We all want to look good on and off our bikes, but it goes without saying that being safe and protected should take priority. Should. I’ll be the first to admit that there have been times (when I was younger and obviously invincible — ha) when I sacrificed the latter in the name of the former. But thankfully, nowadays we have more options when it comes to riding apparel that looks good and protects our ass…ets.
MotoGirl is a UK-based, female-owned and run apparel company and they’ve made it their mission to create truly protective, yet comfortable and flattering women’s motorcycle gear. When I heard about their Kevlar-lined jeggings that have achieved CE certification for both impact and abrasion, I just had to get a pair to test.
I opted for the Kevlar-lined Melissa jeggings in grey (they come in five colors), which are CE-certified to A level for abrasion and they come with CE level 2 knee armor (there are pockets for optional hip armor). MotoGirl products are distributed in the U.S. through a dealer in Chicago called Wind & Throttle, and they quickly set me up with a pair.
Figuring out the sizing was the first challenge, as the pants are all in UK sizes (naturally), but the ladies at MotoGirl were super helpful and as it turned out, their recommendation was spot-on. The Melissa jeggings come in three leg lengths (THANK YOU, MotoGirl!), which means that I was able to order a tall and actually have my knee armor sit in the correct position.
Pulling them on for the first time, I was surprised at just how “legging”-like the Melissas are. There is no snap or zipper in the front, just a somewhat stretchy waistband that sits very high — at the actual waist, covering my belly button. There are nice, deep waist pockets that won’t spill your stuff out as soon as you climb on the bike, plus two rear pockets.
It was a challenge pulling the Melissas on at first, tugging first on the front belt loops, then the rear, doing a shimmy dance as I slithered into them. But it got easier as the pants broke in, and now I can pull them up without a second thought.
One caveat is for those who have more of an hourglass figure than I do…since the waistband has only so much stretch and there are no zippers or other ways to open it up further, pulling it up over wide hips might be a problem — emphasis on “might” as we haven’t actually tried any larger sizes.
The upshot is that once on, they hug my (limited) curves beautifully, and the high waistband means no gapping even when I’m bent over a sport bike.
The knee armor, being CE level 2, is fairly thick and can be stiff when I first put on the pants, but after absorbing some body heat the armor molds nicely to my knees and remains fairly comfortable on longer rides. And the stretchy fit keeps the armor exactly where it needs to be.
Kevlar coverage is ample, with the only areas not covered being the insides of the thighs and the backs of the calves — areas not likely to be touching the ground in the event of a slide. If you prefer more Kevlar coverage, MotoGirl has other pants that fit that bill.
The Melissas have now become my go-to everyday riding jeans, and after breaking in have molded to my body like a second skin. At $154, they are quite a value too, and it’s awesome knowing I’m supporting a business doing right by female riders.
Fit: Jeggings (form-fitting)
Sizing: Runs small, consider going up one size from your normal U.S. size; see MotoGirl’s size chart
Armor: Kevlar lining in abrasion zones, CE level 2 armor at knees
Website: motogirl.co.uk; windandthrottle.com