WRN Review-Shift Riding Jeans & Jacket

Great combination of protection and style

By Genevieve Schmitt, Photos by Rene Bruce
I’m starting to feel naked these days, naked wearing my regular blue jeans, that is, when riding my motorcycle. As I add up more time and miles my desire to ride while wearing armored gear from head to toe is becoming stronger. I think it has something to do with feeling our mortality more as we age.  Read the full story on WRN

Black Hills Leather from LegendaryUSA

LegendaryUSA sent us some videos on gear we’ll be posting in the next few months…
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Harley Motorcycle Rain Gear

No one can say I didn’t give this rain gear a long-term test! I’ve been wearing H-D’s Paclite rain jacket and pants combo for almost three years. Heck, I still have short hair in the product shot, which we always do as soon as we get the gear. This Gore-Tex suit, which includes a jacket with hood (#98306-05VX/000L, $215-$225) and pants (#98307-05VX/000S, $185-$195) can be purchased separately, which is a good thing since I needed a large jacket and short pants.

This suit has served me well on many a road trip. The jacket truly is waterproof, windproof, and breathable. The Gore-Tex material is the reason why this gear works so well, since it keeps water out, but doesn’t make you sweat. There’s a full-zipper front closure that’s covered by a watertight seam seal. The cuffs are elastic and the hood, which is removable, fits under a full helmet and helps keep you dry and warm. There are two zippered pockets, but they’re not watertight, so choose wisely what you put in them.

As for the pants, all the above Gore-Tex stuff applies here, too. The zipper down the side of each leg is also covered by a watertight seam seal. Inside both legs is a heat-resistant shield, which has held up well to whatever I’ve put it through. My favorite feature is that when the butt is wet it doesn’t slide around on the seat easily. These pants also come with removable suspenders, but I never used them.

Hopefully, I won’t hit rain on this year’s Dallas-to-Daytona trip for Bike Week. But if I do, I’ll have this gear with me, since stopping is not an option. If I choose to ride to an event, I have to be there on time, no matter what the weather does. AIM

–Chris Maida

Harley-Davidson Motor Company
See your local H-D dealer

Icon Womens Motorcycle Boots

Icon’s Hella boots ($140) arrive on the heels of the Bombshell, Icon’s first stylish, over-the-calf riding boot. The Hella comes up over the ankle and is available in black or brown or Beretta. While the boots look narrow, there’s plenty of room for my wide feet. Like the Bombshell, each Hella boot has an extra piece of leather reinforcement sewn into the toe area to take the abuse from a motorcycle’s gear shifter. The leather is premium-grade cowhide that feels thick, but allows for movement. The boots are stiff when new; they’re most comfortable when they’re worn in a bit.

The wedge heels are what make the Hellas wearable for a long time because they distribute your weight so that not all of the pressure is on your toes. I was able to walk around the Sturgis Rally all afternoon without my feet aching like they do when wearing high-heeled fashion boots. Features include extra padding on the ankles, a reinforced toe and heel area, and a metal plate on the heel that’s part style, part protection.

A large part of a woman rider’s confidence with a motorcycle comes from feeling that her feet and legs are planted enough that she can trust them with the weight of a motorcycle. Once I got used to having a smaller footprint than in the low Frye boots I normally wear, I was confident the Hellas’ non-skid, oil-resistant rubber soles would hold me up as I put pressure on my feet while maneuvering a motorcycle around a parking lot. I think they work best for short day rides where you’re on and off the bike and want to make a statement. AIM
–Genevieve Schmitt


Gatorz Motorcycle Glasses Review

Gatorz Radiators sunglasses offer eye protection with style.

The last time I wrote a review about my favorite style of Gatorz Eyewear, the Radiator, I shouldn’t have opened my big mouth. In that review I wrote “I’ve dropped them while trying to clean bugs off the lenses at 60 mph. When I went back to retrieve them, all that had happened to them was some road rash on the frames and lenses from skidding along the pavement. Thankfully, nobody ran them over!” Yeah, well that didn’t happen with my last set. I got back to them just in time to watch them get crushed under a tire. Man, I was pointing to where they were lying in the road, so the guy wouldn’t hit them, but he whacked ’em dead on as he stared at me with a dumb look on his face. Thanks tons!

Unless they get crushed, Gatorz has a repair plan in place that lets you send the glasses back for a complete overhaul for about $49.95, plus shipping. That nice little feature has saved me a hefty wad of cash. I’m not easy on my specs, but then again, I do rack up thousands of miles a year. And unless I do something stupid like try to clean bugs off them while still riding, those Radiators just stay put.

Though I prefer black on black, you can get billet-aluminum-framed Radiators ($159-$190) in 27 different lens colors and seven different frame colors.

Do you think he would have seen them if they had chrome frames? AIM
–Chris Maida

Gatorz Eyewear
12925 Brookprinter Place, Suite 200
Dept. AIM
Poway, CA 92064

Motorcycle Jacket! Two From Harleys FXRG Line

Hello, my name is Joe Knezevic, and I am addicted to Harley-Davidson Functional Riding Gear. My habit began back in 1999 when I got an FXRG Series 1 leather jacket, and I have been strung out ever since. Through the years, the pushers on Juneau Avenue have expanded, improved, and updated the line, keeping me and other junkies on the hook.

These days my fix comes from two of the Motor Company’s most recent additions to this product line: the men’s FXRG Textile Jacket (#98366-09, MSRP $495-$515) and the men’s FXRG Perforated Leather Jacket (#98521-09, MSRP $625-$645). The beauty of having both of these jackets is that I can switch between them with relative ease. This has allowed me to continue my addiction with little or no side effects. At least, that’s what I’d like to believe.

Both jackets have many similar features including removable, CE-approved,
lightweight body armor at elbows, shoulders and back; a removable kidney belt; and precurved sleeves that combine with the zippered cuffs, action back, and snap waist tabs to make these jackets very comfortable when riding. Other shared features include two outside zippered hand-warmer pockets and an interior pocket system that includes a zippered pocket, a cargo pocket, an MP3 player pocket, and an eyewear pocket with lens wipe.

Flipping between jackets is great because I have all the same creature comforts when wearing either jacket, but the different exterior skins make it less obvious that I’m hooked on what these jackets offer their wearer.

The FXRG Textile Jacket is very versatile and the one I get my fix from most regularly. It’s made from a lightweight, windproof, and waterproof Airguard nylon, and it’s abrasion and tear resistant. Four large vertical vents and a fixed CoolMax lining makes this jacket comfortable to wear in warm weather, while the lightweight and breathable Primaloft warmth liner allows me to stay satiated into colder weather.
For a familiar, but different, high, I go with the perforated leather jacket whose skin is made up of a large diamond-plate pattern reinforced with a Cordura-mesh backing. The combination CoolMax fixed lining and heat-deflecting, leather definitely keeps things cool on hot days, while the removable Gore-Tex Windstopper liner does a great job of extending the comfort range of this jacket when things get chilly.

Between the two, I now have almost every riding scenario covered. These jackets are about first-rate function, then style, which luckily is not gaudy. I just love having both at my disposal any time I need an FXRG fix. I suggest you try one of these jackets, but don’t blame me if you end up in FXRG Anonymous. AIM

Joe Knezevic as published in American Iron Magazine, the world’s best selling Harley magazine.

See your local Harley-Davidson Dealer
800/LUV 2 RIDE

Motorcycle Bags: ROADGEAR Tailbag

A motorcycle bag that carries it all

The old saying “It’s in the bag” definitely applies to the ROADGEAR Jumbo Sport tailbag (#SL787/$99.90), at least for me. Though designed for sportbikes, I’ve been using a ROADGEAR tailbag on trips for years, be it to the next state or across the country, on bobbers, choppers, Dynas, Softails … you get the idea.

Since it’s large enough (11″W x 15.5″L x 10″H) to engulf a full helmet, the Jumbo gets to carry all my rain gear: gloves, clear glasses, pants (rolled up), and jacket (ditto). Maps (in a zip-lock plastic bag) go into the top expandable, zippered compartment. My disc lock, sun block, etc. go into the large, expandable, zippered rear (or front) pouch. There are two more expandable, zippered side pockets, but I rarely use them.

The whole shebang gets secured to the bike with four retractable bungee cords that are fitted with plastic hooks at the end. Once you find suitable places to hook them (not to moving parts please!), bag installation and removal is an under-a-minute affair. At the end of the day, just unhook it, tuck the bungees inside the paint-protective sheet on the bottom of the bag, and carry it by its handle.

The Jumbo, like many ROADGEAR bags, is constructed of DuPont 1000 denier Cordura Plus, which has endured lots of nasty weather conditions on my trips (get the optional rain cover) and is still in excellent shape. (No wonder it has a 10-year warranty.) Though I opted for all black, the
made-in-US Jumbo is available in an assortment of black, blue, red, silver, and yellow.
Sportbikes, remember? AIM
–Chris Maida

206 W. Elgin Dr., Dept. AIM
Pueblo West, CO 81007

Harley Boots

Harley's durable motorcycle boots

As I entered my second year riding Harley-Davidsons, I decided it was time to get a pair of H-D boots that I could wear while riding to work, hitting the clubs, or performing at my latest gig. (I sing and play guitar with a band.) A look through H-D’s footwear catalog gave me lots of options, but I finally picked the Dipstick (#D91610/$112). I chose this one because it has the versatility I need for my daily routine.

I kicked it pretty hard with the Dipsticks from the first day, and I can honestly say they’ve held up well. The Dipsticks have full-grain leather uppers and full-length, cushion-sock linings. The collar is padded, and there’s a breathable lining, both of which add to the boot’s comfort. The rings for the laces are even stainless steel so they won’t rust up. Plus, the protective Harley-Davidson emblem helps to keep your laces in line while keeping your foot where it should be while shifting. Other features include a Goodyear welt construction and an oil-, slip-, and abrasion-resistant rubber outsole. (Falling on my bike or my butt is not cool.) Available in black and brown, with or without a steel toe, the Dipsticks have held up to whatever I’ve put them through.

That is, except for rain. Though they won’t rust or slip in the wet, these boots are not waterproof! AIM
–John Smolinski

Your local H-D dealer

Tour Master Motorcycle Rain Gear

I’ll be the first to admit I’d prefer not to ride in the rain, but there are times when you just have to do it. And when that happens, you want to be wearing a rain suit that keeps the wet stuff where it belongs: outside! The other mandatory trait for a motorcycle rain suit is that it not take up much packing room, yet be designed so as not to cause you to curse the product the entire time you have it on. The Tour Master Sentinel jacket and pants are extremely lightweight and can be rolled into a small bundle. Plus, they did a great job of keeping me dry. But it was the little details that really made the Sentinel shine.

The Sentinel has a simple gray-on-black pattern, with reflective piping so you can easily be seen at night, and extra material on the shoulders to bead away the rain. It has plenty of big pockets on the chest and sides, and fits over your riding jacket. There’s also a handy pocket inside the jacket behind your waist, which sits right above the zipper that joins the jacket and pants for added rain protection. The wrists secure closed, and a small fabric hood unfurls from a hidden  zippered neck roll to fit close to your head under your helmet. All this means that you’re going to stay dry once you’re zippered in, but the lightweight jacket is also breathable thanks to small, covered vents on the back, so you don’t get hot when wearing it.

The pants are roomy, which I prefer, since I’m not planning on walking around Main Street with them on. And they have extra water-repellent material in the places that are going to get soaked, namely your lower legs, seat, and crotch.

The bottom line is that I rode through some good downpours with this rain suit, and stayed dry and comfortable without feeling like I had a rubber sweat suit on. The Sentinel definitely gets my seal of approval. AIM

–Terry O’Brien of American Iron Magazine, the world’s best selling Harley magazine.

Tour master/Helmet House
26855 Malibu Hills Rd.
Dept. AIM
Calabasas Hills, CA 91301

Icon Motorcycle Boots

Icon Motorcycle Boots

Talk about a long-term test! I was asked to review a pair of boots two years ago, and I’ve finally got the word that the story is due. We’ve been through a lot, these boots and I; we’ve climbed mountains, tackled the badlands, and ridden from sea to shining sea. Ah, memories. But the important question still stands, how’d the boots fare through all this? Simply put, they performed exceptionally well.

Icon’s Field Armor Chukka boots ($115) have a breathable, nylon-and-leather upper that’s flexible and comfortable. It’s a midrise boot, so you get a bit more support than a shoe would give, but it’s not as confining or rigid as a taller boot might be. A midfoot buckle keeps the fit snug, while well-placed shift pads up front, and some thick protective toe and heel armor keep things safe. I’ve worn these boots all day around the office with no problem. They’re fairly light and good for the post-ride hang. The sole is street-riding specific, with a grip tread and a thick heel that hangs nicely off the pegs. The boots are available in two colors: Wheat, a
common tan work boot look, and Stealth, otherwise known as black.

These boots may not be the iconic Air Jordans or Elvis’ blue suede shoes, but with Icon’s style and riding comfort, these chukkas are sure to make a long-lasting impression.

Hmm, I guess they already did. AIM

–Matt Kopec as published in American Iron Magazine, the world’s best selling Harley magazine.

Icon Motorsports