Breaking in a Vanson Jacket

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by redge, Dec 21, 2011.

  1. redge

    redge Been here awhile

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    After a long wait, I received a Vanson Mark 2 jacket and Traveller trousers today. Very impressed with the quality and fit, but of course the jacket is fairly stiff at the moment. If I try to wear the jacket several times a week, how long will it take to break in? Are we talking weeks or months?

    Cheers
    #1
  2. RocketMoto

    RocketMoto 2 Many Motersikles

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    Years :huh...

    Seriously - the Vanson's are like a suit of Armor when new. Wear it around the house, to bed, in the shower, whatever. In t i m e , it'll soften up. I have a Vanson jacket and at one point, I was going to sell it on account of the stiffness. I had several other leather jackets - Dainese and such. Over time, I came to really appreciate the Vanson. After visiting their factory here in the Boston area, and seeing exactly how they're put together, and the materials they use, everything else seems sub-par.

    Be patient and persevere, and you'll be rewarded with one heck of a jacket.
    #2
  3. SgtDuster

    SgtDuster Long timer

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    Apply Dubin and wear it around the house.
    #3
  4. squish

    squish Out of the office.

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    The time honored tradition of riding your motorcycle a lot while wearing it is a pretty good bet.

    But really joking aside, the best way to "break it in" is by just simple wearing it.

    I will sometimes sit a watch a movie while flexing the arms of a new leather jacket. Normally by hand with the jacket off of my body, I just work the leather back and forth bending it where It would bend If I was wearing it.

    I don't put goop on it as I don't like to hasten the softening of the leather too much. I just want it comfortable enough to wear it
    #4
  5. concours

    concours WFO for 44 years

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    I too, am in the same boat, new MKII. My family allready thinks I'm obsessed, watching TV with motogear will remove all doubt. :1drink
    #5
  6. oalvarez

    oalvarez Resident Raggamuffin

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    what's also interesting/fun to see are their jackets (or leather kit for that matter) after many, many years of use. you'd never think that they once started like the straight-jackets that they are at time of purchase. i have a perforated MKII as well and moved to textiles and more suple leather pieces as i just couldn't take the stiffness much longer. maybe i'll spend a little bit more time with it prior to the upcoming spring/summer season.

    maybe not the most comfy jackets at first, but boy are they well made.
    #6
  7. redge

    redge Been here awhile

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    I've figured out that it will definitely help the break-in process to remove the pads from the shoulders and elbows :)
    #7
  8. Trophy Mike

    Trophy Mike w/extreme prejudice

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    The Vanson Mark 2s are ready to ride because they are not cut like traditional garments. With sleeves canted forward 17 degrees upper chest bulk is thereby eliminated. Standing upright with arms down the sides you may feel some tightness across the chest and under the armpits. This is normal. On the machine reaching for the handlebars the logic behind the fit becomes apparent. The chest loosens without ballooning while the sleeve length amazingly remains spot on without rising up. These jackets are designed for optimum fit and performance in the riding position and that's what they excel at.
    #8
  9. redge

    redge Been here awhile

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    And that's why I ordered the jacket, but it could still use some breaking in.

    By the way, very happy with the boots, gloves and helmet that you sold me a couple of years ago.

    Cheers.
    #9
  10. StevieMac

    StevieMac Been here awhile

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    I have a Langlitz jacket that is very thick leather and was VERY stiff when new. The folks at Langlitz have been making high quality leathers since 1947 and their advice to me was to put it in the dryer and tumble it with NO HEAT for a while. Worked for me.
    #10
  11. Snapper

    Snapper Long timer

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    I also picked-up a Mk II (Challenger) suit last spring. It's probably got 15k on it - the pants are now pretty buttery, and while the jacket doesn't really have any more hot spots/pressure points, it's still pretty stiff. While I don't quite put it on to wear around the house, after riding, I will admit that it often comes off a lot later than it needs to :D....

    I like breaking in leathers....savor it.
    #11
  12. fast4d

    fast4d Long timer

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    good thing I bought my vanson jackets used. even then one needed some breaking in.
    #12
  13. billyvoo

    billyvoo Adventurer

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    " the Vanson's are like a suit of Armor"

    No wiser words have been stated. I've had my Vanson for three years now and it's just getting broken in and in a plyable condition. It seemed to feel a little better after I slept in it camping last summer.

    Congrats on the new gear!
    #13
  14. Giggity

    Giggity ..........

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    +1
    And throw 4 or 5 tennis balls in the dryer with the jacket.
    #14
  15. redge

    redge Been here awhile

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    A couple of days after receiving the jacket, I'm blown away by the workmanship and practical detailing. And the Traveler trousers, which can be worn over regular trousers and removed at destination, are terrific - just unbutton the waist and unzip the legs.

    Being in New York for the winter, the jacket should work pretty well as a winter jacket, which should help with breaking it in. Trophy Mike is right that it would work fine on a bike now, but it could definitely be more supple. But that's the short-term cost of a cowhide weight that will give me the protection that I want.

    If you don't fit easily off the rack, I also think that the custom surcharge is quite reasonable. Get Vanson's Matt Silva (in Massachetts or at one of the shows), or someone else who can do them properly, to do the measurements. Vanson is also open to specific requests. In my case, I don't like brand names on my clothing, and they were completely cool with omitting the Vanson logo patches. Just realize that a custom jacket/trousers takes months, and be patient.
    #15