motorcycle chaps may be of peripheral interest
to many webBikeWorld visitors, but they enjoy a
dedicated following among touring riders, so we decided
to give 'em a go.
Motorcycle riding pants seem
to be about the second-to-last clothing article to
accumulate in a new rider's wardrobe, after a helmet,
gloves and a jacket and before the purchase of a good
pair of boots. I
'm not sure how leather chaps
became popular with motorcyclists, but I'll surmise that
it's an American tradition, probably a carryover from
horseback riding, where chaps are used to
protect the rider from getting gored by brush and thorns
whilst chasing down errant heifers.
back in the old days some cowboy bought a Harley or
Indian and started the chaps trend by using the only riding
gear he had available.
I'll be honest and say
that I couldn't quite wrap my mind around wearing chaps,
I mean with the front and back sort of highlighting a
couple of personal areas that I'd just as soon leave
And although I've never (knock wood!) been in a serious pavement
slide, I have this phobia about getting what little butt
hide I have scraped off, and chaps don't offer much protection
But after wearing this
pair of chaps for a while, I can see why they're
comfortable, and once you get the hang of putting them
on, they're fast and easy to wear. They surely
must offer more protection than just a pair of jeans,
and they can be slipped off and stuffed into pretty much
any old saddlebag once you arrive at your destination,
leaving you free to stroll around in denim.
And these aren't just any
old leather chaps, these are Fox Creek Leather chaps!
continue the Fox Creek Leather tradition (and our
experience with their products) of high-quality
materials and workmanship. I don't know how they
do it, and I've tried to find out where they source
their leather, but it's a trade secret. It's been
almost impossible to find leather and craftsmanship of
this quality that's also made in the
U.S.A., but Fox Creek Leather somehow does it.
used in their apparel has a
soft buttery feeling that's comfortable right from the
start. This has been our experience with the other
Fox Creek Leather products we reviewed, the
Vented Racing Jacket and
3/4 Length Leather Jacket. Fox Creek uses 1.6
to 1.8mm thick leather in these chaps, which is "race grade" thickness, just like the
hide used in jackets and pants designed for motorcycle
Finding the correct size
for a set of motorcycle chaps includes measuring the waist
diameter, leg length and thigh diameter. Fox Creek Leather
offers their chaps in 130
different sizing combinations,
which means there's a fitment for just about anyone. Many
different combinations of waist, length and thigh
diameter are available, not just the "S,
M, L, XL" available with off-the-shelf chaps.
Fox Creek has an online leather chaps worksheet where customers
can enter their waist, leg and thigh diameters to come
up with the correct fit.
measurements should be taken over a pair of jeans or
whatever type of pants you'll be riding in. The
thigh measurements are taken from the widest part of
your thigh while sitting down. I followed the
instructions and my chaps came perfectly
sized -- just a touch long, which is necessary so that
they have enough room to fit over my bent legs when
riding. The thighs are supposed to be a little
bit tight, because they will stretch with use.
a trick to suiting up with a pair of chaps. Each
leg on these men's chaps has a heavy-duty YKK brass
zipper at the rear. I found that it's easiest to
first secure the belt, then wrap one chap around one leg
and start the zipper, then do the same with the other leg.
zippers run about 3/4 of the length down the leg,
lower portion of the chaps to be secured via three metal
snaps. The snaps allow some adjustability for
different sized boots. It takes a few tries to
figure out the moves to get the zippers started, because
they're behind you so you have to get them started by
feel and you can feel like you're playing a one-person
game of "Twister" until you get used to it.
The zippers are covered
by a "weather flap" that hides the brass and provides a
seamless look. The front leg of the chaps is made
from seamless leather, and the backs are made from two
sections of leather.
Fox Creek Leather
motorcycle chaps are available with either a plain or
braided top (shown here). The braids form a nice
yet subtle decoration along the edges of the wrap-around
attached belt. The back of the chaps are connected
using a lace-up with metal eyes, so there's some
adjustability in the waist diameter.
Things can get a bit
toasty when riding in hot weather, especially with jeans
underneath. But wear a pair of these with a Fox
Creek Leather matching jacket and a pair of engineer
boots from Stomper's, throw in a pair of TiMax "Mad Max"
gloves, shades and a leather captain's hat, and you'll
be starring in your own "The Wild One" redux. I
have to admit that after wearing all the hoity-toity
Euro textile stuff that it feels good to blast around in
some classic American duds.
If you're in the market
for a pair of chaps, I suggest you give these a try.
Fox Creek Leather makes some top-notch leather apparel;
they're focused on customer service; they have a wide
selection of sizes; their products are made in the U.S.A. and all
of their apparel carries a lifetime guarantee.
Note: For informational use only. All material and
photographs are Copyright © webWorld International, LLC - 2000-2011. All
rights reserved. See the webBikeWorld®
page. NOTE: Product specifications, features and details may
change or differ from our descriptions. Always check before purchasing. Read
Terms and Conditions!