Experienced riders know that motorcycle gear isn’t just about the jacket and the helmet, it’s about having head to toe coverage. When you are forced to ditch out and lay your bike down, the first thing that’s going to hit the pavement is the sweet meat of your legs, and if they aren’t covered, it doesn’t matter how heavy your boots are; the asphalt is going to chew you to ground chuck. We know you want to look good, and don’t want to walk around in hot leathers, but still want to hop on your hog in the sunshine, so we found the 16 coolest motorcycle jeans for keeping your rump from becoming mincemeat should it ever hit the highway.
Joe Rocket Accelerator
Weekend Warrior: There’s no need to drop a few hundred on a set of riding jeans if you’re not going to be heading out into the badlands. Built with a comfortable denim body that’s backed up by DuPont Kevlar at the hips and knees, the Accelerators give you plenty of wiggle room and pockets for added armor should you choose to upgrade your motorcycle lifestyle. The Joe Rocket Accelerator jeans will set you back some $90.
Scorpion Exo Covert
Black Ops: We were leery of the Covert, because they look a little too normal, which is usually a red flag. It indicates that Scorpion chose looks over protection, but these delivered when it counts. DuPont Kevlar from the knees up along with 165GSM fibers to fight abrasion, they even come in black for disappearing during night missions. [Cost: $120]
AGV Sport Alloy
Daily Driver: Rather than load the Alloy up with permanent protection, AGV uses a designer slim cut jean with straight legs that also bears panels on the hips and knees for adding in Kevlar reinforcement on harder rides. The knee guards are CE rated, and should you choose to go lighter or heavier, changing out any of the armor takes but a moment. (Cost: $129)
Speed and Strength Rage with the Machine
Street Sweeper: Distinctly urban in style, these don’t blend as well as many of the jeans we found, as the CE armor pockets on the knees stand out, but the relaxed boot cut of the legs, and overall laid back allure make these ideal for the cowboy who prefers the concrete jungle. Elastic paneling gives just enough flex and flow to make repeated dismounts a breeze. (Cost: $130)
Deus Albero Skinny
Retro Minimalist: Take note, there isn’t much in the way of protection here, since the Deus Albero Skinny are raw denim from down under. Cut trim so they can go beneath an outer set with some Kevlar or armor plates, they’re the skinny jeans for the biker who doesn’t hit the highway, but does need to look bitchin’ on the back of their vespa. They won’t set you back more than $150.
Icon Insulated Denim Pants
Winter Soldier: Dense denim is met with Aramid reinforcements, which is backed up by D3O knee armor so that you can land hard without being cut to ribbons. That’s all pretty standard, but for those who still hit the motorways when the winter snows fly, the removable insulated lining is what will keep your giblets toasty warm, even when it’s cold outside. The Icon Insulated Denim jeans will cost $150.
Motto Wear City X
Homemade: Based out of California, Motto Wear have created these with the Pacific Coast Highway riders in mind, as well as anyone who wants to take a high speed burn through Baker, Barstow, and Berdoo. The indigo exterior hides loads of Kevlar at the hips, knees, and caboose, with option to add armor at the knees, and even put some in at the hips, for a little extra wiggle in your stride. Prepare $135 to $156 for these.
Drayko Drift Riding Jeans
Front Lines: The hand-distressed Drayko drift riding jeans look seems laid back. Dig beneath the surface and you’ll find DuPont Kevlar and DSM Dyneema, known as the world’s strongest fiber. Rather than knitting or weaving the kevlar, it mixes tightly with the Dyneema for better coverage that won’t tear away or leave you with dangerous wear spots that mean lost flesh after a crash. For some unknown reasons, size 34 will only cost $80, but anything else goes for some $170ish.
Dainese D1 EVO Jeans
Full Featured: Dainese has great taste in designing and working with materials. Choose from either the Pro-Shape knee armor, for the regular roadster, or Kit J E1 knee guards for the more technical two-wheeler. DuPont Kevlar intermingles with aramir yarn to form an attractive, but also long-lasting combination that fits in a relaxed way for greater range of motion. It even has gussets for straddling wider steeds without digging into your family jewelry. Be prepared though, the D1 EVO will set you back some good $230.
Icon Raiden UX Pants
Overwear: A totally different kind of cat from Ride Icon, the UX have interior YKK zippers that allow you to throw them on over your existing clothes, so you never have to choose between form and function again. Capable of working alone, they have D3O impact protectors at strike points, and a twill shell hiding a HYCOR membrane for supreme wearability, rain or shine. (Purchase: $230)
Dainese Bonneville Regular
Normal Finery: Cut to be pretty plain, these will easily get lost in a crowd, until the road is rising up to meet you. Then the Kevlar Jersey throughout, and the adjustable padded knees with Pro-Shape armor will make you glad you weren’t just another pair of legs in the crowd. Dainese thinks they are worth some $230; but they’ll keep you both safe and looking good, at the same time.
Alpinestars Oscar Charlie
Slender, Man: Pick from either a distressed or a completely new look, the Oscar Charlie jeans run against the grain with almost no external stitching to give you away. Behind the heavy-duty denim, they are all business with Kevlar in the seat and hips, CE armor pockets at the knees, and a contemporary sense of savoir faire. A bit hefty at $260.
Klim Mens K Fifty 1
Master Mix: The denim sections are a Heavy-Duty Cordura combination of cotton and nylon that is stonewashed to look casual as it allows for supreme airflow to keep your legs from overheating. Kevlar reinforcement on the slide panels prevent abrasion penetration, while your impact points at hip and knee have added D30 Evo armor with adjustable positioning. (Price: $290+)
Ugly Bros Echo-K Denim
Runway Ready: Using a straight leg style that can be cuffed or not, the Echo-K are pants we’d wear even if they didn’t come loaded with Kevlar weave throughout. They tend to run a little heavy, which might make summer rides sweltering, but the enhanced protection from crotch to ankle is well worth it. (Purchase: $379)
Drayko Hole Shot Jeans
Supreme Engineering: Every pant on this list is well-tailored, but the Hole Shot are also exhaustively laboratory tested, and researched with actual crash data so that the Kevlar and Dyneema combination are thickest and hardest at the most common contact points to eliminate skin contact at (as Drayko says) “all legal speed limits.” While that might not help you, they’re still excellent. Be prepared though. They cost $400.
Rokker Revolution Jeans
Complete Coverage: Made out of nothing but Schoeller Denim-Dynatec, the Revolution by The Rokker Company offer extreme resistance to abrasion along with a casual denim look. The protection is just the tip of the spear, however, because they also offer an internal membrane that regulates body heat, and is fully wind and waterproof, so you’re sitting pretty in all conditions. Not on the cheap side, these motorcycle jeans will leave you empty of some $549.