To ride a motorcycle is to accept that you might be in an accident someday. It’s an inherent risk of riding, and it’s part of what makes it so thrilling. When your bike decides to take you for a bumpy ride, the only thing to protect you is the safety gear, including a pair of armored pants.
After helmets, a pair of pants with proper protection is possibly the most crucial part of motorcycle safety gear. You might think you’re a hotshot who can rock on skinny jeans. Well, I’m sure you can, but that won’t protect you in the event of an accident. Even a minor crash can cause a significant injury when you don’t have proper protection for your lower body.
4 Reasons to Wear Armored Pants
Armored pants are made of resilient material and have protective attachments at critical points. You can feel safe knowing that you’re not going to get road rash or cuts and scrapes if you fly off your hog and onto the asphalt.
We’ll give you four reasons why armored pants are the way to go:
1. Knee Protection
Our knees take a real beating on the bike. Whether it’s mid-corner and things go south, or some joker cuts you off and you have to lay ‘er down, those knees are just hanging out there with no protection.
I can tell you from experience, sliding down the highway with nothing but jeans and skin between you and the pavement is no bucket of laughs. Ended up with road rash so bad the docs thought I’d been hit with sandpaper! Took weeks for my knees to heal up.
That’s why armor is so important. It puts a barrier between your joints and the concrete so if you do end up slipping, you’ve got a fighting chance to walk away without needing a knee replacement. The pads are designed to absorb impact and slide smoothly so hopefully you can walk it off instead of limping for life.
Plus, have you seen what asphalt can do unprotected? It’ll grind meat off your bones like cheese on a grater. Armor distributes the force over a bigger surface so it doesn’t tear you to ribbons. Just asks the patches! Better safe than sorry, I always say.
2. Hip Protection
So we’ve talked knees, now let’s chat hips. As much as we might want to, we bikers can’t always ride with our legs stuck out perfectly straight like a peg. Which means our poor old hips are just begging to take a hit if things go south.
I’m sure I don’t need to tell anyone here about the time they slid down the road on their hip bone. Feels like you’ve been dragged through a field of broken glass, am I right? Not a pleasant experience. And unless you want your hip to end up looking like a bag of rice krispies, armor is the way to go.
It cushions the blow so instead of feeling like your hips are busting through your skin, it just kinda hurts like when you fall off your skateboard as a kid. Don’t get me wrong, it’ll still leave a nice bruise. But better some color than shredded skin and cracked bone, in my opinion!
The padded, broad surfaces also spread out the force over a wider area. So you’re not concentrating all that impact on a small spot. Guess you could say it’s like distributing the weight in your backpack – way more comfortable to share it around, right?
SEE MORE: Killer Tips to Avoid Motorcycle Crash
3. Leg Protection
Whether it’s a bigger crash, getting clipped by some debris on the highway, or just a minor spill at parking lot speeds, your legs are not meant to meet the road unprotected. Next thing you know you’ve got road rash down to the bone! Ouch city.
Armor helps prevent all that. The pads cover your legs from thigh to ankle so everything’s shielded from abrasion and impact. Ever see what pavement can do to bare skin? Not a pretty sight. With reinforced armor, at least you’ve got a layer between you and the concrete smoothing machine.
And have you ever had jeans ride halfway up your backside in a slide? Not convenient! But pants with built-in armor hug your legs securely.
The reinforced materials and tactical stretches mean they stick with you through the spill so everything stays covered up.
4. Cost Saving
We all know healthcare ain’t cheap, and motorcycle injuries really ain’t either.
Just a few layers of road rash and you’re looking at some serious doctor’s bills – not to mention all those expensive ointments and bandages.
And if something’s broke or torn, you better believe the hospital is gonna milk you for every cent. Next thing you know, you’re taking a second mortgage just to pay off a busted shoulder.
Not only that, but how much time off work can your boss excuse because “your leg meat got grated after a little slide”? Probably not many paid sick days for that! Before you know it, you’ve lost wages on top of medical debts.
And further down the line, if you don’t protect those joints now, you might end up with lifelong issues. Degenerative this and worn out that. Racking up big prescription bills for the rest of your days.
But armor can help avoid all that financial ruin! One tiny investment keeps you in the saddle instead of on the shelf. Over the long haul, it’ll save you way more cash than the upfront cost. So consider it cheap insurance for both your health and your wallet.
Lower Extremity Injuries from Motorcycle Crashes
Motorcycle crashes are a serious concern for riders, and one of the most common types of injuries sustained in such crashes are lower extremity injuries. These injuries can lead to costly medical treatment, long-term disability, and even permanent impairment.
However, some studies shed light on the prevalence of these injuries and how they can be prevented with proper gear such as armored pants.
The study findings
The study aimed to characterize lower extremity injuries in a group of 700 motorcycle riders in crashes in Los Angeles County.
Lower extremity injuries were diagnosed in 301 (56%) of non-fatally injured and in 75 (46%) of fatally injured riders. Fractures were the most common lower extremity injury and were diagnosed in 52% and 42% of riders with nonfatal and fatal injuries, respectively.
Over a third of all fractures were to the tibia or fibula. Drivers and passengers did not differ in their risk for lower extremity injuries. Multiple-vehicle collisions resulted in a higher risk of lower extremity injuries than did single-vehicle collisions.
The highest risk for lower extremity fractures was observed among riders in broadside collisions in which another vehicle struck the motorcycle.
Another group of researchers also found lower limb injuries the most common (55.5%) among motorcycle accident victims in a 2010 study.
The importance of proper gear
The severity of these lower-limb injuries can be reduced by wearing proper gear such as armored pants. Good riding pants come with knee padding and pockets for armor, so you can protect those sensitive lower areas in a crash.
If worse comes to worst, and unfortunately it probably will, a small piece of armor padding can save months or years of recovery.
A proper pair of riding jeans offers exceptionally high abrasion resistance. On the other hand, even a low-speed slide can shred regular denim jeans like paper and result in nasty road rash.
So, next time you hit the road on your motorcycle, don’t forget to suit up with proper gear to protect yourself from lower-body injuries.
FAQs about Motorcycle Armored Pants
Are armored pants really necessary?
Absolutely. Wearing armored pants can protect you from a variety of potential injuries, like burns from the hot exhaust pipe, impact from flying debris, and abrasions from a crash.
Are armored pants comfortable to wear?
Yes, there are plenty of motorcycle-specific pants that are designed to be both protective and comfortable. Many feature ventilation systems that allow for airflow, and the materials used are chosen for their breathability and flexibility.
Can I wear armored pants on and off the bike?
Yes, many styles of armored pants are versatile enough to be worn both on and off the bike. Plus, they come in a variety of styles and colors, so you can find a pair that fits your personal style.
How do I know which size of armored pants to buy?
Be sure to consult the manufacturer’s size chart before making a purchase, and if possible, try on the pants before buying to ensure a proper fit. You want the pants to fit snugly but not be too tight or restrictive.
Can I still wear regular pants underneath armored pants?
Yes, you can wear regular pants or even shorts underneath armored pants if you prefer. However, it’s important to make sure that the pants fit properly and aren’t too bulky or restrictive.
Do armored pants protect against all injuries?
While armored pants can protect you from a variety of potential injuries, no gear is 100% foolproof. It’s always important to ride safely and be aware of your surroundings to minimize the risk of accidents.