I’m a jeans kind of guy. I grew up wearing Levi’s 501s, and never stopped. For years, I foolishly wore 501s while street riding, as I was overly optimistic about the abrasion-resistant qualities of Levi’s denim. Thanks to all my skinned knees and ripped jeans as a kid, I should have figured out the limitations of 501s. Regardless, when fortified technical denim motorcycle jeans were invented, I was thrilled, and have never looked back. I’ve worn countless brands and models of motorcycle jeans, and the Noru Kodo jeans rank among my all-time favorites.The shell is 98 percent heavyweight 12-ounce cotton denim, with the rest being spandex. That gives the Kodo jeans just enough stretchiness to make them comfortable as you move around on the motorcycle for friendly sport riding. The denim/spandex blend is also wonderfully soft and compliant.
Inside, there are two liners. There’s a 60/40 Kevlar/polyester liner in the seat, hips, and knees for abrasion protection, and a 63/35 polyester/cotton lining for comfort in non-critical areas. Fortunately, the protective layer is perfectly comfortable and not the least bit distracting.My first impression of the Kodo jeans is that they would be warm. Between the two layers and the robust denim, the jeans feel heavy. That usually translates to a lack of flow through the material, and jeans best worn on cooler days.My suspicions were confirmed. On cooler days, the jeans help ward off the cool air coming at my legs, even at highway speeds. While that’s great on wintery rides, many of us live somewhere that has hot summers.To make the Kodo jeans all-season apparel, there’s a six-inch zippered vent on each thigh. If you doubt that the two vents make a difference, ride around on a 100-degree day with them zipped up; you’ll feel nice and toasty. Zip the vents open, and you get immediate relief that you can discern. You can tell around town at street speeds, and the air flows seriously on the open road. I rode across the desert in triple-digit heat, and the Kodo jeans were just perfect.In addition to the spandex in the denim weave, the Kodo jeans have large stretch panels above the knees and just below the waist at the back. The panels above the knees will be most appreciated by sport riders, though the panels ensure that the rider’s legs won’t bind the pants, regardless of the seating position—from superbikes to foot-forward cruisers. The stretch panel in the back prevents plumber’s crack—an indispensable feature—and keeps your shirt tucked in. My wife thinks they look great on me, so that’s a bonus.There are the standard five pockets for cargo carrying. The front pockets are a bit shallower than I’d like, though the watch pocket has a good depth. I haven’t carried anything in my back pocket on a motorcycle since I was a teenager and lost my wallet, so I can’t comment on their usability while riding. For walking, the roomy rear pockets swallow up a wallet nicely.Speaking of walking around, the Kodo jeans work for all-day wear—on or off the motorcycle. The CE-rated knee armor isn’t the least uncomfortable—I have even napped in the Kodo jeans. Make sure you zip up the vents when walking around, unless you like the look of the bright red mesh lining the zippers hide. Also, all three zippers on the pants are YKK, with good-looking brass pulls.For casual riding of pretty much any genre of motorcycle, technical riding jeans are hard to beat. The fit, features, versatility, and safety combination makes the Noru Kodo jeans an essential part of my closet full of riding gear. With an MSRP of $150, they’re nicely mid-priced. However, at the time of this review, Helmet House has the Kodo jeans on sale for $70 a pair through the end of 2022. That is a hard-to-beat deal.Noru Kodo Motorcycle Jeans Fast Facts
Hello everyone and welcome once again to Motos and Friends—the weekly Podcast brought to you by the editorial team at Ultimate Motorcycling.
My name is Arthur Coldwells.
In this week’s first segment, Senior Editor Nic de Sena rides the much anticipated Yamaha MT-10 SP. That’s the model with the Ohlins semi-active suspension. It’s only been available in Europe for the last couple of years, but finally the good news is, that it’s coming to America. The big question is, whether the extra 3k you’re going to have to pony up for the Ohlins is actually worth it, or perhaps there’s just not that much improvement over the stock KYB suspension that has suited the Yamaha MT-10 so well until now?
In the second segment, Associate Editor Teejay Adams chats with Val Collins. Val grew up on motorcycles and learned to love speed, however her real love is Formula 1 tunnel-boat racing. These are the guys and gals that are strapped into a tiny cockpit and then hurtle down the straights at 120 mile per hour and pull 5G in the corners. We attended the recent season finale in Lake Havasu and watched our friend Mike Quindazzi try to take the win. Val chats with Teejay about her love for two-wheels and tunnel-boats. Yeah, it’s crazy stuff.
From all of us here at Ultimate Motorcycling, we hope you enjoy this episode and have a great Thanksgiving Holiday!