I saw a mention of Schott cafe racer jackets and I know they are 'in' right now, but I am also considering getting a motorcycle. I can't get this 1961 BMW r69s out of my head. Although I don't know how to ride at the moment and won't be buying such a nice bike for a while, I was thinking of getting a good functional cafe racer style jacket. I looked at Schott, Vanson, and some other brands on the web. I also looked at Wilsons and there are a couple that don't look bad. Does anyone have experience with these brands in terms of real functional use for riding? Obviously I want it to look good too but I don't necessarily want to spend $500+ on a jacket if a Wilsons one will work just fine. Some of the more expensive Wilsons jackets actually look like they are good leather.
Leather comes in two basic "grades" -- competition grade and fashion grade. Â At least it used to. Â Only competition-grade leather offers suitable protection to a motorcycle rider. Â Fashion-grade leather, which is what most street-wear jackets are made of, actually offers less protection than heavy denim. Â To be sure that you are getting a true competition-grade jacket, I would go to a motorcycle dealer and ask, rather than going to a clothing store, which might try to sell you a jacket as competition-grade just to move product. Â I know that Wilson's, for one, does not offer true competition-grade. A couple of additional points to consider: make sure your riding jacket fits close to the body. Â Loose leather is three to four times more prone to tearing than taut leather. Â Get good gloves. Â The body part that loses blood the fastest in case of injuries is your hands. Â I once heard of a guy who died because he bled too fast even though he sustained no other life-threatening injuries in his motorcycle accident, only because he was not wearing gloves. I would look into Kevlar if I could swing the money, gloves or even jackets. Â I haven't priced them; I hear they are outrageously expensive. Â They have a high-tech racing look, which I suppose won't go too well with your vintage Bimmer style-wise, but I would want to live to tell about it if I were in your position, especially when just starting out, and especially on a vintage bike without modern safety features. I hope this helps. Regards, artdeco73