Most bikers I ride with wear regular denim jeans. Levis still tend to be the #1 choice, even though Wranglers are better for motorcyclists because the rolled leg seam on Wranglers is on the outside while the rolled seam of Levis are on the inside, making the jeans a bit more uncomfortable to wear while mounted on an iron horse.
However, being an affirmed ATGATT (All The Gear, All The Time) advocate, I know that regular denim jeans can tear in a crash, providing little protection from horrible and debilitating road rash.
However, I have found the solution for bikers who want to wear jeans and also want protection. The solution is…
…jeans made with Kevlar® fibers — designed by riders for riders — the ultimate in ballistic protection.
There are several brands of ballistic riding jeans out there. A recent new acquisition for me are Sliders jeans (see mine here), made under contract by Competition Accessories, a well-regarded on-line vendor of motorcycle parts and gear. There are other vendors that sell similar jeans-style riding pants. I bought mine from Competition Accessories because I have had good purchasing experiences with them over many years. They are reliable, communicate well, and price their products reasonably, and even offer occasional %-off sales for those who sign up for email notifications.
These Sliders jeans are built with Dupont Kevlar® panels in the high danger areas (sides of both hips, seat, and knees) to protect a rider in case of a crash. The knees and seat are reinforced with Kevlar panels to help to prevent road rash. These jeans are made of heavy duty yet soft 13.5 oz. denim made from Kevlar fibers. In case you don’t know, Kevlar was invented 50 years ago by Dupont, a major chemical company based in Delaware, USA. Kevlar is an aramid synthetic fiber with a high tensile strength-to-weight ratio, measured to be five times stronger than steel. Kevlar is used to make all sorts of fabrics, including body armor used by law enforcement and the military.
Simpler words: jeans made with Kevlar will not rip in a crash.
The only downfall of these jeans is that because they are made with Kevlar and not easily rippable cotton, they are heavier than traditional cotton denim. So these jeans can feel a bit hot in warm weather. But less uncomfortably hot than leather jeans or breeches on a hot day.
The jeans also run large. They fit me fine in the waist, but were long. My spouse hemmed them for me so they fit with traditional motorcycle boots and do not drag on the ground behind the boot heels. A good thing about the larger fit is that the jeans have a larger seat and thigh, so it is easy to swing the leg over the saddle of my Harley and operate the machine while riding.
These jeans are very soft and comfortable. I have proudly added them to my ATGATT attire to wear on those mild days when I just want to wear jeans, not full leathers.
Some of you may be asking, “are you now changing your riding attire and not wearing leather or cop breeches?” Answer: no, I wear cop breeches in warm weather, these Slider jeans as an alternative in mild weather (and also when I am riding with my straight riding club who disdain full leather), and leather breeches or jeans in cool weather. I like having choices so I have the best gear for the conditions in which I will be riding.
Life is short: embrace technology for motorcycle riding gear.