Vanson AR2 Jacket - Product Review

Simple. Black. Leather.

Vanson AR2 Jacket - Product Evaluation

Vanson AR2 Jacket

Aside from an actual machine, there is no single cultural touchstone of motorcycling that is more powerful than the leather jacket, particularly in black.

Ridingwear has evolved mightily since the early days, with highly techni­cal armor and myriad materials used for abrasion resistance and impact protec­tion these days.

Vanson Leathers has progressed with the times yet stayed true to its roots. Its catalog features high-tech garments with CE-approved armor in both tex­tile and leather. But the jacket shown here, the simple AR2, is inspired by the very first Model A Vanson made in its Boston loft in 1974.

The basic design remains the same, from the fine cowhide (1.75mm-thick competition or 1.0mm-thick “Firenze” medium weights; ours was the latter) to the brass zippers and snaps. Cut has been updated to simplify making of the jacket, but that’s about it. There is no armor, just leather and a rayon liner (hence the “R” in the name). One inter­nal and three external zippered pockets offer a good amount of storage.

The classic style here is inarguable. If you have a metalflake Bell Custom 500 hanging from the handlebar of your CB750 café bike or pre-unit Triumph, well, the AR2 might be the perfect thing to wear.

Of course, there is no question that giving up armor gives up safety and protection. Even the Firenze leather of our test jacket is on the light side. But the extra, pre-cutting tumbling/finishing the leather receives makes it softer and more comfort­able to wear, particularly off the bike. And this is one comfortable jacket.

So, for the style-conscious traditional­ist, the AR2 is a nicely made, casual rid­ing jacket. Just don’t wear it when you take your pre-unit to a track day.


**Vanson Leathers

951 Broadway

Fall River, MA 02724




  • Classic American style, comfortable cut for riding

  • Zip-out insulating liner available

  • Go the extra $10 and get comp-grade leather


  • More style than impact protection

  • Black only