Harley-Davidson FXRG Nylon Jacket Review

Keepin' warm in the Windy City


Greetings from Chicago, where the winds are blowing, temps are freezing, and we're attempting to keep warm. Good thing Motorcycle.com  sent me some gear to keep me toasty while riding, and hopefully you'll be the benefactors of my perilous testing efforts. The player in this test is the Harley-Davidson FXRG Nylon Jacket. It's designed to keep you warm and dry with technology that beats the usual leather gear.

We all seem to be brought into the next generation of technology kicking and screaming and unwilling to let go of ‘the good old days.’ Those good old days of cold and wet weather riding meant wearing a sweatshirt under your leather jacket, but the leather jacket had more leaks than the Titanic. Hey, you still looked cool, right?

Unfortunately, it got a little too cool when the temperature dropped or the rain fell.

Longride goes to such lengths for Motorcycle.com. This time he's been spending all his waking hours stuck to a snow bank to test some new gear from Harley. That tiny mound of snow to the right has been his office for months now.Harley-Davidson FXRG Nylon Jacket

The Harley FXRG Nylon Jacket is different from most of the rest of the Harley MotorClothes line in that it is made more for function and less for style. In the Harley alphabet soup language, FXRG stands for Functional Riding Gear.

The Waterproof Cordura Aquator fabric with Lycra Aquator at key stress points and a two-way water-resistant front zipper make up the outer shell, while the zip-out Primaloft inner liner keeps you snug, especially with its small pockets to accommodate those little heat packets. Protection includes lightweight removable CE armor in the elbows, shoulders and back, as well as a removable perforated kidney belt. Zippered venting and "action" back round out the features. This jacket can be worn year round, from the hot days to the very coldest, thanks to the removable liner and zippered venting. The outer liner is a tight weave nylon that is both waterproof and windproof. The inner liner is actually a full-sleeved jacket that adds extra warmth when the temps dip, and can be worn separately, if desired.

Do you carry lots of things with you when you ride? This jacket has the storage. There are 11 pockets to stow all your extras, including a pocket to fit your glasses and cell phone, so even the biggest pack rat among us can find room for their stuff.

Large front zippered venting does a good job of keeping the chill out or the heat off, depending on your needs.Now that we've covered some of the features of this jacket, let's see how well it performs. In short, it works just fine, thank you. Sometimes when things get produced, technology and function don’t always cooperate, but not so with FXRG Nylon Jacket. I noted its lightweight and comfortable fit the minute I put it on. The sleeves are a bit longer than normal, which is perfect for the stretched out position that motorcyclists are usually in. The overall fit seems perfect; and the armor is not bulky or obtrusive. There are front vent zippers along with sleeve zippers, as well as a double-zipped main zipper that works nicely with a snap collar to dial in as much cooling or warmth as needed.

On the bike, the jacket doesn’t pinch or hinder movement anywhere, nor does it make itself known except when you realize it’s allowing you to ride in 20-degree weather without freezing to death before you get two blocks from home. The tight weave on this nylon liner doesn't let the cold air in at all. I have other nylon jackets that are similar to this one, and when it gets cold you notice the freezing air seeping through the jacket.

Another nice feature, for those that care about such things, is the inconspicuous branding. It's hard to tell at a glance that this jacket is made by Harley-Davidson. This would allow the self-conscious to wear this jacket with any brand bike they may have. As for me, I don't concern myself with such things; most of the testing was done on a naked Suzuki for maximum wind chill effect.

The safety features of this jacket include armor in the shoulders, elbows and back along with reflective piping for nighttime riding. The outer shell is abrasive resistant, just in case the rubber side decides to go up. Overall it seems like this jacket would hold up well in a crash, but I didn’t want to go to any great lengths to prove this.

"Sexy dancer, oooo, sexy dancer..." Primaloft full-sleeve removable liner adds warmth and can be worn separately. Accidental fly-aways not guaranteed.One gripe I had with the jacket is that the zippers would catch early and often, requiring many attempts to get them where I needed them. Another bothersome issue to me was that the collar has a snap instead of Velcro. The snap was a bit tight on the neck; I would have liked some adjustability here. Finally, were I a safety freak, I would have preferred more reflective material on the jacket.

But when it's all said and done the FXRG Nylon Jacket proved to be a fine piece of textile outerwear. You could do worse, and pay more to boot. Pricing is $395 to $415 depending on size; the jacket comes with a five-year warranty. Regular Sizes S-5XL; tall Sizes M-XXXL. See more at http://www.harley-davidson.com/ under the Accessories and Apparel menu.

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