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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It seems that I'm always between sizes...
The 52 (euro) is a bit too loose and the 50 is a bit snug in the chest and across the back when i move my arms around. It feels pretty good in a riding position- which is what really matters- and the salesperson said that it will stretch because it's leather.

I guess I'm answering my own question here- it seems that the slightly snugger fit will be better than the slightly looser one. I want my gear to be tight after all, to prevent armor shifting, etc.

I guess I'm wondering if anybody has had any bad experiences with a wrong jacket size...
 

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I think you'll find that leather feels better over time, conforming to your shape. Some other things to look for are:
- are the sleeves sewn so that the arms are rotated forward into a reaching position? Moto jackets usually are, civilian jackets aren't.

- does the zipper work with the leather pants you have or plan to get? They can be modified by a leather place, but it takes a bit of cash.

- Is the jacket long enough in the back to prevent wind coming up between your pants and the jacket?

- Does the neck fit well? If it uses snaps (like Dainese typically does) can you get a neck-tube under it when the weather gets colder?

- Does the jacket have a liner? If not figure on needing space for one in cold weather.

- Does it have back armor? If not and you plan to add a back protector later, you'll need a bit of extra room.

Not trying to overwhelm you with all this, just stuff to consider. In general though, you are right, snug is better than loose.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Great reply, thanks. The two perf jackets I'm considering are

this Dainese
1. http://www.kneedraggers.com/index.php?partno=36-DA-7

and the Vanson Mark 2 Cobra
2. http://www.vansonleathers.com/store/cobra_styles.asp#Mark 2 Cobra


In answer to some of your remarks-

- The Vanson jacket is longer in the back than the Dainese. I'm concerned about this as well, and the Dainese did seem a bit short when I tried it on.

- The Dainese neck has velcro and the Vanson has snaps.

- The Dainese has a full liner that removes completely. The Vanson has "wind curtains" that can be rolled down behind the perfed torso to allow more air through.

-I can fit back armor in both of the jackets and I will.



I'm really actually torn between these two jackets- I like the styling of both and I know they are both very high quality jackets. I don't like the shorter length of the Dainese and I'm a little concerned that the Vanson wont be ventilated enough for the LA heat. Guess I'll sleep on it.
 

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I like a velcro neck, in principle, but the execution in my Fieldsheer leaves something to be desired. The particular velcro patches used don't hold well enough. OTOH, my cordura jacket has snaps and I hate pushing hard against my esophogous to snap the damned thing!

I'm going to get new velcro sewn into the Fieldsheer. Problem solved.

For tightness around the back: both jackets you're looking at (like ANY good jacket) have expansion panels. These will loosen up with time giving you the room you want. It's not leather stretching that you're counting on.

Consider the pants you plan to wear with the jacket. Vanson has gone from a full zip to three smaller zippers; one in back and one on each side in front. I think this is a PITA! I have one full zip and it's much easier and quicker to zip up than my riding buddies' jack/pants from Vanson. I know. I have to wait for them! Full zip might also be marginally more secure.

Now Vanson chose to do this to make it easier to mix/match different sizes and I'm sure that's good for people who need that. But I have a 44 jacket with 34 pants with the zippers matched in length. My waist is more like 32-33, but with the velcro belt on the pants it's NBD.

That gets me to the Vanson "curtains." I have no experience with them, but I like my full removable liner. In spite of Vanson's stellar reputation for quality, I find some of their design choices for convenience features to be a bit odd.

you pays your money and you takes your chances!

Good Luck
 
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Great reply, thanks. The two perf jackets I'm considering are

this Dainese
1. http://www.kneedraggers.com/index.php?partno=36-DA-7



I just got that jacket, but non perforated from http://www.dainese.be/en/company/ frans was very helpful, it sells for about $609 here in the US, got it with the G2 back protector for $580 shipped. I got it one size smaller than I wear so it can stretch, the only thing I'm not crazy about is the collar strap it rubs against my adams apple, I'm hoping it softens up over time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
VerbalGsx-

It's a really nice jacket, congrats! One thing I'm really concerned about though-- do you find that it is a short jacket? I mean, when I tried it on it seemed a little short in the back. Does wind hit the space between the bottom of your jacket and the top of whatever pants you're wearing (assuming you don't have leathers zipped in) when you are bent over riding?
 

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Lead Teeth - I gots the Vanson Cobra and like you said, it has the extra bit to cover the back. I know that if my jacket didn't have that extra flap I would be dealing with some elements down the back of me pants - and nobody likes that. I have a size 42 jacket and am about 61. Fit for riding is great.

As far as the flaps go - they work for me. When it gets cold, I close them and throw a fleece vest underneath along with some other layers (I don't have the Vanson vest) and am fine. When it is warm, I just crack those babies open. The great thing is that when you head out in the morning and it is a bit chilly, you can just have the vents closed - when it warms up in the afternoon just open them up. No layers, you don't need to worry about having some place to stash some clothes.

As long as you are moving - you will have good airflow in any heat. It sucks sitting in traffic in hot weather in any leather jacket, no matter how vented.

I like my jacket - no complaints, provides function and decent enough form - just want to get that black Mike Hailwood one too and an armor jacket to wear under it. ;D
 

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Like others said, if you plan on adding pants, be sure to take those into account.

When I bought my 2-piece suit, I went back and forth between the Vanson Stallion w/ Sportrider pants and a Dainese Tattoo jacket and P103 pants.

I liked the jackets about the same, but I couldn't find a pair of off the rack Vanson pants that fit right. I ended up with the Dainese stuff and am very happy with it.

One thing on the sizing, I went with the "snug better than loose" philosophy and was fine until I started wearing a back protector which pushed it into the slightly too tight zone (particularly when standing up). After a while things broke in and got comfortable again, but whenever I add a few pounds (like during winter), the jacket/back protector combo lets me know. My point is, make sure you try stuff on with the back protector that you plan to use and if it feels like it might be uncomfortable, you might think about erring to the larger size. You have to be comfortable with your back protector because it's too easy to leave it behind if you're not...

If you're not dead set on those two brands, I'd suggest looking at Alpinestars as well. I just bought an A-stars 1-piece and it seems to be identical in nearly every way to my Dainese leather, but at a considerably lower cost. If you're interested, check http://www.newenough.com as they carry both Alpinestars and Vanson. It's also woth going there just to read Paul's reviews. (He calls Vanson's Mark 2 line "the "ultimate" in motorcycle leathers".)

HTH,
--Fillmore
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks a lot, Deadpan. I thought I had it fairly narrowed down and now you throw in, "hey why don't you check out Alpinestar..."

Seriously, I'll check out their stuff because price is a concern for me. The Dainese and the Vanson are the only two I've been able to try on in person, so that's why I've been focused on them.

I don't really know what to do about pants right now. In all honsety, I'll probably just ride in jeans- I'm not racing or anything. If I feel the need for leathers later, I'll deal with it then.

I wish I could combine the two jackets- the longer back of the Vanson, and the full zip-out liner of the Dainese. That would be smashing.
 

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I don't really know what to do about pants right now. In all honsety, I'll probably just ride in jeans- I'm not racing or anything. If I feel the need for leathers later, I'll deal with it then.
ok, fillmore..bust out your crash pics..what kinda shape would you have been in if you had been wearing an armored leather jacket and just jeans?
I would go cheaper on the jacket so i could get pants too(or a 2-piece)
 
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VerbalGsx-

It's a really nice jacket, congrats! One thing I'm really concerned about though-- do you find that it is a short jacket? I mean, when I tried it on it seemed a little short in the back. Does wind hit the space between the bottom of your jacket and the top of whatever pants you're wearing (assuming you don't have leathers zipped in) when you are bent over riding?

I was wearing loose jeans today in 45 deg temps early and didn't notice the wind getting me... my torso is short though so maybe that helps...
 

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ok, fillmore..bust out your crash pics..what kinda shape would you have been in if you had been wearing an armored leather jacket and just jeans?
I would go cheaper on the jacket so i could get pants too(or a 2-piece)
`Tis true... I started to leave work to go to lunch one day and was going to ride in just jeans. At the last minute I thought, "You'll feel really stupid if you drpped your bike and had your leather pants hanging in your office", so I put them on. Like clockwork, I came around a corner right into a big pile of sand at 60mph and lowsided my bike into a guardrail. I ended up breaking the sh!t out of my knee and tearing up my wrist, but I picked up the bike rode home, and didn't have to deal with roadrash.

I rarely ride without armored riding pants anymore. I commute a lot in textile gear, which I know is less safe than leather, but I believe that it's safer (warmer, dryer...) than a leather jacket and jeans.

One of the reasons that I pointed out the Alpinestars stuff is because I think the quality is pretty nice, and you can get the jacket and pants from New Enough for about the price of either the Dainese or Vanson jacket. As for sizing, I found that A-stars are very close to Dainese sizing. Paul at New Enough is also really good about finding the right size for you.

--Fillmore
 

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I got abused for being a "bleeding heart safety Nazi" just a couple of weeks ago, but here we go again...

Pants are a PITA. All of the rest of the gear is pretty easy to deal with and you don't feel silly around other "too cool" riders or civilians.

It's just a matter of deciding to do it and getting used to it. I wear armored Cordura to work over my work pants, or over shorts in summer and change in the office. I wear perfed leather for sport riding or the cordura if it's too cold.

I went to an elementary school open house in full leather last week because I came straight from my BCM service 75 miles away. I went to the school fun run yesterday in leather and cordura to see my son WIN! If people want to point and laugh... f**k 'em! In my mind, this is what a serious motorcyclist wears because sh!t happens.
 

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I got abused for being a "bleeding heart safety Nazi" just a couple of weeks ago, but here we go again...
I sometimes feel like a BHSN, but it was another one of those (Thomas Alberti, the founder of the DML) that finally got through to me and saved my a$$ in that crash, and I feel like I owe it to him to keep it up.
 

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Not to bag on anybody, but what makes someone think that the street is SAFER than the track?
Yeah no kidding; I mean a track has no trees, no cages, telephone poles, curbs, squids...

The streets are MEAN!

No way would I take to the streets un-protected...

scooby ;D
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Arrrgghhh.

I was going to post my opinions about risk management, etc. but we all know the deal.

Tell you what- I will take your advice and at least try on some leather pants and see if I can handle it... just don't show me the crash pics.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
As far as a track being safer than the streets- I don't know, it's not that easy. Of course the streets are mean. I ride in LA! It scares the hell out of me sometimes.

But are your chances of having a high speed get off (a situation in which full leathers would be greatly appreciated) greater on any average day on the street than they are on any average day on the track? I don't know because I've never ridden on a track.

As far as the jackets go, I'm still undecided.
 

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i own 3 pair of Draggin Jeans. the fit is O.K. safety-wise, better than regular jeans. they are certainly not serious safety gear, even with the optional armor.
 
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