Technical motorcycle-riding jeans are seen everywhere nowadays, and in many styles, colors, designs, and, most importantly, materials. I’ve heard nothing but praise from riders who wear them, and you can count me in that group. I’ve tried offerings from more than a dozen manufacturers, and motorcycle-specific jeans are my go-to trousers for most temperate weather rides, near or far. That list now includes the new Bolid’Ster Jean’Ster 2 riding jeans from France.
Most have CE-rated impact protection for the knees and hips, though any wearer of riding jeans realizes they are not as well protected from abrasion as when wearing racing-style leather pants. If you’re like me, you will forego the extra protection for comfort. Still, I want my riding jeans to be the best technology and materials that the industry can offer, and I want them to look good.
Bolid’Ster only does one thing, and that is the development and manufacturer of denim riding jeans that have other materials to resist abrasion injuries should you find yourself sliding down the road.
In the case of the Bolid’Ster Jean’Ster 2 motorcycle riding jeans, the pants are a blend of cotton (51 percent), UHMWPE (ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene, 33 percent), high-strength PA. 6 sewing thread (9 percent) and Lyrca (7 percent). The result is a pair of jeans that earn a CE AA rating, which means they will protect your skin for about a 65-foot slide. If that’s not enough, you’ll need harder-to-find AAA-rated pants—A-rated pants are suitable for shorter pavement/jeans interaction.
I reviewed the Jean’Ster and the Ride’Ster jeans from Bolid’Ster in 2016 when Armalith was announced. Now, seven years of regular use later, the jeans still look great, have not ripped anywhere, and are favorites of mine. The two pairs of Bolid’Ster motorcycle riding jeans have faded only slightly and have virtually no wear marks—credit to the Armalith (UHMWPE) fabric and strong stitching. Bolid’Ster claims the raw finish of the Jean’Ster 2 jeans means they will survive 1000 washes.
Washing instructions call for postponing your first wash as long as possible “in order to mark them properly.” Bolid’Ster then goes on to say the fabric will then become softer, and the color will lighten. They recommend water temperature under 86 degrees F, and dry flat or tumble dry on the delicate cycle. Personally, I never machine-dry any jeans.
The major difference between the original Jean’Ster and the Jean’Ster 2 is that the new model features an improved Armalith 2.0 and supports optional button-in protectors for hips and knees. The original model is still in the lineup.
The Jean’Ster 2 has a bit of stretch in the material—the Lyrca at work—and is true to size. They are available with a 33-inch inseam. I went with the US-size 36 waist; other waist sizes available are 28, 30, 31, 33, 34, 38, 40, 42, and 44. So, if you’re not over six-foot tall, plan on folding up the cuff or having a tailor shorten them. Bolid’Ster recommends using a leather specialist to hem the jeans “and stitch this highly technical fabric.” I folded a cuff on mine, which was all I needed.
Surprisingly for a pair of jeans that runs €325, impact protection is optional. Bolid’Ster will sell you its Austrian-made hip and knee protectors in a cotton sleeve for €35 for each pair. They’re CE level 2, the lower of the two levels. If you prefer the protectors be sheathed in silk, the price goes up to €60 per pair. So, with proper impact protection, the Bolid’Ster Jean’Ster 2 jeans have a list price of either €395 (cotton sleeves) or €445 (silk, as tested). Yes, these are premium jeans, though US buyers from the Bolid’Ster website get a 20 percent break as the VAT is removed.
The hip protectors button in one place while the knee protectors mount to a series of buttons inside the knee area, allowing them to be raised or lowered depending on where one’s knee aligns within the garment. The protectors are slim and comfortable, and the knee protectors are easy to re-position—turn the jeans inside out to accomplish the task. The silk-covered knee protectors are nearly transparent—I rarely notice them.
Besides protection and comfort, I want jeans that fit me nicely. I’ve had jeans from other brands that have too short a rise, are too baggy, have no stretch, or have characteristics that make them less comfortable and not as good-looking. Leave it to the French to nail the proportions perfectly. The Bolid’Ster Jean’Ster 2 motorcycle riding jeans fit just right and look amazing.
I’ve ridden up and down the Southern California coast in the Bolid’Ster Jean’Ster 2 pants in temperatures ranging from 50 to 80 degrees. They were just about perfect for the conditions, even on a motorcycle without much wind protection— the material is relatively thick, and I was comfortable. If the temperatures drop into the 40s, I would consider wearing a base layer.
The Jean’Ster 2 jeans are serial numbered, claim to have a low carbon manufacturing footprint, and boast a 10-year warranty against any manufacturing defect.
Having lasted through a damp but mild Southern California Spring, the new Bolid’Ster Jean’Ster 2 jeans have established themselves as a favorite. I expect my appreciation for them to enhance as summer asserts itself.
Location photography by Markus Jahn and Joerg Kuenstle