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What Pants to Wear When Riding a Motorcycle

Finding the right motorcycle pants is important if you want to ride safely and comfortably. Your legs need to be protected from potential road rashes or impacts, so regular old jeans just won’t cut it. 

We’ll walk you through the different options to make sure you know what pants to wear when riding a motorcycle. These tips will help you choose a pair that work for your style of riding.


  • Consider materials like leather, textiles, denim and their features.
  • Inspect styles for regular fits or racing cuts.
  • Check armor positioning covers hips and knees.
  • Compare closure types like zippers versus buttons.
  • Evaluate pants in various price ranges and protection levels.

What Pants to Wear When Riding a Motorcycle: Finding the Perfect Pair

Whether you’re a daily commuter, long-distance cruiser or hardcore racer, you must wear pants to ensure your safety and protection. By considering factors like material, fit, armor and price, you’ll end up with pants that have your back – or should I say, have your legs! – if anything unexpected happens out on the open road.

Choosing Your armor’s Fabric Foundation

The material your motorcycle pants are made from is super important, as different options have pros and cons. Do you want to look rugged in leather, stay cooler with textiles, or rock a more casual look with denim? Here’s a quick overview of the big three:

Leather the Timeless Material

When it comes to motorcycle gear, leather has been around for ages and remains one of the best pants materials out there. With proper care, a good leather pair can truly last you for years.

What makes leather so great? Well for starters, it offers amazing abrasion resistance. In a crash, leather will hold up better than most fabrics when sliding down the road. Those tough leather hides can take a real beating!

It also gets better with age, like a nice old leather jacket. As leather pants wear in, they’ll mold to your body shape while retaining their durability. Talk about comfort! Some riders say their favorite leather pairs are like a second skin.

Of course, leather isn’t without its downsides. On hot summer rides, these bad boys can leave you feeling steamy between the legs. But in terms of protection and longevity, leather is tough to beat.

When so many materials try to mimic leather’s rugged style, sometimes you just need the real deal. I say spend a little extra on a quality leather pair – they may save your skin if you ever meet the pavement.

Synthetic Superstars: The Rise of Textile Motorcycle Pants

Textiles like Kevlar have revolutionized the motorcycle pants game. Now you can get robust crash protection without sacrificing comfort or breaking the bank. These modern synthetics are incredibly light and breathable – perfect for those long, hot riding days.

The coolest thing about “tech twill” blends is how they outperform traditional fabrics thanks to threads like Kevlar. We’ve all seen videos of jeans shredding in a slide, but textiles with Kevlar can glide down the highway. The material is seriously hardy yet flexes with your body.

Between the stretchiness and ventilation, these pants move as naturally as your favorite jeans. No more sweltering thighs! Yet stitching in materials like polyester means the protection stays intact Should contact be made with the pavement.

While water resistance has improved, true waterproofing remains elusive below a certain price. But for robust armor and comfort that won’t break the bank, textiles have it all over traditional leathers nowadays. I’d take that lightweight, long-lasting protection any sunny day!

SEE MORE: Beat the Rain: The Best Waterproof Motorcycle Jeans to Keep You Dry

Riding in Style with Denim Motorcycle Pants

Not everyone wants to look like a power ranger off the bike. If you like your gear to have a laidback vibe, denim motorcycle pants are worth a look.

While plain jeans wouldn’t stand a chance on the asphalt, companies make “moto-fied” denim options with rigid armor panels to match your ride’s toughness. The casual styling lets you flash some leg while focusing on the road ahead.

Of course, cotton fabric is less abrasion-proof than leather or synthetic textiles. Butdenim has its perks – you’ll feel right at home on long days in the saddle. And new additions like Kevlar weaves give added slide protection without losing denim’s signature comfort.

Just know the risk of road rash is higher than with purpose-built materials. Style over substance isn’t worth it unless you’re just running to the coffee shop. But for zipping around town looking laidback, armored denim jeans can hit the sweet spot.

With the right balance of armor and attitude, you can own the open road in easygoing denim. Just keep a pair of textile pants on hand for long hauls into the wild blue yonder.

Perfecting the Fit and Features

It’s not just about the materials – how your new moto pants fit is also crucial. Measure your body carefully then consult size charts so nothing’s too snug or baggy. And think about your needs on two wheels.

A regular fit provides an balanced blend of protection and motion. Perfect for daily riding. Professional hooligans may want skinny jeans for peak aerodynamics at high speeds. Or do you spend all weekend onboard? Relaxed cuts keep long-haulers comfortable without excess fabric that could catch.

Once you find the right cut, inspect armor positioning. Good gear protects your vitals like hips and knees. And uses sturdy Velcro or zips so pads don’t shift during spirited riding.

Other nice features – zippered vents for summer heat, reinforced seat/knee patches, and security pockets. But the most important thing is how they feel on the bike. Take your time finding a fit nothing ruins and use you and your machine feel totally in sync. Your safety depends on it!

SEE MORE: How Should Motorcycle Pants Fit: Finding the Perfect Fit

Protecting Your Skin: Armor, Fabrics and More

So you’ve sorted your pants – now it’s time to ramp up the protection. Top shelf gear safeguards your most delicate bits with features like:

For starters, seek the magic letters “CE” on armor. This EU rating means pads guarding tailbones, knees and hips can withstand serious impacts. Polyethylene and other materials keep bones intact so you can keep riding.

Beyond armor, some pant fabrics get an upgrade too. Cordura, Kevlar and similar high-performance textiles resist road rash better than regular cotton or synthetic weaves. The last thing you need is skin grafts!

Also keep an eye out for sneaky ejectable knee armor. In a spill, these padded pucks pop out to let skin slide instead of grinding away. Ouch! Way better than fixed armor digging in.

And if you ride in wet conditions, look for a waterproof breathable membrane. The last thing sore legs need is soaking and chills on top of road rash.

With the right protection, you’ll crank the bars carefree knowing your legs are locked, loaded and ready for action.

What’s the Right Price for Protection?

With gear, you definitely get what you pay for – but what’s the right budget for the best bang for your buck? Here’s an overview of pant price levels:

Entry-level pairs under $150 aim to cover the essentials like basic armor pockets and tough fabrics, without breaking the bank. Perfect for new riders and short zips around town. Just know features may be sparse.

The sweet spot falls between $150-250, where top brands deliver serious value. Robust CE-rated armor, premium wovens, and handy extras like ventilation become the norm. A two-year investment that’ll see you through plenty of miles.

For track-tested, race-bred gear, you’ll pay $250-400. Here innovative tech reaches new heights – think super stretch cuts, customized armor placements, and waterproof-breathable membranes. Overkill?! Maybe, but you can push limits safely.

No matter your budget, focus on safety. Spend a little extra for complete protection rather than skimping – your skin will thank you if the worst happens. Venture beyond your comfort zone only when you outgrow your old gear.

SEE MORE: Do motorcycle jackets protect your back and spine in a crash?

Making Your Motorcycle Pants Last: A Guide to Care and Maintenance

Alright, so you’ve chosen your favorite pair of moto pants – now it’s time to keep them looking and performing their best! Proper TLC is key to getting thousands of miles out of your investment.

For washing, stick to cold water and mild soaps. No harsh chemicals or heat that could damage pads or stitching over time. Air dry is best. Store pants uncompressed in a cool place when not in use to prevent creases.

Inspect regularly for small holes or abrasions. Act fast to repair tears before they spread. You can also replace worn CE-rated armor before it loses its impact resistance. Most stores sell replacement pads.

And when pants show exhausting climbing after years of thrills, it may be time to retire them. Especially after any crash, hidden weaknesses could develop. Your hide is way more important than a sentimental pair!

With care, motorcycle pants can truly become a second skin over many seasons in the wind. Keeping them shipshape means they’ll always stand between your skin and danger down the line.

Final Words

By considering the material, fit, features, protection level and price, you can ensure the motorcycle pants you choose will serve you well whether you’re commuting daily or taking weekend rides. Most importantly, proper riding pants will save you from injury if you happen to fall. Your safety should be the top priority, so don’t skimp on gear just to save a few bucks.

FAQs About What Pants to Wear When Riding a Motorcycle

Do I need riding-specific pants or will regular jeans work?

Regular jeans offer no impact or abrasion protection and are not suitable for motorcycle riding. Look for pants made from leather, textile or armored materials.

What’s the difference between a one-piece vs two-piece motorcycle suit?

A one-piece is more convenient but restrictive. Two pieces allow mixing/matching jackets and pants for different weather conditions or styles.

How tight should motorcycle pants fit?

Not too tight to restrict movement, but not baggy either. Pants should have a close, snug fit to avoid fluttering or catching in your bike’s mechanisms.

Should motorcycle pants be waterproof?

It’s good for light rain but heavy rain gear is best. Look for water-resistant zips/seams instead of fully waterproof, which can make you sweat.

How long do motorcycle pants last?

Quality leather can last 10+ years, textile 5-7 years. Crashes/fading may shorten lifespan. Inspect regularly and replace if worn/damaged.

How important is CE-rated armor in riding pants?

CE armor provides impact/abrasion protection and is essential for safety. Look for it strategically placed at hips, knees, seat.

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