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2011 Fat Bob 103
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone!
This is my first post on here, so I’ll try and do my best.
I’ve been the proud owner of a new to me 2011 Fat Bob 103 for a little over a year now and I’ve decided I need some leather as a new HD owner and lady rider!
After perusing the motorclothes dept. of my local HD dealership I came across a beautiful matching leather jacket and pants set shown in the pics below.
After examining my old motocross gear and my Uncle’s Vanson leather armored jacket he wears on his Road King, I’m having reservations about HD leathers in the functional department.
Most of what I’ve seen in the dealerships is nothing but fashion leather marketed to riders. Soft, thin cowhide and polyester or satin lining with dangerous metal accessories poking out all over.
Don’t get me wrong, I love the look of HD leather clothing and could easily see me wearing this set out to a club or bar for fashion, but would it really provide protection on the bike if I went down on the blacktop?
I’d honestly feel better wearing my Kevlar jeans with my cowgirl boots, I think!
Anyone have any thoughts on this?
I'd love for some veteran riders to have a look at the leathers pictured below and tell me what they think, are they best suited for the Fat Bob on the blacktop or should I reserve them for the bar and nightclubs?
Kind regards,
Hayley
Black Sleeve Street fashion Jacket Collar
Window Blue Sleeve Grey Plant
 

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Old Skool
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Hey Haley, WELCOME! That Harley Leather is Cute, but Way Overpriced for what you get. Think Function over all when purchasing. Explore Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace for Deals on used Leathers.
 

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2011 Fat Bob 103
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
“Dress for the slide, not for the ride”

If you’re a dirt bike rider, you know what’s up. There’s a thread on here about leather jackets. Most of us have ‘em, most are not Harley brand.
That's exactly what I was thinking pipewizard! Guess I'll stick with actual riding gear and leave the leathers for fashion wear!
Thanks!
 

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After perusing the motorclothes dept. of my local HD dealership I came across a beautiful matching leather jacket and pants set shown in the pics below.
After examining my old motocross gear and my Uncle’s Vanson leather armored jacket he wears on his Road King, I’m having reservations about HD leathers in the functional department.
Most of what I’ve seen in the dealerships is nothing but fashion leather marketed to riders. Soft, thin cowhide and polyester or satin lining with dangerous metal accessories poking out all over
.
Don’t get me wrong, I love the look of HD leather clothing and could easily see me wearing this set out to a club or bar for fashion, but would it really provide protection on the bike if I went down on the blacktop?
I’d honestly feel better wearing my Kevlar jeans with my cowgirl boots, I think!
Anyone have any thoughts on this?
I'd love for some veteran riders to have a look at the leathers pictured below and tell me what they think, are they best suited for the Fat Bob on the blacktop or should I reserve them for the bar and nightclubs?
Kind regards,
Hayley View attachment 802172 View attachment 802173
I don't want to insult you or lead you on , so I'll just say it.
It looks like a costume.
I would look for something with more meat and less dressing.
Made in USA usually means higher quality materials and workmanship.
I have had many jackets over the years, the last one I bought is from Fox Creek, made in Virginia and comes with a lifetime guarantee.


 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I don't want to insult you or lead you on , so I'll just say it.
It looks like a costume.
I would look for something with more meat and less dressing.
Made in USA usually means higher quality materials and workmanship.
I have had many jackets over the years, the last one I bought is from Fox Creek, made in Virginia and comes with a lifetime guarantee.


Thanks Candyman! That's kind of what I was thinking. I looked at the tags and it's made in China. Seems you're paying for the HD name when you buy their stuff, not much else!
My uncle has a USA made propper Vanson leather jacket with armour and it feels much sturdier than that one.
I just wanted a second opinion, as I was amazed at how many people in the HD world ride without any real protection. I can't count how many ladies I've seen in nothing but daisy dukes, cowgirl boots and skimpy leather vests!
Coming from a motocross background, I was gobsmacked when I first entered the Harley world haha!
 

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They make several models with different thickness and quality of leather. They also have textile/mesh with armor too. They all are pricy. I prefer the lighter and cooler textile jackets with all the armor. I have a safety yellow firstgear and for the roadking I use a black one. when it gets below sixty I wear leather and always boots and helmet. welcome here I too used to dirtbike and moto-cross for many years.
 

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weird member
1997 Softail Custom (FXSTC)
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I'm not going to comment on Harley's leathers or Motorclothes department or their products as I don't use most of them. I've taken a look before and some things seem more protective than others, but everything is pricey. But I can't say how protective or not anything is that they offer.

I do wear Harley boots (previously wore their Thurmond before it was discontinued, now wearing their Dipstick boot, both made by the same manufacturer). I can say my previous boots did protect my feet in a crash three years ago (I got t-boned by a radio station van), but didn't protect my ankle. My current boots feel a lot more substantial in the ankle area, but I don't feel like they'd be super protective (no armor in the ankle). I also have their black and orange rain suit. The old version was great, and when it wore out, I went to get another and the new version of that suit costs the same but is made cheaper. And that's my experience with them.

I wear leather over-pants and a leather vest in the summer, same pants and a leather shirt in fall, and I have a heavy leather jacket I got for free for use in winter (no idea who makes the jacket). The pants I had in the wreck held up really well, and the leather shirt. I still use that same leather shirt as it has no damage, but I had to replace the pants because the belt loops broke (but the pants were old and some of the seams already had been busting). The pants I replaced them with are almost the same, but made better and by someone else.

I got all my leathers at a local bikerwear place. The vest and leather shirt are made by Unik and the pants by Big B's Leather. All three pieces cost me maybe $250-300, which is less than the cost of just a single basic Harley leather jacket (which online just a quick glance seem to be $400+). Unik is a cheap brand, but the leather is quality, at least on the items I have.

Just know, leather will strictly be abrasion resistance (and superior to any textile in that regard). Downside of leather is it doesn't breathe and can get hot, and it's also heavier. It's often easier to find armor with textiles than with leathers.

Just my opinion, probably some of their stuff is fine, but you can get the same or better protection for way less elsewhere.
 
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2011 Fat Bob 103
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I'm not going to comment on Harley's leathers or Motorclothes department or their products as I don't use most of them. I've taken a look before and some things seem more protective than others, but everything is pricey. But I can't say how protective or not anything is that they offer.

I do wear Harley boots (previously wore their Thurmond before it was discontinued, now wearing their Dipstick boot, both made by the same manufacturer). I can say my previous boots did protect my feet in a crash three years ago (I got t-boned by a radio station van), but didn't protect my ankle. My current boots feel a lot more substantial in the ankle area, but I don't feel like they'd be super protective (no armor in the ankle). I also have their black and orange rain suit. The old version was great, and when it wore out, I went to get another and the new version of that suit costs the same but is made cheaper. And that's my experience with them.

I wear leather over-pants and a leather vest in the summer, same pants and a leather shirt in fall, and I have a heavy leather jacket I got for free for use in winter (no idea who makes the jacket). The pants I had in the wreck held up really well, and the leather shirt. I still use that same leather shirt as it has no damage, but I had to replace the pants because the belt loops broke (but the pants were old and some of the seams already had been busting). The pants I replaced them with are almost the same, but made better and by someone else.

I got all my leathers at a local bikerwear place. The vest and leather shirt are made by Unik and the pants by Big B's Leather. All three pieces cost me maybe $250-300, which is less than the cost of just a single basic Harley leather jacket (which online just a quick glance seem to be $400+). Unik is a cheap brand, but the leather is quality, at least on the items I have.

Just know, leather will strictly be abrasion resistance (and superior to any textile in that regard). Downside of leather is it doesn't breathe and can get hot, and it's also heavier. It's often easier to find armor with textiles than with leathers.

Just my opinion, probably some of their stuff is fine, but you can get the same or better protection for way less elsewhere.
Wow thanks so much sardonicus, I'll keep Unik in mind!
 

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I bought my newest leather jacket from our local HD dealership but, it's not HD branded and it has armor elbows and shoulders. About the same pricing that i have found locally at other M/C gear shops. $300 ish.

My wife rides with the mesh gear, (she rides her own) one heavy black with a lot of white reflective stitch work (this one is heavyish for cooler riding) and she has a new lighter White w/ blue accent that she wears when the temps jump up. (Both are armored).

You can find fashion w/ function. Alway buy gear Function over fashion. just my .02
 
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I bought my newest leather jacket from our local HD dealership but, it's not HD branded and it has armor elbows and shoulders. About the same pricing that i have found locally at other M/C gear shops. $300 ish.

My wife rides with the mesh gear, (she rides her own) one heavy black with a lot of white reflective stitch work (this one is heavyish for cooler riding) and she has a new lighter White w/ blue accent that she wears when the temps jump up. (Both are armored).

You can find fashion w/ function. Alway buy gear Function over fashion. just my .02
Thanks so much 1/2 Ton, I'll definitely keep that in mind! Function first, fashion second!
 

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I, personally, refuse to buy any HD clothing/apparel. HD is trying to sell an image, a lifestyle if you will. I ain't buying into it. Years ago I got caught up in HD Tee-shirts. Anytime I was out of town I would find a dealership to see if they had any cool Tee-shirts. On a couple of trips I discovered, after I got home, the Tee-shirts were low quality, seams not matched, so forth and so on. For what they charge everything should be first class but that's not the case. I do wear HD boots cause they fit me so good. But I paid a shoe repair place $20 to re-glue the soles that were coming off. I will wear them out but no more HD clothing of any type for me.

Several years ago I bought a black leather jacket from Cycle Gear. No emblems whatsoever. Very comfortable, and it was on sale. Can't remember what I paid but I guarantee it was a LOT less than a similar HD coat and it's a good coat. Have another HD leather jacket I bought 2-3 years ago. I have worn it twice, maybe three times all going to dinner in the evenings. Bought it with my Visa points I accumulated on my HD Visa card but the jacket is just too heavy for me. I've been meaning to take a couple pics and list it for sale but I just haven't gotten around to it.

I guess HD has pissed me off in so many ways over the last few years I don't want any of their clothing items, knick knacks for around the house/garage, glassware, wrist watches, door mats, so forth and so on. If they would stick to motorcycles and work to get their quality up without looking for every damn thing they can do to save a nickel or a dime on producing a quality bike I would have more respect for them.
 

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Anyone have any thoughts on this?
In some parts of the country, there are specialty leather shops who manufacture for motorcycle riders.

My own leather riding jacket came from Golden Bear in San Francisco. It is the same jacket which is supplied to California Highway Patrol and dozens of agencies in Northern California. They treated me like any other motor officer - i.e. someone who is on the bike 10 to 12 hours a day. I rode my bike there. They took measurements of me sitting on the bike and standing. The jacket fits perfectly. Every allowance was made for sleeve length when reaching for the handlebars, the shape of my torso in my riding position, and the length of the jacket so that it's not all bunched up heavy leather when I'm sitting. The neck fits perfectly so that it seals out wind. Collar snaps up for extra protection, and snap down buttons hold it down so the wind doesn't cause it to flap up and slap me. Wrist are exact when zipped down so that wind and rain are sealed out. Pockets in the right position for me. All heavy duty leather and reinforced stitching. Brass American made slide fasteners.

I have heard that Johnson Leather will work with you over the phone or e-mail, to make a jacket to your measurements. Other jacket makers will probably do the same.

There will be some brands that a lot of people will recommend. Most of them are good. Vanson. Schott. Cal Leather. Langlitz. Lost Worlds. Legendary USA. Fox Creek. Cockpit USA. There are also companies which produce the military and police leather jackets.

Outerwear Photograph Sleeve Grey Collar



Another consideration is the leather. Horse. Cow. Goat. Sheep. Pig. Buffalo. Very many different grades. Different thickness.

If you are not squeamish, browse Mr. S. Perhaps call them. I have been in the store. They manufacture by hand, at small scale. Not massed produced. That jacket is extremely high quality. I'm sure that they can manufacture to a feminine silhouette.

Outerwear Flash photography Sleeve Sunglasses Collar
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Harley sells more merchandising than motorcycles.
Thanks so much Fifty150!
I’ll check out those suggestions!
And I think you’re right, the other day was the first time I stepped into a HD dealership before and it felt like I was at Macy’s, only for HD haha.
I mean just because I ride your motorcycle brand, doesn’t mean I need HD glassware, car seat covers, tank tops and jeans with your name on them.
You’re a motorcycle manufacturer, stick to that and leave the high-quality denim to other respective professionals like Wrangler and Levis lol.
And judging by the responses here, I’m starting to think that I should seek out actual professional leather manufacturers for my riding gear too!
 

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I, personally, refuse to buy any HD clothing/apparel. HD is trying to sell an image, a lifestyle if you will. I ain't buying into it. Years ago I got caught up in HD Tee-shirts. Anytime I was out of town I would find a dealership to see if they had any cool Tee-shirts. On a couple of trips I discovered, after I got home, the Tee-shirts were low quality, seams not matched, so forth and so on. For what they charge everything should be first class but that's not the case. I do wear HD boots cause they fit me so good. But I paid a shoe repair place $20 to re-glue the soles that were coming off. I will wear them out but no more HD clothing of any type for me.

Several years ago I bought a black leather jacket from Cycle Gear. No emblems whatsoever. Very comfortable, and it was on sale. Can't remember what I paid but I guarantee it was a LOT less than a similar HD coat and it's a good coat. Have another HD leather jacket I bought 2-3 years ago. I have worn it twice, maybe three times all going to dinner in the evenings. Bought it with my Visa points I accumulated on my HD Visa card but the jacket is just too heavy for me. I've been meaning to take a couple pics and list it for sale but I just haven't gotten around to it.

I guess HD has pissed me off in so many ways over the last few years I don't want any of their clothing items, knick knacks for around the house/garage, glassware, wrist watches, door mats, so forth and so on. If they would stick to motorcycles and work to get their quality up without looking for every damn thing they can do to save a nickel or a dime on producing a quality bike I would have more respect for them.
The MoCo is perfectly OK with someone buying 3 t-shirts, but if you try to buy 3 oil filters, they will ban your account. Now I see where their priorities are.
 

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The MoCo is perfectly OK with someone buying 3 t-shirts, but if you try to buy 3 oil filters, they will ban your account. Now I see where their priorities are.
that's still just nuts. their filters aren't the only girl at the dance. they should be greatful to sell as many as they do. not limiting the sales they have.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Just because you have Harley doesn't mean you have to buy everything from harley dealer there are many places you can get a good quality jacket online and save $ The one in pic will look good at bar but when you are on bike you have think worst that can happen and be prepared for that
Thanks so much tomeadd! Guess I'll save the above leathers for the bar after the ride haha!
 
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