cafe racer jacket

Vintage Bates Jacket 4

1960’s Striped Vintage Bates Leather Jacket from the Archive

Bates Mfg. Company was established in 1940 by Bob Bates in Los Angeles, California. In the beginning, Bob had intentions of making the company into a motorcycle accessories company like the midwest brand Buco and Beck. They made a produced everything for motorcycles from windshields to saddleseats to leather shirts. Bob retired in 1967 and sold the company to to Robert Rudolph who then changed the name to Bates Industries, Inc. and moved to Long Beach, California. It was a great era for the company. Their jackets became more of a priority and they started developing a terrific repuatation as a flat track racer jacket manufacturer. Their biggest achievement in the 1960’s was turning the all-black raceway gear into bright yellows, blues and reds. Bates also gave the consumer several customizing options to make their jackets unique to them. The Grindle family took over Bates in 1996 and they’re still cranking out jackets of high quality to this day.

This particular vintage Bates leather jacket comes from the archives of wearekoalas, these photos are from back in Cedarville. I miss that wall and the excellent old wood floor. My pocketbook doesn’t miss heating that place though… enough about me. This vintage Bates leather jacket was made of an excellent blue color steerhide that had patina’d very nicely! The stripes down the chest and around the arms were excellent customizable additions. I believe this model jacket was produced in the late 1960’s through the mid 1970’s. when the transitioned to their second tag. This one was a great size too. I kinda wish I had this one back for the fall season.

Check out these photos below:


Vintage Bates Jacket 1

Vintage Bates Jacket 2

Vintage Bates jacket 3

Vintage Bates Jacket 4

Vintage Bates Jacket 5

Vintage Bates Jacket 6

Vintage Bates Jacket 7

Vintage Bates Jacket 9

Bates 1

Sold on eBay: Bates Cafe Racer Jacket

I’m always rifling through eBay for quality vintage men’s gear. I’ve gotten a little jaded by the whole experience but that’s a post for another day… I did find this little gem that sold last week. Wish I had jumped in on this auction…


Vintage 1960s BATES Two-tone Motorcycle Jacket 42

Sold By: rman57 / Overland Park, Kansas.

Price: $330

Condition: Great, with a seam stitching issue and one small hole in the sleeve. All zippers look to be original and working.

Seam issue could have been easily fixed and the jacket would have looked great on my torso during the upcoming fall season… That 42L sizing would have fit nicely on my ridiculously long torso too. I swear this jacket was selling for $700+ just 2 years ago. Now it’s going at auction for just a bit over $300? Whoever got a hold of this beauty got a sweet deal. Enjoy, my friend. Enjoy!


Bates 1

Bates 2

Bates 3

Bates 4

Bates 5



Striped 60’s Cafe Racer.

I had this jacket come through sometime late last year. It was a great example of a jacket that was not branded. In my searches, I’ve found several examples of jackets produced in the 1950’s and 60’s there were not branded but still possessed the high quality leather and construction. I’ve got a few more examples of these but I’ll save them for future posts….

This particular model had the yellow stripes running down the sleeves and the padded shoulders and elbows. All the zippers were high quality Talon’s. The main zip still possessed its black leather pull tab and the chest pockets still had their “O” rings. The back even had the 3 pin stripe design. It was a great size and a great piece.