I’ve owned the Harley-Davidson FXRG Leather & Textile Pants for about a year, and as noted in our Gift Guide on page 46 of the December 2010 issue, these are one of my favorite riding pants. They’re functional and flattering, and recently passed an all-day-for-four-days-in-the-saddle test through three states, with temps in the high 30s to mid 70s.
The leather is supple, and adding to comfort are strategically placed stretchy Cordura insets. In the cool riding I just experienced in Idaho, Wyoming and Montana, I wore yoga pants underneath for an extra layer of warmth because I thought the Cordura might let air through; the FXRGs turned out to be windproof. The nonremovable soft liner is breathable and H-D says both it and the leather are waterproof. I haven’t worn the pants in the rain, but held a large portion of the Cordura material under running water for a few minutes. The water pooled and wasn’t absorbed, and inside the liner stayed dry. The liner has “C change,” a temperature adaptive material in which a polymer membrane opens up to allow water vapor to escape when it gets warm inside the pants, and as temperature falls, the membrane closes, preserving body heat. The 7-inch zippered thigh vents don’t seem like they would make much difference, but they do help to cool you off when it warms.
The waistline is leather in front and stretchy in the back so the FXRGs don’t dig into my waist. The hook-and-loop straps at the waist are a great idea but only provide limited adjustment, as the hook-and-loop patches they fasten to are very short. Women with normal or larger hips and narrow waists will need a pant size to fit their hips, but then may find that the tabs don’t tighten the pants at the waist. Editor Tuttle’s wife Genie simply had more hook-and-loop added to her FXRGs for a better fit. It’s important to note that the FXRGs also have a low-rise waist, which is my preference, but other women may not like this look.
CE-approved armor in the knees and hips feels soft and pliable. These are the only riding pants I have in which the knee armor actually covers my knee (though curiously my right kneecap gets sore where the armor rubs against it on long rides). The armor on my other motorcycling pants rides above my knees because of my long inseam. The FXRGs are offered in two inseams: 32 and 34, and waist sizes 2-18 for women. They also come in sizes for men but are designed differently so this test probably doesn’t apply.
Just one complaint about the FXRGs —three pairs we’ve sampled ripped in the nether regions right below the zipper, one pair before we’d even worn them. It’s easily fixed by a tailor or cobbler, but is still something to check for at the dealer. The soft leather on the knees has started to show a few scratches and pockmarks where I kneel down to check tire pressures and such, too.
Otherwise the FXRGs are high-end riding pants that look great and are comfortable, whether you’re in the saddle or walking around, and are especially stretchy and comfortable swinging a leg over a saddle. They have reflective piping and 18-inch zippered gussets (the women’s have an orange panel, men’s are black) on the lower legs. A “Harley-Davidson” logo runs inconspicuously up the right side, and the pants have a five-year warranty. Women’s FXRGs are $400, Men’s are $425; add $10 for the longer inseam. The pants zip to FXRG jackets via a 9-inch zipper. I recently acquired the all-weather leather FXRG jacket, too, so look for a review in a future issue.
For more information: See your Harley-Davidson dealer. To find a dealer near you call (800) LUV2RIDE