Back in the early 1970’s, I built my first chopper (a handshift 45 flathead) and bought my first real riding jacket, a black horsehide one. Both were simple and clean in design. I wore that jacket for 25 years, until I couldn’t zip it closed anymore. By then that jacket company was gone, so I had to get cowhide though horsehide is much more durable and tough. Rain mostly just rolls off horsehide unless it’s a heavy downpour. However, horsehide is stiff as hell until it breaks in, which seems to take forever.

You can speed things up by folding the jacket into a foot-by-foot square and sitting on it whenever you drive a car. Your body’s constant movement loosens up the leather much faster than wearing it; about 5,000 miles should do it!

Legendary’s Thoroughbred Horsehide Racer motorcycle jacket (#6045H/$619.95) is almost the exact same as my old jacket, but with improvements! It’s made of premium Italian, front-quarter, heavyweight horsehide. One main steel zipper in front ends at a banded racer collar with snap closure. Each sleeve also has a steel zipper to seal it.

There’s a chain-pull, steel zippered pocket and chest pocket on each side. There’s also a snap-close, vertical-entry chest pocket inside on the left and a smaller one on the right for a phone. The back is a clean, one-piece panel with  vented underarm gussets. The Thoroughbred also comes with a removable, zip-out, quilted lining. There are no decorative belts, chains, words, or trim of any sort. Like my old choppers, this union-made-in-US, lifetime-warranty jacket is stripped down and simple. When ordering, keep in mind the cut is “roomy.” I usually go with a 46, but a 40 fit me best. AIM

Sources: Legendary Products, 326 Tapestry, Dept. AIM, Exton, PA 19343, 610/363-7042, www.LegendaryUSA.com


As seen in the April issue of American Iron Magazine