because my understanding is that most of these jackets had them; Buco being an exception. But I strongly prefer no bi-swings. Looking only at VTG at this time, no reproduction recos please!

    Please point a noob in the right direction towards "poor man's Buco J-100"; hopefully this advice will benefit not only me. Thanks!
     
  2. Guppy

    Guppy Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,482
    Location:
    Cleveland, OH
    I'd look at Brooks, which have a direct lineage to Buco. Also worth looking at would be Brimaco. They can be found at a relative bargain compared to what a Buco will go for. Fidelity, Kehoe, etc. are also good cafe racer style jackets, similar but not exactly like a Buco J-100.

    I happen to have an MKS-made Buco labeled J-100 for sale, cheaper than the US-made Bucos, if it fits and you're interested, I am open to offers: https://www.ebay.com/itm/301792348613
     
    Will Zach likes this.
  3. Monitor

    Monitor I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    8,388
    Hello, @Will Zach.

    Unfortunately, there is no poor man's Buco. Or at least not one that's readily available. Occasionally, Cal, HD, Bates and Taubers made a jacket similar to what you're looking for, though what you describe is pretty much exclusive to Buco and Harley-Davidson (namely their Sportster jacket). And I doubt it you'll find either for less than what you'd pay for a repro so... Might as well go that way.

    You should look into Fidelity as well. Their CR is similar to J-100, with two chest pockets and a clean, one piece back. It's got shoulder gussets but they're discreet. Best part is you can still find one for under a hundred $ and they're quality jackets.
     
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  4. Will Zach

    Will Zach New in Town

    Messages:
    28
    Location:
    Northeast USA
    Thanks Monitor. One HD Sportster just went for $425. Not cheap but not Buco pricing either. I will keep an eye out for your and Guppy's recos.

    https://www.depop.com/products/villainofnash-awesome-harley-davidson-sportster-leather/
     
  5. Monitor

    Monitor I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    8,388
  6. ProteinNerd

    ProteinNerd My Mail is Forwarded Here

    Messages:
    3,596
    Location:
    Sydney
    LOL gone already @Monitor

    I would have thought a Brooks Gold Label would be a great alternative to an actual Buco. There are enough of them around for you to pick a nice one at a decent price. Sure the back is quite different but its still a great style.
     
  7. tmitchell59

    tmitchell59 Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,314
    Location:
    Illinois
    here is a Brooks

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
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  8. Monitor

    Monitor I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    8,388
    https://www.ebay.com/itm/20267792745

    This one? Still here for me.
     
  9. Will Zach

    Will Zach New in Town

    Messages:
    28
    Location:
    Northeast USA
    No it ain't... Just bought it. Looking forward to it.
     
    torfjord, navetsea, El Marro and 4 others like this.
  10. technovox

    technovox Practically Family

    Messages:
    822
    Location:
    San Francisco
    Off the top of my head, and looking through my closet...

    Vintage Cafe Racers with a back similar to a Buco: Harley Davidson Sportster One Pocket, Taubers (Earlier Horsehide Label), Vanson Comet, Herm's Leather Togs
    CRs without Gusseted back: Cal Leather, Taubers, Bates, Harley Davidson Sportster One Pocket, Vanson Comet, Herm's Leather Togs, Shields of Toronto
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2019
    Will Zach likes this.
  11. tmitchell59

    tmitchell59 Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,314
    Location:
    Illinois
    Taubers

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  12. Will Zach

    Will Zach New in Town

    Messages:
    28
    Location:
    Northeast USA
    This Taubers is really nice. A similar one, with elbow skid patches is $1000 on Ebay right now. Damn, this hobby is going to get expensive real fast...
     
  13. tmitchell59

    tmitchell59 Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,314
    Location:
    Illinois
  14. Seb Lucas

    Seb Lucas I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    5,878
    Location:
    Australia
    The Taubers is probably the one. The Brooks for me is an improvement on the j100. That action back really does it for me.
     
  15. El Marro

    El Marro One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,209
    Location:
    California
    I want to put in a good word for the Vanson Comet (and the Comet PLU-3 for us taller guys). I was fortunate enough to pick one of these up used here on the lounge and I must say it really has that classic café racer fit. Super clean and streamlined yet comfortable to wear because the pattern is so well made. I see that technovox included this one on his list and he knows far more about the style than I ever will.
    Keep an eye out Will Zach and if you see one of these pop up in your size grab it. Welcome to the lounge Btw!
     
  16. jeep44

    jeep44 One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    246
    Location:
    Detroit,Mi
    I'd vote for a Brooks jacket,too. A great,well-made brand, with more than a little Buco DNA in their lineage.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2019
    Gamma68 likes this.
  17. Seb Lucas

    Seb Lucas I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    5,878
    Location:
    Australia
    That's a good point, EM. I really like the longer PLU-3 as specc'd by Thurston Bros. Great cafe racer.

    Incidentally, you can get a brand new Brooks for around $400 - made in USA. But it's 3.5oz thick so it's a hell of a lot heavier than the originals - which counts me out, unfortunately.

    I'd like to put a word in for the Vanson Mohawk (a little known Vanson that is almost the same pattern as the old Brooks, and a self-conscious retro jacket by that august company).


    From their website: Vanson Mohawk:

    mohawk-zirconian-smooth-black-leather-motorcycle-jacket.png
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2019
    patchmark and El Marro like this.
  18. jonbuilder

    jonbuilder Practically Family

    Messages:
    770
    Location:
    Redwood City, CA
    close
     

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