Popular apparel maker, Levi’s has joined hands with Royal Enfield for making riding denim jeans. This is a largely unexplored territory and adding the RE name to this will definitely drive interest. Now, you may ask why exactly the need for riding denims at all. It is because most of us might not have the moolah to invest in proper armoured riding pants. Even if we do, imagine showing up at a corporate workplace with riding pants, then going to the loo to change to something more comfortable and so on. Riding denims offer abrasion resistance at urban speeds. That’s their main aim. You cannot wear them to long Sunday rides or on highways. Well, technically you can do it but then the protection factor will not be as effective as it will at lower speeds. So, how well do these riding jeans fare? We put them through a 500km test to ascertain the same.
The Levi’s X Royal Enfield 511 riding denims are made of Lycra, Toughmax as well as Cordura material. These look like your regular jeans from Levi’s but peer closer and you will notice the changes. On the right side, there is a smaller zipper near your thighs. This is for holding a cellphone or small paper. On the inside, there are pockets wherein one can slip in CE certified armour in them to protect the thighs and knees during a fall. It is a bit of a chore getting to them though. The easy wicking materials ensure that you stay cool but there is no waterproofing.
The stitch quality, fit and finish is just as good as your regular pair of denims from Levi’s. As is the case with most RE riding gear, even this one is made in Bangladesh and is available at both Levi’s stores as well as Royal Enfield ones. For my size, I had ordered a 32. It feels right given my height (6ft, 4in) though a tad bit of length would have been appreciated. If you wear riding shoes, the jeans are just fine but over regular footwear, while riding, they tend to climb a bit. This is evident from the riding image.
A reflective tape on the outside of the calves is provided for visibility during the night.
On a motorcycle or while casually walking, there is no noticeable difference or heft than your normal denims. Riding denims usually do their job – protecting the legs during a low-speed spill. They have better abrasion properties than your regular denims. While thankfully I didn’t have to check this, it is a general assumption that the product should work just fine. Levi’s recommends that you wash these jeans once in a while and not every month. Depending on hygiene, you may choose your pick. Speaking of pick, RE offers the 511 Pro at Rs 7,000. The one you see here is the RE X Levi’s 511 Pro glitter and dust indigo jeans. There are other colour options including mark three indigo, squadron indigo, washed indigo, tapered fit as well as the 512 series. Price of the range begins from Rs 5,000.
At present, these jeans are more on the affordable spectrum whereas other reputed names in the riding apparel like Rev’it, Alpinestars have more expensive options. Buy one of the RE riding apparel and add certified armour and you should be set for those short rides or everyday use to work.
Images by Donald D’souza
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