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Are Jeans Good For Motorcycle Riding? Best 3 Picks for 2024

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Whether you’re a seasoned rider or just hitting the open road, the choice of apparel can make a significant impact on your motorcycle journey.

While denim is a classic choice for everyday wear, the question arises: are jeans good for motorcycle riding? Well, it depends on the kind of jeans you’re talking about.

If you mean regular jeans, then the answer is no. Unlined denim and stretchy jeans provide little protection, as they lack resistance to friction and impact. It’s best to go for motorcycle-specific jeans with reinforced materials for enhanced safety on the road. 

Before we compare regular jeans and motorcycle jeans in more detail, here’s a quick look at some of the best riding jeans on the market.

Pants NameCategoryGet Yours
AGVSPORT Super AlloyBest Universal FitAmazon
Street & Steel Oakland JeansBest Regular FitRevZilla | CycleGear
AGVSPORT 8000Best Relaxed FitAmazon
Bull-it Icon II Slim JeansBest Slim FitRevZilla | CycleGear
AGVSPORT MetroBest Stretch FitAmazon
Iron Workers Selene Women's JeansBest Women’s FitRevZilla | CycleGear

Are Jeans Good For Motorcycle Riding?

man wearing jeans on motorcycles to answer are jeans good for motorcycle riding

When it comes to motorcycle riding, the suitability of jeans depends on the type you choose.

While regular denim and fashion-forward jeans may offer a casual and stylish look, they compromise on safety as they offer little resistance to friction and impact.

Moreover, the fabrics in regular jeans can melt under the intense heat produced during a slide, potentially causing severe burns. Nylon, commonly found in stretchy jeans, is particularly prone to melting and fusing with the skin, leading to painful consequences.

This is where specialized motorcycle jeans come into play. These jeans are crafted from durable materials, often reinforced with Kevlar or other abrasion-resistant fabrics, providing an additional layer of protection.

Motorcycle jeans are designed with riders in mind, incorporating armor inserts at key impact zones such as the knees and hips. This added protection significantly reduces the risk of injury in case of a collision or fall.

Regular Jeans vs. Motorcycle Jeans

regular vs motorcycle jeans

Here’s a quick comparison between regular jeans and motorcycles to make the differences between them more clear:

1. Fabric Material

  • Regular jeans are typically made from standard denim, a cotton fabric. While denim is known for its comfort and breathability, it lacks the robustness needed for motorcycle riding.
  • Motorcycle jeans utilize specialized materials such as Kevlar, Cordura, or other reinforced fabrics. These materials are designed to provide increased abrasion resistance, offering better protection in case of a slide or fall.

2. Construction

  • Regular jeans have standard stitching and construction, typically designed for everyday wear without a specific focus on motorcycle riding requirements.
  • Motorcycle jeans are constructed with reinforced stitching and strategically placed seams. This design is aimed at preventing seams from bursting upon impact, providing additional durability.

3. Protection

  • Regular jeans offer minimal protection against abrasion and impacts, making them less suitable for motorcycle riding.
  • Motorcycle jeans prioritize protection with features like abrasion-resistant materials and reinforced stitching. They also come with armor inserts at key impact points like the knees and hips, providing extra protection against impacts.

4. Comfort

  • Regular jeans are known for their comfort during everyday activities. They offer flexibility and ease of movement, making them suitable for various casual occasions.
  • Motorcycle jeans are designed to balance safety and comfort, ensuring a comfortable fit for riders during long rides.

5. Special Features

  • Regular jeans generally lack specialized features for motorcycle riding.
  • While motorcycle jeans prioritize safety, manufacturers also pay attention to comfort. They are designed to provide a comfortable fit for riders, ensuring that you can wear them for extended periods without sacrificing ease of movement.

6. Cost

  • Regular jeans are usually more affordable compared to motorcycle jeans.
  • Motorcycle jeans can be more expensive due to the use of specialized materials, reinforced construction, and added safety features.

To sum up, regular jeans offer a casual and fashionable option, but they fall short of providing the necessary protection for motorcycle riding. Motorcycle jeans, on the other hand, are purpose-built to withstand the rigors of riding, offering a blend of style and safety. 

Can You Still Wear Regular Jeans While Riding?

motorcycle jeans by the sunset

Absolutely, you can still wear regular jeans while riding, and many people do. However, it’s crucial to be aware of the limitations and potential risks associated with wearing regular jeans on a motorcycle.

As mentioned earlier, regular jeans lack the specialized construction and protective features found in motorcycle jeans. In the unfortunate event of a fall, regular denim provides minimal resistance to abrasion and may result in more severe injuries.

Safety Tips for Wearing Regular Jeans While Riding

If you have no choice but to wear regular jeans while riding, here are some safety tips to keep in mind:

  1. If you choose to wear regular jeans, consider keeping your rides at lower speeds, reducing the risk of severe abrasion in case of a fall.
  2. Reserve regular jeans for shorter rides rather than long-distance trips where the risk of accidents is higher.
  3. Consider the weather conditions. In hot weather, regular jeans might be more breathable, but in colder temperatures, you might want to layer up for warmth.

If you find yourself riding more frequently or at higher speeds, it’s best to consider investing in motorcycle-specific gear for enhanced safety.

Features to Look for in Motorcycle Jeans

When shopping for motorcycle jeans, it’s essential to look for features that prioritize both style and safety. 

Here’s a detailed breakdown of the key features to consider:

  1. Reinforced Fabrics: Look for motorcycle jeans made from materials like Kevlar, Cordura, or reinforced fabrics. These materials provide increased abrasion resistance, protecting your skin in case of a slide or fall.
  2. Reinforced Stitching: Quality motorcycle jeans feature reinforced stitching and strategically placed seams to prevent bursting upon impact, ensuring the durability of the garment during accidents.
  3. Armor Inserts: Opt for motorcycle jeans with built-in armor inserts at critical impact areas such as knees and hips. These inserts enhance protection against impacts, adding an extra layer of safety.
  4. CE Certification: Check for CE certification, which indicates that the jeans meet certain safety standards. This certification is a reliable indicator of the protective capabilities of the garment.
  5. Ergonomic Design: Look for jeans with an ergonomic design that considers the riding position. This ensures a comfortable fit both on and off the bike, allowing for ease of movement during rides.
  6. Ventilation: Consider motorcycle jeans with additional ventilation features such as mesh panels or perforations. These help to keep you cool, especially during warmer weather, without compromising on protection.
  7. Reflective Elements: Some motorcycle jeans incorporate reflective elements, enhancing visibility in low-light conditions. This feature contributes to overall safety, especially when riding in the dark.
  8. Pockets: Check for strategically placed pockets that allow you to carry essentials such as keys, phone, or wallet conveniently. Ensure that these pockets are secure and won’t compromise your safety.
  9. Adjustable Straps or Closures: Look for motorcycle jeans with adjustable features like straps or closures. This allows you to customize the fit, ensuring a snug and secure feel while riding.
  10. Water-Repellent Coating: Consider motorcycle jeans with a water-repellent coating. While not fully waterproof, this feature can provide some protection against light rain and drizzles.

While all of these features contribute to the level of protection your riding jeans will provide, the fabric and armor are arguably the most important as they form the first and second line of defense. 

So, let’s take a closer look at the different types of reinforced fabrics and armor for motorcycle jeans.

Types of Reinforced Fabrics for Motorcycle Jeans

  1. Kevlar®/Aramid: Kevlar® is a synthetic aramid fiber known for its high strength and resistance to abrasion. 
  2.  It is lightweight and flexible, offering a balance between protection and comfort.
  3. Armalith®: Armalith® is a patented fabric that combines cotton with high-performance synthetic fibers, such as UHMWPE (Ultra-High Molecular Weight Polyethylene). It’s known for its exceptional strength and abrasion resistance, offering a denim-like appearance while providing enhanced protection against wear and tear.
  4. Cordura®: Cordura® is a brand of high-performance fabric made from nylon, polyester, or a blend of both. It is often used in motorcycle gear for its abrasion resistance, tear strength, and overall durability. 
  5. Keprotec®: Keprotec® is a fabric that combines aramid fibers with elastane, providing flexibility and stretch. Its stretch properties make it an excellent choice for areas that require flexibility, such as knee and crotch panels in motorcycle jeans.
  6. Dyneema®: Dyneema® is a high-strength polyethylene fiber that is lightweight and extremely durable. It is known for its exceptional strength-to-weight ratio, providing excellent abrasion resistance without adding much weight to the garment. 
  7. Covec®: Covec® is a technical fabric designed for motorcycle clothing, incorporating a blend of high-performance fibers like polyester and Covec® itself. It offers high abrasion resistance, tear strength, and thermal stability.

Ultimately, your choice of fabric depends on your specific needs, preferences, and the level of protection you desire in motorcycle jeans. 

Types of Armor for Motorcycle Jeans

  1. Knee Armor: Positioned at the knees, this armor protects one of the most vulnerable areas during a motorcycle accident. It is typically made of impact-resistant materials like high-density foam, TPU (Thermoplastic Polyurethane), or D3O®, a smart material that hardens upon impact.
  2. Hip Armor: Positioned at the hips, this armor provides additional protection for the pelvic region. Similar to knee armor, hip armor is made from impact-absorbing materials.
  3. Base Layer Armor: Also referred to as body armor, the base layer comprises underlayers designed to be worn beneath garments, offering protection to additional areas such as the chest and back.

Note that any body armor approved for use should fall under either Level 1 or Level 2 by CE standards. 

  • CE Level 1: This certification represents a lower level of impact protection. It allows for a certain amount of force transmission.
  • CE Level 2: This certification indicates a higher level of impact protection. Level 2 armor absorbs and distributes impact forces more effectively than Level 1.

The specific standards for motorcycle armor include:

  • EN 1621-1: Covers limb protectors, including knee and elbow protectors.
  • EN 1621-2: Pertains to back protectors.

The certification level of a piece of armor is indicated by a pictogram. The coding for the certification follows a format like EN 1621-2:2021.

In this context, EN 1621 signifies that the armor is certified for motorcycle use, and the -2 indicates the specific area where the armor should be worn. In this particular case, the number is for back protectors— the rest of the code is self-explanatory.

When choosing motorcycle jeans, prioritize those with CE-certified armor in critical areas. It’s also best to look for jeans with adjustable armor pockets so you can position the armor to best suit your body shape and riding position.

Best Picks for Motorcycle Riding Jean

Based on personal experience, here are my top 3 picks for motorcycle jeans from AGVSPORT:

1. AGVSPORT Super Alloy Jeans

AGVSPORT Motorcycle Alloy JeansBuy on Amazon

Priced at $149.99 with a convenient zipper fly closure and a universal fit, the AGVSPORT Super Alloy Jeans have become my go-to choice for motorcycle pants. 

Drawing from my extensive three-decade riding experience, these jeans offer a sense of security with their multi-stitched construction using the patented AGVSPORT Advanced Safety Stitching Construction (ASSC). 

The DuPont Kevlar and Smooth Ways CE Level 2 soft armor provides ten times the strength of regular jeans, ensuring exceptional abrasion resistance. 

While they may feel a bit snug, especially around the hips due to additional armor pockets, the safety tradeoff is worthwhile. The discreet, ordinary appearance of these jeans conceals their robust protective features, making them a reliable and stylish choice for any rider.

2. AGVSPORT 8000 Jeans

AGVSPORT Motorcycle 8000 Jean MensBuy on Amazon

Another standout choice is the AGVSPORT 8000 Jeans.  These jeans boast a blend of 40% DuPont Kevlar and Smooth Ways Level 2 CE padded knees for impressive protection. 

Despite their camouflage as everyday jeans, the AGVSPORT 8000 Jeans offer hidden armor and a washed denim luxury feel. The 32-inch inseam height complements the relaxed universal fit and button fly design. 

With accessible hip pockets, belt-friendly features, and an affordable price of $140, these jeans seamlessly combine fashion and protective functionality

3. AGVSPORT Metro Jeans

AGVSPORT Metro JeanBuy on Amazon

Finally, we have the AGVSPORT Metro Jeans that exemplify the brand’s dedication to blending casual styling with protective features. 

These jeans, made from 40% DuPontTM Kevlar lining and boasting multi-stitched seams with ASSC, provide a rugged yet casual appearance. Additionally, the slim fit, zipper fly, and 32-inch inseam offer a universal appeal, while the stretchy design adds comfort for longer rides.

Priced at $139.99, these jeans offer both style and durability, making them an excellent choice for riders seeking comfort and protection.

These models showcase the brand’s commitment to providing versatile riding gear that caters to the diverse preferences and requirements of motorcyclists.

Conclusion

Choosing between regular jeans and motorcycle jeans ultimately boils down to your priorities: style or safety. 

While regular jeans offer comfort and a casual aesthetic, they lack the specialized construction needed for optimal protection during motorcycle riding. On the other hand, motorcycle jeans, equipped with reinforced materials, CE-certified armor, and thoughtful design, prioritize the rider’s safety without compromising on style

If you’re mainly riding short distances at low speeds, regular jeans might suffice. However, if safety is a top concern, investing in motorcycle jeans is a smart move. They offer the best of both worlds – style and protection, ensuring you can hit the road with confidence. 

Remember, gear up wisely and stay safe out there!

AGVSPORT Knee and Body Armor

I've diligently categorized my motorcycle gear recommendations into all available categories, with the aim of providing you with a comprehensive analysis that showcases the absolute best options for all your needs. These items are the culmination of in-depth research, extensive testing, and personal use throughout my vast experience of 50+ years in the world of motorcycling. Besides being a passionate rider, I've held leadership positions and offered consultancy services to reputable companies in over 25 countries. To See Top Picks and the Best Prices & Places to Buy: Click Here!

Information for this article was partially sourced and researched from the following authoritative Government, educational, corporate, and nonprofit organizations:

MS/Ni

About the Author:

About the Author:

Michael Parrotte started his career in the motorcycle industry by importing AGV Helmets into the North American market. He was then appointed the Vice President of AGV Helmets America. In total, he worked with AGV Helmets for 25 years. He has also served as a consultant for KBC Helmets, Vemar Helmets, Suomy Helmets, Marushin Helmets, KYT Helmets, and Sparx Helmets.

In 1985, he founded AGV Sports Group, Inc. with AGV Helmets in Valenza, Italy. For over 38 years now, the company has quietly delivered some of the best protective gear for motorcyclists in the world.

Click Here for Michael’s LinkedIn Profile

Click Here for the Complete AGV Helmet & AGVSPORT History

Click Here for All AGV Sports Group Social Media Information

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