I’ve been motorcycling for twenty-six years. I’ve had a custom-made race suit, an off-the rack one-piece, a RoadCrafter, and Aerostich’s Darien jacket and pants (wouldn’t it be ironic if the ultimate leather jacket wasn’t leather at all). Off-road gear branded Honda and Fox. But never the leather jacket that I would call the ultimate, much less perfect.


My first real jacket was a Hein Gericke V-Pilot. It was, and is a pretty teutonic piece of gear. Functional, but a little odd, with its integrated kidney belt. And also brutal looking. More than most jackets, it seemed to intimidate some off the bike. Paired with the V-pilot leather jeans, the look was not American biker, but something a little alien. Very functional, however with giant vents front and back, and surely one of the first jackets with such effective ventilation. With a snap-in liner, it was truly three season, comfortable down to nearly freezing temps. A handy zipped pocket on the left sleeve was very useful, great for keys, toll change or a little gas money. All very eighties. Like a K-bike. But it’s strange looks make it a little challenging off the bike. That, and the fact Hein Gericke doesn’t make it anymore, and hasn’t for years.