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Thoughts on AGV versus Vanson Jackets?


RockBottom

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RockBottom

I'm in the market for perforated leather jacket. I'm always willing to pay more for quality and made-in-the-uS products, so I was thinking Vanson. But I've been looking at those by AGV. I know they're made in Pakistan. I know a Vanson will last a lifetime. But the fact that the Vanson cost more than double the AGV is causing me to pause. So, opinions anyone? Is a Vanson worth 120% more than an AGV?

 

Thanks.

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RockBottom
How long is your lifetime?

 

At that size?

 

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I'm 56, smoke cigars, and ride too fast, so that suggests the AGV makes more sense.

 

The price difference between the two is $400. If it was less than $200, I'd lean toward the Vanson.

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I still remember being shocked when my father told me that he'd figured out that it was cheaper to pay someone to cut his grass than it was to buy a big enough riding lawnmower to do it himself. Based it on having five more years of self-mowing. He died three years later.

 

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RockBottom
Can you try on both? Go with the one that is more comfortable.

 

Not really since I'm ordered online.

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Mister Tee

I'm very happy with my AGV jacket. AGV also makes the branded Suzuki jackets and track suits by the way.

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A couple of thoughts..

 

If you are pretty much staying the same size over the last few years, I wouldn't worry about "closet shrinkage" right away. If you spring for the more expensive jacket, another reason to watch the pounds and exercise (helps riding the bike too)

 

If you have a true desire, then you no longer have to set and example for your children. Buy the jacket you want. If you wear it another ten years, thats 40 bucks a year for something you want rather than something you settled for.

 

I have seen some new AGV stuff and have an older jacket and am pleased. I also have a Vanson jacket and I am not sure there is twice the jacket in the Vanson one over the AGV. Still I wear the Vanson more than the AGV one. It does seem a more sturdy jacket than my AGV, Teknic, Frank Thomas and I think my First Gear. That said, I don't feel I am in a cheap, unprotecting jacket in any of them.

I saw at the Superbike School that they use AGV gear and nearly all of it has been crashed in and still is very serviceable.

 

Look around for used examples. Lots of good jackets out there that were bought, worn a few times and then a few seasons later "closet shrinkage" had happened and folks sell them off.

 

The Vanson Jacket I bought like that has been of great service and was for me 160 bucks rather than I think the retail was in the upper 600s.

 

Good luck... and

As they say, TTIWWP

Let us see ya in your new gear

NCS

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moshe_levy
Is a Vanson worth 120% more than an AGV?

 

Yes, it is. To me it is, anyway. I've been migrating towards all top quality gear. The best I can afford, and if I can't afford the best, I wait until I can rather than settling. It costs more, yes, but the feeling of wearing it - the feeling of quality - IS worth it. There are some guys at the local moto-hangout with Vansons that are probably older than I am, and that means something. I'm not putting down the other brand, but inside, you KNOW which one you'd rather have. Go for it.

 

-MKL

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RockBottom
Is a Vanson worth 120% more than an AGV?
inside, you KNOW which one you'd rather have. Go for it.

 

-MKL

 

Yeah, but the trade off is more complicated than that. Given the $400 difference, would I rather have the Vanson or the AGV + a pair of Sidi boots or + a weekend trip on the Blue Ridge Parkway?

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Life has many compromises. I seriously do understand your dilemma here. The quality of the Vanson is a benchmark. It would be good if you could go and at least see some AGV gear. If you got one of their nice ® jackets and some Sidi boots( I love my Sidi Vortice for regular wear boots btw) would you feel good about the purchase? Balance out your desires of gear and money and travel and find something that will make you feel right, no guilt or remorse. For a spokesman of AGV you might call Ca Superbike School since they heavily use their gear. See if you can find reports/reviews on places like Webbikeworld. Again, good luck in finding the balance.

NCS

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I haven't compared AGV to Vanson.

 

Some general observations about a company like Vanson or Langlitz compared to Pakistani leathers:

 

The USA co. will get first shot at the very best leather from the suppliers and they often reject some...uniformity, lack of scar tissue, brand marks, etc. are important, they need large, defect free pieces to minimize the number of seams. Guess where their rejects go?

 

Cheap zippers are pain in the keester.

I would imagine Vanson uses the best.

 

High quality thread and stitching that won't rot or ravel and will hold together in a get-off. Vanson may offer support for alteration or repairs.

 

There have been stories of Pakistani companies using child labor, basically slaves, sometimes chained to the sewing machine! I would vote for Vanson.

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moshe_levy
Is a Vanson worth 120% more than an AGV?
inside, you KNOW which one you'd rather have. Go for it.

 

-MKL

 

Yeah, but the trade off is more complicated than that. Given the $400 difference, would I rather have the Vanson or the AGV + a pair of Sidi boots or + a weekend trip on the Blue Ridge Parkway?

 

The way I do it is one piece of gear a year. I'm now up to full quality gear for 3 seasons and only winter is left with mid-level stuff. Yes, I would buy the Vanson for all the reasons listed above. Get the Sidis next year. Trips can be as elaborate or as basic as you want - not so much a budgetary issue if you want to camp and go basic this year. Check out some lightly used Vansons from guys who have "outgrown" theirs. Or last year's styles. You can save big bucks and you will have what you REALLY want.

 

-MKL

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RockBottom

I think I'm not being clear. Of course I could get the Vanson if I wanted. Of course I realize it's going to be higher quality. What I'm struggling with is the cost-benefit ratio--whether it's 120% better. If not, I can't mentally justify the cost just because I'd prefer it.

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You can't just assume you'll be getting american made with Vanson anymore.

 

Cut from Vanson's wep page. http://www.vansonleathers.com/Q&A.html

 

Are all your garments made in the USA?

Actually there are two Vanson Leathers factories, both owned and operated by Vanson. One is currently in Fall River Massachusetts where we have worked for more than 25 years. The other is in San Salvador El Salvador and has been open since October 2008. We make items in both locations depending on the resources of available labor hours and raw materials. We use the same materials, stitching, assembly and quality inspection protocol in each location.

 

Can I ask for my garment to be made in the USA?

Yes you can, and we will accommodate that request as best we can. To specifiy the garment being made in Fall River may extend the production cycle as there are fewer stitchers in that facility than in El Salvador, or a delay may occur due to arranging the transportation of appropriate pattern and/or materials from one location to the other. However there are some items that we only make in the US as well as some items we only make in ES due to specialized processes and equipment.

 

 

Pat

 

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I think most people will readily pay 10-15% more to get the best quality and support. with production line products like a camera or radio this is often possible.

 

For a product that is produced by an artisan you may have to pay two or three times as much. Is a handmade loaf of yeasty, crusty bread worth 4 times the price of balloon bread?

 

Unless you identify somehow with the way the product is made and how much it pleases your senses or affects your pride in ownership then you may want to go with the bargain.

 

When it comes to motorcycle leathers, hopefully they are never put to the ultimate test but if they are, buyer's remorse can add insult to injury.

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I think I'm not being clear. Of course I could get the Vanson if I wanted. Of course I realize it's going to be higher quality. What I'm struggling with is the cost-benefit ratio--whether it's 120% better. If not, I can't mentally justify the cost just because I'd prefer it.

 

I would be hard pressed to say it is 120% better.

 

The other side of that is I ride everyday. In the summer when 90-105, I try to alternate jackets to give them a time to dry out from any sweat (or light showers) day to day So for me more jackets that are good are better than one jacket that is excellent.

 

The Vanson jacket does get the first wear and it being older is showing some age. On one of the top decorative panels of leather where "VANSON" is stitched, the leather is tearing. Not a structural part of the jacket. Vanson will repair it for 120 bucks. Alternative, I dropped a bit of gorilla glue underneath it. That works. Also the bottom edge of the zipper has worn some where it slides into the tab mate of it. Common thing to happen to zippers. The bottom edge protective coating wears away and zipper has a hard time engaging or comes lose. Again Vanson will repair it for 60 bucks. I worked some superglue into the fabric, covered it with wax paper and pressed it flat and firm with some pliers. Created a nice protective bond and rehardened that fabric edge.

 

All that said, no jackets are perfect and without wear points. Vanson will repair theirs at a costs so the investment (with more investment) of the garment can continue.

 

This is a good thing about Vanson. But again, it is a cost. Only you can decide based upon your riding and how much you will actually be wearing the jacket each season and how many more seasons to come can decide this.

 

Protection for the average person, most likely the better models of most of the mainline brands will compare with Vanson. It becomes a matter of how they are stitched and what materials are used. You can research that and if a company is doing the better stuff, they will brag about it in their literature.

 

NCS

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chrisolson
I think I'm not being clear. Of course I could get the Vanson if I wanted. Of course I realize it's going to be higher quality. What I'm struggling with is the cost-benefit ratio--whether it's 120% better. If not, I can't mentally justify the cost just because I'd prefer it.

I get that 'cause I'm the same way ... there are some things that its not about the money (preference) , and others that are (value). In this case I'd go with the AGV. :Cool:

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You could make an outing of it and ride over to beautiful Fall River, MA. Check out Vanson's stuff in person and maybe pick up what you want while you are there. Or at least get sized and order it.

 

I was disappointed to read on their website that they have moved some (most?) production to San Salvador. The quality may be the same, as they claim, but so is the price and it's not being made by American workers. I'm equally disappointed in Aerostich for sourcing their AD1 riding pants overseas.

 

That said, Vanson leather gear is absolutely top-notch and the heavy weight leather jackets are impressive. Need some breaking-in, tho.

 

pete

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RockBottom

As kind of a follow up on this, my local dealer happens to have a perforated Vanson on consignment and I went to try it on. It's a Perforated Drifter so it was sized XL rather than 48, 50, etc. It fit my shoulders but was too tight in the waist. Too bad.

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I have owned both an AGV and Vanson jackets.

 

The AGV was heavy weight leather and a comfortable fit-

It showed wear quickly as if the die had not penetrated the leather well.

Thread pulled loose at the seams of the sleeves and at the zipper.

I wore it about 5 years before buying the Vanson.

 

Vansons are both 10+ years old and still going strong. Very well made, though both show signs of wear they still look better than the AGV after 3 years of use.

Vanson sizing runs small- best to try one on before purchase. If you want armour make sure it is installed before you fit, makes a big

difference

I fully expect 10 more years of service from the Vansons- they take a while to break in and last accordingly.

 

One is Pro-Perf cowhide for hot days and the other is horsehide for the cold rides.

 

120% price increase for the upgrade? I wouldn't hesitate to buy another Vanson...As stated earlier, find one that fits to determine size and look for used. My horsehide Vanson came from the classifieds in BMWON for less that half of new price.

 

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RockBottom
I have owned both an AGV and Vanson jackets.

 

The AGV was heavy weight leather and a comfortable fit-

It showed wear quickly as if the die had not penetrated the leather well.

Thread pulled loose at the seams of the sleeves and at the zipper.

I wore it about 5 years before buying the Vanson.

 

Vansons are both 10+ years old and still going strong. Very well made, though both show signs of wear they still look better than the AGV after 3 years of use.

Vanson sizing runs small- best to try one on before purchase. If you want armour make sure it is installed before you fit, makes a big

difference

I fully expect 10 more years of service from the Vansons- they take a while to break in and last accordingly.

 

One is Pro-Perf cowhide for hot days and the other is horsehide for the cold rides.

 

120% price increase for the upgrade? I wouldn't hesitate to buy another Vanson...As stated earlier, find one that fits to determine size and look for used. My horsehide Vanson came from the classifieds in BMWON for less that half of new price.

 

OK. Good points. But here's another consideration: I'm almost 56 so, unless I turn into Paul, the chances are modest that I'll be riding 15 years from now.

 

And, to put it in focus, I'm looking at $270 versus $650+. Since I'm looking for a perforated jacket that will be worn only above 85 degrees and when there is little or no chance of rain (i.e., not touring), I'd guess that I'll wear it maybe 20 times a year.

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OK. Good points. But here's another consideration: I'm almost 56 so, unless I turn into Paul, the chances are modest that I'll be riding 15 years from now.

 

And, to put it in focus, I'm looking at $270 versus $650+. Since I'm looking for a perforated jacket that will be worn only above 85 degrees and when there is little or no chance of rain (i.e., not touring), I'd guess that I'll wear it maybe 20 times a year.

 

Time to make the decision, summer is here. I think you mentioned one of the biggest considerations earlier. What brand/style will fit your build now and over the next few years. I think whatever fits you with the most comfort will serve you best. Custom would do that but again, lots of $$ for just a little wear.

So try something on if you can, make your decision, don't look back, go ride instead. You know after all, you can't please us, just yourself.

 

and the bit about 56 and not riding in 15 years. Is anyone offended by that? Hmm that would put you in the current age range of Reg Pridmore and Keith Code. Guess they both should stop riding?

Seriously at 59, I know the window is closing to some degree. Enjoy every ride!!!!!

 

NCS

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