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Review: Stylish, Comfortable Abrasion-Resistant Jeans with Armor

You might forget you’re wearing protective pants

By Genevieve Schmitt, WRN Founder
3/21/2018

I’m on a quest to find the most comfortable protective motorcycle riding jeans out there. And I think I’ve found a pair that ranks at the top or close to it.

The BMW City Denim Pants feel like a regular pair of denim jeans, which to me are the most comfortable kind of pants to ride in. However, with regular jeans you get no abrasion or impact resistance.

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The City Denim Pants offer plenty of safety features, and come in women’s European sizes 34 to 48, which translates to a U.S. size 4 to 18. Girls who need to go bigger than a size 48 can tap into the men’s line, which goes up to size 60, equaling a U.S. size 50. The cut is different, though.

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I’m wearing the BMW City Denim Pants (size 36) while riding my Harley-Davidson Street Glide. I hope you know you can mix and match gear like this (i.e. wearing BMW gear while riding a Harley). To me, it’s all about what works best for that day’s ride.

BMW's apparel catalog specs indicate the City Denim Pants are made of an abrasion-resistant blend of cotton and Cordura. The label on the waist says: Outer material 50 percent cotton, 50 percent polyester, and 50 percent polyamide. Lining: 50 percent cotton, and 50 percent polyester.

I’m used to Cordura fabric being rough to the touch, with a thick, tough feel to it. These pants feel nothing like that. The polyamide “nylon” Cordura fabric gives the pants that smooth broken-in feeling. And on BMW’s safety scale of 1 to 3 in its apparel catalog, with 3 being exceptionally hard-wearing in all areas, these pants are rated a 2 for “good.” I like that they feel so good and offer that level of protection, too.

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The City Denim Pants have a slimming fit, a hip-hugger waistline, which I like (falling just above your hips), and the “wash” to the fabric is nice. A button and zipper at the waist keep them secure, and the boot cut works great for all types of footwear, like my low-cut Harley-Davidson boots.

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The view from the back is flattering, too. In these days of skin-tight jeans, I like that the fit is relaxed, offering some room to move. An unobtrusive leather tag is embossed with the words “BMW Motorrad, engineered in Germany.”

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The rear pockets are large with one having a zipper closure with large zipper pull. The pocket nearly fits my iPhone 6s Plus; that’s the larger iPhone.


The pants are not lined so they’re intended for warmer weather. Aside from the abrasion-resistant fabric, the part of these pants I know will protect me the most is the impact-resistant armor on the hips and knees. BMW is known for its well-made safe riding gear and the armor used here is no different. It adheres to the highest safety ratings and comes standard with these pants.

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The relaxed fit has pre-shaped knees, which allows me room to bend my knee on the bike with the armor placed in there. There’s no pinching or pushing on my kneecap, and the armor placement is adjustable. You can see the other BMW label on these pants, located above the pocket that says “BMW Motorrad, Make Life a Ride.”

A unique feature is that the knee armor is removable from the outside through a zipper just below the knee. So, say you want to walk around all day in these jeans sightseeing after a ride, you can easily remove the bulky armor.
A unique feature is that the knee armor is removable from the outside through a zipper just below the knee. So, say you want to walk around all day in these jeans sightseeing after a ride, you can easily remove the bulky armor.

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Yes, there is armor in that hip area. Hard to tell! This has to be the most comfortable, unobtrusive hip armor I’ve ever worn. I see no reason to ever remove them.

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You’ll need to take out the hip armor for washing.

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An interesting combination of pockets on the thighs includes a zippered one here on the left, and a slide pocket on the other side. You could slip a few flat items in there when riding so you have easy access to them. Seems like a style item that’s trying to be functional here.

Lastly, a zipper on the back waist reminds you that these are indeed motorcycle pants, lest you forget, allowing you to zip to any BMW jacket. This zipper prevents air from flying up your back and keeps your backside covered in a slide.


Historically, BMW gear has been about high function and safety. It’s nice to see some style in these pants as the manufacturer refines its “city / urban” riding gear that goes nicely with its R nineT urban styled motorcycle line.

The female specific pants are priced fairly at $274. Sizes, as mentioned earlier, come in women’s European 34 to 48, which equals a U.S. 4 to 18. If you need bigger, the men’s line goes up to a 60, which is a U.S. size 50. The cut is different though. You can order through a BMW dealer, or visit BMW’s website and download the gear catalog to learn more.

Related Articles
Review: Worse for Wear Protective Riding Jeans
Review: Abrasion Resistant Jeggings to Wear on your Motorcycle
Review: Kevlar-Lined Skinny Jeans for Motorcycle Riding

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