Off motorcycles, I am a die-hard Levi’s 501 kind of guy. If I can’t wear them where I am going, I don’t go there-except when I’m riding a motorcycle. In that case, the pure cotton denim of Levi’s is simply inadequate protection in the event of a fall.Road rash is not fun. That is where riding jeans come in-they are a reasonable facsimile of regular jeans, but with some hidden features that make the pants ready for motorcycling.Cortech’s Mod Denim pants are one of my go-to pair of riding jeans. While they lack the exterior stretch and protection panels that make many riding jeans comfortable and safe, they retain the under-the-radar purpose of jeans for motorcycling.And, under the 13.5-ounce distressed denim exterior with double-stitched construction there is some practical protection.In the seat area, Cortech has added interior leather panels that are riveted to the pants. A mesh cover means you don’t feel the leather against your skin, eliminating sticking and sweating. Most likely, you will never know the protection is there unless you turn the Mod pants inside out.Your knees get the same leather-under-mesh protection, with an added twist-the mesh has pockets that hold included, removable CE-approved knee armor. Hook-and-loop in the interior of the pocket allows you to place the knee armor where it is most comfortable, and it will stay in place.The rest of the Mod pants follow the tradition set by my beloved 501s, almost-there is a zipper up front rather than an all-button fly. There is a single button up top, along with loops for a belt. The five pockets have no closures, so I still feel nervous about keeping anything in them that I wouldn’t want to lose.Often, riding pants are sold by waist size only. The Cortech Mod Denim pants are sold in varying waists and lengths, so most riders can get the right relaxed fit. They are machine-washable, hang-dry, and still look great after countless rides and laundering.
This week we ride two genre-departing motorcycles from the established American manufacturers. Jess McKinley gives us his thoughts on the all new Harley-Davidson Pan America Special, and Ron Lieback gives his on Indian’s latest version of the FTR 1200 S.