Understanding Different Types Of Motorcycle Pants


It’s not uncommon to find motorcycle riders who’ll invest massive amounts of time and energy surfing the net and doing research to find the very BEST motorcycle jacket, helmet, or vest to suit their needs. But very few spend any time looking for ways to keep their legs protected.

Sure, it makes some sense – after all, your core holds the vital life organs like heart, lungs, and liver. And upstairs, your head contains your brain.

So, it’s easy to simply leave your legs unprotected, because they don’t seem like the same kind of major life risk.

Well, just because your legs aren’t needed to keep you alive, that doesn’t mean they’re not incredibly important and don’t need protection. So, lets get started on helping you identify the right motorcycle pant for yourself.

Motorcycle Pant Types

  • Cruiser Pants
  • Adventure Touring
  • Riding Jeans
  • Race Pants
  • Overpants

Cruiser Pants are the most common type of motorcycle pants. They tend to be more comfortable, thanks to a boxy or American cut that provides a relaxed and comfortable fit. They can be easily adjusted to give the waist a more precise fit. Typically made with either leather, textile, or a combination of both, Cruiser Pants are a very good option.

Adventure Touring pants are great for anyone looking for versatility. They’re designed to be durable and comfortable, able to provide good protection for multiple terrains and weather conditions. Typically made of textiles for their greater mobility, flexibility, and ability to withstand water. These are a good choice for riders who need to remain active on their bike.

Riding Jeans are perfect for the person who wants a casual look or likes to travel in an urban setting. Typically reinforced with Kevlar, or similar fiber, for the high level of abrasion resistance offered (note that some Riding Jeans use armor instead, while others use both). Riding Jeans tend to be most popular with younger riders.

Race Pants are designed to withstand high speed slides and impacts. They have thick leather to withstand the abrasion that can happen during high speeds. You will find double layers, armor, and impact sliders in the most likely places to experience impact and abrasion. In addition, they tend to be very form fitting to prevent excess material from catching in the wind, thereby providing optimal aerodynamics. The pre-curved legs help the rider stay in the tuck position.

Overpants are protective pants designed to go over other clothing. Commuters prefer this style because they can wear their work clothes underneath them when riding their bike to the job. Then, when they get off the bike, they have their work clothes ready for the day. They tend to fit a bit loose but come with many ways to adjust them for a better fit.

This list is a good start, but we know there’s probably some information we may have missed. So, leave a comment below and let us know your thoughts.

Also, if you are looking for pants that offer protection and a casual look, check out our Men’s Riding Casual Pants, or Ladies Protective Denim Pants. Alternatively you can check out our Men’s Motorcycle Pants, or Ladies Motorcycle Pants if you prefer a different type of Motorcycle Pant.


  • Renee

    The pipes and chrome on my bike get really hot while riding. I live in Tx and the heat in the summer can reach triple digits. Even wind flow doesn’t do much to cool them down. Don’t get me started about getting stuck at a stand still in traffic. We’re looking a possible 3rd degree burns to the inner legs and thighs. What kind of pants provide protection against that?

  • Karl

    Question. I’ve had 3 surgeries on right ankle. The exhaust heat is killing me. All the scar tissue is ultra sensitive. Will Kevlar help with this???? Thank you..

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