Look cool and feel safe without emptying your bank account—or looking like a cyborg.
I love riding my motorcycle, but I don’t love dumping money into my hobby. That’s why I ride a 1986 Honda Shadow 700 VT with a dent the size of a Nalgene bottle (courtesy of the previous owner), and why my motorcycling outfit leaves something to be desired: a used leather jacket bought on craigslist, repurposed Wolverine work boots, and the cheapest Snell-approved helmet I could find.
I realize these Gap chinos aren’t going to prevent me from cheese-grating my ass if things go sideways, but frankly most of the gear I run across costs more than I’m willing to pay and looks like something out of RoboCop—or my father’s closet.
Help is on the way, though. At last, Dickies has moved into motorcycle apparel. This week the brand is releasing an entire lineup of motorcycling gear.
Dickies Moto will go site-wide next week. Having tested out their new Road Pants, two things stick out: the price and the feel. All the pants come in at $79.99, while the tops and jackets cost $89.99. They actually look and feel like clothing, not protective gear. I have been wearing my riding pants to work just like any other pants.
While the material looks and feels like ordinary denim, it is made of a brand-new fabric Dickies calls “Iron Cloth.” The brand weaves high-strength fibers vertically in the fabric to give the garment horizontal strength against tearing and abrasion. The vertical alignment also gives the weave a look like “iron jail bars,” the inspiration for the name.
Dickies says the fabric makes the Moto line 300 percent more abrasion-resistant than normal denim. Don’t be surprised if Dickies adds this cloth to other garments, opening more of their lineup to your two-wheeled adventures.
Even so, the material is flexible, breathable, and no thicker than a standard jean. It moves with you, which is great for preventing your pants from riding up. If you have a bike like mine, with ridiculous ’80s geometry that forces your knees into your armpits, you’ll notice.
The jackets are also particularly sharp, looking as much like a street-style piece as protective gear. It may sound vain, but if you like how your gear looks, you’re more likely to wear it. Now you can dress for the ride and the potential slide.