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Motorcycle Jeans Project

Discussion in 'Streetwear and Denim' started by j, Mar 28, 2008.

  1. epb

    epb Senior member

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    I took a ride in them today and was pretty pleased. Perched on my CBR600RR they were comfortable (and on that bike, that's a challenge) and the armor was in the right place, and a 20-something girl actually complimented me on them at lunch, which was a surprise. I'll concede that while I still think they're over-styled, they do look like a lot of jeans the younger set wears, so could just be me being a fuddy-duddy. I literally stood looking in the mirror after I got home saying "Seriously?"

    I left the foam armor in to see how I'd like it, and it was a bit stiff when off the bike. As I said previously, I think I'll like my Forcefield armor more.

    My only other riding jeans are BMW City 2s and I'd have to say I'd call it even. My City 2s have better armor, better design (like all the pockets up front and adjustable leg closure) but these fit better (except for length, but actual sizing rather than S, M, L, etc) and I could get almost 3 pair for what I paid for the BMW gear. I'd call it a draw.
     
  2. epb

    epb Senior member

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    As another data point, I thought I'd include a shot of the armor. The leftmost is the D3O armor from my BMW City 2s, the middle is my Forcefield knee armor, the right is the foam armor from the BiLT jeans I got.

    [​IMG]
     
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  3. Ponyboy312

    Ponyboy312 Senior member

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    epb: I'll concede that while I still think they're over-styled, they do look like a lot of jeans the younger set wears, so could just be me being a fuddy-duddy. I literally stood looking in the mirror after I got home saying "Seriously?"

    --LOL. Great review too btw.
     
  4. otc

    otc Senior member

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    Well...unfortunately they don't like like the jeans that anyone on SF would buy (hence the purpose of this thread).

    edit: that's not to say that I would be unwilling to accept some level of stupid pre-distressing in exchange for kevlar, armor, and a good fit at a decent price.
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2013
  5. epb

    epb Senior member

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    Cheap Kevlar Motorcycle Jeans II: The Reckoning!

    Saw yet another deal on motorcycle jeans and succumbed to temptation. My last pair was BiLT's $70 "Iron Workers" from Cycle Gear This time, I ran across an ad for Sliders for $80 from Competition Accessories.

    What Sliders tout is that their jeans are safe while being not much different than your Levis 501 jeans. Now, I know this is SF, so let me explain that this is seen as a positive attribute among normal people, who can't spot 14oz selvedge denim with vegetable-based dye at 30 paces. :) If you're wearing dept. store Lees and Levis, these look and feel a lot like them. (Ask a commoner about their jeans if you're unfamiliar with these.)

    The first thing I noticed is that the denim used feels like a heavier weight than the BiLT, yet feels softer. (It's advertised is 13.5oz denim. Geeks.) Like the BiLTs and other motorcycle hjeans, they suffer from excess seams where the Kevlar liners are double-stitched in, so you've got two seams going across each leg (one above the knee, one below) and along the side from hip to knee, but this time the stitching is all one color so it doesn't stand out as much (I also went with black this time). The rear pockets have a two-line cross-over pattern that's pretty generic and a pocket tab that reads "Kevlar." The rear waistband has a leather Sliders label. The color is sort of a black pre-wash look, rather than deep black.

    Pros:
    - they look like Levis Relaxed Fit jeans, so they are very subtle about being motorcycle jeans.
    - more comfortable than my Iron Workers, even with armor. Without, as comfortable as ordinary jeans. Part of this is that, like my BMW Citys that more than cost twice as much, they have a soft liner between you and the Kevlar. The BiLTs aren't uncomfortable, but they aren't as comfortable as ordinary denim - these are.
    - much larger pockets for knee armor. These jeans can take both my Forcefield and D3O armor.
    - armor placement is adjustable. This is fairly typical, but I note it because the BiLTs aren't.
    - the fit on the legs is looser, so the armor doesn't press against me when off the bike.
    - seem to breathe quite well on the bike.

    Cons:
    - they look like Levis Relaxed Fit jeans. The seller warned they run big so I sized down and they do fit at the waist properly, but they're loose everywhere else. Bear in mind that while I'm fit (6'1, 190#) I'm 50 years old. This isn't some skinny-jeans wearing hipster saying they're loose, meaning they've got a spare millimeter of material. They're loose even to old people like me, wearing boxers instead of thongs or bikinis or whatever you kids wear. Now, this is handy when off the bike with the armor still in as far as comfort, but in a dismount it makes me wonder if the armor will be covering the right areas. On the other hand, they take larger armor than the Iron Workers, so I've got more coverage. If they were an inch or so smaller in the leg, they'd be perfect (or I'd find something else to complain about). My BMW Citys win overall - same size armor, closer fit, meaning overall better placement. (And if I go to a disco in the 1980s, I'm all set thanks to all the zipper action, but I digress...)
    - knee armor is not included. Not an issue for me since I have some, but worth mentioning as paying $12 for the optional foam knee armor ups the price
    - hip armor is not an option, unlike the Iron Workers (but then, the IWs don't include that, just the foam knee armor).

    In sum, these are much better motorcycle jeans than the Iron Workers, though I won't be garnering compliments in these (yes, there've been more compliments on the BiLTs. Yes, that's still weird).

    As a special bonus. In addition to the above, I'd recommend the Sliders over the Iron Workers for two reasons: One, the Sliders Kevlar looks and feels much thicker than the Iron Workers. Two, the coverage area of the Kevlar is superior. I took pictures of them side-by-side to illustrate. The Iron Workers are on the left, the Sliders on the right:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    As you can see, the Sliders have a mesh comfort liner over most of the leg and much larger pockets for the armor on the front; the Kevlar also covers the more around the knees . On the rear, you'll notice that the Kevlar covers more of the seat and goes farther down the side of the leg. (The canvas flaps on the Iron Workers are for the hip armor, not regular pockets.)

    Hope this helps
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2013
    2 people like this.
  6. otc

    otc Senior member

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    I like those much better...wish they came in a darker blue though. Maybe I could try overdyeing a pair (don't want black).

    Looks like they also sell some kevlar khakis which might be a good option. Probably still pretty baggy, but they could probably be altered.

    I think you will find that if they actually looked and fit like a 501, it would be a good thing--the 501 is a decent cut when sized appropriately. The problem is usually more with the fake distressing and ugly washes that a lot of jeans have. Lot of people on here have been through a pair or two of the classic levis 501 shrink-to-fit (which comes in the darkest blue and fades over time).
     
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  7. epb

    epb Senior member

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    Yep, I mis-quoted them in the first paragraph; the jeans are modeled on the 550 Relaxed Fit, not 501. I mention Relaxed Fit in the subsequent paragraphs but didn't include the model. I agree that fitting like 501s would probably be spot-on. Someone happy with the cut of the 550 would likely be very happy with these. Even with the extra room, I like their more low-key appearance.
     
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  8. Ponyboy312

    Ponyboy312 Senior member

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    I have those exact same boots. Great minds...
     
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  9. epb

    epb Senior member

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    I like them for riding around town, but I do wish they'd come with a shift pad.
     
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  10. epb

    epb Senior member

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    Just as a follow-up: Motorcycle Consumer News says these jeans are pretty much identical to AGV Sport line with 13.5 oz denim compared to AGV using 12.5 oz denim; they're made in the same factory. However, AGV's Sport line offers a model called Corsica, which has the same features as these but is modeled on the Levi 505 Regular Fit rather than the 550 Relaxed Fit like the Sliders. They still come in at under $100 (by about a buck). If I find myself needing yet another pair or they turn up on close-out somewhere, I might try them as well, but just wanted to let folks know if there are interested parties.

    Currently waiting on my armored hoodie...
     
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  11. Ponyboy312

    Ponyboy312 Senior member

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    Armored hoody? That sounds wicked (I'll be googling it later). Re: the TCX boots, they did come with a shift pad. In fact, I wasn't sure what it was for when I first saw it in the box. The shoes are deep black and I like a little scuffing, so I have never used it. I only keep it around for a day I decide to go out in one of my more delicate non-moto boots. You gotta post an update when you get the hoodie.
     
  12. rm20

    rm20 Member

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  13. epb

    epb Senior member

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    I don't recall any sort of shift pad with mine, and the TCX web site makes no mention - weird.

    The hoodie should be here tomorrow, so I'll post my impressions. As it's 90-degrees, I won't be riding in it for a bit.


    Never heard of them, but they look like good quality - full Kevlar lining rather than just the impact/abrasion zones, comfort liner, Forcefield armor (good stuff, I've got some), and apparently they're looking to get CE-rated, which is all to the good. The denim is a bit lighter than I'd like at 12.5 oz. My thing, and this applies to all of Kevlar denim, is the price. All the CE-rated denim seems to run $250+, and at that price point I'll forgo the compromises of jeans and get the full-on protection of a textile stuit or leathers.
     
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  14. Ponyboy312

    Ponyboy312 Senior member

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    Yeah, I was surprised to see them in the box b/c they weren't mentioned in the specs before I ordered them. Looking forward to the hoodie update.
     
  15. epb

    epb Senior member

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    Got this in tonight, so here are my first impressions and pics:

    There are people for whom something like armored hoodie is an oxymoron, and it's not valid motorcycle gear unless it's $500, made of leather and says Dianese in huge letters across 80% of the visible surface area. Move along, move along, nothing to see here.

    If you're of a more flexible mindset and can encompass the concept of an armored hoodie, the GoGoGear version seems a pretty good way to go for $120. The chief features of a garment like this are impact protection and abrasion protection. As almost every hoodie I've seen is a plain black zip front 2-pocket job, what makes them span a price gamut of $60 (BiLT) to $160 (Finn Moto, w/shipping from Oz) is the amount of each's protection. The Bilt hoodie is a black cotton hoodie with Kevlar sewn only into the elbows and shoulder, around the foam armor for minimum abrasion and impact protection. The Finn Moto black cotton hoodie has full Kevlar lining, and armor at the elbows, shoulders, and back and appears to offer the maximum.

    The GoGoGear black cotton hoodie falls in the high-middle zone, with full CE-rated armor like the Finn Moto, but no Kevlar lining on the front areas: only the back of the torso is covered, and the sleeves are lined from shoulder to cuff at the rear/outside of your arm. This makes sense, as few people go down the asphalt face-first on their torso with their arms out to the side like they're on a slip-n-slide, but some people will want to cover every eventuality (however, those people most likely wouldn't get any sort of armored hoodie).

    With that in mind, the GGG hoodie seems as well-made and sturdy as a cotton hoodie can be. The shoulder and back armor are sizable, and the elbow armor goes down the sleeve to protect a good portion of your forearms. It essentially feels like the entire garment is there to hold the armor to your body - the back protector fills almost the entire back of the hoodie, then you've got the shoulder armor, and then the elbow armor runs halfway to the cuffs, so you feel armor over a lot of your body; I was especially aware of the back armor. The elastic at the waist and wrist is tight, with the clear idea of keeping the garment - and therefore the armor - in place. The fit of the Large that I had delivered is spot on, always tricky for me as I wear a 34" sleeve length.

    In terms of features, the outside is your basic black zip-front hoodie in appearance - it could be from anywhere if you removed the small, red/black label - with the standard two front hand-warmer pockets. The sole extras are two zipper-controlled under-arm vents to help with air-flow/cooling. I suspect I'll need them, as first impressions are this thing is warm. The inside has a vivid red mesh comfort liner and a large GoGoGear logo below the collar/hood. Even if you could ignore the armor, you won't be accidentally grabbing your plain old fleece hoodie by mistake. The hood is double-lined so it won't blow around as much as a regular hoodie. There is only a single pocket for a cell-phone inside, and it's for a phone; my cheap T-mobile pay-as-you-go phone fits fine, but I can't see a smart phone like those from Apple or Blackberry going in easy as the pocket is pretty narrow.

    Overall, it looks pretty good and should work nicely with my other low-key gear like Kevlar jeans and TCX sneakers. Here are the pics:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  16. Ponyboy312

    Ponyboy312 Senior member

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    Great review! I may want to get one b/c I really don't like having to wear obvious moto gear (i.e. my RSD ronin) everytime I go out for a ride and want some protection. This seems like a nice middle of the road for short trips to the gym, grocery, etc.

    And because it deserves saying again..Great review!
     
  17. otc

    otc Senior member

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    Ordered a pair of the AGV Corsicas. Hopefully they fit...the reviews were complaining about them being too small, but from what people were writing, I think they are used to to very loose fitting and vanity sized pants. Somebody said they were a 38x32 in Lee Relaxed Fit or something and that these were too tight...I would imagine that the true waist measurement on those Lees is 40 or more.

    Also picked up some D3O knee armor to fit inside and a new tach cable (I've been riding around without a tach for a month or so).
     
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  18. epb

    epb Senior member

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    Exactly! I think the chief benefit of more casual gear is you actually wear it for those trips where lots of people don't bother because suiting up seems like more hassle than riding a few blocks at 25mph is worth.


    I suspect they will - please post back and let us know. Like you, I got the impression the Corsicas are cut to fit like normal jeans, where most are relaxed fit or loose fit to suit the cruiser crowd.
     
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  19. TRINI

    TRINI Senior member

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    If anyone's interested in a twice-soaked pair of the Maple Moto jeans for (relatively) cheap in a tagged size 32 (fits larger), let me know.

    They're well-made but simply too big for me at this point.

    I've had them hemmed and removed the pocket stitching and patch but other than that, they're in good shape.
     

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