Tested: Harley-Davidson FXRG All-Weather Nylon Motorcycle Riding Jacket

Harley-Davidson breaks out of the leather rut with a waterproof nylon motorcycle riding jacket. From the December 2005 issue of Motorcycle Cruiser magazine.

With the introduction of the FXRG motorcycle clothing line several years back, Harley-Davidson's MotorClothes division broke out of its leather jacket mentality and showed it could produce versatile apparel for real riders. Continuing the line's evolution is the new, redesigned FXRG Nylon Riding Jacket.

This new jacket differs from previous FXRG wraps in almost every way. Its high-tech materials, which incluide a waterproof Cordura Aquator shell, make a solid first impression right out of the box.

When we donned the FXRG, warmth was not an issue. The zip-out Primaloft liner added plenty of insulation without bulk, and the liner can be worn solo. Removable armor sequestered at the elbows, shoulders and spine is ultra-lightweight, and it never interfered with our natural motion. The spine armor is Comfort Foam. The Astrosorb armor in the shoulders and elbows carries the European CE approval, so we confident about its protective qualities. A precurved arm and action back design allowed for a natural fit on the bike, while the tight weave of the nylon outer felt non-binding yet durable. Reinforced patches on the shoulders and elbows give additional abrasion resistance.

Zippers on the chest revealed long vertical vents on either side of the chest, so we felt fairly well-ventilated on a non-faired bike. However, because of its heft, the FXRG Nylon is more a winter, spring and fall jacket. Using it on hot days would be pushing it, especially if you ride with a windshield. An integrated but removable perforated kidney belt added comfort on long trips. Nice touch, Harley. Although the jacket looks to be all black, there is reflective piping--in the chest and shoulders, mostly--to enable drivers to make out your form at night. Two slash pockets up front give you basic storage, while an inside pocket system provides a stash for your cell phone, sunglasses and, other small items.

A mandarin collar snaps closed but unfortunately is not adjustable. Two belts on either side of the waist allowed us to hook-and-loop our way to a snugger fit. But that snugness became binding at the hem when on the bike because there's no split seam at the side, which for a hip-length jacket should be mandatory. This jacket features a tailored fit; not tight but definitely not baggy, so choose your size carefully.

With the familiar Harley-Davidson metal/rubber badge, a Harley Bar and Shield logo graphic on the back and a five-year warranty, the Harley-Davidson FXRG Nylon Riding Jacketretails is available in black in the following styles and sizes.

Men's (Part number 98507-99VM, FX0003): Sizes small to XL; sizes 2XL to 3XL $490

Women (Part number 98507-99VW, FX0009): Sizes small to XL, $450

For further information see a Harley-Davidson dealer od visit the FXRG section of the Harley-Davidson MotorClothes site.

For additional evaluations of, comparisons of, and shopping advice for motorcycle gear and accessories, see the Accessories and Gear section of MotorcycleCruiser.com.