Which hurts the most: falling on your ass or falling to your knees? I’m not discussing your bruised ego. What I’m referring to is the Icarus Effect. You know, when your wings suddenly get clipped, you and your scoot part company, and the ground reaches up quicker than just about anything. If you don’t know what I mean, statistics show that sooner or later you will.

I advocate wearing protective gear whenever getting on a motorcycle. I know it’s a hassle putting on all that extra stuff for a quick run to the store and that you’re concerned about getting a ticket from the fashion police or dissed by the guys on the corner, but you know the Boy Scout motto: Be prepared. Unless I’m going to the opera (or court) I tend to wear jeans. Protekt Riding Jeans from Riderwearhouse are just one of many new riding styles available on the market, but they are one of the few to address the anatomical question of what makes first contact in case of an accident.

Protekt jeans have a double layer of 14 oz. denim for the seat that runs from side-seam to side-seam and from the waistband to the back of the knees. There’s no foam armor in this area; who needs their ass looking any larger than it already is? The stress point seams are all triple stitched and the crotch is gusseted to avoid, uh, compression factors when straddling the saddle.

The knee areas are also double layered, but this is because they form zippered pockets. Sure it’s a good place to hide extra cash or stash—has anyone ever patted down your kneecaps?—but these were actually designed to hold TF3 armor. TF foam is that weird military material that stiffens when struck by a hammer or projectile, but remains soft and pliable under normal conditions. It’s the kind of thing you definitely want between your bony kneecaps and rapidly approaching pavement. When not sitting on your scoot this protective armor can be quickly removed and stashed in your saddlebags or wherever you happen to tuck your gloves.

Forget about acid-bleached, stonewashed, factory-slashed designer jeans; these are heavy-duty work jeans made in the U.S.A., and they fit easily over boots. If my Protekt Riding Jeans look a bit worn it’s probably because I’ve also discovered they are the thing to wear when shingling the roof or laying ceramic tile. The idea is that you don’t have to change your clothes when you’re ready to stop work and ride.


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