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Apparel Pro: Riding Pants

When I was in grade school, we had a week where we learned about famous inventors and their contributions to society, like Thomas Edison’s light bulb. At the end of the week, we had the opportunity to invent our own product. 

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While several students created bottomless bowls of ice cream and hats that could fly, I mocked up a motorcycle cover that would prevent my skin from burning if I wanted to wear shorts on a ride. Upon critiquing my invention, my teacher, who traveled cross country on her Harley-Davidson each summer, put it simply, “You just need to find the right pair of pants.” 

At the time, I thought she just didn’t like my invention, but looking back on it now, she was right.

A lot of your customers are probably riding in their everyday jeans or slacks, not even thinking twice about the damage they’re doing to the fabric, but also to their body in the event of a crash. Over the years, there have been significant improvements to the look and feel of riding pants, making them both stylish and comfortable. 

Cruiser pants are the most common style of riding pants and are fitted to be more boxy, for a relaxed fit. These pants are made with either leather or textiles, sometimes a combination of both for better abrasion resistance and waterproofing qualities. 

Riding jeans offer a casual look while providing more protection than your traditional Levi’s. They offer abrasion resistance, especially at low speeds, with Kevlar woven into the denim and double- and triple-stitched seams to hold the material together. 


For riders who don’t want to dampen their style with riding gear, overpants or bibs are a great option to wear protection over an outfit. Overpants tend to fit loosely and are great for low speed riders but might become uncomfortable for riders who travel at higher speeds. 

Bibs are most commonly worn for adventure riding to adapt to the conditions that they may encounter on the road. These are typically made with multiple different textile materials and offer several vents and mesh panels to accommodate ADV rider movement.

For riders who are into top speeds and racing, snug-fitting armored pants are the best option to tolerate high speed slides. The fitment is important because if the pants are too baggy, they will cause an interference of aerodynamics and slow the rider down. Race pants are also pre-curved to the rider’s tucked position on a motorcycle, which improves rider comfort on the track.

No matter what style of motorcycling your customer has in mind, providing the right pants will help them feel confident and comfortable on their ride. 

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