Safety and fashion are not always the easiest things to merge. On the one hand you have the need to save your skin, but on the other you want to look cool, or at least not like you’re sporting Depends. This results in a lot of people considering fashion and safety mutually exclusive and either going fully-geared or sticking with jeans and calling it good.
But wait! You have options, and the K Fifty 1 Jeans that Klim sent over are the answer to how you can stay safe with few people knowing.
Klim brings the K Fifty 1 to the masses with a weird name, but one of the best set of features available for motorcycle jeans. With heavy duty Cordura on the outside and reinforced Kevlar panels in slide zones, the shell of these pants can take an absurd amount of abuse.
What takes the K Fifty 1 Jeans above the rest is the integration of D3O armor in the hip and knee armor. Not only has Klim included armor but making the knees adjustable adds the usability to make them effective. In addition to knee and hip protection, you have a nice little butt pad. While it’s not D3O, it feels substantial enough to offer protection—but not so much that you look like you have a dookie in your drawers (or at least not a big one).
These pieces come together in the K Fifty 1 Jeans to create a pair of jeans that really do look like a pair of high-end denim jeans, not strange dark sweat pants that some Cordura jeans end up emulating. With no elaborate stitching, branding, or weird rivets, the K Fifty 1 Jeans give you that James Dean feeling every rebel without a cause is looking for. At 6’2” I normally wear 32×34 jeans, and the 32 Tall fits like a dream. No riding up over my boot or annoying bunching in the crotch-region on long rides.
With the armor in place they inspire confidence that you’ll have the protection you need, and once you’ve reached your destination, you can go on your merry way with no one being the wiser. Granted, you still have armor, and as the wearer you will notice the extra pieces bumping around your legs when walking around.
The downside to Kevlar-lined Cordura pants is that they don’t breathe terribly well. Don’t get me wrong, up to 85° they are fine as long as you’re not sitting in traffic for extended periods… and to be quite honest, with the mesh lining the K Fifty 1s feel cooler than any other Kevlar jeans I’ve worn. But they are heavy, and you will feel that material when temperatures pick up.
I also wish there was accommodation for thigh pads. This may seem ridiculous to most, but after wearing Bohn Armor that can go under any pants and have more padding than you can shake a stick at, it would be nice to have the capacity for additional padding if one so chooses.
With all that said, the K Fifty 1s have become my new go-to. They are the quickest way to get the most protection while remaining comfortable, and have the largest range of temperature adaptability while still allowing me to go to work without strange looks or a 15-minute changing session.
Klim has brought their A-game by restraining themselves from the usual branding explosions, odd stitching and bizarre stretch panels. A simple, well-made pair of jeans that are purpose-built for motorcycling and actually fit both on and off the bike. The price tag is a little steep at $289-$299, but considering all that you’re getting it’s a job well done for Klim.
Photos Via: Essential Moto