Meet the Union Garage V7: a timeless leather motorcycle jacket that combines classic design details with modern-day protection.
The jacket is made by Vanson Leathers in Massachusetts, and is cut from the same legendary “comp weight” cowhide that thousands of riders have trusted to save their own hides for decades.
That the jacket shares its name with Moto Guzzi’s iconic V7 Sport is pure coincidence. It just happens to be the 7th version of a project we’ve been working on since for almost 3 years—since shortly after we released the Robinson jacket, our first collaboration with Vanson.
So what took so long? Much of the back-and-forth between pattern revisions related to the rotation of the arms and balancing the elbow shape. We realized we had to choose between optimizing this jacket to fit and function with armor, or without it. We opted for armor-in, sculpting the elbows ever so slightly so that there’s room for the armor without totally killing the jacket’s credibility as an everyday leather jacket.
It comes with a five-piece CE Level 1 armor kit made by D3O. The interior is fitted with a smooth satin-finish interior with a vertical zipper hidden behind the center pleat to access the armor. The back protector fits into a sewn-in zippered pocket, and the elbow and shoulder armor are held place by a patented orbital carrier system that makes the armor easy to adjust in place, or remove altogether.
Dual inside deep-reach pockets keep even super-sized smart phones tucked away and secured with a sturdy snap closure. The single exterior chest pocket is located on the wearer’s right, accessible without taking a hand off the throttle. Two zip-down hand-warmer pockets round out the storage.
All together we feel like we achieved what we wanted to with the V7—it's a no-compromises riding jacket, designed to function, never go out of style, and last a lifetime. It's basically based on a 1940's Buco, but modified to take modern armor, and the pattern was tweaked just enough to make it all work in a low-key, logo-less finished package. First and foremost it's designed for on-bike use, but take 2 minutes to take the shoulder armor and back protector out (the elbow armor hides nicely away) and you ought to be able to walk into any fancy restaurant without raising an eyebrow.
See below for a video of where this jacket is made, and below that for more specs and photos.
Sizing note: The V7 is offered in standard numeric grading—with a 2-inch chest circumference differential between sizes. It’s the same as suit sizing—if you’re a 42 suit (or 52 Euro), try a 42. The sleeves are cut purposefully a little long so that they just cover the wrist while in a standard riding position. Custom size inquires are welcome.