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Thread: Classic leathers recommendations?

  1. #1
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    Classic leathers recommendations?

    I have an old leather jacket and pants combination I need to replace, connecting zipper, classic vented jacket. S&H Apparel, which doesn't seen to exist anymore. Fox Creek vented racing jacket appeals but there are no pants with them. Vanson might be fine, but their variety is a bit confusing and I'd need to find a shop where I could check the fit and feel. Could do that. Atlantis 4 seems great but I'd prefer traditional leathers look. Dianese, etc, too boy racer for me. Any good options I'm missing?

  2. #2
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    Out on the left coast, Langlitz Leathers has a considerable reputation for quality riding leathers. However, they are of the "old school" philosophy, everything hand sewn in a small shop in Portland OR. They build a maximum number of garments per year, so you get in line and wait your turn. And you pay big bucks for the product, because it's not made in Cheapistani.

    I have a Langlitz Jacket and pants, made for me in 1981. Over the years they have replaced one zipper slider and one panel in the jacket, at a very reasonable repair cost.

    Of course, when you're thinking about spending $1,500 or so for gear, it pays to get to the shop and get accurately measured. They will have you sit on a "horse" in your normal riding position, so they can measure such things as sleeve rotation. And you can choose the features you want, even combining features from different styles.

    pmdave
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  3. #3
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    Note that Aerostich has the "Transit" two piece leather suit, which Andy says is waterproof. It's in special leather, but with the typical Aerostich features such as back vent, reflectors, and TF5 armor. In the same price range as Langlitz.

    Apparently, the Transit is imported, so it's not made in Duluth to your specs. But Aerostich has a good reputation for quality.

    pmdave

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    Thanks, Dave. I have two friends who have Langlitz jackets and theirs are pretty minimal in the padding department, leather shells, really. I can't tell from your photo though yours looks fuller. I'd like some real protection in the shoulders, forearms, and back. I like their lines though. Perhaps I should call them and see what they'll do. They're only about 3.5 hours south of me. I did look and the transit suit. Aerostitch provides good 360 degree photos which is helpful. I think it's tailored a bit less than I'd like. Again, thanks for your response.

  5. #5
    Registered User boxerkuh's Avatar
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    When I was wearing leather jackets I have found that Bates have a great reputation are pretty much hand build. Back in the day, Hein Gericke and First Gear used to make awesome leathers. The jackets had good protection, the pants were just leather shells.

    If I would consider another pair of leathers, I would move to the new, waterproof kind. Aerostich has a set, as well as Rukka and BMW. But you are also talking about around 2 grand for an outfit. I have read reports in the German Motorrad mags and they have recommended Rukka and BMW waterproof leathers.
    Keep the rubber side down!!
    1986 R 80 RS
    1992 R 100 R
    BMW MOA Life member; Ironbutt Member; Airhead Member

  6. #6
    mymindsok
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    Well, heres another vote for Langlitz!

    I ordered my jacket in the late 80's and finally finished paying for it in the early 90's, so I got it for about $500. Thats maybe 1/3 of what they cost today. At the time I was living in New Jersey and had to have my GF take measurements for me but despite my worries over the fit, Langlitz got it perfect the first time.

    I ordered all the bells and whistles. Heavy duty goat skin, traditional diamond padded shoulders and elbows, back gussets, two inside pockets, zippered slash pockets outside, all pockets leather lined and a quilted liner. I also requested that it be built with room underneath for a jacket liner or a heated vest.

    Needless to say, being Gaot skin, the jacket broke in very quickly and fits like a glove. It's also pretty much perfect for the kind of weather that we have here on the North West Coast. Warm days and frequent damp, chilly evenings. I've found that if you treat your leathers using Langlits Leather Dressing, they won't readily absorb water.

    The down side (If there is one!) is that, like all good leathers, it's heavy and it doesn't have modern armor. I currently have five jackets, including a Kilimanjaro and three of them have modern armor but 90% of the time I wear the Langlitz.

    I love my Langlitz!

    PS: You can frequently find good deals on used Langlitz jackets and pants on Ebay, so you keep your eyes open!


    Last edited by mymindsok; 02-11-2011 at 09:10 PM.

  7. #7
    04 1150RS bigsur52's Avatar
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    try fox creek leather. Old school and very high quality. Made in USA, too.

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    Guys, thanks for the great suggestions. They are definitely in line with what I like aesthetically. True, weight is a factor with leather (and my aging back), but sitting on a bike traditional leather jackets tend to support their own weight resting on your legs and the seat which is a plus over almost equally heavy textile types. I'll explore your suggestions. Some, like the Atlantis and Vanson, I can readily try on in Seattle which is nearby. Thanks again!

  9. #9
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    Personally, I don't know why anybody would want leathers anymore. Besides all the well known disadvantages, they lose strength with age and exposure to moisture and sweat. No Moto GP pilot is running around in 10 year old, or even three year old leathers. I strongly encourage you to look at a Motoport Stretch Kevlar suit if you want the best in protection and long life. If you go to advrider.com's equipment section there are many write ups on the Motoport gear. I think the only reason this gear hasn't taken over the market with racers is because the aerodynamic drag is higher than a set of racing leathers.
    If you must have leathers, Z Leathers will make you a great custom suit, made in USA, 100% top quality for about 1/2 the price of Bates. They are great people , life long motorcycle racers, making suits in Huntington Beach, CA for 30+ years. You can get any color combo you want for a minimal upcharge. Try that with anybody else.

    zcustom.com

  10. #10
    Registered User Bob_M's Avatar
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    I too have Langlitz. Excellent quality, classic look and purposeful design and construction for motorcycle use.

  11. #11
    GREGFUESS
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    I love my 15 year old Heine Gericke jacket. And with all the zippered vents, it is cooler in summer that the textile Roadcrafter that I wear for longer trips. When I could finally afford the V-Pilot pants to go with the jacket, HG no longer offered any of the V-Pilot line, and I had to go to a knock-off company for the pants. They were perfect, except for the zipper connecting the jacket to the pants.

    So I took both the jacket and pants to the locally owned cleaners and they attached the HD zipper to the pants (since the HG zipper was longer). Turned out great. I love the older HG line and wouldn't trade mine for the world.

  12. #12
    ONE LESS HARLEY 04r1150rs's Avatar
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    I have an old Heine Gericke VPilot which is at least 20 years old, nice thick hide good quality. I don't know about the newer stuff from them.

    There is always Vanson, good rep. What about Schott leathers?
    Richard
    2004 R1150RS
    1984 R80 G/S
    2003 Suzuki DRZ 400S

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by carockwell View Post
    Personally, I don't know why anybody would want leathers anymore.
    I agree. I had a full set of leathers for years, but I prefer my Aerostitch Roadcrafter now.

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