Hein Gericke grey leather motorcycle jacket, $5.

Nothing special here, just a Hein Gericke jacket in great shape. Several years ago, I bought a Hein Gericke jacket at a yard sale, and the overall quality is so different that I can't believe these two jackets were made by the same company.

Hein Gericke is a dude who opened up a motorcycle shop in Dusseldorf back in the 1970s, which soon became the largest dealership in all of Germany. He expanded his dealership to include clothing and accessories for motorcyclists, which actually turned into a lucrative business in itself, spawning a mail order business and numerous retail stores throughout the country.

So what the heck is up with the KOREA tag inside this jacket that is supposed to be from Germany? Who knows, but the list of previously-prestigious companies that have tarnished their name by moving their production to countries notorious for producing cheapo stuff is getting longer by the day.

The earlier Hein Gericke jacket I bought, which was made in Germany, sold for around $200 on eBay at the time. The jacket in this picture sells for around $35 on eBay today. As a matter of fact, a check of websites that sell Hein Gericke apparel will reveal lots of prices in the multi hundreds of dollars. But a check of eBay's closed auctions will show that most Hein Gericke stuff is hard pressed to break the $100 mark. Should I be wondering if this brand's inability to hold its value may have something to do with the country of manufacture? I don't think so.

So, a word to the wise - whenever you spot a Hein Gericke leather motorcycle riding jacket, see where it was made. If it's the German version, you may have a winner on your hands. Otherwise, don't expect any fireworks.

Photo of Hein Gericke grey motorcycle riding jacket