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BubbaZanetti

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A Custom Schott, step-by-step...

Hello everyone.

 

My name is Jim and I'm in process of having a custom Schott made right now, and I wanted to take the time to post here, and give everyone the "blow-by-blow" of how things are done with my order, to possibly answer many of the un-asked questions as to just what is involved in getting a custom, one-off Schott made just for me (or you).

 

Well I knew the name, and heard the stories of how gret they are, how Schott literally INVENTED the motorcycle jacket, and I wanted to see what all the hype was about. So, my story started with a visit to the Schott web site to see the basic styles on offer. I'm sure if you are reading this, you probably have a style in mind, such as the legendary Perfecto. I choose the 141 style, as I like the clean "Cafe racer" design, but that's just me. Oh, and I wanted it in Horse Hide, as this is the classic look and feel for a jacket in my opinion.

 

I Then went to the Legendary USA site, and spoke with a gentleman there for a bit of insight on sizing the jacket. It runs "tight" as is said over and over; however this is how a motorcycle jacket is supposed to fit. So just how "tight" is tight? After several minutes of having Legendary measure the actual jacket in every which way, and comparing those measurements to my actual dimensions, it was confirmed: the 141HH just would not fit me properly- but I really wanted the classic Horse Hide jacket! He suggested talking to Gail directly to get a custom-fitted jacket.

 

So, I called Gail, and we started chatting almost daily for a while there on exactly which measurements she needed, how they should be measured and how she and I were going to get the perfect fit I needed to make me happy. Finally, we agreed it made sense to order a 141L in size 44 (I wear a size 44L when I get an "off the rack" suit) when it was discovered that the size 46 was out of stock. I had tried to take Gail's advice and go a size bigger, but couldn't this time, and figured I'd try the 44 while waiting the 4-6 weeks for the 46 to become available.

 

In a day, I had the jacket, and the shipping was free (living close to Schott is always a good idea...) Upon opening the box, I was immediately impressed as to the attention to detail (and the smell was nice too!). The jacket comes on a hangar, in a bag to protect it in transit. The particular one I received was in "naked leather" and has a VERY soft hand. The finish is bordering on a very subtly "sueded" finish, but a far cry from anything marked "suede". Too soft for my taste, as it makes the leather feel deceptively thin. Inspection of the seams verifies this is no lightweight, and with a 7 pound shipping weight, you know you have something on with this jacket.

 

Well, the 44 fit perfectly. Well, ALMOST perfectly. I couldn't have asked for a better fit, in an off the shelf jacket in the body: I tried it with a t-shirt, then added a thin wool sweater and finally added a fleece jacket under the leather- all the while the liner was kept in the jacket (in the interest of scientific research, you understand). I have to say that if I was planning to wear the flece, wool sweater and t-shirt under the leather, I'd zip-out the liner for a more perfect fit, but I could function with all that bulk with minimal difficulty. AND lets remember this is a brand-new un-worn jacket straight from the box. If you want to avoid the "break-in" on a typical leather; go for the naked leather...

 

So, what was the problem? Well, the sleves. I have what are refered to as "monkey arms" in that I wear a 14 1/2-36 shirt, which is an odd size. So, on the 141L size 44, I needed another inch of sleeve length to cover my wrists in riding position, which is important, as I plan to ride. For someone looking for "the look" but will not need wrist protection (casual wear) the fit is great. But, the sleeves have to be longer for me to ride with...

 

Another detail of note, which is less critical to me: a friend suggested a bit more length in the back, to help cover the lower back while crouched over the bike. I personally think this is less critical, as an overly long back will look a bit goofy when standing up, but I conceded the point and suggested another 1/2 inch of back length.

 

I have sent the "standard" jacket back to Gail's attention, as-received with all the tags in place, ready to go. She should have it tomorow, if not today. The initial price I paid for the "stock" 141L will go toward my first Schott...

 

I'll add more to the story as it unfolds, but as of now I have been quoted a six week delivery on my jacket. Hey, it's one-of-a-kind! This is NOT McDonalds, and I'm happy to wait as long as I have to, to get the perfect fit, durability, and quality that have made the Schott name famous the world over.

 

How about we ALL give Gail a big thank you, as she really wants us to have the best jacket with the best fit, to provide years of wear and protection in a fall (which we all hope to never test personally...).

 

Thanks! I can hardly wait!

 

J!m

BubbaZanetti on 04/11/07 at 04:50 PM

part two...

 

I received an e-mail from Gail today, verifying receipt of the jacket and providing a quote for my custom Schott.

 

My particular jacket is based on the 141L; however will have an extra inch of length in the sleeve and an extra 1/2 inch in the back. Also, it will be made of Horse Hide rather than the "Naked Leather" the 141L normally comes in.

 

The total cost for this one-off jacket is $950.00. Now this may sound high, but remember, this is in Horse Hide, and has several pattern changes to accomidate the changes I had asked for. Since I already have $525.00 on account from the return of the 141L I test fit, my balance is a reasonable $425.00. For a one-off, custom Schott jacket.

 

I did a bit of searching, and found that many high-quality leather jackets (of unknown origin) can sell for this and substantially more, WITHOUT the legendary Schott name backing it up, and more importantly, without Gail to make sure it's right.

 

So, this is where we are today, I let Gail know to go-ahead tomorow (it's payday tomorow!).

 

Stay tuned for more as it unfolds...

PabloPerfecto on 04/13/07 at 01:51 AM

Congratulations on your custom order! Once it's received, I look forward to reading your update.

 

Myself, I recently returned a 585 due to sizing issues and am considering a custom-order. I wear a 42L coat and 16 / 35 shirt so I had ordered a large. The shoulders and back length were an excellent fit but I felt the jackets body to be too baggy for my slender build; I m 6'2" and 190lbs. (When evaluating the fit I wore both an undershirt and dress shirt beneath the jacket; thick sweaters aren't much of an issue, I'm more likely to wear only a T-shirt.) The sleeves were about an inch shorter than I had hoped, but were definitely long enough for fashion-wear. If I should place a custom order it will most likely be horsehide, I'm not certain because my research has not necessarily revealed which leather is best suited for motorcycle apparel; opinions on this were consistently inconsistent. :-) My take-away is that horse seems to be the denser hide, whereas cow is the more elastic. Based on this, I presume the protection provided by horsehide (dense, compact fibers) is better for impact and cowhide (elastic, long fibers) is better for slides. Sadly, leathers inability to do-it-all may nudge me into purchasing a textile jacket featuring both Kevlar and padding. Local freeway traffic dictates that I ride fast and I'm not certain my vanity can win this battle royal against safety; nonetheless, I do agree with your words that "horsehide is the classic look and feel for a motorcycle jacket".

 

Gail, thanks for answering my questions. I really appreciated your assistance.

crippe on 04/15/07 at 08:51 AM

That sounds great Jim, I don't think $950 is too steep for a custom jacket. I also find the sleeves on my 613 a bit short but that's just how they are.

 

/Chris

BubbaZanetti on 04/15/07 at 10:06 PM

Part three... Friday the 13th. Perfect. I called Gail and gave the final payment. My tax return check came the day before, so we're all set now! I went with the +1 inch sleeve as well as the +1/2 inch back length. Why not, right? Of course, it HAD to be horse hide. I was informed that the custom shop is backed up- spring (in some parts of the world, anyway) has caused the usual increse in orders for Schott. Six weeks was the quote, but I'm naturally hoping for sooner...

BubbaZanetti on 05/15/07 at 12:56 PM

Well, it's time for an up-date on progress...

 

I spoke with Gail about a week ago and it was being cut then. I may get lucky, but I'd rather wait an extra week than have anything less than Schott quality.

 

I just wanted to let everyone know that I haven't forgotten about you who are following along with this, and I'm just as eager as you are to see the final product!

 

I have also been troling the motorcycle shops and leather stores, and quite frankly, the jackets that are sold and people actually rely on to protect them in a fall, are pure garbage. Paper thin leather, shoddy stitching and made in countries that I've never heard of (and I travel quite a bit). I don't know about you, but I'll spend the extra few bucks on a quality piece made in a country (and factory) that has had the same name for a while, specializing in leather jackets and with a world-renown reputation for quality and durability. I figure it's cheaper and less painfull than skin grafts anyway...

 

To be fair, I did find one brand of jacket that was of reasonable quality of all the brands I checked, and that was the current Triumph branded stuff. I have no idea who is making these jackets, but the leather grade, stitching and attention to detail is quite good- even superior to the Ducati and HD branded leathers. Still not a Schott, and since it's about the same price (as a non-custom Schott jacket) why not get the best? Plus, if you sold your Triumph, you'd have to sell the jacket too...

BubbaZanetti on 05/29/07 at 08:11 AM

Another update...

 

The 25th was six weeks from order date for my custom Horsehide 141L. With the long weekend ahead, I contcted Gail again to see how they were progressing with my jacket.

 

Unfortunately, they were so busy with custom orders that they had to delay another week.

 

I am patiently (not) waiting the delivery this week.

 

I did mange to get 325 miles in this wekend, so it wasn't a total loss...

 

Stay tuned!

BubbaZanetti on 05/30/07 at 04:03 PM

The final up-date?

 

I received a call from Gail today... My jacket is finished! She says it's beautiful, so I imagine it is all that and a bag of chips!

 

I should have it Friday, so stay tuned for photos the begining of next week...

 

J!m

eworth on 06/05/07 at 10:22 AM

Jim,

Where's your jacket update?  From your last post, sounded like you should have it in by now.

 

Mark aka eworth

BubbaZanetti on 06/06/07 at 08:27 PM

Sorry for the late reply, but I've been busy with work and restoring my 1970 Yamaha DS-6... Anyway, as Gail said, the jacket is beautiful. There is really nothing quite like the feel and look of horse hide. When I opened the box, the look, smell and feel of the jacket made me immediately think it was... vinyl! Yes! But, it's not. Seams look great, stitching is first-rate, and quality metal (chrome) YKK zippers are fitted to the front and pockets. Snaps are Schott branded, and work well. The match-up of the zipper openings is great, with a bit of effort required to move the zippers. This is nice, in that they stay where you want them... I tried it on, and was impressed with how well the sleeves fit. The +1 inch on the length was perfect for me. The lenth of the body seemed fine, until I started riding with it. The +1/2 on the back was added to the front as well, which I did not immediately notice. Do keep this in mind on your next custom order. This was not made clear to me, and I assumed that +1/2 on the back was not the same as +1/2 on the body length. Also, the chest and shoulders seem a bit wider than the size 44 141L I tired on to check the sizing. This wears more like a size 46 overall. Long story short, if you are getting a one-off, be absolutely sure all measurements are clear, and you are certain that you get made what you think is being made. Also try a size SMALLER than normal as well as your actual size (or the size gail suggests) to be sure you get the fit you want. Some like a looser fit, whereas others (like me) prefer a snugger fit. I'm not mad, I just didn't know better, so I learned a lesson. I will wear this as-is for the summer, and then bring it to a leather tailor to be altered when it gets too cold to ride. It is better to be a bit big, rather than a bit small, because then there is no material to work with. It will be a shame to cut up this jacket... I have posted some pictures. Note that I took one with, and without the flash. With the flash, the jacket appears more "greasy" than it actually is, And, without the flash, it appears less "greasy". So, use your imagination to get a good idea of what kind of finish the jacket has. It is shinny, and my friend commented that it would never be stolen since it looks, smells and feels like vinyl. I think it's great, because NO ONE has a jacket just like this one.

better_inside_tag.jpg front_with_flash.jpg front_no_flash.jpg back.jpg Inside_Pocket.jpg

BubbaZanetti on 06/06/07 at 08:30 PM

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BubbaZanetti on 06/06/07 at 08:31 PM

**Server issue cause triple post. Please delete this and previous (blank) post. Thanks.**

eworth on 06/07/07 at 12:35 AM

Jim,

Thanks for taking the time to give a detailed reply.  I've learned alot too about my Schott jacket purchase from Ebay.  Mine is going to a leather tailor on Monday as it is also too big.  It'll be  a small fortune to make alterations but the end-product will be well worth it.  Like you said, rather be a bit too large than too small. 

Mark

knights72 on 06/08/07 at 12:00 PM

Here's a photo of mine with a zip-out quilt liner. I just noticed looking at yours that the zipper on your liner runs the opposite way to mine.


Were you given the option of choosing whether you wanted the chain pull zips or the ones that you have? It appears to me that all 141 variations except the long versions come with chain zippers.


And thanks for chronicling your experience. I'm sure all of us enjoyed the wait as much as you did. ;)

IMG_0346.jpg

BubbaZanetti on 06/08/07 at 12:57 PM

I'm sure I could have changed the zippers when I ordered it, but the ones they choose are fine.

 

They work smooth, and are easy to use, even with gloves on.

 

The main zip has a piece of horse hide for a pull...

Gail on 06/11/07 at 07:55 AM

I just wanrted to post thatin 2006 we changed the zippers on the 141 & 141L from the chain pull zippers to the Nickle bell pull zippers seen on this custom jacket. All Jackets produced from 2006 and our current production have the bell pull zippers. Gail

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