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What's ya'll opinion/experience on Lewis leathers sheepskin?

high-maintenance

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Hi,

I own LL universal racer MK2 in sheepskin and I just love it.
The texture of the leather is sublime and the lightweight feature makes it a very versatile jacket.

But the durability and lifespan issue kinda bother me.

Sheepskin is often referred to as 'leather for fashion jacket', 'supple leather but not so long-lasting'.

Is it true that all sheepskins are not going to last more than 20 years even with a regular care?

The sheepskin LL offers is actually as thick as 1~1.2mm and quite substantial. I know it is no match to HH in terms of strength and durability. But I still hope it's going to last long.

What is your opinion on Lewis leathers sheepskin?
Any experience with vintage LL jacket in sheepskin?

Or should I buy another MK2 jacket in Horsehide?

Thanks a lot!
 

Edward

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There's a marked difference between sheepskin and lamb. Lamb is often used for fashion jackets as it is very easy to work with and very light to wear. It is, of course, also very fragile and easily damaged. Sheepskin from a mature sheep is just a little bit thicker and heavier. I've handled many 60s era Lewises made from that same sheepskin, and while they feel remakably light compared to a contemporary bike jacket, they have lasted well enough with all these years of wear. I should think your jacket will not necessarily be any less robust over time than some of the other, lighter hides. Personally, I wouldn't opt for the sheepskin if I was thinking of wearing it on a bike (the horse would have significantly more abrasion resistance in the event of a spill), but if you're not going to wear it for its original design purpose, I wouldn't worry overly much.
 

high-maintenance

One of the Regulars
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There's a marked difference between sheepskin and lamb. Lamb is often used for fashion jackets as it is very easy to work with and veyr light to wear. It is, of cours,e also very fragile and easily damaged. Sheepskin from a mature sheep is just a little bit thicker and heavier. I've handled many 60s era Lewises maded from that same sheepskin, and while they feel remakably light compared to a contemporary bike jacket, they have ;last well enough with all these years of wear. I should think your jacekt will necessarily be any less robust over time than some of the other, lighter hides. Personally, I wouldn't opt for the sheepskin if I was thinking of wearing it on a bike (the horse would have significantly more erosion resistance in the event of a spill), but if you're not gonig to wear it for its original design purpose, I wouldn't worry overly much.

That is a relief. Cause I kinda dig this jacket too much!!

Thanks for sharing your experience.

=)
 

Carlos840

I'll Lock Up
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I agree with Edward, altough the LL sheepskin is definitely not a riding jacket, i would not be afraid to wear on around.
It is much stronger leather than your average mall lamb fashion jacket, i would just not rub it on abrasive things....
 

high-maintenance

One of the Regulars
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I agree with Edward, altough the LL sheepskin is definitely not a riding jacket, i would not be afraid to wear on around.
It is much stronger leather than your average mall lamb fashion jacket, i would just not rub it on abrasive things....

True that : I would never rub it against anything...

Still, I am willing to buy the same jacket in HH later.
 

Edward

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I'm hoping Lewis are siufficiently encouraged by the armoured jackets they've done with Urban Rider to expand that feature across the range - I'd love a Universal Rider in horse with CE d30 plates!
 

high-maintenance

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I'm hoping Lewis are siufficiently encouraged by the armoured jackets they've done with Urban Rider to expand that feature across the range - I'd love a Universal Rider in horse with CE d30 plates!

Yes, Classic leather products including LL and Aero are not exactly industrial body armours. Perfect for everyday wear though. =)
 

Graemsay

Practically Family
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@Edward have you considered asking Lewis Leathers if they'd add armour to a jacket? I suspect that they would, unless there's an exclusivity agreement with Urban Rider.
 

Edward

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@Edward have you considered asking Lewis Leathers if they'd add armour to a jacket? I suspect that they would, unless there's an exclusivity agreement with Urban Rider.

I will do eventually, when I'm in a position to buy. I'd ask them if I was in the shop, likely, but it seems a bit wasting their time when I'm just tyre-kicking at the minute. I expect that if they do well with the Urban Rider collaboration we'll see them rework some of the more classic patterns too.

Why would they do that? It's not like they're a motorcycle clothing company.

But in reality, you can't expect them to just shove modern armor in a jacket made on a 60 years old pattern.

Seriously...
https://www.revzilla.com/best-leather-motorcycle-jackets-2017
...you're welcome.

Oh, jings.... I wouldn't be seen dead in any of those. Mind you, I'd rather not be seen dead in a decent looking jacket either. ;)

The Lewis Urban Rdier jackets are two so far - http://www.urbanrider.co.uk/brands/lewis-leathers.html Nice looking. Of course there's got to be a bit of tweaking so it looks right - I know Goldtop are planning to do somethingl ike this with their line, but they are working on getting it to 'look right' first. IT's happening, though - a lot of decent looking bike jackets with proper protection and not covered in logos are starting to come on the market.
 

Edward

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Revzilla have one of the Rev'it jackets in that list. Some of their urban range are quite retro looking, particularly the Lane and Vaughn.

View attachment 83108 View attachment 83109

Not the worst, though there's something oddly modern looking to the leather in those pictures. Wonder what the idea behind the extra strap on the first one is, on the chest? Would be vastly improved by omitting it.
 
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Not the worst, though there's something oddly modern looking to the leather in those pictures. Wonder what the idea behind the extra strap on the first one is, on the chest? Would be vastly improved by omitting it.

Not an unseen feature on true vintage jackets. Taubers would occasionally put such a strap at the same place. Don't know why, though...
 

rocketeer

Call Me a Cab
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Best thing to wear with a vintage style motorbike jacket is an armoured vest from Knox etc. The old patterns are not designed for armour so if you do want one it will look lumpy and bumpy, though you could go a size up. I wear a Knox inside an old Eastman Luftwaffe as it is quite a baggy jacket and it works fine.
We were ok with Lewis style jackets when they were the normal thing to wear and thousands of riders do still wear the plain styles without padding and sometimes less.
Lots will say it's foolish to wear them but the choice is yours. Personally I would rather buy from a decent dealer and pay a premium than those £50 specials you get at the bike shows. Armour is about the landing, where as leather quality is about the slide abrasion resistance.
 

Dumpster Diver

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Man, I'd go Full road warrior and Use a Rivet Gun to stick on some armor, hell yea, DIY all the way, I am a drummer and Riveted some of my Cracked Cymbals to bring a little Sizzle back to them after grinding out the cracks, my buddy Used a rivet gun on the grill of his car to attach some custom Skirt he made, I was looking at my Biker Jacket the other night and then suddenly the light bulb went on!
 

Plumbline

One Too Many
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Not the worst, though there's something oddly modern looking to the leather in those pictures. Wonder what the idea behind the extra strap on the first one is, on the chest? Would be vastly improved by omitting it.

The strap at the top is designed to stop the zip falling down and opening the jacket on the bike Edward .... it was a common feature on racing suits from the early 60's and translated over to jackets from the late 60's ... a surprisingly effective feature similar to the strap across the zip at the base of the cuff ... it stops the zip puller from lifting and therefore "unlocking" the zip allowing the slider to ... ever ... slide ... and open the zip. Almost all high end leather motorcycle jackets and suits now have this feature ( though the straps are now normally secured with hook and loop ( Velcro) rather than press studs.

HTH
 

OceanBreeze

One of the Regulars
Messages
123
Location
Los Angeles
There's a marked difference between sheepskin and lamb. Lamb is often used for fashion jackets as it is very easy to work with and veyr light to wear. It is, of cours,e also very fragile and easily damaged. Sheepskin from a mature sheep is just a little bit thicker and heavier. I've handled many 60s era Lewises maded from that same sheepskin, and while they feel remakably light compared to a contemporary bike jacket, they have ;last well enough with all these years of wear. I should think your jacekt will necessarily be any less robust over time than some of the other, lighter hides. Personally, I wouldn't opt for the sheepskin if I was thinking of wearing it on a bike (the horse would have significantly more erosion resistance in the event of a spill), but if you're not gonig to wear it for its original design purpose, I wouldn't worry overly much.

My bicycle gloves are made of tough sheepskin. During a spill where my wheel ate my rear derailleur, when my hands hit the ground I could not even feel the pavement, and the gloves have no marks.
 
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15,215
The strap at the top is designed to stop the zip falling down and opening the jacket on the bike Edward .... it was a common feature on racing suits from the early 60's and translated over to jackets from the late 60's ... a surprisingly effective feature similar to the strap across the zip at the base of the cuff ... it stops the zip puller from lifting and therefore "unlocking" the zip allowing the slider to ... ever ... slide ... and open the zip. Almost all high end leather motorcycle jackets and suits now have this feature ( though the straps are now normally secured with hook and loop ( Velcro) rather than press studs.

HTH

I'm glad you have clarified that. Racing suits, that's right! I knew I'd often seen it somewhere just couldn't place it where. But yeah, it was on racing suits. It was a mystery to me but figured it had to have some use. Rev'it makes a great jacket.
 

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