Crossover gear is what I call motorcycle accessories that are designed for one kind of riding, but work well for another type as well. Klīm (pronounced clime) Dakar pants are a perfect example. Designed for off-road adventures, they make an excellent touring pant, too. Some of the dirt features might not suit the crotch rocket crowd, but these over-the-boot pants are built to take a beating no matter what surface you put beneath your tires. The shell is rugged Cordura nylon that’s reinforced in the knees and seat with gnarly 1682 denier ballistic nylon and lined with Lycra for comfort. Abrasion- and heat-resistant leather panels keep the insides of the lower legs safe from your bike’s hot parts while providing some protection to the bike as well, especially in the standing position popular with dual-sport and adventure riders. Opposite the leather on the inside of each leg is more rugged nylon to keep your boots from wearing through.
I snagged a pair of Dakars before heading to Nevada on my F800Gs for an eight-day adventure. Since we planned to stay off the pavement as much as possible, I wanted some rugged pants should my GS and I part company in the rough stuff. I also wanted something that wouldn’t cook me in the hot weather we were expecting. Twenty-inch zippered leg vents made the Dakar pants look like a winner. I rode the entire trip in them and never had a comfort issue. Stretch panels in the front and behind the knees not only pass some cooling air, but keep the pants from binding. An elastic panel in the waistband automatically customizes the fit. The 2010 Dakars come with ventilated hip and knee pads, both of which are on the small side. I kept the hip pads in, but wore my Asterisk knee braces under the pants, which are cut generously through the leg to let you choose your own armor.
The vents worked best while standing; if you sit down all the time you won’t get their full benefit. With just one low-speed get-off, I never tested the Dakar’s mettle…which was fine by me. Looking at the materials and stitching quality, I’m sure they’ll do the trick when the time comes. One thing I really enjoyed was the twin cargo pockets. Not too big and not too small, they were just right for carrying my wallet and a few small items I wanted to keep handy. And since they close with hook-and-loop, I didn’t have to remember to zip them up after a stop. Instead, I could just run my hand over the flap to seal it while in the saddle if I’d forgotten that detail before mounting up.
Klīm asks $159.99 for a pair of Dakars, which seems quite reasonable compared to other riding pants. They come in gray, blue, red and orange in waist sizes 28-42 and in regular and tall inseams. If I could have just one pair of riding pants to cover both my street and dirt riding, the Dakars would be a great choice. For dual-sporting and adventuring, they’re a shoo-in. Find out more about Klīm products at www.klimusa.com.