No matter how you choose to enjoy the freedom of the open road, that freedom always comes with some degree of risk. And just like a proper-fitting motorcycle helmet and riding jacket, the right pair of motorcycle pants provide essential protection against the risks and hazards that are part of the open road.
While your trusty pair of time-tested blue jeans may look great next to your freshly detailed bike, the truth is that style isn’t everything when it comes to riding—far from it. And regular denim may simply not be up to the job of protecting you. Instead, you need specialized riding pants: pants that are made from hardy, abrasion- and heat-resistant materials; pants that keep you dry and comfortable in all kinds of weather conditions; and pants that have reinforcements in the right places for long-distance comfort and added protection.
Of course, while motorcycle pants can offer all of these things and more, searching for the right pair of pants is not a one-size-fits-all sort of process. Each rider will need to assess their own riding need to find the pair of pants that best fits their riding needs and personal style. (And, in all likelihood, they’ll eventually need more than one pair.)
To help you on your own search for the right riding pants, we look at a variety of the available types from Harley-Davidson below. Explore different pants’ pros and cons below and see examples of the best motorcycle pants in each style.
Although they might look and feel like it, Harley-Davidson® motorcycle riding jeans are not your average jeans. Riding jeans are specially designed for the road, with added coverage, reinforced stitching, and abrasion-resistant material so you can take to the road safely and still show up to your destination in comfortable and casual style.
Men's motorcycle jeans from Harley-Davidson are offered in popular styles like straight, bootcut and relaxed fit, while womens riding jeans are offered in skinny, straight and bootcut.
Plus, while heavy denim may not provide ideal warmth in colder conditions, waterproof jeans like those from the innovative FXRG® collection can withstand downpours that your run-of-the-mill jeans can’t without weighing you down.
For occasions when riding jeans won’t cut it on their own, you can conveniently add a pair of men’s or women’s motorcycle overpants to the mix. Ideal for adventure riders on a long trek, the best overpants are designed with lightweight materials for comfort and safety in all conditions. In addition to tremendous tear and abrasion resistance, advanced ventilation systems like the VCS Aquadefence can keep you cool, while removable waterproof and thermal liners can be added—and even combined—to help you enjoy the thrills of the road in the face of any weather.
There’s no more durable and abrasion-resistant material than leather, and if you ask many riders, there isn’t a more stylish one either. A pair of leather motorcycle chaps like those here make it simple to slip into an iconic style while maximizing protection against abrasions and debris.
Once that wind starts whipping by and the temperatures decline, things can get chilly rather quickly on the open road. A reliable pair of cold-weather motorcycle pants or overpants are a must-have for any biker who won’t let Mother Nature stand between them and a comfortable ride. Look for pants with thermal liners and waterproof construction to get through even the roughest of winter weather or opt for a high-performance overpant that can be easily layered over your pants of choice.