In our December issue I did a product review of the Harley-Davidson FXRG Pants that I’ve being wearing a lot during my commute and travels for the past year. Just weeks before the review was written up, they were my all-day-in-the-saddle riding pants on a four-day tour and were so comfortable I could have slept in them as well. And though we’d encountered some pretty chilly weather on this ride through three states—and on other days—I hadn’t had an opportunity to test them in the rain. As mentioned in the test, the pants are a combo of leather and stretchy Cordura. I held the Cordura under running water for a few minutes to see if water would leak through. It did not, but riding in rain is the true test.
As luck would have it, a week after the December issue came out, I headed off on a four-day EagleRider tour in October where we encountered more rain than sunshine. I’d describe most of the rain as not particularly heavy (based on my native Southern Californian perspective), but we were out there for the good part of three days in the wet.
However, the true test came at the very end of my ride. After the tour ended in San Francisco, I rode home about 400 miles on a Honda ST1300—and somehow, my timing was just perfect since I kept dodging the rain. There was sunshine, then there’d be dark clouds, then back to sunshine and then clouds…a storm was definitely brewing. And finally, about 20 miles from home the sky was just one big thunder cloud and it started to sprinkle. Almost home. Then seven miles from home it started not just raining, but buckets were being dumped on me. I was also wearing the mate to the FXRG Pants, the all-weather FXRG Jacket, which I have to review anyway. So now that it was raining hard, I could just keep going to see if H-D’s waterproof claim rings true.
OK, let’s do it! I sighed as I passed by my exit and pushed aside thoughts of kicking back on the couch in my cozy UGG boots with a hot cup of tea, but the opportunity was perfect. I was already geared up and out in the elements—what was another few miles when I’d just ridden 400? And besides, it doesn’t rain too often in Southern California (if you don’t count this past week!) so I may as well take advantage of it. I kept riding another 10 miles in the downpour, then turned around and rode back home. I reached home and pulled into the garage safely—if you don’t count the fact that the ST and I practically skied across the now-wet garage floor before bumping into a file cabinet and coming to an upright stop.
I peeled off the jacket and pants, hung ’em over a chair on the porch and inspected my clothing underneath. Other than around my neckline where my now-drenched neck gaiter had dampened the collar, the rest of my clothing was perfectly dry. And upon inspection of the inside of the jacket and pants, they had a “humid” feel to them but they weren’t wet. Twenty-seven miles in a downpour and the FXRG Pants and Jacket kept me dry. And check out this photo that Laura O’Brien, one of the EagleRider tour guides, snapped of me video taping the group, where you can see how well the reflective piping really stands out in low light.