Denims on a bike means only one thing: road rash
Welcome to OVERDRIVE's no stone left unturned guide to motorcycle pants. This is one of the sections of the comprehensive guide - you will find links to the other sections as they come online at the bottom of this page. And now let's get on with the guide.
Most of us regard denims as among the toughest materials we use daily. It wears slowly, lasts forever and the process of its ageing has become part of its lore and appeal. The issue with denim really is that the fabric is all that, but it is also not very good at handling either abrasion or tension.
On a motorcycle, when you're falling onto a road surface, it must deal with both and it fails miserably. That's why serious riders don't mess around with denims, they upgrade to more serious protection.
On the internet, you will find many organisations that have tested denims by making sandbags out of them (and other materials) and then dragging them behind vehicles to see how the material fares under the abrasion and stress (also look for the Taber Test if you're interested). And the results are always bad news for denim.
One test I found showed that denim lasted just over three feet where fashion leather (the thin stuff) lasted just a foot or so more. Competition weight leather (as in the stuff race suits are made of) lasted a, wait for it, whopping 86 feet. Every single test of abrasion resistance reconfirms the same thing - jeans are bad news in a crash and best not worn on bikes.
More from OVERDRIVE on motorcycling gear: -
Buying guides: -
Also, watch out for our next installment on motorcycle pants - Materials: Leather, textile or mesh
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