Like the other parts of your body, your lower extremities should be protected too. But the reality is, many riders choose not to wear the recommended pants for riding. Many prefer to wear their usual casual denim jeans mainly for fashion reason.
Made no mistake – cotton jeans are totally different from armor-protected motorcycle pants. The thicker and stronger the material your pants are made of, the better protection it can provide when you skin meets the asphalt.
There are several types of motorcycle pants. So, take the time to know and pick what you really need. Here is a simple guide that you may use when you purchase your motorcycle pants.
Like any other clothes, your motorcycle pants should also fit you perfectly. Any armor or liners installed in your pants will not protect you during a crash when they shift around because you chose baggy pants. Snug fit pants will also prevent any extra material from catching the wind and disrupting your aerodynamic.
So, have your exact waist and inseam measurement when you visit motorcycle apparel shops. This is an important guide on how to make sure that the pants fit you properly.
Keep in mind that sizing vary between manufacturer, brand, and styles. Always check the manufacturer’s sizing chart before placing your order. It is vital that the pants should fit you not only when you try it on in the shop, but most importantly when you are riding your bike.
Motorcycle pants main purpose is to keep your skin safe during a crash. Hence, look for pants that are either made of Abrasion-resistant leather or textiles.
Pants designed for riders are also usually reinforced with armor and strong stitching to prevent separation of seams in a slide. Other features include a weatherproof construction, venting, extra pockets, or reflective piping for visibility.
Leather-made pants provide the full protection since it is more abrasion-resistant than textile. Leather motorcycle pants can also survive more than one crash, whereas textile should be replaced after one.
However, leather also has its downside too. When it comes to comfort and maintenance, textile is the winner in these areas. Leather is heavier and doesn’t breathe well. Mesh textile pants can be light, have venting for airflow, removable liners for warmth, and normally has water-resistant coatings to keep you dry in rain or snow. Textiles can be washed normally. In comparison, leathers require special care or need to be taken to the cleaners.
As for the price, Textile pants are cheaper than leather, but leather usually lasts longer. Since leather is a good quality material, it can survive multiple slides in the pavement.
For best protection, look for pants armor that is C.E. rated. Foam padding is also used for impact protection, but it does not offer the same level protection as C.E.-rated armor.
Some brands include removable armor. For quick removal of the armor, look for jeans with armor pockets on the outside.
Many motorcycle pants manufacturers use the foam padding on the hips because it is less bulky and more flexible. However, foam is suitable for low-speed riding but not in high-speed rides.
Motorcycle racing pants usually have hard plastic TPU armor in the knee area. These are commonly called as knee sliders or knee pucks. They are added to race pants to allow the rider to safely put their knee down in an extreme lean angle while cornering.
Aside from double or triple sticking, you may want to consider insulated and waterproof liners in your pants. These features can make your pants multi-functional.
A removable insulated liner will allow you to wear your motorcycle pants in different temperatures and seasons. For frigid weather, the liner can be added in the pants to keep you warm and then removed once the weather heats up.
A waterproof liner, on the other hand, will keep the water that does pass through your pants from reaching your skin.
Pants with a liner sewn tend to be a bit bulky than the ones with the abrasion resistant material woven in with the main fabric. Most pants also have stretch panels which prevent the jeans from bunching up on you when you are on the bike.