2003 Harley Apparel

story by Eric Bass, Created Apr. 12, 2003
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Torque Open-Tip Gel Gloves $35

OK, so maybe these aren't the gloves you want to be wearing if it's February and you live in Buffalo. Then again I expect y'all (well at least most of y'all) have enough common sense to grab yourself some gauntlets if Jack Frost is really nipping at your fingers. But for pure open-tip satisfaction, these babies are just the ticket. We're talking Sharper Image catalog level of kewl, amigo! The Torques are made of soft, black, drum-dyed leather with nylon reinforced stitching for extended wear. Velcroed side entry and removal makes getting 'em on and off a breeze, even brand new. Total elapsed break-in time, zero, zip, nil, nada! Best of all are the gel-padded palms with 3 strategically located cushions to buffer the tender pressure points in your widdle hand from any vibration transmitted through the handlebars. Vibration in a Harley, you say? I know, unthinkable!

Men's Pathway Leather Vest $145

The Pathway vest is made of lightweight black leather, with a side lacing pattern. The four snaps on the front are each embossed with the HD logo. Pocket-space is deep and plentiful with one on each side and another inside the right breast. The external pockets each have a hidden snap so you won't have to explain to AMEX how the $2,000 in charges for organic carrots, Alaskan salmon, and Hawaiian macadamia nuts showed up on your credit card bill because the fuzzy, furry, forest folk made off with your wallet after it flew out going around a rural twisty.

The "Harley-Davidson Motorcycles" embroidery around the waist let's folks know what kind of bike you ride even when you ain't ridin' it. Not that you're a poseur or anything, nah!

FXRG Midweight Jacket $600

This jacket has been keeping me toasty and roasty this winter, even in the 40-ish weather we've been having lately at night. Weighing in at nearly 10 lbs worth of protective leather, insulation, and padding, the FXRG shrugs off cold and wind like the Highwayman shrugs off atrociteur rhetoric! If I ever need a warmer jacket, I'll be snowmobiling to work, not cycling. The FX0002 Midweight Jacket I have features water-repellent leather that keeps your jacket from getting ruined by a renegade rain shower, not that we get much of that here in La-La Land. However, I did get caught recently in a pretty good downpour (well by SoCal standards anyway) about 5 miles from home. The FXRG jacket kept my upper half completely dry, warm and comfortable. Unfortunately, my Levi's were not similarly treated and my lower extremities were wet, cold and feelin' nath-ty, Baby! To my relief, the water wiped off the FXRG with a hand towel once I got home with no damage to the leather at all.

The removable waterproof / breathable liner also zips in and out with ease, transitioning easily from winter to summer mode. The aid of three long zippered flow-through vents also help keep you cool when it's warm. Hopefully the Comfort Foam in the spine and high-performance impact armor in the elbows and shoulders never get put to the test but it sure is nice to know they're there. The double mandarin collar features 3 different snaps to adjust the tightness on the liner around the neck as well as a looser top snap for the leather external collar, keeping everything under your chin warm, dry and comfortable. The action back, pre-curved arms and zippered sleeves make it a pleasure to slip in and out of. Three outside pockets and four inside give you plenty of room for, well for whatever. Good luck trying to remember where you put it though!

Men's Pathway Leather Jacket $260

This is a nice, cool, summertime lightweight leather jacket. The embroidered HD back sets you apart from the (harrumph) metric cruiser crowd. Easy in and out are afforded by the zippered sleeves. Three pockets (two outside, one inside) give you someplace to keep your shades and suntan lotion. The snap-down collar keeps you from getting smacked silly at highway speeds. A two-way zipper offers you some breathing room after those big meals at Denny's.

Basic Skins Leather Chaps $185

When you want an extra hide, give these soft and sturdy leather chaps a try. Hey, I'm a poet and I didn't even know it! The Basic Skins feature heavy-duty topstitching and adjustable back lacing. Helpful after those aforementioned big meals at Denny's! An inner-leg Lycra stretch panel on women's chaps help give the ladies a smooth fit. Men you're on your own. Cuttable leg bottoms offer a custom fit to the vertically challenged (cough, Johnny B, cough). Not available in arm chap models. . . yet!

Super Glide Full-Face Helmet $225

Granted, when most people think of Harley riders, the image that typically comes to mind is of a "Too Mean To Die" type with a minimalist approach to headgear. But for those of us who don't feel comfortable relying upon a bandana to insulate our microchip, there's the Super Glide full-face. No zany bullet bike style fuschia/ lime-green/ electric-orange color schemes here. The black, high-gloss, aerodynamic shell won't clash with your leathers, and the understated HD graphic finishes off the look.

A removable Coolmax inner liner, and forehead and chin venting keep the fresh air flowing, and help stave off summer-time meltdown of your wetware. Despite the noseguard, I had some issues with fogging when stopped in cold weather, but nothing that a treatment with some Rain-ex couldn't cure. The shatterproof face shield removes quickly and easily without tools and a tinted version is available if you prefer. The Super Glide is DOT and Snell 2000 approved and weighs in at 3 lbs. 5 oz.

Men's Eagle Harness Boot $163

Harley's Eagle Harness Boot is crafted from smooth, full-grain leather that starts out a bit stiff but breaks in quickly to fit your foot. I found that the boots were cut fairly large and actually went down a size from my normal 10. The Eagle Harness is a tall, square toe, pull-up style boot that can go inside or outside your jeans. The Eagle Harness detail and tri-strap ring provide ample ornamentation amidst all that black leather. The removable polyurethane footbed gives the boot good fit and comfort. An oil and abrasion-resistant rubber outsole and Goodyear welt construction mean these boots are built to last.



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