Friday, October 5, 2007

The fashion statement part 2: Armoured Jeans.

By Mike Werner in Normandy France from Bikes in the fast lane:

"I'd say that most of us would like to jump on your motorcycle to go for a ride, go and pick up a loaf of bread or quickly go and visit someone. If you're safety minded, you know that it's usually in these small trips that most accidents happen. So you drag your leathers out of the cupboard, wiggle into them, and 1 hour later you're on the road. Well, OK that's exaggerating a bit, but you get the picture.

Riding in jeans, though cool and easy can be very dangerous. They're not meant to withstand ANY crash, and when you go off your motorcycle at any speed, you will get burns on your legs. One of the only jeans you can really use on a motorcycle are Draggin Jeans . They can withstand sliding across the pavement. But... they have a few issues. First, they are lined with Kevlar. Kevlar is a great product, very impact resistant, and pretty good at stopping burns, however... Kevlar is resistant as a material, so they make movements more difficult. Also, since Kevlar produces an irritation of the skin, you need to make sure that it doesn't touch the skin. This makes the jeans a bit more thicker, not something you'd want to wear around the house, or in the disco.

French company Esquad have the solution! Using fabrics designed in-house, and with help of the aerospace unit of EADS (the folks who make Airbus airplanes amongst others), they've come up with a fabric called Armalith. Armalith consists of fabrics used in the military and space industry, combined with cotton.

The result is an ultra-resistant fabric, that breaths and is light. Using the Armalith, they produce jeans and jackets that can be used as normal jeans. Re-enforced at the knees and hips, you now also have a jean that will withstand a crash, and more importantly, will prevent you from having to undergo skin transplants when sliding over the road after falling off your motorcycle. To test their fabric, the suspended a Hummer from a crane, attached to an Esqaud jean. The Hummer did not fall....and the jeans did not stretch.

They also used stuntmen to fall off their motorcycle at 60 mph. The jeans were scratched, but intact. No skin was burned.

their jeans and jackets can be bought directly in several European countries (more being added), or directly off the internet. You can also find their fabric in Ducati jeans and jackets, since they signed an agreement with the Italian motorcycle manufacturer. Ducati jeans will be sold for 395 Euros.

Esquad have several collections of jeans & jackets, both male and female versions. Depending on your sense of style, and use of the clothes, there's a choice for you.

All-in-all, these look like great motorcycle clothes. You can use them normally around the house, and you can use them to jump on your motorcycle, and still feel safe when riding those twisties. But remember... they are jeans, so not rain proof (though they can get wet in contrast with Kevlar). "

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