Wearing regular pants when you hop on your liter bike is fine and all, but don’t expect to come out unscathed if you ever get into an unfortunate scuffle. Yeah, those pants won’t protect you when you’re getting dragged across hard concrete roads.
Problem is, proper moto pants that offer over-engineered protection aren’t exactly the most subtle garment, forcing you to look like you’re dressed up to ride laps all around the track. That means, while you can feel safe on the bike, you’re going to look completely out of place hanging out anywhere else you’re likely to spend the day in.
Good news is, there’s a good load of regular-looking motorcycle jeans out there that you can wear in their place, allowing you to put on adequate lower body protection without dressing like you’re a rock star from the 80s. Or a crew member of a futuristic space ship. Or something.
Here are some of our favorite motorcycle jeans.
Scorpion XO Covert Pro Jeans
Tailored with a relaxed cut, these jeans are meant to offer equal amounts of style and comfort. Even better, it does that while providing adequate rider protection with an abrasion-resistant exterior cut in an 85/15 blend of cotton and nylon, as well as an exterior lining of 250 GSM Kevlar that runs from the waist down to the knees. Hidden pockets on the hip and knees allow you to add further reinforcement with SAS-TEC armor (or other compatible brands), so it offers plenty of protection despite the unassuming looks. For added comfort, they even threw in mesh lining from the knees down.
Steel & Street Oakland Jeans
These jeans are made from a blend of denim that’s been infused with elastane, giving it the necessary stretch to allow a far greater range of motion than traditional jeans. They also reinforced the seat, hips, and knees with aramid lining on the inside, giving you a layer of protection that goes far beyond what denim can offer. Since there’s bound to be more impact on the knees during accidents, they added discreet pockets that let you reinforce the area with standard CE armor when needed.
Instead of being patterned after a common tailoring for denim, they actually created one that’s optimized for motorcycling while still looking very casual. As such, it gets a straight cut through most of the pants to reduce the chances of snagging onto any part of your bike, while a semi-boot lower section ensures it can accommodate your choice of riding footwear.
Klim K Forty 2 Jeans
Like the fit of traditional 501s and want motorcycle jeans that resemble that straight cut icon? You’ll love this stretch jeans from Klim, which is cut in a 13oz denim that’s mixed with Cordura and stretch fabric to give riders a balanced combo of protection, style, and range of motion. It has a gusseted crotch area for even greater mobility both on and off the bike, while hidden pockets on the hip and knees allow it to accommodate D30 slim armors. Other features include a riveted construction to better resemble classic jeans construction, a reflective hem at the bottom, and partial mesh lining on the front legs.
Icon 1000 MH1000
Equipped with a relaxed fit (in this case, straight cut with extra room in the seat and thighs), these jeans can keep you comfy when lounging around all day, all while sporting a stretch Cordura denim fabric that perfectly retains the look and feel of traditional cotton denim. For added abrasion resistance, they threw in Aramid reinforcements on the knees, while pockets on the knees and hips allow further fortification with D30 armor.
Aerostitch Protekt Jeans
Unlike other jeans in the list, this is made with standard denim. Except, it’s made with a heavy-duty 14oz denim that should offer tougher protection compared to normal jeans, all while shrining to a custom fit after a couple washes just like standard jeans. That fabric, combined with a straight leg cut, makes it look like any pair of 501s in your closet, albeit with reinforced HT 500D nylon in the seat and knees. It uses TF armor for those times you want added protection in the knees (no armor pockets on the hips, though).
Pando Moto Steel Black 9
You’re a young buck who wants his slim fit jeans? Not a problem with these dark-navy-bordering-on-black pants, which uses a stretch denim infused with 25 percent Dyneema to shrug off contact that would otherwise cause abrasions and cuts. Beyond offering protection, the fabric also boasts high heat conductivity that allows the jeans to reflect heat efficiently, keeping your lower body cool even when riding in hot weather. For further reinforcement, it’s got hidden pockets on the knees and hips that are sized to accommodate SAS-TEC armor. While it’s expensive, the armor is included in the price, so it might well be worth it.