Slim, stylish, functional, and comfy: the Motorpool-K riding jeans check all the boxes.
Photos by Barry Hathaway, uglyBROS USA, Leticia Cline, Jon Langston
A couple of years ago, UglyBros’ riding pants blew up among young, urban riders looking for an alternative to baggy motorcycling jeans and bulky, uncomfortable nylon riding pants. UglyBros fashion-forward styles shun the “dad jeans” look, leaning instead toward snug, contemporary cuts and stretch denim that looks as cool after the kickstand goes down as they feel while riding.
Some old-school riders deride them as “hipster pants,” but whatever—anyone who’s ever ridden with UglyBros (like we did in 2016) knows they’re not just stylish and comfortable, they’re also all-around solid riding pants equipped with handy features clearly designed by, and for, motorcyclists.
Things like pull-out knee pads, elasticized accordion stretch panels, and angled cargo pockets readily accessible from the saddle are so clever they solve problems a lot of us never even realized we had. Best of all, the quality of workmanship and materials is as fine as we’ve seen from established brands.
Without a doubt, stylish and functional UglyBros are among the best riding jeans on the market, hipster hecklers be damned.
The only drawback on UglyBros riding gear was the lack of an abrasion-resistant lining. Now the guys at UglyBros have solved that problem, adding Teramid linings to many of its pants, including the Echo, Featherbed, 2Slub, Shovel, and, its most popular style, the Motorpool, designating them with a “K.”
Teramid is a super-strong cloth that resists abrasion, puncture, and tearing; fact is, most “Kevlar-lined” garments are actually lined with Teramid. Sure, Teramid contains Kevlar, a brand of fiber made by DuPont, but it also has weaves of titanium, steel, carbon, and aramid fibers, making it strong as well as water, oil, and soil repellent. And it’s soft and washable, so it works great in clothing.
We put the Motorpool-K pants through the wringer this past summer, wearing them on all-day rides, relaxed cruises, and full-bore blasts on both pavement and dirt, and they were fantastic in every situation. We rode through rain and cold in the Cascades on the new Indian Chieftain, and through the steamy Wisconsin Dells (also in the rain) to Harley’s 115th anniversary party. We tested the dirt capabilities of a Triumph Scrambler 1100 Special in the Catskills of New York. And after a whirlwind trip through the Ozarks we rushed straight to the airport, slipped out the CE armor at the knees and hips, and wore our Motorpool-Ks on the plane for the three-hour flight home.
Through it all the pants were never too warm or cold, breathed surprisingly well, and best of all remained stretchy, soft, and cozy. Now, they don’t dry quickly—the shell is 97-percent cotton denim and just 3-percent stretch poly material—but jeans never do. And besides, a little moisture is nothing a strategically placed hotel room hair dryer can’t fix in a few short minutes.
Removing the armor is a snap because you don’t even have to take the pants off; handy exterior knee pockets mean you can bend over and pull the kneepads up and out (though you do have to unzip to remove the hip pads). And while the Ks feel thicker and are, in fact, slightly heavier in weight than the standard Motorpools, the pants remained pleasantly comfortable, even in a wet saddle.
The zippers are YKK, and the pockets have brass snap closures on their corners—including the brilliantly angled cargo pockets. Because they’re tilted slightly forward, when you’re in the saddle the openings angle upward toward you rather than down toward the pavement, so access is blessedly simple. Yes, they’re smaller and more snug than the ones you’d find on the thighs of cargo pants or shorts, but are roomy enough to stow a phone or wallet.
Look, we get it. UglyBros riding pants aren’t gonna be for everybody. Slim cut and fashion-forward just aren’t things everyone is looking for, and $359 is a lot of money for a single pair of riding pants. But the Teramid-lined versions are only $30 more than standard UglyBros offerings. And if you value style, comfort, and versatility in your riding jeans, the Motorpool-Ks are an excellent investment.