Kevlar-lined riding jeans are a great choice for those riders looking for something more protective than their favorite pair of Levi’s, but without the utilitarian (and bulky) look of dedicated motorcycle pants. Motonation offers two models of riding jeans, the men’s Sherpa and the women’s Fuego, both priced at an extremely affordable $99.
The Fuego jeans I tested are made of a stretchy 13.5-oz. denim with enough give to make them quite comfortable even when I’m tucked onto a sportbike, although I would’ve preferred a higher waist in the back–they gaped open and I found myself compulsively tugging my jacket down to cover my exposed back. Inside is a shin-length mesh liner with Kevlar panels at the buttocks and from just above the knee to where the liner ends at the upper shin, and a 4.5-inch strip down the outside of each thigh. I consider this minimal coverage, but the upside is that the Fuegos are cooler and more comfortable to wear than jeans with more complete Kevlar coverage.
There are pockets for optional knee and hip armor (or you can buy some from Forcefield or D3O), and the knee pockets include hook-and-loop strips to position the armor where you need it. Because of the mesh liner, there is no telltale stitching on the outside of the jeans that gives away their moto mission, and though they are slightly thicker than “street” jeans the Fuegos are comfortable enough to wear around all day (and night). Speaking of stitching, at this price point you aren’t getting seams triple-stitched with high-tensile-strength thread, which means the Fuegos might not hold together as long in a slide. Again, a potential trade-off that’s your decision to make.
As for sizing, any woman reading this knows how unpredictable women’s jeans can be, so I’ll do my best to guide you here. I typically (with an asterisk of course) wear a size 6, but in the Fuegos I’m an 8 so let’s say they run a size small. As mentioned previously, the denim is fairly stretchy which helps with fit, and sizes 6-10 are available in short, regular and long lengths (for a $99 pair of riding jeans, having three lengths to choose from is almost unheard-of). It does get complicated outside those sizes, however: size 4 comes in short and regular, 12 in regular and long, and 14 in regular only. Got that?
Bottom line is, if the Fuegos fit you and you’re OK with sacrificing a bit of abrasion protection for a cooler, more comfortable fit–and if you don’t have a lot of dough to spend–they certainly are a better choice than riding in your everyday jeans.
For more information, call (619) 401-4100 or visit motonation.com.