the perfect leather jacket should not be as elusive as it is. I’ve been searching for twenty plus years, though, and it still has not appeared in my closet.

Here’s an operational definition: It should provide a fair degree of protection on the bike, both from weather and a get off. It should be a three season jacket; a purely warm weather jacket would not do. The appearance should be fairly conservative; it should look good off the bike, and on it, though not necessarily in equal proportions. The fit should be tight enough not to flap around on the bike or bunch up off of it. The length should accommodate the sport bike tuck yet work while behind the wheel. Sleeve length is critical, so, probably pre-curved arms and shoulders that rotate forward. Weight is critical, probably a minimum of 1.3 mm thick leather. The collar should be comfortable, not flap in the wind, and work well with the jacket fully zipped and buttoned or velcroed. Adornments should be relatively minor, no garish striping, colors, or graphics. You should be able to walk through a fine steakhouse and get admiring glances, not awestruck stares.

It’s a tough a bill to fill, particularly in an era when brand building is critical to so many apparel manufacturers, many who have to rely on magazine ads and internet sales to build reputation, credibility and ultimately, profitability.