Motorcycle Pants come in a wide range of sizes, styles, and fits, so we’ll running through how you can tackle each of these questions in this all things motorcycle pants guide.
How to Size and Fit Motorcycle Pants Guide
When riding a motorcycle, you want to make sure that you’re going to get as much body protection as you can in case you go down. Everyone’s got their helmet, gloves, jacket and maybe shoes, but you’ll often find that the pants are often missing.
If you already have all the gear, they may seem like a bit extra, but since they often offer impact protection in the knees and hips, they’re incredibly useful to have. So, we’ll be going over the different categories of pants, what the different fits mean, and, finally, how to actually go about getting the right size.
First, up we’ll start with the casual textile pants category. This has quickly become one of the most popular pants categories alongside the jeans segment, which we’ll address in a moment. Casual textile pants will basically cover any sort of riding pants that you can easily wear on or off the bike, which are also not jeans. So, this could mean work pants, cargo pants, or even motorcycle ready chinos.
So, there are several pros of these pants. First, they will be comfortable since they’ll fit just like any other pair of pants. They will also be very convenient for commuters and urban riders looking for something that’ll let them walk around off the bike without looking out of place.
However, the comfort comes at a cost since they will offer less abrasion resistance and impact protection than textile touring pants and they won’t be a great choice for poor weather since they’re rarely waterproof and they rarely come with any vents.
Though we did just cover casual motorcycle trousers, jeans themselves have become so popular that it is worth mentioning them separately. Motorcycle riding jeans are often made of either specially reinforced denim, Cordura, or have additional special materials to make the pants more abrasion resistant.
So, like casual riding pants, the pros of riding jeans are their great level of comfort and again they also offer a great level of convenience. However, the downsides would again be the lower level of protection and the lack of weatherproofing and ventilation.
Summer Textile Pants
Next up, we’ve got vented summer motorcycle pants. If you plan to go for rides under the sun, these will be the best option thanks to their predominantly mesh construction, which allows for plenty of airflow throughout the pants. Though mesh is often a weak point, these pants usually are made of heavier material than casual pants.
So, the pros of mesh motorcycle pants are their great level of airflow, they’ll be comfortable for long summer rides, and they’ll do well for abrasion resistance thanks to additional reinforcement in high impact areas. The downsides of these pants will be their lack of weatherproofing, which is not surprising, and mesh still won’t be as strong as a pair of full textile touring or leather pants.
We now come to full Textile Pants. If you’re not planning to hit the track with a pair of leather pants, then these will be best for most other types of riding in terms of comfort and protection. Textile motorcycle pants are usually made of a tough outer shell often made of polyester or nylon and come with additional touring features.
It’s important to mention here that you should consider whether you want a full-on pair of textile pants, or a pair of textile overpants. The sizes will be different between the two as overpants are designed to fit over whatever you may already be wearing.
The pros of textile pants are their weatherproofing, since this is where you usually get waterproof or thermal liners. They’ll also offer the best level of abrasion resistance and also a great level of comfort thanks to plenty of adjustment tabs.
The cons of textile pants is they can sometimes be hot depending on how much ventilation panels they come with. And they also can be very expensive due to high quality outer shells or waterproof materials. Lastly, textile pants will also be less durable than leather pants, which is the case with most textile gear.
Leather Motorcycle Pants
Lastly, we come to sports or racing Leather Motorcycle Pants. These are going to be among the best you can get, though the scope of their intended use is small. Racing pants are made exclusively out of leather and often feature additional exterior slider plates in the knees.
For pros, these pants will have the best durability and impact protection thanks to their tough construction. And they’ll also fit sport motorcycles the best due to pre-articulated legs, which is a similar case with sports jackets. Racing pants also may come with additional features like suit to boot features for even better safety.
However, these pants come with the downside that they will be hot, sometimes even with perforations. Since they are designed with a specific fit in mind, they won’t be very comfortable on different types of bikes or off the bike. Finally, since these are meant to be high quality, they will be in more expensive price segment.
Motorcycle Pants Fit
With the various categories over with, we can now give a word to the various fits you have with motorcycle pants. So, the main fits that you’ll see are regular (or also listed as touring), slim (sometimes called urban), and race fit (though this is also sometimes listed as simply slim). Jeans will also come in these fits, though there are also additional categories like tapered or true fit, which have been taken from the world of normal jeans.
So, as far as regular fit pants, the pant leg will be wider, the waist will be looser, and the pants should fit over your pants. A slim cut will be the opposite since it will hug your form more tightly in the leg and the waist, and it is usually meant to be tucked into your boot.
Racing fit pants will be very similar in fit to slim fit pants, but will have additional articulation in the leg, which makes them better suited to a racing tuck. It’s important to note though that most European manufacturers like Revit, Dainese, or Alpinestars will have a slimmer fit overall though they do also produce touring fit pants.
How to measure motorcycle pants
Lastly, we now come to sizing your pants. This can vary widely by manufacturer and even by different pants so it’s always best to first check the sizing chart listed for the specific pants you’re looking at. Nonetheless, what you’ll need to find out are your waist, hip, and inseam measurements.
First, your waist measurement is not the same as what you’d normally have on a normal pair of pants. To find out what your waist measure is, you’ll need to run a flexible tape measure around your body just above your hips and you should make sure to breath normally to avoid getting the wrong size.
For the hip size, you’ll need to repeat the same process but lower down. So, you’ll be passing a flexible tape measure around the point where your pelvis is at its widest.
Lastly, your inseam should be measured from the crotch to either the part of the ankle which protrudes the most or to the bottom of your feet. It’s important to check which of the two you need to measure to, since this varies by manufacturer. These 3 measurements should cover the main measurements you’ll need to find the right pair of pants, though you may also come across the thigh circumference, which can be measured just below the crotch while standing normally.
If you now know what size and type of pants you’d like, then don’t forget to head to ChampionHelmets.com where we have our lowest price guarantee and plenty of bundle deals where you can find different discounted pants with various jackets.
That’s it as far as the different categories of motorcycle pants that’re out there. Though even with this sizing advice, again, it’s important to check the manufacturer for the right way to size and to also keep in mind that pants will be a lot harder to size than something like jackets because of different leg lengths, circumferences, waists, and so on.
But if you still have any questions, then make sure to take a look at our YouTube channel with our gear reviews and our How to Size and Fit Pants Video Guide, or contact us via our web chat on our site.