After your bike, the gear you buy is the most important thing to consider. In the best circumstances, it will keep you safe, as well as dry and comfortable.
When it comes to motorcycle trousers, you want something that looks half decent, but also has all the protection you need as well as giving you some mobility when you’re off the bike.
Here, we round up half a dozen of the best pairs of textile trousers from varying price points, which each have their pros and cons when it comes to guarding your legs during a ride.
Top motorcycle textile trousers reviewed
Here are six of the best
Oxford Subway 3.0 Textile Jeans
Oxford’s are the first entry on the list which shows how good their products are for entry-level riders.
The Subway trousers come with loads of bells and whistles, including a reinforced crotch, vents and flaps everywhere, grip panels, armour and pretty much everything else you’d want.
They have a clever adjustment panel on the legs so getting the perfect fit with different types of boots is straightforward, ensuring a good seal against the weather.
They also look pretty tidy, if utilitarian.
Great value for money
Rough and ready looks
Brilliant attention to detail
All that protection can leave them tight around the thighs if you’re a bigger rider
Thermal liner doesn’t cover the whole leg
Not brilliantly waterproof on the rear and crotch if you’re mounting an already-wet bike
RST Tractech Evo 2 Jeans
RST are a very race-friendly brand, so if you’re likely to do more spirited riding, they could be the best brand to aim for.
These jeans, although designed as part of a two-piece set, are perfectly fine to wear by themselves, and are a blend of leather, denim and textiles for a super-secure pair of trousers.
Unlike the other trousers on this list, the knee armour is on the outside, making these the most obviously ‘motorcycle’ trousers of the bunch.
Really great fit, perfect for riders of all sizes
‘Knee slider’ style knee armour looks the business and works perfectly
Leather quality far above average
Unless you’re connecting to the jacket, the trousers aren’t particularly tight around the waist
A little tight around the thighs and knees until they give after a few wears
Very pricey, especially if you’re getting the jacket too
Richa Everest Textile Jeans
Richa are a highly respected name in motorcycle gear, for good reason.
These stylish trousers have what’s called ‘Taslanised Airdura outer construction’, which makes the material breathable but still fairly waterproof – perfect for year-round riding.
The inner lining is also detachable for summer, and the knee armour is CE-approved, so for not much money you’re getting a great product from an excellent brand.
Lots of trouser for your money
Really stylish, slim-fit look
Zips to connect to compatible jackets
Waterproofing isn’t perfect in heavy rain, particularly around the crotch
Only one pocket, on the right side – not great for lefties
No venting, so summer riding can be warm
These are waterproof and come with a removable thermal lining, as well as internal armour.
They’re not the greatest in terms of looks, and may not suit those of a more skinny-legged persuasion, but in terms of a ‘do it all’ pair of textile trousers Buffalo have made a great pair.
They also have a short zip for attaching to compatible Buffalo jackets, which is great for all-over rain protection.
One thing to keep in mind – they come up quite small, so if you plan on wearing them over other trousers, order up a size or two.
They’re great value for money
Handy removable lining to remove when it’s warm
Looks won’t get you many second glances
Fabric isn’t the strongest, and can tear
The armour pockets aren’t very deep
Dojo Hara Jeans
These may be the most ‘normal trouser’ looking motorcycle trousers on the list, which is a good thing if you want to wear them around the office.
That said, Dojo’s effort does still come with full waterproofing as well as CE-approved knee armour and a fixed quilted thermal lining.
There are also stretchy panels which are fantastic if you’ve got particularly long or short legs, as they’ll mould around you somewhat.
They’re the cheapest on our list
They look great
Buying cheap means they won’t last forever
Lots of reported issues like pockets wearing through or belt loops failing – overall a mixed bag in terms of individual build quality
Not much air flow for summer riding
Oxford Continental 2.0 Textile Jeans
This second pair of Oxford’s certainly look the part, and are made of nylon and polyester, with extra waterproofing in the crotch, seat and knee area.
They come with CE-approved shin and knee protection, as well as slots for aftermarket hip protection pads.
They’ve also got reflective panels and transfers, to make you stand out at night.
For the money, you do get a great product
Brilliant for keeping you warm
They may keep you TOO warm
At the higher end of the price scale
Can’t change the armour they come with
Considerations, care and cost
As with much in motorcycling, costs vary wildly in terms of motorcycle textile trousers, and as with much in motorcycling, paying more doesn’t always mean you get a better product.
For a first pair of trousers, it’s ideal to spend somewhere between £75-£150.
Anything lower and you can’t be certain they’ll stand up to serious testing – like heavy rain or even a fall – and anything more, and you may end up spending hundreds on something that doesn’t fit you properly in the crotch, or doesn’t have a pocket where you’d like one.
Types of textile trousers
As you’ll remember from school, ‘textiles’ basically means any material that clothing can be made out of. You can get denim motorcycle trousers, waterproof-type ones, and of course leathers.
By and large, by ‘textile’ trousers here we mean non-denim, non-leather trousers made of a man-made material that’s usually waterproof.
However, some may contain denim or leather elements – so even if the product is labelled ‘jeans’, have a look to make sure what you’re getting.
Recommended reading: Best motorcycle jeans
It’s worth investigating closely what protection your new textile trousers come equipped with. Some are little more than waterproofs, while others will have CE-approved armour or Kevlar built in, or perhaps leather patches on potential skid-zones.
If these trousers are going to be your go-to for leg protection (i.e you’re not wearing knee or hip pads) then spending a little more on better armour is always a sensible bet.
As the old saying goes: Dress for the slide, not the ride.
A short slide at 30mph can wear through normal denim in a couple of seconds – and will then start working on your skin.
If you consider that coming off in the rain at 70mph could leave you sliding down the motorway for up to 30 seconds, that is clearly going to leave you with some serious problems if you’re not geared up.
Textile trousers with CE2 armour, Kevlar or Cordura are all super-protective and should do you well in the event of an off.
How to wash your trousers?
If you keep on top of washing and maintaining your textile trousers, they can last for years.
But just bunging them in the washer/dryer won’t do them, or you, any favours. This can warp armour and remove any waterproofing they may have.
For the most part, following these steps will see your textiles right:
- Remove any armour (this can be handwashed in the sink if you like).
- Either handwash over the tub, or on a delicate wash in the machine.
- Spin extremely gently, if at all.
- Hang up to dry – unless washing instructions say so, it’s best not to tumble dry textile gear.
Wearing motorcycle-specific trousers is an absolute no-brainer, but it’s something most new riders put off.
With options available at all price levels, it’s not something you’ll want to miss out on, especially when you consider who’s most likely to have a lowside or another kind of off – that’s right, people who are more inexperienced behind the bars.
Oxford have really got the entry-level gear for bikers down to a fine art in all arenas, and their trousers are no different – so our pick of the bunch is the subway trousers.
Recommended Reading: Motorcycle Gear Hub