If riding a variety of motorcycles in varying beautiful locations for a living wasn’t enough, moto-journalists test some pretty incredible gear. A couple of the more stylish among us scooter jockeys had been wearing these incredible leather jackets from Spanish maker 55 Collection, and when I reached out to see if I could score one for testing, I was told the company could do one better and work with me to design and fit a unique custom piece to my specifications.
I knew I wanted a side-zip-style jacket with armor, so I browsed through the collection to find a starting point. With 14 styles to choose from, I found the Grey Mamba was closest to what I was looking for with the large leather panels (as more seams mean less strength) and dropped section in the back, so we started there.
This was going to be my first custom jacket and I wanted it to be unique, so I suggested we use white leather. Aitor, who was my main correspondent throughout this process, agreed this would make an awesome jacket and sent me a couple pictures of white leather jackets to make sure 55 would get the color perfect. Then he asked about lining and hardware, and I quickly decided on a shiny red polyester interior with gold zips. It all had to match right? Maximum flash?
I knew it was going to be a little over the top, but that’s what I was after. I also knew I wanted to get rid of any Velcro on the jacket, so I had them replace the section on each sleeve with snaps—I just don’t like how Velcro will catch my gloves and fatigue over time. Next it was time to focus on proper fit.
With 55 Collection located in Spain, I was skeptical about how it was going to get every measurement just right. It’s a tricky process, and without the tailor being here to measure me in person, I feared something might be lost in translation. Upon Aitor’s request, I sent pictures of my current favorite motorcycle jacket (the Spidi Fandango), with measurements of each portion they asked for, as well as notes for some small adjustments to improve fit. After that, I had my tailor take measurements of my body and sent them in as well, so they could make sure everything was adding up. Once those were in, all I could do was wait.
When the jacket showed up to the office I immediately tried it on, apprehensive of fitment errors and ready to be disappointed, but it was perfect. The cuff fell perfectly at the bottom of my abnormally long arms and the bottom of the jacket sat just right above my belt. I zipped it, unzipped it, took it off and checked out all the pockets—everything was just right. Then everyone in the office started calling me Captain EO, which I wasn’t terribly upset about.
Now I’m a couple of weeks into wearing it everyday, racking up about 1,200 miles in it so far. Despite the leather being thick and heavy, it was also soft and only took a couple days to break in nicely. The goal with the white was for it to patina with road grime and bugs, but so far it just isn’t getting dirty. That’ll come eventually, I’m sure, but when it comes to functioning like a real life no-nonsense motorcycle jacket, it checks all those boxes too.
My jacket came equipped with top-of-the-line D3O armor in the shoulders and elbows with a pocket for a back protector if I wanted to include one. There’s one internal zip pocket on one side and an open one on the other, as well as three external zip pockets. Each sleeve zips open to vent with a snap at the cuff. The main zipper has one snap button at the bottom and one at the top, as well as two collar snaps.
I really couldn’t be more impressed with this jacket’s construction, fit, and design. 55 Collection knocked it out of the park from across the world, and now I can’t stop wearing the thing. Stay tuned for an update once I cover it with a few thousand miles of road soot and more bug guts and we’ll see how it looks!
Custom jackets from 55 Collection cost 600 euros (about $745) and off-the-rack models run from 450–520 euros (about $560–$645), with custom construction taking about two weeks and all assembly hand done in Barcelona.