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What do you think of this New Flat Head Leather Jacket

Canuck Panda

One Too Many
Messages
1,626
There is a gent on this forum who has both a Flat Head jacket and a stock Johnson M200 jacket. If you do a search you can find both his posts on both of the jackets.

I've got both Langlitz and Johnson jackets, and I would say they are made equally well but different fit patterns. I do not have an Addict jacket but for motorcycle jackets I would go with either Langlitz or Johnson before I look to the makers overseas, Japan or UK/EU.

I am trying to get a Four Speed jacket and he might prove me wrong on Japanese motorcycle jackets.

I also experienced Nick @ Vanson. I didn't have luck with custom Vanson. All the Vansons I have are stock jackets. Nick's service ability was barely passing grade but I believe he was just a new guy in a new job.
 

JMax

I'll Lock Up
Messages
7,803
On top of that @red devil visited the factory last week when he was in the US, he just told me the guy who showed him around the show room had no idea what any models where, what different leathers where, apparently he was absolutely useless. (Was it Nick? We don't know).
RD had to insist on talking to someone else and they had to call Kim to the rescue.

Honestly i'm not saying all this to bash Vanson, i am just a fan that is worried to see their customer service go to crap now that Constantine is gone.

On the plus side, if you ever want a Harley, Constantine probably can help you there.
 

red devil

My Mail is Forwarded Here
Messages
3,543
Location
London
On top of that @red devil visited the factory last week when he was in the US, he just told me the guy who showed him around the show room had no idea what any models where, what different leathers where, apparently he was absolutely useless. (Was it Nick? We don't know).
RD had to insist on talking to someone else and they had to call Kim to the rescue.

Honestly i'm not saying all this to bash Vanson, i am just a fan that is worried to see their customer service go to crap now that Constantine is gone.

I am hoping this is just a momentary set-back. I am still going for a custom order. They need another Constantine.

On the plus side, if you ever want a Harley, Constantine probably can help you there.

I was wondering where he had gone to, the HD dealer sure won themselves a great asset!

@Damon141

I understand you have this need of something to tide you over until you get your customs, but I really don't think ordering a Japannese OTR jacket is a good idea. It is a big gamble. I tried Flat Head several times, they just do not fit well. They just have a weird pattern. They are the worst of all brands I have tried - in terms of fit, I could get an ok fit with RMC, nothing worth spending the asking price, and I ended up with a freewheelers because it was one of the models that fit me. Their jackets vary wildly in terms of fit.

The only brand discussed here that had a fit that worked was Tenjin, hence my recommendation on another thread.

I would not compare Flat Head to Italian car design either, if you want that mediterranean playfulness and panache, then it is a Thedi that you are looking for. That also takes time though.

@Canuck Panda if you are looking for motorcycle gear, then take a look at Kadoya.

I have an order with small maker unknown here for an armoured jacket. He is a rider himself. It is a full custom fit with mock up. Unfortunately pandemic hit and I have not yet been able to get fitted yet. It is on hiatus until I get to Tokyo.

Edit: fixed text
 

JMax

I'll Lock Up
Messages
7,803
I am hoping this is just a momentary set-back. I am still going for a custom order. They need another Constantine.



I was wondering where he had gone to, the HD dealer sure won themselves a great asset!

@Damon141

I understand you have this need of something to tide you over until you get your customs, but I really don't think ordering a Japannese OTR jacket is a good idea. It is a big gamble. I tried Flat Head several times, they just do not fit well. They just have a weird pattern. They are the worst of all brands I have tried - in terms of fit, I could get an ok fit with RMC, nothing worth spending the asking price, and I ended up with a freewheelers because it was one of the models that fit me. Their jackets vary wildly in terms of fit.

The only brand discussed here that had a fit that worked was Tenjin, hence my recommendation on another thread.

I would not compare Flat Head to Italian car design either, if you want that mediterranean playfulness and panache, then it is a Thedi that you are looking for. That also takes time though.

@Canuck Panda if you are looking for motorcycle gear, then take a look at Kadoya.

I have an order with small maker unknown here for an armoured jacket. He is a rider himself. It is a full custom fit with mock up. Unfortunately pandemic hit and I have not yet been able to get fitted yet. It is on hiatus until I get to Tokyo.

Edit: fixed text

I think he is part of their international marketing team. Focused on clothing. Can’t recall the exact position but worth the shift over.
 

Damon141

A-List Customer
Messages
474
There is a gent on this forum who has both a Flat Head jacket and a stock Johnson M200 jacket. If you do a search you can find both his posts on both of the jackets.

I've got both Langlitz and Johnson jackets, and I would say they are made equally well but different fit patterns. I do not have an Addict jacket but for motorcycle jackets I would go with either Langlitz or Johnson before I look to the makers overseas, Japan or UK/EU.

I am trying to get a Four Speed jacket and he might prove me wrong on Japanese motorcycle jackets.

I also experienced Nick @ Vanson. I didn't have luck with custom Vanson. All the Vansons I have are stock jackets. Nick's service ability was barely passing grade but I believe he was just a new guy in a new job.
I would probably not go with Addict as I’m not a fan of the upside down pocket on the cafe racer, and the Center Zip model is nice but then I would just try LL again when I know things are on point.

I too was looking at Four Speed Leathers, I can’t seem to translate their size guide, every time I use Google translate or try to highlight and translate it doesn’t work, maybe it’s my phone and I should try my laptop.

I like the Commander which looks well made but not really anything special to pay that much for, you are more bold and would surely take advantage of their skills and pick one of their crazier designs.
07603D32-8979-46B4-A95A-18C28DE18E00.jpeg
 

Damon141

A-List Customer
Messages
474
@Damon141

I understand you have this need of something to tide you over until you get your customs, but I really don't think ordering a Japannese OTR jacket is a good idea. It is a big gamble. I tried Flat Head several times, they just do not fit well. They just have a weird pattern. They are the worst of all brands I have tried - in terms of fit, I could get an ok fit with RMC, nothing worth spending the asking price, and I ended up with a freewheelers because it was one of the models that fit me. Their jackets vary wildly in terms of fit.

The only brand discussed here that had a fit that worked was Tenjin, hence my recommendation on another thread.

I would not compare Flat Head to Italian car design either, if you want that mediterranean playfulness and panache, then it is a Thedi that you are looking for. That also takes time though.
Yeah I don’t think I’d have luck with Flat Head unless they changed the Shoulder Ratio for the rare larger sizes. They are pretty wide.

If I was after a double breasted jacket I would go with Tenjin Works because I love the Two Tone look. But their cafe racer seems to be the least interesting and I could get the sane design with the button-less collar from Cal Leather.
Contrary to what some have said, I’m not looking at Japanese brands just to have a Japanese jacket. It’s just the models that have a unique design.
So far the only Off the rack cafe racers, not just from Japan, that come close to fitting me (by measurements) are Toys McCoys Beck 666 which is unique in itself that it looks identical to the original with that double snap collar and the details like French Seamed arms and kidney panel.
Also the Toys McCoys Johnson Motor single rider which has a split style back with V shaped shoulder yoke, gusset-less wrist with piping over the zipper. I appreciate the Repro labels on them also.
They both have similar measurements to my Five Star test jacket, just 1cm less pit to pit, but the sleeves are 5 cm longer, but the rest could work. I’d consider if I could find a used one at a good price. I’d just have to cope with 5cm too long sleeves.

The Langlitz I could see myself in would be the last picture but I would ask for no padding in the shoulders but I actually wouldn’t mind another layer of leather in the same spot, just no padding


I know most people don’t like these two racers but I’ll always love the Beck 666, they really captured the look of the original. And the Johnson Motors below looks great too.
BE4F26B5-4B1B-4289-8380-6F5E877E05BD.jpeg

This Johnson motors has the same measurements as the Beck 666 in their Largest size 44. But it has 59.5cm pit to pit instead of 59cm, so if accurate it would only be 1cm less in circumference than my FiveStar.
657D5C37-E0BE-49EA-8DBC-8AB7776A0308.jpeg
F5D0FFE9-9817-475F-BB3A-F49EC86F6189.jpeg

720FBFA5-2780-455B-829F-2431E9C8BC39.jpeg


I like this style but I would prefer thick leather patches where the padding is. The wait is too long for me at the moment.
8B602088-E441-4ED0-B23F-45FC83602335.jpeg


In the end I will probably have to go with a custom while I wait for my others, maybe for the price a Simmons Bilt J100 in Blatwerk which is very affordable

I wonder how much abates would charge to recreate this:
F7BF2817-5000-4BD3-A814-493809C7F590.jpeg

Or be the first on the board with a modern Cal 6 Panel:
AFB8B848-605C-445B-9F26-5A6A9B86A9CA.jpeg

7EDB835C-A134-4F5B-9AB0-780E5B281ED9.jpeg
 

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JMax

I'll Lock Up
Messages
7,803
Yeah I don’t think I’d have luck with Flat Head unless they changed the Shoulder Ratio for the rare larger sizes. They are pretty wide.

If I was after a double breasted jacket I would go with Tenjin Works because I love the Two Tone look. But their cafe racer seems to be the least interesting and I could get the sane design with the button-less collar from Cal Leather.
Contrary to what some have said, I’m not looking at Japanese brands just to have a Japanese jacket. It’s just the models that have a unique design.
So far the only Off the rack cafe racers, not just from Japan, that come close to fitting me (by measurements) are Toys McCoys Beck 666 which is unique in itself that it looks identical to the original with that double snap collar and the details like French Seamed arms and kidney panel.
Also the Toys McCoys Johnson Motor single rider which has a split style back with V shaped shoulder yoke, gusset-less wrist with piping over the zipper. I appreciate the Repro labels on them also.
They both have similar measurements to my Five Star test jacket, just 1cm less pit to pit, but the sleeves are 5 cm longer, but the rest could work. I’d consider if I could find a used one at a good price. I’d just have to cope with 5cm too long sleeves.

The Langlitz I could see myself in would be the last picture but I would ask for no padding in the shoulders but I actually wouldn’t mind another layer of leather in the same spot, just no padding


I know most people don’t like these two racers but I’ll always love the Beck 666, they really captured the look of the original. And the Johnson Motors below looks great too.
View attachment 427497
This Johnson motors has the same measurements as the Beck 666 in their Largest size 44. But it has 59.5cm pit to pit instead of 59cm, so if accurate it would only be 1cm less in circumference than my FiveStar.
View attachment 427486View attachment 427489
View attachment 427495

I like this style but I would prefer thick leather patches where the padding is. The wait is too long for me at the moment.
View attachment 427496

In the end I will probably have to go with a custom while I wait for my others, maybe for the price a Simmons Bilt J100 in Blatwerk which is very affordable

I wonder how much abates would charge to recreate this:
View attachment 427498
Or be the first on the board with a modern Cal 6 Panel:
View attachment 427499
View attachment 427500

That Bates is sick.

I am a bit wary of the hide used on modern Cals. It doesn’t inspire me like the older stuff, particularly the black hide. It may be a naked cow type leather. Really dive into it if you go that route. Great looking CR design tho.

@TooManyHatsOnlyOneHead what say you? You’ve visited the Cal shop. Thanks.
 

Damon141

A-List Customer
Messages
474
That Bates is sick.

I am a bit wary of the hide used on modern Cals. It doesn’t inspire me like the older stuff, particularly the black hide. It may be a naked cow type leather. Really dive into it if you go that route. Great looking CR design tho.

@TooManyHatsOnlyOneHead what say you? You’ve visited the Cal shop. Thanks.

I like that Bates but someone with more creativity than me could probably do the same design with a different colorway that would look badass. Starting with a black base and maybe a series of different shades of orange and yellows, or multiple shades of blue maybe with a vibrant purple.

If Bates hired a designer they could really change their game. An artist

I agree that the Cal in pictures look boring, they can’t be blind to the world of leathers, maybe they just don’t advertise what they can do. I would want atleast a Horween or an Italian horsehide of some kind for that money.

That’s what the American Jacket Makers are lacking is Leather (besides Johnson and Goodwear)
I don’t want to just hear “we use a quality hide” and it’s not like I need to know the horses name or what he ate for his last meal but it’s nice to know the tannery when you spend thousands on a leather jacket.

For instance the Toys McCoys uses American Wild Mustang horse hides with combination tanning and tea core.

The Flat Head uses a proprietary leather that they show in a video on instagram they say is made specifically for them.

I read John Chapman hand dyes his leather for an authentic look for his reproductions
 
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TooManyHatsOnlyOneHead

One Too Many
Messages
1,969
That Bates is sick.



@TooManyHatsOnlyOneHead what say you? You’ve visited the Cal shop. Thanks.
The few times I talked to Gwen, she made it sound like if you gave her a wishlist, she'd seek out what you want. The stuff that was on display in the shop was thick and gooey, but in a good way. Definitely nothing like the classic. Closet thing I can compare to is 100 series Schott leather with more shine and texture.

She did mention her biggest pride is knowing people can take a spill going 70 mph and her jackets would hold up.

To be fair to the forum though, if you cant get in there personally, not sure how the back and forth will be. Ventura is surfer and hippie town. Very laid back way of life. They did really nice work on several zipper replacements and some A2 knitting replacements. But it required some follow up and persitance.
 

Damon141

A-List Customer
Messages
474
The few times I talked to Gwen, she made it sound like if you gave her a wishlist, she'd seek out what you want. The stuff that was on display in the shop was thick and gooey, but in a good way. Definitely nothing like the classic. Closet thing I can compare to is 100 series Schott leather with more shine and texture.

She did mention her biggest pride is knowing people can take a spill going 70 mph and her jackets would hold up.

To be fair to the forum though, if you cant get in there personally, not sure how the back and forth will be. Ventura is surfer and hippie town. Very laid back way of life. They did really nice work on several zipper replacements and some A2 knitting replacements. But it required some follow up and persitance.
I know you have an enviable collection, do you think the new 6 panel is worth the price of admission?
If you happened to see any complete ones in the shop
 

TooManyHatsOnlyOneHead

One Too Many
Messages
1,969
I know you have an enviable collection, do you think the new 6 panel is worth the price of admission?
If you happened to see any complete ones in the shop
Her prices are in line with Thedi and Field from what I remember. Considering made in USA and all that, seems about right.

I've caught a few of your posts here and there with the sizing challenge. It's going to be tough, but then Ton seems to nail the fit with a similar build.

Have you tried Carrie at Thurston Bros? I found the Cafe racer with gussets to be very comfy? And less susceptible to the aero neck lines. And I think dollar for dollar, you're going to get best bang for buck maybe with a badalasi or have you seen that new kelpie?
 

Damon141

A-List Customer
Messages
474
Her prices are in line with Thedi and Field from what I remember. Considering made in USA and all that, seems about right.

I've caught a few of your posts here and there with the sizing challenge. It's going to be tough, but then Ton seems to nail the fit with a similar build.

Have you tried Carrie at Thurston Bros? I found the Cafe racer with gussets to be very comfy? And less susceptible to the aero neck lines. And I think dollar for dollar, you're going to get best bang for buck maybe with a badalasi or have you seen that new kelpie?
No I have not heard of the kelpie but I just looked it up and there is a video on YouTube, it’s looks pretty great, rich brown reminds me of Himel Bros oil Shinki in pictures.

I have thought about Aero and I had kind of crossed them out in my mind because of the Two Field’s leather jackets I ordered, I figured the with Greg starting at Aero and one of my jackets being a Route 66 it would be too similar that’s why I was hoping to find something different, that’s when I was considering the Bill Kelso Harleys (single pocket HD sportster) but Marc pointed out that the images on his site were from a book instead of what I had assumed was his personal collection so idk how it would turn out from only a picture to base a pattern from. That’s kind of why I was thinking of being the first here in a while to try a custom Bates or Cal Leather, just for variety.

I don’t want to commit to an Aero unless I can try one on, I’m not sure if they do that, I don’t think so because they say no refund and exchange only. I would like to see how a stock CR or BR lays on me in my size. Before I commit to it and then go the custom route with shortening and tapering.

Yes indeed I have seen Ton312’s jackets, thus steerhide was my favorite. Perfect fit and great color. I don’t think they carry that leather anymore.

We will see, maybe I’ll stretch my budget and try the cheapest Himel, the Pinecrest. I believe it would fit best out if all but it comes with a huge price and I’ll probably wish I saved more and bought the British Raider but you have to draw the line somewhere because the Pinecrest is $650 more than the Lewis Leather was.

I thought about Simmons Bilt J100 but I can only find one picture, the guy that has a goatskin one, it looks good but he has a different build so it’s hard to say if they can taper. Plus their website is kind of off putting by saying they don’t Taylor a jacket for your body, it’s not a suit, we ont adjust patterns for you etc etc

9C800BE8-8CDA-47D8-8A27-CD2B621DFD86.jpeg
 
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Damon141

A-List Customer
Messages
474
I don’t know if they’re open on the weekends but I’m gonna check with them on Monday if not and see if they’ll let me test out one Aero jacket without committing to purchase.

When it comes to jackets, I’m stuck on these café racers like I’m sure a lot of people are when they’re new to the jacket world, I guess because they’re minimal and low risk, easy to wear, not flashy.
They must not be that popular because there are so few models reproduced, when I look at Aero’s site they have such a variety of different jackets but only 2 mandarin collar jackets.
There are so many great old café racer jackets that could be reproduced like Taubers, Beck 666, Brimaco, HD Sportster.
But clearly they’re not as popular as they are with me or else I’m sure they would be doing it off
 

MrProper

Call Me a Cab
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2,404
Location
Europe
There are so many great old café racer jackets that could be reproduced like Taubers, Beck 666, Brimaco, HD Sportster.
It's probably because I'm a philistine, but all CRs look the same to me. Individual details are different, that's true, but I wouldn't make a science out of it. I think this search for perfection always leads to dissatisfaction.
 

Aloysius

Practically Family
Messages
853
Aero has a standard cafe racer and a Buco J-100 (Board Racer). Not sure what leads you to say they’re unpopular because there are two versions (there are actually more, such as the collared variants, but leaving that aside). Both sell extremely well and are possibly the Aero jackets I see most often.

Offering a million versions of every jacket type is usually a red flag.
 

barnabus

Practically Family
Messages
955
Location
london
It's probably because I'm a philistine, but all CRs look the same to me. Individual details are different, that's true, but I wouldn't make a science out of it. I think this search for perfection always leads to dissatisfaction.

I'm much the same. Almost everybody makes a nice simple CR and how it fits is the only real distinguisher.

To much research leads to paralysis, and like @MrProper says, dissatisfaction.
 

Edward

Bartender
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23,146
Location
London, UK
It's probably because I'm a philistine, but all CRs look the same to me. Individual details are different, that's true, but I wouldn't make a science out of it. I think this search for perfection always leads to dissatisfaction.
As I've often said, we're really all pretty privileged around here to have available to us so many different options, and to be able to seriously consider spending some of the money we do on clothing. That said, sometimes the sheer range of choice can be overwhelming. For me, it all has to come down to putting a ceiling on what I'm prepared to spend (which varies; I love to have an Indy jacket, but I'll go Wested for that as it's not something I want to spend Aero / w.h.y. money on, whereas I will shell out for a Seabiscuit in due course), and then finding one I like that fits me right. Many of the Japanese options I've seen are almost immediately ruled out because they either won't accommodate my shoulders or are priced above what I am comfortable spending on a jacket, or sometimes both. I still enjoy seeing them on here and what they're doing, but I supposed this has come with time with knowing what I like and being confident in what works for me. My favourite brands are not other people's favourite brands - and that's fine. The lovely thing about opinions is we can all have one, and they don't have to be the same.

I know there are a lot of things I pay a bit more for in the wardrobe department. I just bought a pair of trousers at £80 from an Etsy repro clothing brand. I'm sure I could have found an equivalent quality pair of trousers for half that on the high street - but they'd have been a modern cut, too skinny in the leg, waistband four inches south of my actual waist, and I'd have hated them. Undoubtedly a chunk of what we pay for in the vintage repro game is simply the right pattern/ look. Then there's the fact we're a niche, so a smaller market doesn't have the same economies of scale. Lots of intangibles like that before we get near quality of the garment itself. It's a lot to navigate, but all part of figuring out what we want and what - on a subjective, individual level - is "worth it". I think looking at it this way has certainly helped me to back off and think about it from "what's best for me" rather than necessarily an endless chase after the "perfect" - which is no slight on what I do buy, because what I do buy at this point is typically (at least in leathers) what is perfect for me.

The cafe racer style is a great one in this regard. It's a rare maker that doesn't do a version of this style; every pocket layout, every fit, every colour is out there, just got to find the right one. If the right one for 'you' is Brand X from Japan at thousands, or a Camden Market special, it's the right one. Funnily enough, I've been looking at these a lot lately. Twenty odd years ago I had a cafe racer type (US made, 'Route 66' brand; designed as a riding jacket. No armouring, but it did have a zip-out, quilted body liner). Quite a nice jacket, all told. I bought it originally to have a black leather jacket [in those days, black was the only leather to me!] I could wear to the office on a more casual day, without it being quite as "statement" as a Perfecto-type would have been. I sold it on after a couple of years as I came to dislike how it looked with a collared shirt. Now that I actually have a few crew-neck t-shirts again for the first time in many years, I have come to admire the utilitarian style of a cafe racer with just the two, zip-chest pockets. No exact brand in mind, though I have admired the Goldtop version, and the Aero Board Racer. I love how they look in black, though racing green or midnight blue are also tempting. I think the black or the blue might be more 'flexible' in terms of what it would go with. It's quite fun, though, to have a jacket in mind the look of which I like but not be committed to any one brand, and just having a casual eye on what might crop up on eBay.

Anyhow, back to the OP.... I really like the look of that Flat Head jacket. It's one, though, that I'll admire from a distance, knowing the sizing (and the price!) is unlikely to work for me. As a recovering hoarder, there's a real sense of satisfaction in being able to truly admire something like this and not feel the urge to try and find / buy one! :)
 

TooManyHatsOnlyOneHead

One Too Many
Messages
1,969
I don’t know if they’re open on the weekends but I’m gonna check with them on Monday if not and see if they’ll let me test out one Aero jacket without committing to purchase.

When it comes to jackets, I’m stuck on these café racers like I’m sure a lot of people are when they’re new to the jacket world, I guess because they’re minimal and low risk, easy to wear, not flashy.
They must not be that popular because there are so few models reproduced, when I look at Aero’s site they have such a variety of different jackets but only 2 mandarin collar jackets.
There are so many great old café racer jackets that could be reproduced like Taubers, Beck 666, Brimaco, HD Sportster.
But clearly they’re not as popular as they are with me or else I’m sure they would be doing it off
this is a good idea. I think their custom process works by sending you a test jacket first. you pay shipping both ways if you decide to return. Some people end up keeping the test jacket and maybe that's why they charge upfront.

Maybe you can work something out with Carrie that they'll just send you the jacket for sizing, leather inspection, etc. If you don't return by X amount of days you'll be charged for the jacket so that way they're covered.

And like Mr Proper said, between their collection of Aero, Vanson, and Thedi, something is going to work out.

I'm fairly certain I've heard of them doing a certain size up top and going down a size for the waist, etc. The Aero CR are considered some of the best in the biz and I agree. I've also seen some killer fits on the Vanson CRs. Having the flexibility of leather choices is what's going to make the jacket special. But I will acknowledge, CR is probably hardest jacket because it needs to fit properly to achieve the look. So whoever you go with, you're going to need custom to solve the chest to waist ratio.
 
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