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Old 08-15-2012, 02:30 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Can you add armor to a jacket?

I don't usually find leather jackets I like that have armor. It'd be easier to find a jacket I like and have the armor added.

Has anyone ever done that? Buy a jacket, have pockets for elbow, back, and shoulder armor added?

If so...who can do things like that? A normal tailor? Do motorcycle shops help customize stuff?
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Old 08-15-2012, 03:26 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I don't think most motorcycle shops will do it. A tailor maybe... but you would probably have to provide them with the armor pads, and the material for them to make the pockets. Likely not cost effective for what you would pay on top of the jacket purchase. You could also contact someone like Johnson Leather works and have them do it, but it also may not be cost effective. It wouldn't hurt to get a quote, but maybe looking at some of the lessor knowns (such as Johnson) who can make something for you might be a better alternative to trying to mod an already made item.
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Old 08-15-2012, 05:53 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Maybe take a look at the Roland Sands jackets. I just purchased the Ronin and I couldn't be happier. Quality leather jackets with pockets to add their slim armor if you choose.
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Old 08-15-2012, 08:03 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I looked into this extensively a few months ago. It's definitely possible to do, but I wouldn't go to a regular taylor because you need to make sure they build the seams correctly. No point in wearing a jacket if it can't withstand the fall!

It's pretty easy to find high quality CE pads online. Just make sure the jacket you get won't flap in the wind, and will provide sufficient airflow during hot days.

As mentioned previously, Johnson Leather Works is probably your best bet, but it won't be cheap.
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Old 08-16-2012, 01:55 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Thanks for the info. Sounds like a bigger headache that I'm looking for. I'll gander at some jackets over the next couple of months and keep this as plan B.
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Old 08-16-2012, 02:15 PM   #6 (permalink)
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There are a *lot* more jackets and companies making them, than you will find in the stores. Pretty much every size, color, shape, and style. If you take the time, and do some searching, you will probably find something you can be happy with. The hard part is trying to locate some of the smaller guys, who do some really nice work, but are only a local shop with an web store.
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Old 08-17-2012, 01:14 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cuchulainn View Post
There are a *lot* more jackets and companies making them, than you will find in the stores. Pretty much every size, color, shape, and style. If you take the time, and do some searching, you will probably find something you can be happy with. The hard part is trying to locate some of the smaller guys, who do some really nice work, but are only a local shop with an web store.

Yea, I see a ton of stuff I like, but I'm hesitant to drop a couple hundred on a jacket having never touched it or, more importantly, tried it on.

So I'm tend to be stuck with motorcycle shops. Which is probably good, because I get bored with things so much, I'd rather drop $200 on a jacket every other year than $500.
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Old 08-17-2012, 01:30 PM   #8 (permalink)
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200 dollar jackets might look good, but will be more likely to come apart in a getoff. I would rather have a solidly built 500 dollar jacket any day. Vanson has a few different styles that accept armor. Gear isn't the place to go cheap on...
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Old 08-17-2012, 02:09 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Yeah. I was referring more to some of the small shops with stellar reputations. Shops like Johnson Leather, Tiger Angel, Langlitz, etc. I can guarantee those won't be anywhere in the neighborhood of $200 though.
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Old 08-31-2012, 03:23 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I have a repair and alteration business - www.ozmotorcycleleathers.com

If the original jacket is non-bike specific, then it's unlikely to be very resilient in a fall. Seams have to have a hidden row of stitching (nylon bonded, cotton is no good), and the leather itself should obviously be of good quality.
If you find armour that will fit in, whoever is doing the alteration should add pockets into the lining that will hold it in place.

Good quality armour like Knox or Betac is great, Hein Gericke also sell very thin armour that still scores highly in impact tests.

And yep, go to a m/c gear specialist, that way you won't have to pay to have it done twice
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