Whilst motorbike jeans have been on the market for many years they typically offered little more protection than regular jeans until someone came up with the idea of lining the critical areas with Kevlar.
Du Pont fibre Kevlar has been used in motorcycle applications for many years, principally as a stitching material. It has also found its way into gloves and other items as a safety liner. In the past, the problem has been that the Kevlar is stronger than most of the materials it has been used to hold together!
Obviously people were initially sceptical that this yellow fibre could be that good so to prove the strength and quality of the product one manufacturer had their boss towed along behind a bike, and then a drag car at over 100mph! And yes, this is the same stuff that gets used in bullet proof vests.
There are now a number of manufacturers on the market and there is a lot of debate as to who produces the best kevlar jeans. One of the areas up for discussion is the difference between the types of Kevlar used. The two main variation used in motorbike jeans are woven and knitted and as I write this there has been no definitive answer to which one is best.
Obviously motorbike jeans are a style item and the type that suits you may not appeal to someone else. Whilst they all offer a degree of abrasion protection thanks to the Kevlar linings not all offer impact protection so it’s important to see if they offer any form of knee protection as standard or at least as an option. Hip armour pockets are provided in some models, but retailers report that buyers find hip protection quite uncomfortable when on a bike so it’s generally not fitted.
Most manufacturers offer motorbike jeans in ladies and men’s models and the fit is often a lot better for women than traditional motorcycle clothing.
As with any motorcycle clothing it’s a good idea to try the motorcycle jeans out on a bike to check how it feels, make sure it doesn’t bunch up and to see if the armour sits in the right place.
Another thing to look for is a connecting zip which can help hold the trousers up and the jacket down when on the bike. It also helps prevent garment separation if it all goes wrong. A lot of motorbike jeans on the market now are coming with the second half of the zip attached so that the buyer can attach it to their existing jacket if it’s the wrong type.
Cool to wear, cool to be seen in, as comfortable as regular jeans, as easy to look after and as safe as leather. What more could you want?
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RDM (UK) Limited trading as Infinity Motorcycles
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