The issue of protective gear is a very personal subject. In my well-spent youth, I was guilty of riding around in Levi’s 501s on a regular basis. Fortunately, I never went down in them, so I don’t have any unwelcome mementos of my risky behavior.
As top quality textiles and leather became the norm, the thought of riding in jeans naturally faded from my mind. Advances in technology have brought jeans back into the fold, and they are nothing like all-cotton denim.
In the case of the Drift motorcycle riding jeans from Drayko, they use high-end materials that are designed to protect from abrasion in a fall, if not impact.
Before I get into the mechanics of the Drayko Drift jeans, it is worth remembering that uncomfortable pants don’t get worn. In the case of the Drift jeans, they feel better on my legs than any jeans I’ve worn, and I have a large stack. The inner lining is soft and compliant — almost a cross between jeans and sweats.
The fit is loose — no binding or restrictions when riding — and the waist is low. I’m obviously past the age of hipster low-rise jeans; fortunately, the Drift’s low cut isn’t that much of a drop from standard, so I don’t feel creepy walking around in them. In every way, they feel good and look great.
Okay, they are jeans that I can wear when I am not even riding, if I choose (though I’m still partial to 501s). However, I want protection. I haven’t crashed in the jeans, and we are not set up to do scientific abrasion tests, so I’m going to rely on brand-name reputation and quality for piece of mind.
On the outside, you get a soft distressed denim look and feel; inside, there is plush military-grade DuPont Kevlar and Dyneema (spun gel) — the good stuff. Your seat, upper thighs, and knees are well protected, as is the outside of your leg, and these are the most likely parts to skid along the ground. It’s not quite full coverage, but close enough to meet my standard for personal riding.
Again, some people go out in shorts — others wear full leathers with air-bag protection. Look at what you’re doing and the risks and rewards of your choice of apparel. For a fun ride, I am a big fan of the Drayko Drift jeans— it’s a compromise that feels right.
For additional information, visit drayko.com.
Review from the November/December issue of Ultimate MotorCycling magazine. For a digital version, click here.