In the late 1950’s and 60’s Harley Davidson was making a high quality cafe racer jacket. This Harley Davidson leather jacket was called the “Sportster.” The early ones were made with horsehide and at some point they switched to a steer hide model. This specific model evolved with time and during Harley’s AMF period they were still making a jacket similar to this one. The AMF variety jackets are floating around out there and can usually be found rather easily. The white “Quality Workmanship” Harley Label jackets are harder to come by. Usually these white label models possess excellent patina from wear. Harley also made this jacket with the black “High Quality Fine Workmanship” Harley label as well.
This Harley Davidson leather jacket possessed the straight main zipper which was usually a “Conmar” zipper. I’ve also seen the “Coats & Clark” as it’s main zipper. There was a single pocket on the left chest. The zipper on the pocket was most often the diamond “Conmar” zipper, though I’ve seen models with an “O” ring zipper. The leather quality varied. Harley Davidson did use some lower quality leather to produce this jacket. The thicker variety of leather is a much more desirable leather. As mentioned before, this jacket has a way of wearing well and eventually showing a gorgeous patina. I’ve included photos of another Sportster jacket as an example of great patina – see all the photos below.
This particular jacket comes from the archives of wearekoalas. I believe it came through our store about 2 years ago. You’ll notice the condition of this jacket was terrific. The leather was in great shape, all zippers were original and operated as they should and the interior liner was flawless. I can’t remember, but this jacket may have had it’s interior liner replaced.
The Harley Davidson 1960’s cafe racer jacket is a great piece of Harley history and is an extremely versatile jacket. It’s perfect for motorcycle riding or for the vintage fashionistas among us. …you know who you are.
The Harley Davidson “Sportster” Jacket.
Single chest pocket.
The “Sportser” jacket back.
Harley Davidson Cafe Racer jacket interior. I believe this interior was replaced.
White “Quality Workmanship” Harley Davidson Label.
Conmar main zipper.
Conmar Diamond zip on the chest pocket.
An example of excellent Patina on this model. This jacket has a replaced main zipper and the label has been cut out.
Example of patina on the back.
Another example of patina on the back of this model.