When we looked at adventure motorcycle jackets, we established that they have a wide range of requirements; keep you protected from falls and weather while also allowing your body to dissipate sweat and keep you cool. These two requirements may seem mutually exclusive, but it is entirely possible to have both.
Just like jackets, adventure motorcycle trousers will have an outer layer that will protect you from falls, both in terms of abrasion – if you slide down the road or track – as well as impact, with armour at least at the knees and ideally, also the hips.
The trousers should be CE rated for abrasion resistance in the same way jackets are, from B to AAA, the latter the highest levels of protection. Hip and knee armour will also be CE rated, like in jackets and of course, Level-2 is a higher rating than Level-1.
When it comes to keeping you dry and warm, again, they may be one of several designs. Some may use an outer that has a waterproof membrane attached to it, either on the inside or the outside, to prevent water from entering while allowing moisture to leave.
However, if on the outside, it is susceptible to damage in an off-road environment, so many will have a separate waterproof and breathable layer that can be removed to allow maximum airflow when it isn’t raining. Some will allow the waterproof layer to fit over the top or inside the trousers to extra flexibility.
Related: Best adventure motorcycle helmets
Most will also have a thermal liner that will help keep you warm on chilly rides yet can be removed when things start to warm up to keep you cool – off-roading is a more strenuous form of riding than on-road, of course. And because of that, you’ll need some ventilation too.
At the very least, you want some large panels that zip open or ideally, are held open to allow lots of air in. The ideal scenario though is a mesh construction, where non-essential abrasion-resistant sections are formed in mesh, allowing huge amounts of air in.
Finally, you may find a bunch of other useful additions; cargo pockets are very handy for bits and pieces; anti-slip panels on the seat help you stay put on bumpy ground; and braces will prevent them from drooping or gaping as you ride.
Great value, these trousers from Texpeed are badged as waterproof and coming with CE armour in the knees and hips, amazing if indeed CE approved. They are made with a 600D Korean Cordura outer layer which is double-layered in key areas and this is backed with a Reissa waterproof, windproof and breathable membrane to keep the elements out but let you breathe.
There is a removable thermal liner to keep you warm when the temperature drops but the only downside is no external vents – you’ll have to rely on the breathable membrane to keep you cool. Other than that, they get good reviews online and seem a real bargain.
RST Pro Adventure-X Trousers
Designed to be used with the matching jacket but just as able to be used with others, these trousers are made from MaxTex material with extra layers of ballistic textile in key abrasion and impact areas, resulting in a CE A rating overall. They come with a combined thermal and waterproof and breathable SinAqua removable liner while large vent panels on the front of the thighs allow lots of cooling air in while riding. They come with CE Level-2 armour at the knees and two cargo pockets on the thighs and of course will zip together with matching RST jackets.
These trousers from Tucano Urbano's adventure-focussed sub-brand T.Ur are perfect for off-road riding (or even touring) in warm conditions. They are formed in two materials, a 1000D Cordura in the main impact and abrasion areas, plus a mesh weave in non-key areas to promote huge amounts of airflow.
They come with CE Level-2 D3O knee armour and there are pockets for matching hip protectors and the removable lining provides both warmth as a thermal layer and water and wind-proofing with breathability, thanks to its membrane. There are front pockets as well as a thigh cargo pocket and zips to join with compatible T.Ur jackets.
Weise Frontier Outlast Trousers
These trousers from Wiese are good for year-round riding, on the road as well as off. They are formed in 600D polyester outer with laminated membrane to keep water and wind out while letting the body breathe. They come with an Outlast thermal lining which is designed to regulate the body's temperature, absorbing heat when it is warm and releasing it back to the body when it gets cold.
They come with CE armour at the knees and hips and there are two thigh vents, protected by waterproof zips. The back is extended to prevent gaping and they can be joined to compatible jackets for added protection.
Oxford Montreal 3.0 Trousers
Like the jacket, the Montreal is about to be replaced by version 4.0 so the 3.0 is on run-out, making it great value. They are formed with a textile outer and this is backed with a Reissa membrane to keep the elements out but allow the body to breathe. To aid this further, there are two zipped vents on the thighs with poppers to hold them open in use and there is also a removable thermal liner in case the temperature drops.
They come with Level-1 knee armour, though this can be upgraded and there are pockets for hip armour. There is extra material in the seat and crotch for additional waterproofing and they come with braces, as well as zips to join to other Oxford jackets.
Klim Carlsbad Trousers
As we saw when we looked at jackets, Klim is top-end adventure equipment and these trousers, designed to work with the Carlsbad jacket, are no exception. They are made in FPL400 abrasion-resistant material with heavier, 630D Cordura overlays in key areas, such as the knees and the seat.
They use a Gore-Tex membrane for waterproofing and breathability and the outer features leather inserts on the inside of the knees for better grip on the bike. They come with CE Level-2 D3O armour in the knees and hips and have zip-open vents in the front as well as exhaust vents in the rear.
Held Matata 2 Trousers
Someone at Held clearly has a sense of humour, as these Matata trousers are designed to be paired with the brand's Hakuna jacket, so no worries there. They're made in 500D Cordura outer with accordion stretch panels above the knees, at the crotch and the back for a good fit and comfort.
There is kangaroo leather on the seat and knees for grip and there is both a Coolmax lining to regulate temperature and a removable waterproof and breathable liner to keep the weather out. Venting comes from zip-open panels on the thighs and there are both hand and cargo pockets on each side.
Spidi AllRoad Trousers
Like the matching jacket, the AllRoad from Spidi is intended for adventure riding though it could equally be worn for touring. It is formed with a CE AA-rated outer which features large ventilation zips to allow cooling air in. Internally, there is a separate H2Out waterproof and breathable membrane liner as well as another, thermal liner, giving excellent flexibility to tailor the trousers to whatever the conditions are. They come with the company's Warrior CE-approved armour in the knees and hips and a zip allows connection with a Spidi jacket.
Alpinestars Andes Pro V3 Trousers
The latest version of Alpinestars' Andes adventure-touring clothing is made with a polyfabric outer and uses Alpinestars' own Drystar breathable and waterproof fixed membrane to keep you dry yet prevent sweat building up. They come with a removable thermal liner and the use of the membrane bonded inside the outer means one less layer to worry about, they are always waterproof.
They come with CE Level-1 knee armour and there are pockets for hip armour too. There are hold-open vents on the thighs for airflow and a cargo pocket on each side, as well as a full-length zip to join to compatible jackets.
Rev'It OffTrack Trousers
Designed to work with the matching Offtrack jacket, these trousers are formed with an outer in a variety of materials, including 600D polyester for the main body and panels of Rev'It's own 500D material in other areas. They come with a detachable thermal liner for warmth on cold rides and a separate waterproof and breathable layer using a Hydratex membrane.
They come with CE Level-2 knee armour and Level-1 hip and there are opening vents on the front of the thighs for extra cooling air. There are also two cargo pockets and short and long zips to join compatible jackets.
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