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
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
- Waist-adjustment straps
- 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
Richa Colorado Textile Jeans
These Richa Colorado Textile Jeans offer another year-round solution to budget-conscious riders.
By including a removable, thermal layer, these jeans will keep you warm and dry in all four seasons of UK weather. At this price point, we were surprised at the level of detail and some of the premium materials used.
The jeans are lined with taffeta, a high-end fabric often for ball gowns and expensive soft furnishings. It’s warm but also highly breathable and holds its shape well. A PU coating on this layer ensures a durable waterproof finish.
600D Cordura nylon fabric, Contra-Glide ™ technology on the seat area, and D30 knee armour mean these trousers attain a CE rating of prEN 17092-4:2018 A (this is considered a good rating).
The knee armour can also be adjusted. This is a feature we like and increasingly see included as standard. It genuinely helps dial in a perfect fit for each and every rider.
Waist and leg measurements are very little to go on when buying technical, riding gear and it’s nice to be able to make some post-purchase adjustments at home.
- Waterproof, warm, and breathable
- Look simple and cool
- Good protection
- Slim fit might be unsuitable for those who don’t skip leg day at the gym
Oxford Mondial Advanced Textile Trousers
Oxford’s entry-level gear is legendary. But in the last decade or so, their mid-range lines have turned out some really attractive, low-key, functional designs that can compete with gear from other manufacturers at a higher price point.
The Mondial Advanced Textile Trousers are about as good as it gets in the sub 200 GBP category.
They use a laminate Dry2Dry ™, waterproof, breathable membrane layer and a removable, WarmDry ™ thermal liner.
This feature is key in making these true “all-weather” trousers. In warm conditions, the breathable layer and vents do a decent job of keeping things cool and the thermal layer is toasty when the temperature drops.
Tough nylon with bar-tack stitched seams and CE level 1 knee armour do a good job of keeping you safer in an accident.
Pockets for hip protection are included and we recommend grabbing a set of inserts when you buy your trousers. It’s too easy to forget and only think of it again after a fall.
These look great, fit true to size, and are easy to recommend at the price – even more so if you see them on sale.
- Waterproof, windproof, breathable
- Removable thermal lining
- Zip connection to Oxford jackets
- Double check sizing, may need to size up
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 4 Leather 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 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.
They are AAA CE certified which is the best safety rating currently available for protective motorcycle clothing.
- Really great fit, perfect for riders of all sizes
- Best safety rating possible
- ‘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
Oxford Continental Advanced 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 knee protection which is height adjustable. Hip protection is included but is poor quality, we’d recommend replacing this with some higher rated hip armour.
They’ve also got reflective panels and transfers, to make you stand out at night.
- Detachable waterproof membrane allows for great flexibility
- Vent panels and mesh inserts for hot conditions
- Brilliant for keeping you warm with removable thermal liner
- They may keep you TOO warm
- At the higher end of the price scale
- Low quality hip armour
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