Saint Model 1 CE-Approved Motorcycle Riding Jeans

Seriously protective riding jeans that wear like regular Levis.

Saint Model 1 CE-Approved Single-Layer Riding Jeans
Australian apparel company Saint has patented a fabric dubbed Unbreakable Denim. It’s a mix of ultra-strong synthetic fibers and cotton, and it’s use in the seat and knees of the Model 1 jeans has earned the pants the coveted CE EN13951-1 stamp of approval.©Motorcyclist

Denim jeans are du rigueur riding apparel for a lot of motorcyclists, but the simple fact is that your blue jeans won't do jack if you hit the deck. Even so, lots of riders rock their trusty Levis because they go with their look.

With Saint's Model 1 jeans, you can get that casual skinny leg look without sacrificing safety. The Saint Model 1s are CE-approved, meaning they pass Europe's motorcycle-specific CE EN13595-1 tests for abrasion, puncture, and burst resistance. Saint qualifies this with a 5.9-second claim—that's how long Saint says its "Unbreakable Denim" takes to wear through while sliding down the road. As a guy that's slid down the track on several occasions, I can say that a 6-second tumble is a seriously lengthy crash. It's usually over much faster than that.

The Model 1s aren't the only jeans out there to be granted CE-approval (which requires a lot of cash plus plenty of sample for destructive testing). Draggin Jeans' C-Evos (dragginjeans.net) and Lean Angle Jeans (leananglejeans.com) both meet CE EN13595-1 criteria, but they do so thanks to the help of a secondary, inner liner of reinforcing fabric. What makes the Model 1s special is that they're a single-layer garment, which should make them less bulky, lighter, cooler, and generally more comfortable to wear than other similarly protective pants on the market. Basically, once they're broken in, the Saints should wear like your favorite Levis.

Unbreakable Denim fabric
With the jeans inside out you can see the glossy Unbreakable Denim fabric at the Model 1’s seat and knees. Low-profile, CE-approved armor at the hips and knees offer critical energy absorption for that initial impact and subsequent tumbling.Photo: Julia LaPalme

The key to the Model 1's durability is Saint's Unbreakable Denim, which is a mixture of 66 percent UHMWPE (Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyethylene) and 34 percent cotton. UHMWPE is the same stuff the frame sliders on my RC390 are made from, and it's said to be stronger than steel yet very light. The Unbreakable material is used at the butt and knees. In other words, only the areas most likely to experience heavy abrasion in a crash. The rest of the Model 1s is hewn from denim containing just 10 percent UHMWPE for a slight bump in abrasion resistance. The sandpaper effect of pavement isn't the only thing you have to worry about in a get-off, so there's CE-approved armor at the hips and knees too.

I got a set of Saints in the mail recently, and while I haven’t worn them yet (I did try ‘em on), I’m impressed with them. They’re triple-stitched in most places, the fabric has a quality heft to it, and the pants are devoid of tank-scratching rivets. The fit is on the skinny side, but there are accordion panels behind and along the inside of the knees to offer freedom of movement and a touch of hipster style. The knees themselves are tailored to hug your kneecaps when seated on the bike. And, as promised, the single-layer fabric makes them feel like normal jeans.

Mad Max car
Strange that a company like Saint that prides itself on passing stringent safety tests would show a gloveless, goggleless rider (and Mad Max’s car) in its promotional materials. But hey, the Model 1s reside in a weird realm of fashion and function that’s still sorting itself out. Kudos to Saint for making fashionable jeans that are also highly protective.©Motorcyclist

So, what will these fashionable, protective pants run you? $350. Think that's expensive? Check out the Rokker Revolution jeans I've been rocking nearly every day for a year, and they're not even CE-approved (though they are waterproof). Yeah, $350 is steep, but remember what I said about the CE-approval process? It costs serious coin, which is why the Lean Angles and C-Evos cost approximately the same amount.

We'll have a proper MC Tested evaluation of the Model 1s once I've put a few thousand miles on them. If you're convinced you want them now, you can order the Model 1s (and other Saint apparel, including a jacket made with Unbreakable fabric) at www.saint.cc.

In the market for riding pants? Check out more options here: