Women Riders

Out With the Old, In With the New

Written by  December 1, 2012

Another year is about to come to an end. When I had a “regular” job, I always said the days seem to drag but the months and years seem to fly by. Now that I am a “woman of leisure,” the days aren’t so long, but the year still seems to have gone by in a flash.

Along with the New Year approaching are the new models and gear. Harley-Davidson is introducing new CVO models for 2013. The new CVOs (Custom Vehicle Operations) feature (by model) LED headlamps, heated seats and grips and factory installed audio systems, among other things. The popular Road King has been reintroduced to the CVO lineup after an absence of five years. All four of the CVO models (Road King, Softail, called the “Breakout” in the CVO line, Road Glide Custom and Ultra Classic Electra Glide) receive the new “Assist and Slip Clutch Pack” with its slip feature aimed at reducing loading of the driveline during downshifts. The clutch lever itself has been reshaped to reduce reach slightly while they’ve adjusted the hydraulic clutch actuation to make for an easier pull at the lever, too.

New riding gear is out now too. The Icon 1000 Shorty Jacket is a short-sleeved leather jacket. It’s cut like a form-fitting leather shirt. Protection is minimal and the jacket retails for about $400. But if you’re not into a vest but feel naked without something on while riding in warmer weather, this might be just what you’re looking for.

The “Roof Boxer V8” helmet is about as versatile a helmet as you could get. With a design pioneered by Claude Morin in 1995, the modular helmet has a chin bar that can be rotated 180 degrees to the back of the helmet. This makes the helmet fully open faced with none of that annoying wind resistance riding with a conventional lifted chin bar would produce. The helmet can be used with or without its integral eye shield for the versatility of riding without a full-face shield or with when the chin bar is engaged. It is manufactured in France, and I cannot find a price for it in US dollars.

Icon also makes, for women, the Airframe Street Angel helmet, retailing for about $330. The wild graphics are available in black or pink. The helmet meets international safety standards and features layers of fiberglass, Dyneema and carbon fiber. Inside it is well padded courtesy of a dual density EPS liner tucked out of sight behind mesh and padded Hydradry liners, which are removable for cleaning.

Joe Rocket’s Radar Jacket retails for about $300 and features a wind-proof and water-resistant liner, making it a great form-fitting jacket for all year long riding. Mesh segments in the front and on the back at the shoulder blades are sewn into the 1.2-mm leather at the chest and ribs, shoulders, back, elbows and forearms. CE-approved armor covers impact areas (shoulders and elbows) and the included spine pad can be upgraded to Joe Rocket’s Speedmaster 2.0 CE level 2 spine protector. Its four-point SureFit custom adjustment system allows you to customize the fit with hip zippers and two buckles in back that cinch up the waist. A soft, low-profile collar snaps closed, and there is reflective piping for nighttime visibility. The jacket comes in white with gun metal, solid black or purple with black.

It’s not too late to add some of these new items to your wish list this holiday season. Have a safe and wonderful Holiday Season.