This article offers ‘motorcycle jeans advice’ and is for those who value their skin and take motorcycle safety seriously. If that’s you, read on for some useful motorcycle jeans advice. Even though UK law does not enforce the wearing of motorcycle jeans or trousers, riders who only wear regular everyday clothing, are at risk of serious injury. The fact is that regular denim jeans offer virtually no protection against abrasion, with common advice being that in an accident where a rider slides on an average road surface, that one millimetre of skin will be lost for every mile-an-hour over 30 mph. So even at just 35 mph, an abrasion injury to the lower legs could be life changing for a rider not wearing proper motorcycle trousers.
Fashion versus skin
An irritation for some riders (particularly younger ones) can be the inconvenience of wearing motorcycle clothing, especially on short local journeys. Another wrongly placed priority can be fashion. When it comes to motorcycle trousers/jeans, the good news is that there is a safety ‘middle-ground’ in the form of purpose made, Kevlar reinforced denim jeans. Such motorcycle garments are made of a heavy weave of thick denim in combination with Kevlar – a material that gives a much better abrasion resistance than denim alone.
It is important to point out that whilst Kevlar reinforced motorcycle clothing does offer more protection that regular clothing, it is a significant safety compromise and should only be used for ‘casual’ around town motorcycle riding.
Leather or textile is better
In all cases (including ‘casual’ riding), a much better choice of motorcycle trousers or ‘jeans’, would be ones that are made from leather or of a professional motorcycle textile. Ideally, they should be equipped with CE rated impact protection armour for the hips, knees and shins.
Motorcycle trousers should also be purchased in combination with a ‘brand matching’ motorcycle jacket, such that they can be attached to one another with a compatible zip.
It is worth mentioning that garments with longer joining-zips, offer greater protection than the shorter versions. This is because they are better designed to work ‘as-one’ in the event of an accident, preventing a jacket from riding up and exposing a rider’s skin to risk of abrasion.
As with motorcycle jackets, motorcycle trousers are becoming increasingly technical – combining different leather, textiles, armours and venting systems to improve comfort, function and protection. Read this motorcycle jeans advice article in combination with our motorcycle jacket advice and take time to listen to the safety clothing advice of experienced motorcycle riders before committing to a purchase.
Trousers must be comfortable
Trousers need to fit comfortably and not in a way that restricts leg movement and operation of the foot controls. It’s a good idea to try them on, walk around and see how they feel whilst sitting on a motorcycle.
CE LABELLING The European Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Directive 1989, requires any clothing or personal equipment sold to provide protection from injury, for example motorcycle clothing, to comply with the relevant European Standard. To comply, the gear has to be independently tested and certified. The manufacturer is then issued with a CE (Conformité Européenne) label which shows that the motorcycle clothing conforms to the relevant European standard. The clothing or gear must carry a permanently attached CE label with the number of the Standard.
Boots – CE EN 13634
Motorcycle jackets, trousers and suits – CE EN 13595
Impact protectors and body armour – CE EN 1621
Helmets (sold in the UK) – British Standard 6658: 1985 or ECE Regulation 22.05
'Think' essential guide (motorcycle jeans advice)
Do some research online or ask fellow bikers what gear they’d recommend. Remember we’re all different shapes and sizes, so what fits someone like a glove may not be good for you. Whether it’s a new pair of gloves, boots or full leathers, trying them on when on a bike is very important so you can see if they get in the way at all. Don’t leave yourself exposed to the elements or to injury. Make sure every part of you is covered up as seamlessly as possible. Remember if something is even slightly uncomfortable, it could cause chafing over a long journey and end up becoming a dangerous distraction from the road. Bear in mind wearing bright and fluorescent colours during the day and reflective elements in the dark can help improve your chances of being seen by others.
Download ‘Think’ essential guide to protective gear for bikers (includes some helpful motorcycle jeans advice).