Riders need to stand out, especially when visibility is reduced—and stand out you will in a Harley-Davidson Genuine MotorClothes Hi-Vis Rain Suit. It is available in orange or yellow, although the orange somehow seems a better complement to the huge, reflective Harley logo across the back. There’s lots of 3M Scotchlite reflective material on the jacket and pants, in fact, more than I’ve encountered on other rainsuits.
The jacket shell is waterproof nylon and the lining is polyester mesh. Its main zipper hides behind a double storm flap, and hook-and-loop strips keep the flap in place. Elastic arm openings feature hook-and-loop tabs so you can adjust the fit easily with gloves on. There’s an elastic drawstring to keep the hem from flopping around, and a waterproof hood—which stores under the collar—goes on under your helmet to keep water from dripping down your back.
The pants are also waterproof nylon, and the legs are zippered from knees to cuffs to make them easy to put on and take off over boots. A full-length storm flap covers each zipper. Stirrups and hook-and-loop strips at the leg openings keep things in place. The waistband is elastic and the suspenders are adjustable as well as removable. Most rain pants are all black, but these get high-vis blocks plus a reflective logo and stripes.
One cool feature is a grippy surface where your buns meet the saddle, designed to keep you from sliding around in the wet. It works. There’s also some Harley-specific heat shielding (right leg only, of course). Outer pockets on the jacket and pants feature storm flaps and water-resistant zippers, and there’s a pocket behind the jacket’s storm flap. A stuff sack is included that has some extra room for your waterproof gloves.
The rainsuit jacket and pants went on easily over my textile riding jacket and pants. I prefer a snug-fitting rainsuit so water doesn’t find places to pool up, but if you prefer a roomy fit, consider ordering up a size from the range (men’s S-5XL). It retails for $185. Harley also offers a highly visible rainsuit for women called the Illumination 360°.
With remnants of tropical storm Andrea drenching New England, I took the opportunity to wash the bugs off my Kawasaki Versys while riding in the Hi-Vis Rain Suit. After an SUV had followed me for a few miles, I gestured for the driver to pull up alongside at a stop sign. “You’ve been behind me a while,” I said. “How well can you see me?” The driver replied, “You totally stand out with the orange and all the reflectors. That’s really smart. And man, that is one cool Harley!” (Uh, right…thanks!)
Back in my hometown, I stopped to ask a police officer for his two cents. “Especially on a motorcycle, hi-visibility orange and yellow are vastly superior to black,” he said. “Personally, I prefer yellow on traffic details because cones and construction signs are orange and I want to stand out.”
After two hours of riding in moderate-to-hard rain, I pulled into my garage. Underneath the Hi-Vis Rain Suit I was completely dry. Cotton cloths I’d placed inside all three outer pockets, however, were damp. Curiously, a cloth placed inside the breast pocket, which lacks a water resistant zipper but is behind the storm flap, stayed dry.
Dry, as we know, beats wet. And for being seen on a motorcycle—especially in the rain—Hi-Vis beats black.
For more information: See your Harley dealer or visit harley-davidson.com.