Harley-Davidson Full Force Coat

Uniform of the Black Leather Crowd

story by Todd Canavan, Photograph by Billy Bartels, Created Jun. 09, 1996
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Ever since Brando blasted on the screen as the Wild One, black leather has been associated with motorcycling and its rebellious nature. Motorcyclists, in turn, have adopted the black leather jacket as an essential part of their uniform. All manufacturers offer some sort of riding apparel to go along with their bikes. With all of this embedded tradition, it seems only natural that Harley-Davidson, by far having the most tradition and mystique of any manufacturer, would offer this essential uniform piece for its devotees and other riders. 

Unlike many manufacturers, who simply take an existing product and splash different graphics or logos on and hide it in the back of a dealership, Harley-Davidson long-ago realized the significance of apparel to those dedicated to the marque. They've delineated an entire arm of the company specifically to design, manufacture and marketing of its own line of apparel - Harley-Davidson MotorClothes.

Whether or not you are a fan of the Motor Company's products, or even if you are not a cruiser fan at all, you still owe yourself a look at some of the offerings produced by the MotorClothes arm of Harley.  

No, not all items are emblazoned with giant Screaming Eagles or Bar and Shield logos. Many of the items produced are designed to appeal to the more subtle fans of the black and orange, and feature very sublimated H-D logos, or most commonly, an embossed logo in black leather.

Comfy wool liner makes this a coat for all seasons. With H-D logos found only on the button heads, the Full Force Coat we wore was a prime example of that subtlety. This attention to quality was prevalent throughout the entire garment: Thick, smooth leather, wool liner, consistently dark black dye, well-finished seams, large-toothed quality metal zipper, stout snap buttons, and a cool pewter-colored buckle on the waist belt. As another example of Harley-Davidson's keen focus on the rider, both the main zipper and the zipper on the secured outer pockets feature small leather pull straps for ease of use with riding gloves on.

 The styling of this jacket is very versatile, being equally at home on a tricked-out Fat Boy or a BMW GS. The generous three-quarter length cut is similar to leather jacket styling from the sixties, but with an important update; a three-season wool liner is sewn into the coat, with quilted nylon below the waist. The liner is considered three-season because it works well enough for everything but the coldest winters (for those lucky enough to have year-round riding). Two snap-down flaps in the back let you adjust coverage of the jacket, allowing it to flare out over bent legs, or stay snug. There is also a large belt fixture, allowing the rider to tighten the jacket's fit over his girth. Two outer buttoned pockets are joined by a smaller key and change pocket and a larger, vertically zipped sunglasses pocket. Sleeves feature zippered panels, letting you tighten the collar of each sleeve for protection against the wind.Good Wind Protection.

  The combination of four outside pockets provide handy storage for just about anything you might carry and have a need to access during a ride, from a disc-lock to parking money. An additional inside wallet pocket provides another secure area to store any valuables you may carry.

The Harley-Davidson Full Force Coat is a rugged, well-rounded general use jacket. Equally comfortable to ride with in winter and summer, a garment rarely has flexibility and style like this jacket. At a suggested retail price of $450, it's not only well worth the hard-earned cash, but for a premium quality leather jacket, a competitive buy as well.

Motorcycle Online Rating: ****

The Harley-Davidson Full Force Coat and other leather jackets are available at Authorized Harley-Davidson Dealers, we got ours at: Bartels' Harley Davidson
4141 Lincoln Blvd.
Marina del Rey, CA 90292
(310) 823-1112

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