Motorcycle Holiday Gear Bag – Harley

November 26, 2009
Bryan Harley
Bryan Harley
Cruiser Editor |Articles|Articles RSS|Blog|Blog Posts|Blog RSS

Our resident road warrior has earned his stripes covering the rally circuit, from riding the Black Hills of Sturgis to cruising Main Street in Daytona Beach. Whether it's chopped, bobbed, or bored, metric to 'Merican, he rides 'em all.

One of the perks of being an editor for a motorcycle magazine is the opportunity to test out the latest gear. We go through more than our share around here, abuse it for a riding season, and then let you know how things hold up. Over the course of a year, there’s gear that proves its worth more so than others.

Now that the holiday season is upon us, we thought we’d steer you in the right direction when it’s time to shop for that special V-Twin loving, leather-wearing person on your list. We wouldn’t want you throwin’ your hard-earned cash around haphazardly, so here are a few of our must-have products for 2010. These items would make the perfect gift for that beloved motorcyclist on your list. Each of them has been instrumental to helping me make it through another year of pounding pavement and testing motorcycles.
Alpinestars 365 Gore-Tex Gloves

Alpinestars 365 Gore-Tex Gloves
The Alpinestars 365 Gore-Tex Gloves have been my favorite pair this year. I like the length, fit, and style. They’re also reinforced in all the right areas.

MSRP: $229.95

Keep your skin on your hands, people. I can’t count how many riders I saw with the shiny skin of their exposed knuckles wrapped around their handlebars last week while testing bikes in L.A. Makes me cringe just thinking about it. I’ve been wearing the Alpinestars 365 Gore-Tex Gloves for the past eight months and make sure they’re one of the first things in my gear bag. The 365’s are cut gauntlet-style, so they cover your wrist and eliminate wind shooting up your sleeve. A dual closure system cinches them down tight. The Alpinestars 365 Gloves are reinforced in the palm, in the back of the fingers and thumb, and have four hard plastic knuckle protectors for good measure. The Gore-Tex kept my hands dry through a day-long deluge and they’re good in the battle against the cold down to about 40 degrees. They are on the spendy side for gloves, but the peace of mind knowing your hands are protected is worth the extra dough. Cool Alpinestars styling helps seal the deal. 

Tour Master Coaster II Leather Jacket
MSRP: $215.99

I’ve been fortunate to wear some great jackets this past riding season, but the one I enjoyed the most is the Tour Master Coaster II Jacket. It’s made of my favorite jacket material – leather. The thick top-grain cowhide is extremely

Tour Master Coaster II Leather Jacket
The Tour Master Coaster Tour II Leather Jacket has above-avearage ventilation and is a well-made, good-looking jacket that costs hundreds less than some of its competitors.

durable and is stitched together solidly. It fits snug against the body so wind doesn’t creep in and blow you up like the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man. It has superb ventilation, anchored by dual mesh-lined, 12-inch-long vertical vents cut in the back. Besides the protection the thick leather provides, it is also reinforced in the shoulders, elbows, and back with CE-approved armor. A white racing stripe with 3M reflective piping not only looks sporty but makes riders more visible at night as well. Best part is, at $215.99, the Tour Master Coaster II Leather Jacket costs less than the Alpinestars Gloves!

Icon PDX Rain Jacket and Bibs
MSRP: Bibs $115 Rain Jacket $105

Icon PDX Rain Jacket
You can’t miss this Day-Glo Orange jacket even in a dark driving storm. The Icon PDX jacket and bibs dry quickly, slip easily over your regular riding gear, and kept me warm and dry in situations where the weather was trying to beat me down. Best rain gear I’ve ever had, hands down.

The rainy season is upon us, so don’t get caught in the storm unprepared. A good set of rain gear can mean the difference between a good or miserable ride. Case in point. I recently went on three-day excursion up the Oregon coast on sport-tourers with a couple of friends. The third day of our ride, the first major storm of the fall swept over the state. Howling winds, driving rains, you know the scene. Fortunately, I had my Icon PDX rain gear with me. The nylon waterproof shell kept me cozy and dry despite riding through torrential rain for most of the afternoon. My buddy, on the other hand, had an old set of rain gear that he had to stuff with newspaper because of the water seeping in. By the time we got home, the newspaper was a soggy layer of mush over his leather jacket, while my Icon PDX gear dripped dry and showed no sign of the storm not ten minutes after taking it off. Icon was smart enough to put small flaps that Velcro over the zippers on the jacket and bibs to keep wind and water from seeping in, everything fits easily over your regular gear and the orange jacket with reflective Icon graphics is highly visible at night. Easily the best rain gear I’ve ever had.
Tour Master Synergy Electric Heated Full Pant Liner
MSRP: $152.99

Tour Master Synergy Heated Pant Liner
Once you put on a pair of Tour Master’s Heated Pant Liners, you’ll never want to ride in the winter again without them.

I just tested a pair of these recently and wonder what took me so long to try heated gear. Hook up the power lead wiring harness to your battery, plug in the heating controls and enjoy the waves of warmth as they take the chill out of cold rides. The Synergy Heated Pant Liner easily fits under your normal riding pants, are very comfortable thanks to a taffeta lining and are fairly lightweight. They look like a black pair of sweats and are sized the same as my normal pants. The pant liner has three temperature settings operated through two big buttons that are simple to use even with gloved hands. A nylon strap is provided so you can clip the heating controls easily within reach. They can be mated to a Synergy Jacket Liner and Synergy Heated Leather Gloves so there’s no excuse to say you don’t want to ride because it’s too cold outside. If you know somebody who rides year ‘round who isn’t sporting a set already, you’ll be their new best-friend-for-life for hooking them up a set of these.

S&S Cycle presents Today’s Top Custom Bike Builders
MSRP: $40

S S Cylces book Todays Top Custom Bike Builders
S&S Cycle’s Today’s Top Custom Bike Builders features 50 of today’s hottest custom motorcycle builders and the photography of Michael Lichter.

A lot of books and assorted media come across my desk, but this book is by far one of the highest-quality publications I’ve come across this year. Of course, it’s full of Michael Lichter’s photos, so how could it not be top-notch? In 2008, V-Twin engine manufacturer S&S Cycle celebrated its 50th anniversary by commissioning 50 of the best custom motorcycle builders in the industry to build a bike sourcing an S&S mill. With $50,000 in prize money up for grabs, the quality of the work featured in the book is stupendous. Each custom builder got a four-page spread for their bikes, including an intro written by Howard Kelly (former Hot Bike and Street Chopper editor) and a wonderful photo spread courtesy of Lichter. Jay Leno provides an introduction, and a brief history of S&S Cycle prefaces the book. It’s all hardbound with a great-looking cover and it would be a great book to keep out on the coffee-table to share with friends. Professionally done, killer photos and interesting text make this one of my favorite books from the past year.