Schott 641 Horsehide Cafe Racer Jacket Review: Worth Its Premium Price Tag?

The Schott 641 Horsehide Cafe Racer jacket is an iconic American leather motorcycle jacket with a hefty price tag. But is this lovingly crafted, vintage-inspired jacket worth investing in?

But, the main question I will answer in this review will be: Is this the best leather motorcycle jacket for you? Let’s find out!

We’ll break down the history, quality, and key features of this highly coveted Schott leather jacket to see if it’s worth the splurge.

Schott 641 Horsehide Cafe Racer Jacket Review


Key Takeaways

  • Iconic vintage motorcycle jacket
  • Durable horsehide leather construction
  • Worth the premium investment

A Brief History of Schott and Their Famous Leather Jackets

Schott NYC, the makers of the 641 Horsehide Cafe Racer, has been handcrafting leather jackets in the USA since 1913.

That’s over 100 years of experience perfecting their craft. Schott pioneered the classic motorcycle jacket style worn by Marlon Brando in The Wild Ones.

They popularized key elements like asymmetrical zippers, snaps, epaulets, and fitted silhouettes. Their Perfecto jacket is perhaps their most famous model.

In the 1950s, Schott designed a new streamlined collarless jacket for motorcyclists, dubbed the 641. It captured the sleek cafe racer aesthetic of that era.

Later, Schott began making the 641 model with thicker, more durable horsehide leather, creating the 641 Horsehide Cafe Racer. This jacket became an instant classic.

So when you buy a Schott leather jacket, you’re getting over a century of leathercraft expertise and heritage. While the price is steep, you’re investing in a piece of history.

Made From Premium American Horsehide Leather

The Schott 641 Horsehide Cafe Racer gets its name from the type of leather used. Rather than typical cowhide leather, it uses thicker American horsehide.

This leather has a natural waxy finish that makes it water-resistant. Visually it has a glossy sheen and distinctive hair follicle texture.

Horsehide leather is approximately 1.3-1.5mm thick, compared to 1.0-1.2mm for cowhide. The extra thickness makes it more durable and abrasion-resistant.

Although it starts out stiff, horsehide breaks in beautifully over time. This rugged leather can stand up to years of wear and tear.

Schott specially selects horsehides for a smooth consistency. Their tanning process enhances the leather’s natural look and feel. The end result is a premium leather jacket made to last a lifetime and look better with age.

Vintage Styling with Modern Comfort

The Schott 641 Horsehide Cafe Racer channeled 1950s moto style but updated for modern comfort and versatility.

It sports an asymmetrical zipper front closure running diagonally from the left shoulder to the right hip. This off-kilter zipper has become a signature Schott design element.

The stand-up collar provides insulation when fully zipped. Snap closures allow you to customize the fit.

Zippered sleeves and adjustable snap cuffs seal out the cold wind. Quilted polyester lining and ribbed panels at the hips add warmth.

The jacket remains slim and streamlined thanks to football-shaped gussets under the arms. These gussets allow a full range of movement without bulk.

For storage, two slanted zippered hand warmer pockets provide ample room for essentials. An interior pocket offers additional secure storage.

Overall, the Schott 641 Horsehide Cafe Racer has a slim, tailored fit. At the same time, it allows comfortable movement for an active lifestyle.

Ruggedly Handsome Aesthetic

There’s no mistaking the 641 Horsehide Cafe Racer for anything other than a premium leather motorcycle jacket. The horsehide leather looks thick, glossy, and irresistibly tough. Natural variations in the hide create a rugged aesthetic.

Subtle vintage styling cues complete the look. This includes diamond stitched shoulder epaulets and buckled waist adjusters reminiscent of 1950s biker style.

Furthermore, the signature pewter Schott buttons and zipper pulls feature an embossed pistol motif that nods to the brand’s NYC roots.

The 641 Horsehide jacket makes a striking outerwear statement while paying homage to its mid-century heritage. It’s a versatile piece that transitions seamlessly from the road to the bar to everyday wear.

Built to Last a Lifetime

Schott proudly handcrafts their leather jackets to pass down for generations. They rely on generations of family expertise in leatherwork and garment construction. Their horsehide leather jackets embody old-school quality and durability.

The 641 Horsehide Cafe Racer uses 3-4 oz heavyweight horsehide leather. Panels are cut, shaped, and sewn together by skilled artisans in Schott’s New Jersey factory.

Every stress point gets double-stitched for reinforcement. This is a jacket made to withstand decades of regular wear.

As a bonus, you can customize or repair your Schott leather jacket over its lifespan. Their custom shop offers made-to-measure sizing, monogramming, and alteration services. With proper care, your 641 Horsehide Cafe Racer will last a lifetime and beyond.

Key Features of the Schott 641 Horsehide Cafe Racer:

  • Handmade in the USA from heavyweight 3-4 oz horsehide leather
  • Vintage-inspired asymmetrical zipper front closure
  • Snap-down collar with buckled throat latch
  • Zippered sleeves with adjustable snap cuffs
  • Classic diamond stitched shoulder epaulets
  • Angled zippered front pockets for storage
  • Football-shaped gussets under arms for mobility
  • Waist buckle adjusters and ribbed side panels
  • Quilted polyester lining for warmth
  • Pewter vintage-styled zippers & buttons
  • Available in classic black or brown colorways

Is the Schott 641 Horsehide Cafe Racer Worth the Investment?

At around $900 USD, the Schott 641 Horsehide Cafe Racer is certainly a luxury purchase. But its quality materials, timeless style, and durable construction make this a leather jacket that will last a lifetime.

For riders and rebels seeking the ultimate vintage American moto jacket, the 641 Horsehide is virtually unbeatable. It’s an heirloom-level garment befitting the Schott NYC brand.

However, more budget-friendly cowhide options can also capture the cafe racer look for less.

Ultimately, investing in a Schott horsehide leather jacket comes down to your personal style and values. If heritage craftsmanship and premium materials matter most, then the answer is a resounding yes. This Made in USA moto jacket is built to become part of your family’s legacy.

Comparison To Other Similar Leather Motorcycle Jackets

Schott NYC is renowned for making some of the finest leather jackets available. But other brands offer stylish leather motos for less. How does the 641 Horsehide Cafe Racer compare?

JacketLeather TypeKey Features
Schott 641 Horsehide Cafe RacerHorsehideAsymmetrical zipper, vintage styling, made in USA
Alpinestars Missile V2 IgnitionCowhidePerforated leather, race fit, REV’IT! CE armor
Belstaff Trialmaster ProCowhideWaxed cotton panels, armor at shoulders & elbows
Roland Sands RoninCowhideRemovable hood & vest liner, zipper & snap closure
Dainese Racing 4 PerforatedCowhidePerforated leather, race hump, carbon & soft