Chaps are great for driving cattle, but a nice pair of riding jeans can are safer and look cool. If you don’t have a couple pairs then you’ll need one of these to save your butt.
You can call your bike an iron horse all you like, but it doesn’t eat grass, and they aren’t made of iron anymore. So, get with the 21st century and buy a pair of riding pants that will not only save your ass but look cool doing it.
Riding a chop or a bobber isn’t like riding a regular bike. Your feet and hands are in different positions, due to forwards or custom bars.
This riding position has a direct bearing on the type of gear you wear. Open belt drive? Foot wide flares are a no-no. High-level pipes? Then anything baggy and easily melted is off the menu too.
Thankfully, there’s a whole universe of riding pants out there with built-in safety features that won’t leave you looking like a Power Ranger.
Covert Pro Riding Jeans by Scorpion
On the outside, these Covert Pro Riding Jeans look like straight leg Levis or Wranglers but inside it’s a whole different story. Thanks to the inclusion of Cordura in the manufacturing process, they are four times more abrasion resistant than ordinary denim.
Inside, 250g DuPont Kevlar is used to line the jeans from hips to the knee, with all critical seams reinforced with Exo Stitch safety stitching. This combination gives those crucial extra seconds of slide time if you are unlucky enough to find yourself in an off.
The Coverts also give you the option to insert their additional SAS-TEC armor in hidden pockets on the knee and hip. The pads stay in place via a unique Velcro adjustment system that stops them moving around.
If you like to roll the bottom of your jeans up for that 50’s greaser look, then you’ll also notice another nice touch. Sewn into the rear vertical seems is a strip of Nightviz, a highly reflective strip of material. Just the thing for backing-up that tiny Maltese Cross taillight.
Ugly Brothers Motorpool Jeans
Korean motorcycle clothing specialists, Ugly Brothers, have become a household name in the Far East. Off the back of this popularity, they set up shop in the USA in 2013 and have been winning over fans ever since.
Combats make good riding pants due to their load-hauling capability. Unfortunately, they provide little in the way of protection over a pair of jeans. To finally have the choice of combats with removable armor is a win-win.
Although the Motorpool’s are a slim fit, they don’t feel restrictive thanks to the 11-ounce stretch cotton. An elasticated shirring panel at the back is great if you’ve got forward controls with drag bars. The same stretch panels on the knees also mean extra flexibility if your running ‘mids’ on your bobber.
Being tapered on the lower leg also means they’re not going to get dragged into your open primary. The CE approved armor isn’t bulky either, sliding into pockets on the hips and external pockets on the knees, both are removable in seconds.
You get six pockets on the jeans, with the rear and side pockets getting flaps and studs. The one thing to bear in mind though is that they’re 11-ounce breathable cotton. This weight gives only the same abrasion as your average Levi’s, so probably ones for the warmer climates.
Aether Compass Motorcycle Pants
They may look like combats, but Aether has designed the Compass from the ground up; they are riding pants pure and simple. The heavy-duty canvas pants, have a very high abrasion resistance and also get removable armor.
The Compass pants are water resistant, and a mesh liner keeps your legs cool in warmer climes.
A much looser fit on the thighs than the Motorpools, particular attention has been paid to the knee area to ensure greater articulation and avoid pinch-points.
The waistband is adjustable via Velcro straps, and the lower legs are also zippered with a Velcro wrap-around strap for a non-flap fit.
Knee and hip pads are taken care of by high impact protection specialists D30 and are removable. Even the Aether’s pockets received attention at the design stage, getting an angle so you can access them while seated.
RokkerTech Straight Jeans
Swiss manufacturers Rokker make excellent looking riding jeans that are as tough as they are cool. They may appear just like old school denim, but the secret to their incredible abrasion resistance is all in the fabric.
The Rokker range usually comes with a full Dynatec liner beneath the denim. However, the RokkerTechs are specifically for warm weather, so are a lighter weight and single layer.
The jeans still come with Rokker’s legendary protective qualities though, thanks to the almost undetectable D30 removable hip and knee armor and high tech fiber.
This multiple layer fiber combines UHMWPE, which is many times stronger than steel. It is then covered in lycra for flexibility, before finally being wrapped in indigo dyed cotton. This method is how Rokker manages to make a single layer jean that still offers high protection.
The fit is narrow on the leg, has a button fly, and there are no rivets to scratch your paintwork, but the armor does not come with the jeans.
Drayko Drift Riding Jeans
If you haven’t heard the name before, Drayko is the US branding for Australia’s Draggin Jeans, which have enjoyed a well-deserved reputation for some time.
The Drift’s main feature is the Kevlar and Dyneema liner that covers the inside of the butt, hips, and knees. Kevlar has always been the go-to material for protective motorcycle clothing. The addition of Dyneema, (the world’s strongest fiber), takes it to a whole new level.
This combination has excellent thermal conductivity meaning it draws heat away from the body, helping you stay cooler. The Drifts are also a relaxed fit with a loose leg, meaning they go easily over boots.
Interestingly, the coin pocket is on the left, which is a first for me but it means you can keep a hand on the brake while fishing for toll money, smart or what?
All waist sizes get a 34″ inseam; this allows you to have them hemmed to fit or turn them up for that instant grease-monkey look.
Once upon a time, it was either jeans of leathers for your choice of legwear. Today though, there’s a fantastic range of technical fabrics with incredible properties from which to choose.
You can, of course, wear whatever you like when riding your bike, it just depends on how attached to your skin you are. In choosing one of the Top 5 Ass Saving Pants for Chopper Jockeys, you’ll know your legs will be in good hands.