Roadskin Taranis Elite Jeans Review [AAA-Rated Denim/Kevlar]

For those of us who grew up wearing Levi’s shrink-to-fit 501s, motorcycle-riding jeans have been a gift from the gods of two-wheeling—they are comfortable and look great. However, moto jeans don’t typically offer the highest level of protection—most jeans are best worn around town. However, Roadskin, a company based in Southeastern England, has developed a single-layer pair of jeans that gets the EN17092:2020 AAA safety rating—the highest available. That means you can take the Roadskin Taranis Elite motorcycle jeans out onto the highway with confidence; it’s a good start for the review, but there’s more.

Roadskin Taranis Elite Jeans Review: price

The Roadskin Taranis Elite jeans get their all-around abrasion protection via Kevlar woven with premium denim. That’s not a new strategy, so Roadskin ramped the rating up to AAA by going with 27 percent Kevlar, 19 percent polyurethane, and 3 percent Cordura. That puts the composition of the jeans at just short of half being there to reduce skin loss in a slide. Cotton makes up another 48 percent, and 3 percent is Lycra.

Further, Roadskin has also outfitted the Taranis Elite jeans with impact protection for your knees and hips—both armor sets earn the highest CE level 2 rating. With abrasion protection and impact armor covered, all that’s left is wearing them on a motorcycle.

When I see some stretch material, I get a little apprehensive—I don’t want to be seen wearing jeggings. Fortunately, the light touch of Lycra is just right, giving the Roadskin Taranis Elite jeans a great tactile feel. There’s also a soft mesh interior liner for comfort and ventilation.

Roadskin Taranis Elite Jeans Review: MSRP

Slipping on the jeans— The 30-inch waist and 32-inch length combo fit me as expected. The jeans come in even waist sizes from 28 to 46 inches, with three lengths—30, 32, and 34 inches. I can definitely feel the Lycra mixed in with the cotton denim, allowing room for tucking in a single thin summer layer or a base-layer/t-shirt/sweatshirt array while retaining the fit and comfort.

In addition to their weightiness, the jeans feel softer and noticeably more form-fitting than standard all-cotton 501s; they also allow much easier movement than pure-cotton jeans.

Although the stretch was a bit disconcerting initially, I quickly got past that and enjoyed the fantastic feel of these motorcycle-riding jeans. I let my wife check them out from a fashion and fit perspective, and she enthusiastically approved. So far, so good.

Roadskin Taranis Elite Jeans Review: Safety rating

When riding, the Taranis Elite jeans never draw attention from the rider—precisely what you want. Whether riding a sportbike, tourer, ADV, or cruiser, I was completely comfortable in these jeans. Off the bike, the jeans look great walking into any establishment where denim is welcome.

The CE protection in the knees and hips earns special praise. They are incredibly flexible and unobtrusive. Typically, I ditch the hip pads because they are uncomfortable; they never got pulled from these Roadskin jeans, as my hips don’t feel them. There are two pockets in the knees for the armor, so you can pick which position works for you—I was fine with the stock setting.

No matter what position I put my body in, the Roadskin jeans accommodated my needs effortlessly. I can put the jeans over my pure-sport Alpinestars SMX Plus v2 boots and Tourmaster Trailblazer adventure footwear—or tuck them in. Of course, they look great with riding shoes.

Roadskin Taranis Elite Jeans Review: Denim/Kevlar9

Testing the Roadskin Taranis Elite jeans over a broad range of temperatures revealed that they’re a bit warm for hot SoCal days and noticeably pass air when the thermometer starts reading in the lower 50s. They are great for typical riding weather and usable, though not ideal, for extremes. Roadskin does make a pair of two-layer cold-weather jeans, should you ride in chillier conditions.

Being jeans, they have the traditional five-pocket array. The depth of the front pockets is about average, and they easily swallow up my wallet and iPhone 12 mini. If you like a deep watch pocket, the Taranis Elite jeans are quite satisfactory. The rear pockets are roomy, though a bit loose on the top, so I don’t use them for cargo.

Roadskin Taranis Elite Jeans Review: Motorcycle riding pants
The construction of the Roadskin jeans appears top-notch. There’s triple-stitching where it’s needed, and the YKK fly zipper is robust. Double belt loops allow for attaching a compatible jacket or hoodie. The only flaw is that the fly didn’t want to lie flat near the button.

I consider myself a connoisseur of riding jeans, and I probably rely on them a bit too much because they’re usually so comfortable. In the case of the Roadskin Taranis Elite jeans, they look great, feel fantastic, and offer the AAA protection needed for high-speed motorcycle riding.

Photography by Kelly Callan

Roadskin Taranis Elite Jeans Fast Facts

  • Sizes (inches, all even numbers): 28-46 waist w/ 30-34 length
  • Colors: Dark Indigo; Black
  • Armor: Knees and hips, CE level 2
  • EN 17092: 2020 rating: AAA

Roadskin Taranis Elite Jeans Price: $185 MSRP

Roadskin Taranis Elite Jeans Review Photo Gallery