Schott N.Y.C.

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Help Me Choose Perfecto Model Please!

Hello. I'm lost and confused with all the different Perfecto hacket models out there. Steerhide vs Cow hide, slim fit vs regular, heavier models and lighter weight models, etc. Please help me understand the difference between the primary Perfecto model numbers because I can't find a reference anywhere. Including the vintage ones because I might buy a used one. And maybe recommend a model or models to me? I'm wanting a classic Schott Perfecto with leather that will wear and distress nicely over time. And last question, what are some tells that would allow me to distinguish real Perfectos from fakes? Thank you very much for your assistance

Gail on 09/06/13 at 08:05 AM

I am not really sure what information you are looking for. Steerhide leather has a slight finish and the naked cowhide leather has no finish, both are heavier weight. Our lighter weight cowhides also have a slight finish. All the leather will age well and become broken-in and vintage with wear. Our Vintage styles are processed to achieve the vintage appearance already. I am not sure what you mean by primary numbers, on our website we do provide a full description of the jackets, which provides good information for each jacket. We also note for some styles if you need to order larger as they are a smaller cut. As with any motorcycle jacket the fit depends greatly on a person's measurements. Slim fit versus regular fit is self explanatory, slim fit will be snug fit. As with purchasing anything used you need to know what you are buying and do your research. I cannot tell you what to look for when buying a used jacket and if it would be a fake. I can tell you older jackets usually are a smaller cut jacket depending on age and style. I can also confirm jackets listed on our Trading Post  option are Schott jackets. Gail

Albatross on 09/06/13 at 10:11 PM


Like Gail said, Steerhide and cowhide are basically the same thing, the difference being that Steerhide leather has a protective finish that may prolong the life of a jacket, but will not age as nicely as cowhide. Since cowhide has no finish, the texture of the cowhide leather will develop more character with time, while steerhide may remain the same for a long while. Cowhide leather will soak up more stuff it is exposed to so you'll need to treat it with oils more often if you want it to look good, but from my experience, I have jackets made of both types of leather and they're holding up equally well after 30 something years of wear. I am happier with the appearance of the naked cowhide, though.

There's also Horsehide, which reportedly will develop the best distressed look with time and wear - haven't had it long enough to confirm this, but so far it's aging beautifully - and it is perhaps somewhat more durable and weather resistant than the cowhides, however it is very shiny and somewhat plastic-y looking at first, and it takes longer to break it in. All three hides are approx. of the same weight and will offer you the same kind of protection.

I haven't had a chance to try any of the mid-weight models so I don't know how they compare.

Slim fit vs. regular is... Well, unfortunately, that's something you're just going to have to figure out for yourself. Trust me, I've been researching this for months before pulling a trigger on a new Perfecto, only to realize that it was all in vein. If you want a truly slim fit, buy a smaller jacket, otherwise I wouldn't really put that much faith into the whole slim fit deal. It works for some, not so much for the others. Both slim and regular fit jackets will fit you well if you get the right size, so don't worry about it, seriously.

618, 613, 118 and 125 are classic motorcycle jacket that fit accordingly. They have somewhat baggier sleeves, larger chest and shoulder area and are sitting higher on your waist. Other, newer models that I've seen are of the more contemporary cut, with less baggy sleeves, and are slightly longer.

I prefer the classic models so I always go for 618, 613 or 118.

kapay on 09/07/13 at 11:49 AM

I've read the responses from both Gail and Albatross and I have a couple questions myself. Is there a type of leather that offers any more protection from the other or is "heavyweight" leather all basically the same? I intend on eventually using it for riding a motorcycle so I wouldn't want to accidentally pick something whimpy.

My second question goes to GAIL or anyone else who works for Schott. Can you confirm what Albatross stated that Steerhide does not age quite as well as cowhide or horsehide? I love leather with an beautiful patina but I was leaning toward the Perfecto One Star which is steerhide.

Albatross on 09/07/13 at 06:15 PM

Kapay, if you're asking about the heavyweight leather used by Schott, everyone will tell you that both steer and cowhide will offer you the exact same protection - which, I must note, is top protection. Schott leather is 3.5 - 4 Oz, which is around 1.5 mm thick, and that's more than enough for a motorcycle jacket. Schott horsehide is also of the same thickness, but there are some who claim that horsehide is a tougher leather by nature due to having denser fibers. Then again, others swear by steerhide so it's really tough to get a definite answer. Keep in mind that a lot depends on the tanning process, as well. Aero horsehide is of the same thickness as Schott horsehide, yet Aero jackets are a LOT stiffer. It is a debate of personal preference but one thing that everyone agrees on is that the horsehide ages best.

Either way, Schott heavyweight leather jackets are tough. I've taken a spill in an old Dur O Jac and I don't think I could've gotten any more protection from any other jacket. What I'm saying is, if you crash bad enough for a jacket to get shredded, then it doesn't really matter if you're wearing Vanson, Schott or Aero.

And just to clarify, the conclusion that I have reached regarding steerhide not aging quite as beautifully as cowhide comes from my own personal experience - perhaps others have different observations. It's not that steer doesn't age quite as well, but rather, I've found that it doesn't really age at all. Though, steerhide is gorgeous to begin with, so that's not really a bad thing.

gfhoward on 09/07/13 at 06:46 PM

Thank you for all your responses. Is the difference between the 618 and the 118 that the 618 is steerhide and the 118 is naked cowhide?

kapay on 09/07/13 at 11:03 PM

Thanks for the detailed response Albatross! I've got a couple choices to make. Namely, do I really want the One Star or do I want something that more easily develops a patina. By your description, steerhide seems akin to cordovan leather shoes in that it bends but hardly creases so it develops a unique patina of more even, wavy color transitions opposed to harder, more contrasted lines like in denim.

Albatross on 09/08/13 at 04:00 PM

gfhoward - 618/613 is steer and 118 is naked cowhide, yes

kapay - like that, yes. Let's take sleeves - my cowhide Schott has developed a much more visible creases on sleeves, as opposed to steer. Even if the jacket is hanging from a hanger, the creases are there and the sleeve looks bumpy, and there's no way to straighten them out, while the sleeves on my steerhide jacket will flatten if the jacket is laying flat or hanging. Steer still shows where the creases will appear, but the leather is pretty much flat.

I've made a crappy comparison picture out of what I've found online, jacket on the left is an actual vintage 618 and one on the right is somewhat new 118, but this is EXACTLY how my jackets turned out after decades of use.

Gail on 09/09/13 at 07:50 AM

We are the first company to make a motorcycle jacket, since 1928 when the first jacket was made it was made for protection. The type of leather is really a preference of each individual, each jacket style and leather type will offer different options. Each jacket will age differently depending on wear and how the owner cares for his jacket. Whether you choose Naked Cowhide, Steerhide or Horsehide the choice is yours, the appearance of the leather and the break-in time for each type will be different.  All types of leather with wear and age will become creased and the patina finish will change.

We have introduced in the past 2 years jackets that have a vintage appearance already, as many customers want the broken-in aged jacket from day one of purchase. What ever your choice in a jacket and the type of leather you prefer, the jacket will protect and provide many years of wear. Gail

gfhoward on 09/09/13 at 09:20 PM

What is the model number for the lighterweight jacket in naked cowhide? And has the 613 always been steerhide? Wasn't that the original model number of the first jacket? So was the original jacket steerhide and then the naked cowhide was introduced later with the 118? Thanks

Thank you for all your responses. Is the difference between the 618 and the 118 that the 618 is steerhide and the 118 is naked cowhide? - See more at:
Is the difference between the 618 and the 118 that the 618 is steerhide and the 118 is naked cowhide? - See more at:

Gail on 09/10/13 at 07:06 AM

We do not have a light weight naked cowhide jacket. The similar style in a light weight leather and slimmer fit is the style 626. Our original motorcycle jacket was the "D"-Pocket  style which we produced in 1928, the jacket at that time was offered in Steerhide and Horsehide as were the 613 & 618 styles in later years. The naked cowhide jackets were first offered in 1978. In our 100th. Anniversary Book that we offer on our website to purchase has a full history of all the vintage jackets. If your collector and want to know the history of the jackets this is the book to have. Gail

gfhoward on 09/11/13 at 12:15 PM

Thank you, Gail, I will pick up the book. Not a collector, just wanting the right jacket for myself. Can you tell me what year Schott increased the cut size of the Perecto jacket slightly? I keep reading that the new ones are made with a slightly large cut, and curious when that began. My currect size in the new jackets is a 38, but in the older ones it might be a 40. Also, do any of the older Perfecto models come with removable liners? I live in a Southern climate, and need to be able to remove the liner but like the Perfecto look. Thank you

Gail on 09/12/13 at 08:43 AM

All our motorcycle jackets have a Perfecto label and we have made many variations of a motorcycle jacket. The 618 and 613 are the same pattern and all a smaller cut, still based on the original jacket. The 118 in naked cowhide was introduced into our kline in 1978 and was the same cut. In 1998 the 118 was updated to a more updated fit. You need to remember the body structure of men have changed from 60 years ago. Men were shorter and stockier, today men are taller and not as broad. We have done jackets with zip-out liners, but I hinestly cannot remember style numbers, except for the 125 which we still offer. For the most part though older jackets had the quilt lining. Gail

gfhoward on 09/13/13 at 10:29 PM

OK, so the cut was updated in 1989. Was that after the logo on the tag went from a bull to a motrocyle rider? And you say every motorcyle jacket you have made has a Perfecto label, but I read elsewhere on the forum that the Perfecto jackets have the best leather and the non-Perfecto jackets may have a different type of leather. Does the tag pictured below, which just says "Schott" go with a Perfecto jacket, or just a Schott (non Perfecto) jacket? Thank you


Gail on 09/17/13 at 08:18 AM

This Schott label was used in motorcycle jackets. In the mid to late 1980's a Fashion trend started in the Motorcycle and A/2 Flight jackets. These styles were the "look" and "fad" of the fashion line. The markets were flooded by look a likes of these styles and were mostly imported jackets. We wanted to offer consumers a jacket made in the USA at a better price point but still of the high quality standards of our jackets. These jackets were manufactured to all our standards, the difference was the grade of cowhide leather used. The leather used in our "Perfecto" motorcycle jackets must be grade A, which means the leather is very clean, no scarring or tick marks in the hide. Leather that has scarring or tick marks must be tanned differently to hide these imperfections. This is usually done by imprinting the leather with a leather print to eliminate the imperfections, but are graded lower, which lessened the cost of the leather. This leather still maintained the same durability, thickness and weight of the grade A leather. Gail

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