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Discussion Starter #1
You guys have been great about giving your two cents [clap] - Well, I'm collecting pennies again.

Hands down best jackets following these criteria:

1. Leather
2. CE armor - elbows, shoulders, and back
3. 360 zip (8inch can be there too)
4. Front zipper protected somehow to keep it from unzipping during a belly slide :-\

I'm going for protection and durability. Oh, and my climate is Northern CA - 40F to 90F.
Styling does not matter - price does not matter (that stuff is so subjective, I'll figure it out on my own).

I will be wearing this jacket everywhere, so I'm trying to avoid a separate armor vest - hence the internal back protection.

Thanks :)
 

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Vanson satellite (like below but in all black). Durable, crashable, awesome! But $$$$. Forget the Vanson CE armor (which works well BTW). Get T-Pro -- comfortable and great protection. Scuderia West is the shop to go to. They stock Dainese and others as well.

OTOH, if you're thinking about spending that much $$, check with Helimot in SJ and see what a custom jacket will cost.

 

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Discussion Starter #3
Yeah - I was thinking of you when I first posted [cheeky]

All those Vanson complaints, though... on the fence about the brand right now but I will check it out.

Hellofalot does make nice stuff - but I'm working on dropping a few inches, and don't really want to go custom yet.
 

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jonnymoto said:
All those Vanson complaints, though... on the fence about the brand right now but I will check it out.
As I understand the complaints, they're about (a) customer service, (b) custom-fitted stuff; and (c) recent quality of leather. Go talk to Amy at Scuderia. If you're buying off-the-rack, you'll only be dealing with (c) as Scuderia will handle the rest and they have a really good relationship with Vanson. Check out their stuff, see what you think and talk with Amy. Besides, Scuderia has a ton of other good brands that you can check out -- Spidi, Dainese, Alpinestars and more.

For repairs to my Vanson, I go locally. I don't want to waste the time sending them back East. When a button got screwed up under warranty, I took it back to Scuderia and they sent it to Johnson's Leathers and dealt with Vanson on their own.
 

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Given your reqs it would help to know if you're buying matching pants or trying to match them up with pants you already own. Barnacle Bill, Johnson Leather (SF) or Helimot will put a nice ykk zipper on both if needed but that takes time, adds to the cost and will kill your ability to sell it if you find something else in a year or so.

That being said I own a Dainese Bora and it is an incredible jacket and fits better than any jacket I've ever bought - motorcycle or otherwise. I also recently bought a pair of Kushitani Dragon pants and their leather is better (seems thicker, softer) but they don't fit as well as my other pants (although they are breaking in nicely so who's to say how well they'll fit over time). I'd love to find a Kushitani Victory Jacket to try it out.
 

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There are alot of jackets that fit your requirements. Get out there and try them on, the fit will make a big difference. The best jacket in the world isn't the best if it won't stay put on you.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Cowboy - no I don't have pants yet. Those are maybe a year away. Making do w/ knee pads for now. Thanks for your recommendations.

aprilmaybe - I didn't see all that many that had everything I was looking for. Maybe I'm not looking in the right places. Mostly, I'm not familiar w/ the brands - so I don't know what is poser crap and what is worthy of protecting skin and bone.

The fieldsheer flex something or other looked decent to me. Don't know anything about the co - don't know anything about perf leather. Looking for help because you already have brand loyalty (theoretically w/ good reason). Seems like everyone is big on Sidi if they fit (they didn't), everyone is big on Cookie1's tail chop if they're gonna chop, everyone wants an ohlins... kinda looking for a similar response toward five (or however many) jacket makers - then I'll check out the cream of the crop and get what feels right for me. I just won't have to deal w/ the junk you guys have already crossed off your lists.

Thanks.
 

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Two comments. First, the most important thing in a jacket is fit and they all fit a little different. Any of the top brands make good jackets (yes some have nicer leather, but...) and if I were you I'd focus on which one fits your body best before I worry about the quality question. The best jacket out there might not be a good fit for you.

Second, don't do the integrated back protector. Get the high end Dainese protector and wear it under your jacket. Yeah, it's less convenient, but then again, so is traction.
 
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