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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Does anyone know what the original purpose of the shoulder straps on the MC jackets were for:dontknow:? My mother made me a scarf, and I use them to hold the lose ends down, but got me wondering what the were really intended for. Seems I had once heard, but my memory has failed me once again:confused:
 

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I believe epilets were originally incorporated into military type jackets to help hold the shoulder straps of eqipment bags in place.
 

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Disclaimer: one common theory follows..
It can be attributed to WWII vets. Part of what HD claims for "their" history. Story goes that Air Corps vets came home, found post-war life not exciting, got a army surplus HD and bobbed it before hitting the road. Ther was no specific motorcycle gear so they wore their flight jackets (heavy leather with securable collars) some of which had epaulets (the shoulder straps). The 50's style biker jackets took this military styling adding more buckles and snaps and kept the epaulets.
 

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Disclaimer: one common theory follows..
It can be attributed to WWII vets. Part of what HD claims for "their" history. Story goes that Air Corps vets came home, found post-war life not exciting, got a army surplus HD and bobbed it before hitting the road. Ther was no specific motorcycle gear so they wore their flight jackets (heavy leather with securable collars) some of which had epaulets (the shoulder straps). The 50's style biker jackets took this military styling adding more buckles and snaps and kept the epaulets.
+1
This is the closest so far.
The epaulets were for the rank insignia on officers uniforms.
Leather was worn mainly by pilots and as custom jackets by high ranking line officers.
As surplus, If you got leather, It was usually a pilot or bombardier jacket. (Different styles).
There was also a leather jacket used by messengers (motorcycle) that was taken from an english jacket and had the larger lapels that could cross over and break the wind coming in the front where the jacket buttoned up.
There was also a tank commander leather jacket.
All had epaulets.
 

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+1 on Jimbo's post.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I believe epilets were originally incorporated into military type jackets to help hold the shoulder straps of eqipment bags in place.
All interesting answers. And I really don't have a clue, but this one makes the most since to me.
 

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Interesting thread! I think Jimbo is right on.

John

Originally, motorcycle leathers were adapted from tank corps gear immediately following World War I. Duster coats, which tended to catch in the wheels, were switched for short coats. Wide-pegged breeches were worn by some motorcycle police (and are still worn in Belgium) and by dispatch riders in World War II, but were largely abandoned in the post-war years because of their association with certain Nazi uniforms.
 

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It's so you can have a buddy on each strap drag you out of the bar after you over indulge what else :joke:
 

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If I remember correctly, back in the day they put there gloves up there.
Correct. This is the reason they were incorporated into the motorcycle jackets. Although personally I've seen more people use them for headgear than gloves.
 
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