Originally Posted by j
I called Kushitani in CA and the nice lady said the Japanese model of the leather jeans (next model year) has at least knee armor pockets in it and they will get a pair of those if you want and sell them for the same $400. She also said to size up one since they run a little tight and size up two if you want to wear that Bohn or T-pro/Forcefield under-armor stuff underneath, because of the hip armor. The inseam is 35" unhemmed and they are machine washable.
Kushitani is local for me, and I saw the jeans in question when I was looking for riding pants. I did not try them on, because they did not have any armor. If the newer model has pockets for knee or hip armor, they might be a very good solution. Kushitani sells t-pro, but also has their own proprietary armor that's a very thin and dense foam. I don't know how well it works, but if you were looking for the least obstrusive armor, I would look there first.
There is no question that there would be a market for jeans that provide impact protection, abrasion resistance, and look good. Not easy to do though. Personally, I think I lived with a good compromise. When riding around locally, I wore t-pro knee pads under my regular jeans. When going on a real ride (or freeway) I wore Dianese racing pants.