Motorcycle pants aren’t just another pair of pants to be worn during your motorcycle rides. Which is why the fit isn’t as per your everyday pants/ denims either. A common mistake new riders make while buying a pair of riding pants, is going and checking the label on their jeans and ordering it as per that sizing. Only to find that the motorcycle pants don’t fit as intended.

To avoid such common pitfalls, we put together this guide to find the perfect motorcycle pant fit. Since these riding pants need to be comfortable for long hours in the saddle and protect you in a crash as well.

Before we get to fit, let’s quickly run through the styles and options of motorcycle riding pants available in the market.

Leather vs Textiles: Choosing Your Riding Pants

Before diving into the intricacies of fit, let's briefly explore the material options available: leather and textile.

Leather Pants

Leather pants offer maximum abrasion resistance, making them ideal for high-speed rides. They're durable but can be hot, limiting their suitability for warmer weather. Leather is also a significantly more expensive material, which is why first-time buyers mostly go for textile pants.

Textile Pants

Textile pants come in various forms, including riding jeans, mesh pants, and full textile pants. Each offers unique features such as ventilation, weatherproofing, and increased flexibility. Which form of riding pants you should get, depends largely on your riding style.

How Should Motorcycle Pants Fit: Dialling in your Measurements

Now that we have got the types of riding pants out of the way. Let’s get to the important aspect of figuring out fit. For starters, don’t try to estimate your body proportions and order pants basis that. You need a soft measuring tape, a pen and paper and preferably a friend to help you out with getting accurate measurements.


When measuring for length, stand tall and measure your inseam from crotch to ankle. The ideal length prevents exposed ankles while riding, ensuring protection. Keep in mind that when seated on your bike, the pants move up a bit. Account for that when measuring the length.

Waist and Hips

Consider your riding style: cruiser riders may opt for a closer fit, while sport bike enthusiasts need extra room when tucked into an aggressive riding position. Measure your natural waist and hips for a comfortable and secure fit. Waist measurements need to be taken near the belly button and the hip measurement should be taken on the widest point of your hips.

Leg Fit

Choosing between straight/skinny or loose/baggy leg fits impacts both safety and comfort. Strike a balance between a streamlined shape and flexibility, ensuring snugness without restricting movement.

Rider Comfort

Look for features like stretch panels, ventilation, moisture-wicking fabrics, and insulation to enhance rider comfort. The goal is to maintain flexibility through changing ride conditions.

Armour Up: Choosing the Right Impact Protection

Protection is paramount, and quality armour covering knee and hip joints is crucial. Look for flexible, low-profile armour that moulds to your body, providing impact protection without restricting your range of motion. If your fit is incorrect, the armour will not be in the correct position to protect you in a crash. Some riding gear also have adjustable pockets for the armour to give you that perfect fit.

FAQs About How Should Motorcycle Pants Fit

Should motorcycle pants be tight or loose?    

The best fit is snug without restricting movement. Too loose or too tight can compromise safety and comfort.

Do motorcycle pants run big or small?    

Motorcycle pants often have different sizing, so refer to each brand's specific sizing chart. Measure yourself and don't assume standard jean sizes.

What's the difference between men's and women's motorcycle pants?    

Women's pants have a contoured shape, accommodating hips and rear, while men's pants accommodate larger waists and thighs.

Should I order motorcycle pants a size up?    

If between sizes, it's generally better to size up for comfort, but always check the brand's fit guidance.

Tips and Advice for Choosing the Right Motorcycle Pant Size

Trying Them On

Adapt the motorcycle position when trying on pants, ensuring they cover the ankle area. For textile pants, consider whether the boot should go inside or outside for optimal fit and waterproofing. Try on the pants with your riding boots to know how the two will gel together. Sit on your motorcycle to know how comfortable is it in your usual riding posture.

Jeans/Denim or Leather Pants?

Coordinate with your preferred boots: inside for leather pants, and outside for jeans/denim or adventure-style textile pants.

Ordering Online?

If you are ordering motorcycle pants online, make sure to check their return policy. If a brand allows you to exchange pants for fit, then you are much more secure while buying online. When you get a pair of pants online, try them out at home and move around as much as possible, including sitting on your motorcycle. But don’t go for a ride till you are sure of the sizing. Most brands will not exchange pants which have been used on a ride!


While jackets, gloves, and boots may steal the spotlight, finding the perfect motorcycle pants fit is equally crucial. Motorcycle riding gear brands have vastly different sizing for pants. It is relatively easy to get correctly fitting jackets across brands. But with pants, check the sizing chart of every brand in detail.

Comfort, safety, and aesthetics converge in the right fit, ensuring a smooth ride. Whether you opt for leather or the versatility of textiles, measuring correctly and trying on pants with your already existing gear will lead you to your perfect fit.

To make your life considerably easier, ViaTerra does size exchanges, in case you order the incorrect size. For more details check out the product page.

Ride on, and may your pants always be snug and stylish!

User Review:

Satish from Gurgaon tells us about his efforts to get the perfect pant fit: “I visited multiple riding gear stores in NCR and tried out pants from various brands. Sadly, none of the brands, both domestic and global, fit me. I had given up on finding riding pants my size, till a friend recommended tailor made riding pants. ViaTerra came to my rescue and I finally got myself the Munro, which was made to my specifications. I now can happily and safely go out on my long rides.”