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I've finally done the Harley Davidson Vest!

By Wom Battle

To vest or not to vest?  It's been a question I've been asking myself for over a year now while riding my Harley Davidson.  I've seen members of the local HOG Chapter as well as other general riders with different ideas about having a vest, what goes on it, when to wear it but I've often wondered about the practicality of one.

I have to say that I like the protection of a leather jacket, particularly on a long ride but on the shorter day to Tuncurry a short while back it struck me that I was hotter than I wanted to be and I was envious of those among us who opted for the long sleeved shirt/sloppy joe with the vest over the top, particularly while stopped for fuel.

So the decision to be made..... is my torso more important to me than my arms? Or, is comfort on short trips on hot days worth the safety risk?  After 15 months or so, for me, the answer is now "Yes and Yes".  So I bought a real Harley Davidson brand vest cheap online from China happy to take the risk that saving $300 might mean I'd get something strange delivered.  I guess that given all the Harley Davidson clothes I've seen are made in China they should be cheaper buying them direct from there. As it turned out I got exactly what I ordered, fast and hassle free!

The vest arrived, it was a little too big but that was expected as an XL if it was really a Harley size.  I knew I could get it properly resized locally by Kerrie at Navaho Designs and going down half a size, while probably less common than the other way, would be easier to manage.

The next big decision, knowing it was going to be properly fitted, was whether or not to put any of the collection of patches I'd accumulated over the last year or so which included

  • Name Patch (wombattle of course)
  • HOG Membership Patch
  • Local Chapter Rocker
  • 2010 HOG Member Rocker
  • 1,000 & 5,000 & 10,000 HOG Mile and Mileage Program patches
  • HOG Safe Rider
  • 2009 National Rally patch
  • 2010 Vic State Rally Patch
  • Blue Liners Member Patch
  • 2009 Toy Run Patch
  • More.....

Some of those listed were about belonging to a like minded group and although I'm not traditionally a "joiner" I've found that the more that I ride around either on HOG days or not, seeing a HOG member patch usually means if I'm in the mood for a chat there's an easy starting point and the Chapter Rocker saves an obvious question.

Others patches listed represent personal achievement/milestones.  The 2010 Rocker marks my first "official" full year as a Harley owner, the 10,000 HOG mile patch reminds me that my Harley has gone further than my car (that's 5 months older). The safe rider patch attests to three fun and flat out days doing advanced rider training at Oran Park and Eastern Creek. The '09 Rally Patch is a reminder of my first National HOG Rally and a great part of my trip across the Nullarbor to Perth with my son.  The name patch, we'll that's just piss funny because I'm the only one that calls me wombattle. I decided those mentioned should go on the vest, the others could stay in the drawer for now, the Vic State Rally one a line ball at the moment, it didn't arrive before I took the vest for fixing and decorating.

I'm sitting here as I type thinking about whether I put them on to indicate to others "what I've done" which would make me a bit of a wanker.  Happily I've decided my motivation for applying the patches is much the same as putting the Willie-G derby cover on my Harley Davidson.... it's about personalising it, making it mine.  Although in applying them the vest now represents a unique personal history of my time riding my Harley so thinking forward to look back it may become more important than whatever Harley Davidson I'm riding at the time.  A strange revelation that one, I think I get it now.




G'day Wombattle. Chris...err LONERIDER here. Congratulations mate, you got it! Yes, it's about personalising it. Cool man cool! I hope you allowed for it to fit over the top of your jacket so you can wear it in all seasons. If not, you can always get those vest extender chain thingos or side laces. Hope to see you standing proudly in it next time, Chriso

Posted by Anonymous, 07/04/2010 9:50:48 pm

G'Day Wombattle, I hope when you had your vest re-fitted you allowed for a denim jacket to go underneath? preferable a denim jacket with kevlar inserts, that's the coolest way to ride in summer. stay shiney side up. Cheers Skip

Posted by Anonymous, 13/04/2010 11:09:42 pm

You siad to me you wld never do it!! Timmo That said, I would not mind getting one directly as you did - any info?

Posted by Anonymous, 21/04/2010 6:14:49 pm

Hi Timmo, I got mine from http://www.wholesale-leatherjacket.com/ A small range but they had the one I wanted very cheap. While my experience with them was good, I accepted that overall the risk was higher than using one of the more established online dealers so don't come after me if you don't have the same luck I did!

Posted by Wombattle, 08/05/2010 9:16:25 am

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April 2024