Which Motorcycle Jeans Should You Buy?

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Which Motorcycle Jeans Should You Buy?

Alpinestars Kerry
Alpinestars Kerry

Alpinestars Kerry — $200

What’s Good: Hey ladies, want a flattering pair of jeans with solid safety? The Kerry’s incorporate Kevlar panels in the seats, hips and knees for abrasion resistance and removable CE armor in the knees.

What’s Bad: Removable hip pads aren’t CE-rated.

RideApart Recommended: Yes. These are genuinely flattering to the feminine figure.

Icon Strongarm 2
Icon Strongarm 2

Icon Strongarm 2 — $105-$115

What’s Good: They’re cheap and they do incorporate Aramid (non-name brand Kevlar) in the knees, but not the seat.

What’s Bad: The dream of the 1990s is indeed alive in Portland. These are cut like JNCOs and the more expensive “Enforcer” model features laughably bad skull and “XX” graphics on its seat.

RideApart Recommended: No. There’s really not much protection and they’re just awful to look at.

Icon Hooligan
Icon Hooligan

Icon Hooligan — $120

What’s Good: This is more like it. Nicely styled and equipped with Aramid panels inside the knees complete with armor, the Hooligan is available in either black or grey. The knee armor is also easily removable through external pockets, so you can pull it out when you reach the office.

What’s Bad: Outright protection is limited. We’d like to see an all-over Kevlar weave or liner or at least Kevlar in the seat and hips.

RideApart Recommended: Yes. Just keep in mind the limited protection.

Icon Women’s Hella Denim
Icon Women’s Hella Denim

Icon Women’s Hella Denim — $85

What’s Good: Stretch denim backed up by an Aramid layer in the knees.

What’s Bad: The fit is decidedly boot cut, there’s no armor and no abrasion protection in the seat.

RideApart Recommended: No. Spend up to the Rev’Its, the protection and more stylish fit is worth it.

Ugly Bros
Ugly Bros

Ugly Bros — Price Varies

What’s Good: Ugly Bros has a full line of protective jeans, most of which are made from a part-Kevlar weave and some of which include armor.

What’s Bad: While some of the styles are nicely understated and well cut, others are truly hideous. There’s a healthy selection though.

RideApart Recommended: Depends on the product in question. One thing we’d consider is availability, returns and things like that. Without a physical store presence in the U.S., getting the right size could be a hassle.

Rokker Revolution Waterpoof Jeans
Rokker Revolution Waterpoof Jeans

Rokker Revolution Waterpoof Jeans — $550

What’s Good: Made from abrasion resistant Schoeller Dynatec fabric, the Revolutions are lined with a wind/waterproof, breathable membrane. D3O armor is included for the hips and knees.

What’s Bad: Rokker is a Swiss company and its styling appears rooted in the 1990s European techno scene. If you’re a Russian gangster or middle-aged male from East Germany with spikey blonde hair, you’ll love them. If you live in America and have eyes, you’ll assume they’re a bad joke.

RideApart Recommended: No. These have the best ingredients of any product here, but the worst when it comes to looks. Sigh.

Rokker Original
Rokker Original

Rokker Original — $470

What’s Good: A basic denim jean lined with the high-tech Shoeller Dynatec fabric.

What’s Bad: Again, the styling is just going be love it or hate it. No bones about it, we hate it.

RideApart Recommended: No. While the Schoeller fabric will justify the huge premium to the kind of people who really geek out on materials technology, we’d also guess those same people haven’t yet invented a time machine to travel forward from the 1990s, then take these jeans back to their rightful time in fashion.

Rokker Red Selvage
Rokker Red Selvage

Rokker Red Selvage — $500

What’s Good: Again, the Schoeller Dynatec liner will provide peerless abrasion resistance.

What’s Bad: You have eyes, you tell us. We’re guessing they misspelled “selvedge” because these are just regular, stonewashed denim jeans.

RideApart Recommended: Would you pay $500 to look like the modern day Axel Rose? Neither would we.

Draggin’ Jeans
Draggin’ Jeans

Draggin’ Jeans — Price Varies

What’s Good: The original Kevlar riding jeans are available in a variety of styles with varying degrees of protection from the anti-abrasion liner.

What’s Bad: Draggin’ has failed to keep up with the pace of advancement in a segment it invented. Competitors now offer better protection and better style — an area in which this brand has always lagged.

RideApart Recommended: No. The market has moved on.

Iron Heart 21oz
Iron Heart 21oz

Iron Heart 21oz — $365+

What’s Good: Ultra heavyweight denim delivers the strength and durability denim has always been rumored to be capable of without becoming unbearably stiff or thick. Iron Heart’s denim is even stronger than its weight would suggest thanks to its ultra-long Zimbabwe cotton fibers.

What’s Bad: Plan on a break-in period of 6 months or more before they become truly comfortable.

RideApart Recommended: Yes. As fashionable as Deth Killers and as safe, too.

What is your favorite brand when it comes to riding jeans? Which jeans do you advise against and which do you recommend?

  • Guy Simmonds

    I’d also highly recommend the RST denim jeans – http://www.rst-moto.com/rst-kevlar-black-jean
    Not sure how easy they are to get stateside, but pretty easy to get ahold of in the UK. Affordable, pretty nice looking, comfortable (though I’ve not worn them in summer yet), Kevlar across the seat and knees, with adjustable CE-rated knee armour, and pockets for hip armour (standard RST pieces interchangeable with their textile and leather trousers). The adjustable knee pocket is a pretty nice feature in itself, too often I find knee armour in the wrong place to give any real protection.

  • TP

    Since when was “casual Obama” a style icon?


  • Zandit75

    Hmmm, not sure why they were missed, maybe they don’t have a great presence overseas, but I love the TKD jeans available here in Australia. http://tkdjeans.com/
    They have a fully removable Kevlar liner that can be rotated between different styles of jeans available from TKD. All made in Australia, very comfortable, and the jeans are dressy enough to be worn off the bike for casual wear.
    Removable CE armour is available for the knees and hips.
    One thing that is not commonly known is that Kevlar does not react well to detergents, and starts to break down. Having the removable liner means you can wash you jeans whenever they need it without damaging the Kevlar.
    My only complaint with these jeans is the Kevlar liner is not flexible enough to go over my boots. They have to be tucked into the boots.

  • skongara

    Slider Jeans sold by Competition Accessories are what I use and apart from a running a lil large in terms of sizing, http://www.compacc.com/p/Sliders-Kevlar-Motorcycle-Riding-Jeans-4-0 I think they are worth every penny (80$).
    Plenty of kevlar coverage and are super comfy. Seems like they have been recently endorsed by MCN. Been using them for almost 2 years now. Havent had an incident, but judging by the 305 reviews on their website, people love em and they do get the job done in a bad situation.

    • michaelse

      Thanks for the link! These seem like the perfect budget option. In your experience, how big do they run? If I have a 33″ waist, should I order a 30 or a 32?

      • Nathan Haley

        I also have the Slider Jeans (as well as their khakis, whatever they’re called) and I would go with the 32. Worst that could happen is you need a belt. I have a 34″ waist and the 34 is a little big on me but it’s not a problem. I think they do that so you can stuff pads in there or something.

        I’ve wrecked in Sliders at 45mph and the road tore the outer layer a little bit but never wore through the kevlar, which is the important part. They have pouches for knee-pads too, and they fit over my MX boots (which I wear on the road – best protection). They’re not the most stylish option but they’re cheap and they should probably be in the comparison regardless.

      • skongara

        Your best bet would be to go through the most recent reviews for sizing help or just give them a call. I ordered 2 years ago when they were relatively new and had some sizing issues. They probably fixed those issues. I have a 31″ to 32″ waist and ordered a 30″. Their kevlar coverage was way more than competing brands like icon, scorpion, dainese and Alpinestars. They also had the option of inserting CE armor in the knees, but like other current brands, the armor doesnt stay in place. I decided against the armor and bought the RS Taichi Stealth Knee Gaurds (http://stores.sportbiketrackgear.com/Detail.bok?no=13049). These stay in place since you put them on like a pair of socks and def offer more protection while being very low profile. The Jeans and the knee guards combined still cost less than what these other big name brands were selling their pants for. Also the jeans style is very relaxed. No fancy styling…just the basics. Hope this helps

      • E Brown

        I’ve got some Sliders 4.0s as well. The Sliders are styled on Levis Loose Fit jeans, and are quite roomy thru the legs and seat. If you want a closer fit, I suggest the AGVSport Corsica advertised on the same site – they are made in the same factory with the same Kevlar areas and add in mesh comfort lining, but are modeled on 505s so have a more normal fit. (The Sport Shadow seems to follow the same fit as the Sliders). Same deal with cargos – the Sliders are looser cut than the AGVSport Excursion.

  • Randy Singer

    This entire category of riding apparel cries out for a comparison test where the jeans are drag-tested to see how abrasion resistant they are. Almost all of these jeans use Kevlar for abrasion resistance and while Kevlar has excellent tensile strength, it doesn’t come close to leather for abrasion resistance. The huge problem is that none of the online motorcycle sites have the budget to do such a test, and since the “Blowing The Lid Off” article that Motorcyclist ran, all of the print motorcycle publications are too afraid of losing advertisers to do such a test. It’s a shame that Consumer Reports isn’t interested in motorcyclists. Without a comparison test there is no way to know what level of protection any of these jeans really offer, even the most expensive of them.

    • Pete

      I know it’s not exactly what you’re asking for, but a group of guys from Motogen (a Polish motorcycle portal) shot quite an informative video about the resistance aspect of the biker jeans.

      They did a comparison between the jeans lined with kevlar (the 1st pair0 and the ones with a kevlar thread (2nd run), See it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H8cY-p2Rdek

      The video is in Polish, but I’m sure you will get an idea just watching it ;)

    • Arno

      Well put Randy. Maybe RideApart should go back to these companies and ask about real abrasion resistance tests, but like you wrote, for the obvious reasons, it will never happen.

  • Mark D

    I know they aren’t really “motorcycle” jeans, but I just bought a pair of Levis commuter jeans. The denim is nicely stretchy for wearing on a sportbike, the gusseted crotch is super comfortable, and the styling is spot on. They might, might, might give a bit more protection over regular jeans, but their real strength is when worn under overpants. They are that much more comfortable in a riding position, and will probably wear a little tougher while doing so.

    • http://RideApart.com/ Wes Siler

      I love the commuters too. But no, no protection on offer.

  • Rameses the 2nd

    A lot of good choices, although the idea of paying over $100 for a pair of jeans just doesn’t sit well with me and I hate the idea of wearing a special jeans when riding my bike to anywhere. The cheaper jeans in this article just look, well, cheap. Some of these jeans look quite good and I might give them a try, if overpants thing doesn’t work out for me this coming season. I didn’t know that skinny Jeans was in the fashion. I always assume that someone wearing a skinny jeans is either a European dude or gay (not that there is anything wrong with that). If you go to a gym and don’t skip leg days, chances are that you will not fit in a skinny jeans.

    • Kirk Roy

      Yeah, so these articles on wearing skinny jeans come shortly after an article on lifting for riding, which included squats. If you squat seriously and can’t wear skinny jeans or even straight leg jeans what are your best options? Sounds like the competition accessories sliders may fit the bill.

      • http://RideApart.com/ Wes Siler

        Here’s me in a pair of jeans that fit like a pair of jeans should fit an adult male. These are the Iron Hearts listed in the article. My quads fit just fine and I don’t exactly look effeminate, do it?

        • Kirk Roy

          I’m not talking about effeminate or anything like that (FWIW, you look slim to me, not effeminate). I’m just wondering if there are riding jeans for someone with a 31″ waist and 26″ thighs. I can’t wear straight leg jeans let alone skinny jeans. ~13 years of regular squatting/powerlifting generally means I can’t wear “fashionable” pants.

          • James Minor

            I share your pain every day. Relaxed fit if I’m lucky fits like Wes’ pants. Usually I’m not lucky.

  • RandomGRK

    I’ve just never understood the price points of some of these jeans. The latest fashion jeans which are extremely overpriced already cost between 150 to 300 dollars, now these dweebs come along with a badly designed product with some kevlar sewn in and want to charge even more. Quite ridiculous…that being said, I really need a pair. I have the Spidi Furious Denims. Great technical features and protective but it looks like a riding Jean. The Rev it look like the best offering but Damn… That’s expensive.

    • Justin Penney

      I assume the price is reflective of low volume.

  • Harve Mil
  • Kingsix87

    I use Clover jeans. They are an Italian manufacturer and when I was on the market for motorcycle jeans (so I can go to work everyday without looking like a power ranger) they were one of the few choices here. They have hard CE protection only on the knees. The hips are padded and the bottom is double layered. Other than that they offer just carbon stitches. I’d rather not fall with them but if I do, they will be a little better than regular pants with knee guards underneath.

    One important thing I noticed – it is important to get pre-fit pants in the knee area. Straight pants are good for cruisers and scooters, but if you have to bend you knee, they are very restrictive.

  • Zanpa

    I hear a lot about the Rhok jeans – mainly because they sponsor several motorcycle youtube channels that I watch. They’re quite expensive and I haven’t seen any comparison with other brands.
    Does anyone know how they hold up compared to the other offerings?

    • Jake Isbill

      Jake The Garden Snake did a few reviews on his channel where he drug them behind a truck. They seem legit.

  • Piglet2010

    It seems I am not metrosexual enough to understand the styling differences – to me they all look pretty much the same.

    These appear to be a bargain price-wise, and are made in some place called Minnesota: http://www.aerostich.com/clothing/clothing/jeans-and-pants/aerostich-protekt-jeans.html

    • Reid

      I’m with you. What’s more, I really don’t like the styling direction jeans are going nowadays. The only way to “regular” straight-leg jeans like, say, a pair of Levi 505s, is to get “grandpa jeans?” What the crap? Not every dude (even us smaller cats) wants to look like they have the legs of an ostritch. I’m sorry, but skinny jeans look horrible on everyone, men and women alike.

      • Ayabe

        Yeah I don’t get that either, there are actually large parts of the country where wearing something other than skinny jeans won’t cause all of the females around you to clutch their pearls. That attitude is a little off-putting.

        I’m sure a much larger percentage of the population would be ok with wearing 501 style jeans than wearing hipster jeans created by a company that sells $138 sweatshirts that say “P*ssy Avalanche” on the front. Outside of SoCal and Williamsburg that is.

        • Reid

          Took the words right out of my mouth.

        • Piglet2010

          I would not wear this shirt in public if they paid me $78, much less pay $78 for one.


        • Abe Cal

          Don’t group LA or SoCal in that. Outside of Silverlake, Los Feliz, Hollywood and the Westside, the majority of us are average dudes comfortable in 501s!

    • Clint Keener

      I don’t have a gunt. So I wear skinny jeans.

    • roma258

      Has anyone tried the Aerostitch jeans? They looks pretty decent and the price is very competitive. As far as the fits, there’s gotta be a happy medium between skinny jeans and grandpa jeans, right? Something that, you know, just fits? Surprisingly difficult to find.

  • http://krtong.com/ Kr Tong

    Anybody make kevlar overalls/coveralls? If not they should. 25% royalties pls. Thx.

  • ThinkingInImages

    Riding jeans are on the top of my 2014 motorcycle gear list. They were on the 2013 and earlier lists, too – but damn – I wouldn’t wear some of these tacky looking jeans. I know I need better/stronger riding pants. I’m looking at the AGV Sport Corsica’s. I may just line a pair of Carhartt’s.

    • Piglet2010

      Buy the Carhartt’s oversize and wear MX armor underneath.

  • Leandro Marinelli

    I’ve got a pair of Dainese D1 and they look much better than in those pictures. Have been using them for more than a year in winter and summer (which is quite hot in Madrid), they are confortable and well made. Only problem is they lack hip protection and knee pocket isn’t adjustable. When I bought them they were the best-looking option available, they don’t look weird at all in a bar.

    • Braden

      Second that. My D1s don’t look terrible off the bike walking around downtown. Not ideal, what with the less than subtle European design cues, but not bad. The pics make them look kinda awful.

  • Aaron

    How about something in the Levi 527 fit? The 501 type fits interfere with my insulin pump.

  • Chris McAlevy

    I’ve gotten lots of compliments from non-rider friends on my dainese d6′s, without them knowing that they were jeans made for motorcycling.

    • Clint Keener

      The Dainese jeans look pretty nice in person. The white stitching isn’t noticeable.

    • Ayabe

      I have as well and overall am happy.

      I could do without the alien butt patch but it’s not a deal breaker for me.

  • Mikesee

    Here’s another choice: http://www.einstok.com/denim.html
    I wear low profile mountain bike pads underneath. Better than nothing.

  • Gabe

    Do they just make a highly-breathable kevlar-laced underpant i could wear under regular jeans?

  • Tall Jones

    I’m trying to break in the RevIT Lombards now…we’ll see how well that goes. For me, the waist sits a bit too baggy (granted I ordered a size up to get the proper length option) and it tapers off below the knees a bit too much still. I’ve had them for 4 days now, and they are dreadfully uncomfortable for extended periods in sport riding position. They pinch/rub behind the knees. Fitting them over my riding boots was a chore, but it was possible.

    However, they look fantastic. I wore them out Saturday and got complimented on them, even before I explained that they were riding jeans and showed off the knee armor. Friends at least pretended to be impressed. As you mentioned the knee armor sits low when standing, but comes into proper position when I bend my knees.

    I wrote a review on Revzilla, the other reviewers are spot on I think in their comments as well: http://www.revzilla.com/motorcycle/revit-lombard-jeans

  • Anish

    if there is a way you can get your hands on a pair of Resurgence Gear
    Jeans lined with Pekev, please test those out and let us know.
    http://www.resurgencegear.com. I mean with
    a slide time of over 23 seconds, Ce level 2 knee and hip armor included
    and at a price point of the Lombards, I figured these would be solid
    contender in this line up. They look pretty decent too. I’m currently debating the Pekev vs the Revit Lombards.would love to get your 2 cents on the pekev liner.

    • Anish

      if anybody else has any experience with them, i would love to hear some feedback.

    • Jaco van der Merwe

      I have the Resurgence Gear Pekev Black Bird jeans. The fit is decent and they feel sturdy. I like the mesh lining. It makes them more comfortable than my regular jeans. The Pekev lining coverage is really good. The armour pockets provide some degree of adjustment but I found that I could not get the knee armour in the correct position while riding. They always ended up above my knees. The hip and knee armour is a complete waste of time. The knee pads are CE certified but NOT for impact protection (i.e. there is a CE label but it does not state it is EN1621-1 certified) so I will not trust them and the hip armour is not CE certified at all but just foam padding. I use D3O CE certified armour that I took from other motorcycle gear I had for the hips and Alpine Stars knee/shin guards (that I also had already) that strap directly to my leg under the jeans and that works really well. I have not crash tested the jeans (and I hope I never will) so cannot comment on that but from what I can tell their abrasion resistance CE certification is legit. These jeans would be great value if it was not for the crappy armour that comes with them. If you are going to get yourself a pair of these jeans then also budget for impact protection.

      • Piglet2010

        Does the knee armor irritate you if you wear it all day (my Dainese Oak knee guards rubbed a spot raw when I wore them for about 10 hours straight)?

  • Lee Scuppers

    Thanks for this. I’ve got riding jeans budgeted but I’ve been holding off due to option overload.

  • DerekB

    How about an article on adding armour to jeans like the article you guys did on jackets?

  • killian101

    To be far to Maple Moto: They’re Selvedge denim. You have to treat them differently than normal jeans. The lined jeans fit pretty good…for normal blokes . You know, the lads for dont fit into skinny or slim fit jeans, average guys. The knee armor is…pretty blah. If you’re short, they dont seem to fit right. They hip stuff is dead on and feels fine. And yes, you can wear these in the Summer. Ive worn these jeans all over SoCal in the summer…never an issue. Style wise, i get it. Not everyone likes a vintage looking jean. The one bad thing i have to say about these jeans, wear and tear. Ive had these for about a year and a half. the Kevlar terrycloth is fading out like a terrycloth would and some of the stitching is coming out too.

  • MotoSwag41 .

    You forgot RHOK motorcycle jeans they are very high quality riding jeans go check them out! http://www.rhok.com.au/

  • Davidabl2

    Word on riding jeans. Although “The fashion market has moved on” for their jeans .. There IS This: http://www.dragginjeans.com/mens-liners/ With your choice of strap-on or tube kneepads and maybe armored shorts, all offered by some of RideApart’s fav mfgrs. like Icon, AlpineStars, Rev’it As to the top denim (or canvas) layer I’d suggest 12oz. Carhartt . These folks make a wide variety of workwear and jeans (non-skinny!) And a certain amount of their stuff is again USA made..

    re “fake lumberjack” look..many actual, real lumberjacks, Ironworkers,carpenters, cement workers, stagehands etc have worn Carhartt for decades..
    At one time(When I started buying their stuff) the Company itself was both USA made and Union Label

    Somebody should make a pair of cycle-knickers that extend over the knees and have pockets for d3o knee and hip armor. And make ‘em out of some high-tech
    breathable, stretchy “technical” materials..

  • http://RideApart.com/ Wes Siler

    No pair of riding jeans is going to survive more than one low speed accident. Remember, this isn’t real protection we’re talking about, it’s just a little help at mitigating what will still likely result in injury.

  • Andrew Leung

    I totally agree with you guys on the maple jeans. I bought a pair of skinny maple’s last year and the fit is terrible. I ended up taking it to a place to get them taken in and they’re still awful. Not only that, the knee pads were way too low and I had to get them readjusted. After getting them tailored, I still don’t wear them. Wish I knew about the deth killers before I blew money on these guys.

  • stever

    JNCOS R 4EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Joseph42s

    Seems better to wear whatever cool jeans you want under your aerostich or similar type suit. The benefit of riding in jeans is that you look/feel cool and comfortable when you get to your destination. But if you have to wear under garmets with knee and hip pads, you might as well just wear something over your good clothes.

  • Scott T

    Slightly off topic, but I have crash tested a pair of Duluth Trading Post Firehose work pants – @35 mph crash, enough to total my bike but the pants only had a scuff mark over the boot armor, so I kept wearing them until the color was too faded to look professional. No armor of course, but I wear EVS SC-05 knee and shin guards which fit just fine under the pants. They do make a jeans style pair as well, but the material is not denim so mostly in “work pants”colors.

    • http://RideApart.com/ Wes Siler

      No two crashes are alike. I’ll take motorcycle-specific protection over casually tough materials every day of the week.

      • Justin McClintock

        To be fair, just about everything “motorcycle specific” is really just casually tough materials unless its leather.

        • Davidabl2

          Kevlar plus Cordura seems like it could be more than casual…and there’s leather that isn’t much more than fashion wear itself.
          The Roland Sands line comes to mind..looks cool as F*ck, but when i tried on a closeout RSD Rocker jacket ($200 instead of $350) I had real doubts about it’s crashworthiness.

      • Scott T

        I agree with you about crashes (would it help if you knew I was hit by a car? They really are tough pants), and about moto-specific stuff or I wouldn’t be reading this site. I do want to thank you for inadvertently starting a highly entertaining skinny jeans debate!

  • Bubba

    A*s ablaze: great for fat guys like me with fat legs. Just thought all my big brethren outa know because apparently no one at ride apart weighs more than a 110 lbs, is a hipster and all we ever hear “oh slim fit! So stylish! Much modern!”

    So fat man tested, fat man approved!

    • Piglet2010

      Alpinestars makes gear for non-ectomorphs?

  • Piglet2010

    Anyone try these? On the other hand, $500+ once armor is added…


    • http://RideApart.com/ Wes Siler

      Motoport stuff is awesome. But, you can’t try it on before ordering and it’s mostly applicable as over-pants. Not the sort of thing you’d wear into a restaurant.

      • Piglet2010

        Not the sort of thing normal people would wear into a restaurant – I have worn a hi-viz Roadcrafter Light into a restaurant.

        • http://RideApart.com/ Wes Siler

          How is Denny’s these days?

          • Piglet2010

            Actually, a couple of different places – on a Stayin’ Safe Training Tour, so all of us were in some type of textile moto gear. :)

            And being normal is no fun.

        • Davidabl2

          “I have worn a hi-viz Roadcrafter Light into a restaurant”
          Did you get the same discount that EMT’s and Firemen commonly get ? :-)

          Or did the patrons and staff perhaps think that somebody in the restaurant needed emergency assistance;-)

          • Piglet2010

            I did get asked why I was wearing a snowmobile suit.

      • Davidabl2

        “Not the sort of thing you’d wear into a restaurant.”
        The whole point of over pants is that you can take them off before you enter that restaurant(without embarrassing yourself)
        Or literally, “ImBareAss-ing’ yourself ;-)

        • http://RideApart.com/ Wes Siler

          So why not just wear any other over-suit? This is an article about riding jeans.

          • Davidabl2

            Because,As Rideapart has noted in the past (perhaps when you were still HFL?) you can more easily pass for “normal” in a leather jacket than you can if you’re wearing leatherjacket+leather pants. When you arrive at your destination tossing a pair of overpants&kneepads into your backpack/saddlebag(s)/tailbag seems to make good sense to me. With fashion jeans I have difficulty seeing how you could really wear much real protection under them, hence the over pants.. With work clothes like Carhartts or baggy jeans like Draggin’ it’s another story.

            Personally I already feel like i look like a janitor or mechanic anyways – a ‘Stitch would just make it even worse.
            I should add that I live in NorCal, so rain or extreme cold is currently no more common than it is in SoCal with you folks. It ain’t Minneapolis or London..where ‘Stitches would make better sense.

  • Jessica Asuelime

    Been looking for a good pair of riding jeans. Thanks for throwing reviews on women’s ones too, as before this I had no idea where to even start. Good lookin out.

  • socalutilityrider

    A subject near and dear to my heart, as I currently own the Dainese D1′s, Kushitani Edwin Zylon’s, Maple Motocycle Slim Guy’s (new ones) and Deth Killers slim fit. In that order. You can kind of see the evolution over time there as I searched for more stylish options. Deth Killers win in that regard.

    I use my motorcycle in a high end work context constantly and refuse to look awful while doing it. Today is a good example of when motorcycle jeans are a must vs any other option. I had to meet a client in front of a project in the city. So I have to be able to ride there, jump off the bike, stow the helmet, jacket and gloves in the cases and look normal instantly-there is no time to change in out of full gear, especially when I have multiple appointments and I’m out standing on the side of the road. Moto jeans allow me to meet clients off my bike so I don’t have to deal with crazy traffic and parking issues. That in turn makes me more productive.

    Also, a lot of you are beating up on fitted/slim/skinny jeans asking why anyone would want these, etc, etc. I get it, it’s not your thing. If you have to ask…you’re never going to know why someone might want that option. And that’s ok-there are tons of choices for you already that aren’t fitted that will work for you just fine.

    I think this article was predicated on trying to help those of us that ARE looking for the small number of fashionable options that are out there-it’s not trying to jam some NYC/LA fashion agenda down your throat!

    • http://RideApart.com/ Wes Siler

      No way dude, I’m totally trying to push an elitist fashion agenda here. I’m tired of motorcycles being the preserve of dorky dudes in affliction shirts. Bike’s should be the coolest things on the planet and I’ll be damned if a bunch of middle aged men in mom jeans are going to stop that from being true.

      • socalutilityrider

        I love this response.

      • Piglet2010

        Sorry, but the furry leopard ears on my lid negate your coolness in the overall balance.

        • socalutilityrider

          Piglet2010 (please let us know the origin of that name by the way), you know I’m into practical bikes or scooters used as practical transportation, as you are, so we’re bros in that regard. But the helmet ears. Can you explain? Aerostich stopped carrying them as well, likely due to lack of sales. This fits in with people that have stuffed animals tied to their bikes, I don’t get it. I’m seriously not making fun or talking sh-t, I just want to know.

          P.S.-I own a Roadcrafter that I use on days I don’t have multiple appointments in the field (like today, hanging on my office door behind me right now), so I “get it” about the Aerostich culture, but man, I never understood the ears or the stuffed animal thing.

          • Piglet2010

            Harley-Davidson’s are “hogs”, so as a parody I decided to call my 2010 Honda Elite “Piglet”.

            The manufacturer of the ears Aerostich sold went out of business (I asked them in an email). I found my ears by mail order from a shop in the UK. http://www.helmetheads.co.uk/shop-3489.html

            The main point of the ears is to indicate that I am the opposite of a 1% MC member (or pretend 1%er). And yes, I wave to small children and people on mopeds.

            • socalutilityrider

              Got it. Hey, why not? And, I’m really tired of the HD no function all form “lifestyle” as well. Hopefully that trend hit it’s apex already and its death knell was the release of the movie “Wild Hogs”

          • Davidabl2

            I think I’ve explained one very credible theory re bunny ears ;-)

        • Davidabl2

          I work with a very aggressive bike commuter who wears pink bunny ears on his helmet because he says it’s hard for motorists to get mad art somebody wearing pink bunny ears.. Even though he rides like a 100% hooligan.

          • socalutilityrider

            Sorry for the delay in my response! Your coworker sounds like a gnarly don’t-give-an-f individual. The ears get it done, even if most most people wouldn’t want to look that silly all the time!

            • Davidabl2

              He’s a gives-a–f kind of guy. but he’s driven. Works a demanding blue collar day job, runs the press at a book printing company at night.
              In his basement .Appropriately enough , since it’s part of the “underground press.” Once when the freeway to work was closed due to an accident he was the only guy to get to work on time, because he’d ridden his dual sport thru a hole in a fence and ridden cross-country to work over S.F. ‘s San Bruno mountain.

              • socalutilityrider

                Dude, that is so awesome. This is why motorcycles make the best apocalypse machines. So funny he went up and over the mountain.

      • Justin McClintock

        It this were the 70′s, you’d be making the same argument about bell bottoms. We know how that one turned out.

        • http://RideApart.com/ Wes Siler

          There’s a big difference between fashion victim and just wearing jeans that are sized appropriately for your body. That’s what we’re advocating for here. Please, no more Wu Wear.

          • Justin McClintock

            Okay, from that perspective, I can definitely agree.

        • Piglet2010

          I wish they would make jeans without a bulky seam at the cuff, so they would fit in riding boots better. Cannot imagine bell-bottoms fitting into any normal boot.

  • Davidabl2

    On this issue the readership seems to be divided imbetween the ectomorphic hipsters who can rock skinny jeans and the cranky old men who can’t–or if they can don’t want to. :-)

    • Justin Penney

      There’s a difference between skinny jeans and jeans that fit like they should. “Skinny” means a taper through the left to a tight calf/ankle. Slim is usually a slightly tight cut that’s mostly straight through the leg. Straight is just what it says. Once you add in “comfort” or “baggy” you might as well wear sweatpants. Slim, well fitting jeans are not AT ALL restrictive or uncomfortable. If they are you bought the wrong size.

      • Davidabl2

        I see, I’ve confused the two terms”skinny’&”slim” It may be a common confusion, judging from how the term ‘skinny” gets thrown around.
        Personally, I can’t move as well in slim cut jeans as in straight cut. Even if they are those “Arborwear” jeans that Roadcrafter sells:


        Which are slimmer than they appear in the photo..

    • Abe Cal

      I don’t know if being 27 makes me a cranky old man, but I don’t wanna take a pair of jeans out of the Jonas Brothers closet.

      • Davidabl2

        As an actual “cranky old man” (more than 2x your age)..I had to google Jonas Brothers to find out WTF they were ;-)
        Agreed. When it’s really,reallly cold I’ll wear long johns that fit like that…under my clothes ;-)

  • Mike Rode

    are you kidding me!!!! $200+ for jeans!! screw that, I’d rather ride naked

  • Arno

    While I am have looked at all the options and have not made a decision yet, where is the proof they work? I don’t want fashion jeans to wear on my bike, I want some riding jeans that will protect me if I go down, one in impact, and the other in abrasion, half the list should be wiped out IMO. How can you recommend jeans that have no impact protection after your own crash? I also agree with the some of the other folks, not all of us are in LA or New York, so we could care less about skinny jeans, this seems to biased.

    • http://RideApart.com/ Wes Siler

      Jeans are not motorcycle pants. Even ones with armor and Kevlar. They’re a compromise. For some people, a little impact protection (all any of these offer) is desirable. Some people just want a normal pair of jeans that won’t shred the second they kiss asphalt. Don’t fool yourself.

      As for skinny jeans? None of the pairs listed above are of the painted-on, hot-topic variety. Which we all agree look terrible. But, it is 2014 now (trust me, look at the paper calendar hanging on the wall of your log cabin) and there’s no excuse for wearing jeans that don’t fit you.

      • Arno

        While they might not be motorcycle pants, I expect coverage when theres $200-$500+ on the line. While some compromise in protection, I don’t, and I’m sure other readers feel the same.
        Oh yes I forgot, 2014, where men wear women’s jeans to be cool and require a $15,000+ motorcycle to ride from the local hipster coffee shop to the vintage clothing store.

        • Davidabl2

          For sure there’s many more options available if you don’t have to keep up with fashion. Even at the coffee shop :-)

    • Davidabl2

      Arno, I’d suggest avoiding all the jeans bs and getting yourself a pair of Icon Compound Overpants .Discontinued for 2014, they’re now on closeout at various vendors. Leather and fabric, and there’s one model with some mesh on the sides for venting.

      • Arno

        Thanks David, I already have overpants when heading to work (weather permitting) and riding pants, but I keep choosing to ride with jeans more times than others for convenience which is not good if I go down, that’s why I’m taking a close look at all these. I’ve e-mailed a few of these companies to see if they send any results.

        • Davidabl2

          If the jeans have enough room to put kneepads on under them then all’s more-or-less good.
          Problem with that is that i wind up wearing them all day at work–which is ok because i often do manual labor that involves wearing kneepads anyway

          On the street i think that impact shock is often more of a factor than sliding and resultant abrasion, because the accidents often take place at relatively low speeds, and the rider also doesn’t slide as far before encountering something that ends the slide

  • enzomedici

    You should take the money you are going to waste on these useless jeans and get real motorcycle pants with armor instead. If you don’t want to do that, then plain black leather is your friend.

  • Dan

    I like that there are actual “jeans” options… but for the price, I’ll stick with Carhartt double knee + armored shorts & forcefield knee armor, or Duluth Fire Hose pants + armored shorts & knee armor. I’m also not worried about being fashionable (read: married with children) and can’t afford the $$$ jeans (read: married with children). For what it’s worth, I’ve been down on the asphalt at 70+mph in Carhartts & a proper riding jacket. I still wear the pants; they’re not in terrible shape.

    • Scott T

      Dan, what armored shorts are you using that fit under the Firehose pants?

  • taba

    I’ll be able to fit my Alpinestars SMX6 boots under their Hellcat jeans?

    They have a “zippered hem for range of fit with riding boots.”

  • Scott T

    Cool, thanks!

  • anthony

    Hey Wes, you forgot about Chuck Norris Jeans! If you are lucky enough to find a vintage pair they give the road jean rash.

  • Charlie

    You’ve got to remember that some of us live in places where full armor just isn’t a practical option all the time. I, and I suspect many other readers, live in major cities and use our bikes as our primary modes of transportation. Usually the rides are on the shorter side and at relatively low speed in stop and go traffic. Normally, I’d just throw on my Levi’s, but if I can find something comparable that offers more protection, I’ll certainly go for that.

  • ben

    sadly, those Iron Hearts are about half the price on their JP site… I’m going in a few months … i’ll take orders, just send me a cashiers check.

  • Ryan Donahue

    I’m a little late to the party here. I’m on the fence. As an athletic individual that spends his winters skiing 50+ days a season and sees a fair amount of time mountain biking, I do no have thighs suitable for the fitted of fitted jeans. Forget about skinny jeans. I do enjoy a more custom fit, but skinny jeans are for people with birds, of which I do not posses.

    Two questions: how slim are some of these ‘slim’ jeans? And more importantly, so much hate for the Rokkers. Is that still the case with the more fitted Original Raw model?

  • Scott Silvers

    I recently bought a pair of Lean Angle Jeans. Yes, they are expensive, but they do come with the latest knox padding (hip/knee) and the method LAJ uses to place the pads is very clever, and they stay in place. The tiny bit of spandex used in the jeans really makes them super comfortable and they bend with you while on the bike, instead of the usual inflexible denim feeling one gets from regular jeans. The perforated liner makes a huge difference from pants that do not have this feature. The interior of the pants feel smooth and actually cool in temperature feel. I wear them all day, even in the office and nobody is the wiser. More importantly they fit great and offer way better protection than plain ol’ denim.