Motorcycle pants are the most common piece of motorcycle gear riders forgo when gearing up. Helmets, gloves, and jackets get plenty of consideration, but all too often, motorcycle pants get left behind in favour of regular fashion jeans, which won't cut it (but will shred) if you find yourself in an accident. Should you fall off your bike, there is a good chance your knees or hips will make contact with the ground—wearing a pair of protective motorcycle pants will make a big difference in your safety.
In addition to added protection from armour, motorcycle pants can offer other features like waterproofing and ventilation that your street clothes might not have.
Motorcycle pants come in a variety of materials, styles, and sizes. It's important to choose what works for you and your riding needs.
How Should Motorcycle Pants Fit? Plus Pant Materials & Styles
Similar to motorcycle jackets, pants have textile and leather options. Textile motorcycle pants break down into three main types: riding jeans, mesh, and full textile pants.
Motorcycle Riding Jeans
Riding jeans are one of the most popular options for everyday street riders. Not to be confused with regular fashion jeans (although equally as stylish), riding jeans are newer to the industry and feature a casual style with hidden protection. Riding jeans are a great option if you plan on riding at low speeds or just cruising around the city. The best riding jeans will have knee and hip armour in addition to abrasion-resistant material. Keep in mind that riding jeans offer limited ventilation, which means they can get hot in the summer.
These are our top picks when it comes to riding jeans: the Speed & Strength Comin’ in Hot Yoga Womens Moto Pants, the Speed & Strength Dogs of War Armoured Jeans-32 Inseam, and the Resurgence Gear Heritage Vintage Jeans.
Mesh Motorcycle Pants
If you plan on riding throughout the warmer months of the year, mesh pants will be your best bet. Similar to a mesh jacket, these pants offer phenomenal airflow while maintaining durable materials in major impact zones. For these reasons, mesh pants are hard to beat when it comes to warm weather riding, but they aren't ideal for cold days. Mesh isn't as durable as other materials, so if you plan on riding at high speeds, you'll want to consider a full-textile or leather riding pants.
Full-Textile Motorcycle Pants
Full textile pants provide the most protection compared to riding jeans and mesh motorcycle pants. Full textile pants can come with a range of features that make them an ideal choice for multi-season riding. Full textile pants can come with waterproofing technology such as Gore-Tex, sweat-wicking materials, and even thermal liners. You will also find armour in all the critical impact zones with full textile pants. We recommend a full textile option, or leather if you plan on riding at high speeds.
The REV’IT! Trousers Sand 4 H20-Standard, the Joe Rocket Alter Ego 14.0 textile pants, the Alpinestars Andes Drystar ® V3 Pants, and the Olympia AirGlide 6 Mesh Tech Pants-Dual Layer System are a great option for full textile motorcycle pants.
Motorcycle Leather Pants
Leather is ideal for high-speed protection since it’s incredibly durable and abrasion-resistant. Like textile options, leather pants typically feature armour in the knee and hip areas to protect you from unwanted impact. The extreme durability of leather pants makes them the most common type of motorcycle pant among sport riders. Some leather pants are available in perforated versions for added ventilation.
Find Your Size: How Motorcycle Pants Should Fit
Motorcycle pants come in two fits—a relaxed or touring fit and a sport or race fit.
A relaxed fit is designed for long-distance rides, and it’s common for textile pants to fit this way. Pants with a relaxed or touring fit tend to have a straight to wide-leg to go over the top of your boots.
A sport or race fit is much tighter and typically pre-curved to fit your body on a sport motorcycle. A tight fit is critical for sport riding since it will hold the armour in place in the event of a crash. These pants are generally designed to be worn with the pant inside the boot.
How to Size Motorcycle Pants
To find your best fit and size, you will need to grab your waist, hip, and inseam measurements (similar to how you would measure for a pair of street pants).
Remember that no matter the style you choose, your pants shouldn't restrict your movement or cause discomfort. You will want to ensure the pants are snug but not overly tight. The armour should stay in place when you move around.
When you get your pants, try sitting on your bike as you usually would and make sure you can work everything properly. If something doesn't feel quite right, we suggest visiting us in-store or over the phone to speak with one of our experts who can help you find the perfect fit.