Harley Gear Review

Harley, Harley Everywhere!

story by George Bradly, Created Aug. 13, 2003
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One of the nice parts of the Yellowstone trip you all recently read, was the chance to try out some of the new Harley-Davidson gear while on the journey. Maura Thompson, from Harley Davidson's Motor Clothes division, was nice enough to offer Jen and I some gear to wear for the trip. Of course, we accepted graciously.

After a few discussions with Maura, I decided to let her pick the gear she thought was appropriate for the job. I think she made some really good choices for our particular trip, and needs.

Jen and I will share with you our honest opinion of the gear we wore.

I know the MOrons are sick of ad copy testing. I can assure you we wore this gear for many weeks and many thousands of miles, with weather ranges from 100+ degrees to mid thirties. No punches are pulled in the reviews, and since this is classically styled gear, I threw in a couple pics of a classic Harley to boot. Read on.

Men's Mega Motor Engineer Boots $140.00

Big and Brawny Boots. These boots are solid, heavy and pretty comfortable. If Herman Munster ever needs to replace his boots, these would do the trick. They make a good platform for all-day rides and even some hiking. They have a very thick solid sole with removable gel inserts for comfort. These boots take a bit of breaking in before they want to bend. The uppers are thick, but soft, and are wide enough to do the pants tucked look, but narrow enough for regular cut jeans to fit over the top. Those thick soles take the vibration right out of those Superglide foot pegs, but overall these are a bit heavy for every day use. The uppers are SO thick it's difficult to up-shift on mid mounted controls. With heel/toe shifters and car sized brake pedals, there isn't a problem. Ups: Heavy, solid, comfortable. Downs: Heavy, no shifter feel, turns white socks black with dye on hot days. Rating: 3 ½ of 5 stars.

Jet Gloss Helmet $139.00

A pair O' lids. This is a ¾ style helmet with attached, flip-up shield. Helmet was all black with a Harley logo on the front. It fit well and the attached shield was nice. I did have a problem with the shield up on the RoadKing. The turbulent air hit the raised shield solidly and rattled my teeth. On an unfaired bike the helmet works well. On the trip, I needed to keep the shield down or replace my fillings at every gas stop. Ups: Light weight, attached shield, good looks. Downs: shield rattles on bikes with a fairing and protection is not as good as a full-face helmet. Rating: 3 ½ of 5 stars

 

No ad stuff in the review and no B.S. from me or Jen, because we never even got any promo on this stuff.

Men's Torque Perforated Gloves $45.00

Some days light is right.Gloves like these are nice, but fairly narrow focused. They are thin, perforated leather with some palm padding for comfort. They are so comfortable, you can hardly tell you are wearing gloves. The breeze blows right through them. That's the rub. Any chill in the air, and your hands will be freezing fast. They worked fine in our trip temps of 90 to 100 degrees, but they are truly a one-season glove. Maybe in L.A. these could be used most of the year, but in Chicago they might even be too breezy for summer! Ups: Comfortable, light-weight, well ventilated. Downs: No cold weather protection. Rating 2 ½ of 5 stars


2 PC ¾ Packable Jacket/Pants Rainwear $199.00

Praying to get this rain suit off. It's 85 out here! What can you say about rain gear? Either it leaks or it doesn't, right? Well this stuff doesn't, and it can also be stuffed into a small bag about 15 X 9 X 5. Nice for carrying, as this can be carried on almost any bike with a little thought. Bottoms have suspenders and stirrups to stay up on the waist and down on the legs. Jacket is ¾ length, has reflective stripes, and has an attached hood. It's lightweight and very well made stuff. Hey, I ended up saying a lot about rain gear. Maybe because I thought this was pretty good stuff.

Ups: waterproof, stays put, hooded, well made, stuffable Downs: pricey rating: 4 ½ of 5 stars

Lots of features make this one a bit different than the average jacket.
 

Men's Nevada Jacket $460.00

My best side.The Nevada jacket has the classic biker style and heavy duty construction. Lots of features make this one a bit different than the average jacket. First, it has 2 front and 2 rear vents to ventilate really well on those hot days. Second, the front panels of the jacket zip down to reveal large storage areas for gloves, maps, keys, and lots of other things needed when traveling. Along with the standard hand warmer pockets, this jacket can store the goods as well as look good doing it. It took me a while to get used to the open collar style, as I had never owned a jacket like this. I usually like a high snap-down collar. This jacket also features a zip out liner for those cold days, but it's only a vest liner and does not extend into the arms. This would trade a bit of bulk for warmth. My personal choice is a full liner. Ups: Tons of storage, high quality construction, excellent ventilation Downs: needs full size liner Rating: 4 of 5 stars. Jen rates the women's items.

Women's Trooper Boots $96.00

This boot got the votes. These are possibly the best boots I have ever worn. They needed zero break-in, were very comfortable, and I felt like I could wear them all day from the moment I put them on. We rode and hiked on the trip and these boots were tops in comfort. Nit picking a bit, they could better snaps on the top wrap, as they didn't snap as snugly as I would like, and having a removable top wrap would have been a nice touch. Ups: all-day comfortable, solid, stylish. Downs: Needs better fasteners. Rating: 4 ½ of 5 stars.

Women's Torque Full Finger Gloves $55.00

These are just standard, medium weight leather gloves. Gel palms for those that ride, and a velcro fastening system. These are nice for warm to cool weather, but for the extremes, there are better choices. These fit well and had no glaring faults. Ups: Well made, comfortable Downs: could use vents or more insulation for either extreme. Rating: 3 of 5 stars.

Women's Willie G. Leather Jacket $510.00

Willie G. made a classic. This jacket is pretty unique. The biggest feature is the zip off arms, which turns the jacket into a vest. There are front and back zippered vents, an embossed Harley logo on the back, and side hand warmer pockets. There is a high collar that is snap-down, and a zippered vest liner. The jacket isn't as warm as some, as it doesn't have a full liner, and the collar flaps a bit when it's not zippered all the way. I am used to a biker style jacket, that has an open collar, but I liked the over all fit, finish and quality of the jacket. With the versatility of the zippered sleeves, makes this a very nice jacket. Ups: Versatile, high quality, well vented Downs: Vest liner only, limited carrying capacity. Rating: 4 of 5 stars.

With the versatility of the zippered sleeves, makes this a very nice jacket.

 Defiance Helmet $159.00

Take it easy on this. It already got flamed. This is your typical half helmet. It has silver stripe flames on a black background with a bar and sheild up front. It fits good and has plenty of padding and comfort. If you like half helmets, this one is as good as any. Ups: Well made, Light weight. Downs: Less protection. Rating: 3 1/2 of 5 stars (Sean gives it 1 of 5 stars, adding: This thing offers less protection than a condom on a porcupine. It's great, as long as you've got a disposable head.)

1 PC Rainslicker III $95.00

I tested this one in a couple downpours and it kept me dry and warm. It's not as versatile at a 2 piece, but it's easier to doff and don than a 2 piece, and rolls up for easy storage. It's so nice and easy I can have a smoke waiting for George to get ready. This one is about half the price of the 2 piece also. Ups: easy entry and exit, 100% waterproof, easy storage Downs: Wear all or nothing Rating: 4 of 5 stars.

Rain Gator II $55.00

Not pretty, but they work.We received 2 sets of these for Jen and me. These fit over the boots to deflect the rain and road mess associated with rain. These are light and really handy to wear after is stops raining, and stops all the slop from the wet from making a mess of pants and boots. They slip on the front and velcro around the calf to just below the knee. The only trouble I had was fitting them on the boots I had. They made it, but the fit was really tight. Needed a tad more room for my big feet. Anyway, they worked and they were generally easy to get on and off without hitting the turf. They are a good addition to any saddlebag. Ups: Light, cheap, they work Downs: tight fit Rating: 3 ½ of 5 stars.

So, Harley-Davidson was nice enough to get us some gear, and I we reviewed it with honesty. We really wore this gear and tried to give and honest evaluation of how it worked. No ad stuff in the review and no B.S. from me or Jen, because we never even got any promo on this stuff. This is what the loyal MO readres wanted, and you got it here. Overall the gear was high quality and it worked. That's really the bottom line when plunking down the bucks for gear. I never owned Harley branded gear before, so these items were all new to me. We can say that all the gear compares pretty well to other manufacturers items at comparable cost. Yes, there is always cheaper, but quality shows itself in the long run. I can see where these items will really stand the test of time, and give you performance long after the cheap gear has worn out. If you like Harley gear I'd check out some of their gear before buying. If you are a Harley hater, why are you reading this anyway? Until next time my fellow Morons!



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