by Rick K. for webBikeWorld.com
Robust all-around motorcycle pants with removable insulating liner.
Slightly higher than normal waist provides good lower back coverage.
Perfect match for the Challenger jacket we reviewed just a couple of weeks ago.
The "classic" Belstaff motorcycle clothing line has been sold and distributed in the U.S.A. by British Motorcycle Gear for several years.
Meanwhile, the Belstaff brand has been undergoing many changes.
So many that it's been hard to keep tabs on the latest version of the product mix...
There are apparently several Belstaff product lines besides what I call the "classic" garments that we know and trust.
There's the Belstaff "fashion" line of faux motorcycle apparel that appears to be aimed at New Urbanites who want to look hip but who would rather slip into a Bimmer than onto a Beemer.
There are rumors of another Belstaff line ready to hit the racks.
And this one may include apparel more functional than the fashion line but with edgier styling.
The British Motorcycle Gear folks are still selling the tried-and-true, "classic", technical and functional lineup that, I think, is the most relevant to webBikeWorld visitors.
In fact, as we discussed in our review of the Challenger jacket, British Motorcycle Gear is committed to the original Belstaff vision.
So they have acquired a large inventory of genuine Belstaff branded products and are selling them via their website (see the Summary table below for the link).
I've been wanting a pair of Pioneer pants for several years and here they are.
There's nothing fancy about them; they're just a good pair of all-around, rugged pants that have been proven over time and will probably serve their owner for many years to come.
Motorcyclists often play the "what if" game with clothing, as in "What if you could only buy one jacket and one pair of pants?".
Then the discussion begins and, of course, can go on for hours with everyone arguing for their own version of what works and what doesn't.
We often get questions from visitors asking to recommend a single jacket or pair of pants that will work in all weather and climates.
Of course, no perfect answer is possible, but, like suggesting a Honda or Toyota to someone who asks for a recommendation for a "good" car, you wouldn't go far wrong by suggesting the Pioneer pants with no regrets.
The Pioneer pants are made from the ubiquitous 500 denier DuPont Cordura fabric, with a double dose on the knees and the seat for good measure.
One interesting feature is the Nomex fire retardant material that's been added to the inner sections of the lower legs to help prevent burns from hot exhaust pipes.
I don't recall ever seeing this fabric, which is used in car racing suits, used this way in motorcycle apparel.
The Cordura in the Pioneer pants is also coated and it's claimed to be breathable with an anti-fraying capability. The attached full-length pant liner is claimed to be waterproof with sealed seams.
I was caught out during the start of a rain storm last week wearing the Pioneer pants and although I didn't spend hours on the Interstate, the pants stayed warm and dry during the entire ride home.
The pants also feature Knox Traumalite protectors in the knees and hips and the hip armor seems thicker than the usual thin foam padding found in most other motorcycle pants of this type.
The knee protectors are especially easy to access via pockets on the front of the pants.
The removable liner is one of the nicest features of the Pioneer pants. It's a nice, thick Thermolite lining that is very comfortable and very warm.
It attaches with a full-length zipper inside the waist and with a combination of a snap and hook-and-loop at the leg cuffs.
This keeps the liner in place and makes the pants feel more "together", especially when putting them on or taking them off.
Some lined pants feel like the liner is too loosely attached to the outer shell, giving an uncomfortable feeling because the two can become misaligned as you're riding or walking, but not these.
The fly uses a YKK zipper and it has a long fabric zipper pull attached.
The pants have a hook-and-loop flap over the zipper and the waist uses a metal hook as a connector. The fly is fully backed with the waterproof fabric, so it shouldn't leak.
The waist is higher than normal in the back, providing good coverage to that crucial area to help maintain warmth.
There are two very nice belt adjusters on either side of the waist with a long strap that comes out of a "hidden" pocket, goes through a D-ring and attaches back on itself with hook-and-loop.
The right side belt has a cool Union Jack attached to the outside. The belts also feature a rubberized handle at the ends, which make it easy to adjust to fit.
The front pockets are edged with highly reflective piping for a total width of about 20 mm (3/4").
Long fabric zipper pulls allow the pockets to be easily opened and the pockets are lined and voluminous, about 18 cm deep and 20.5 cm wide (7" deep and 8" wide).
Down below, each leg cuff has a side zipper that is also edged with the highly reflective fabric.
The zipper opens to about 31 cm (12") and they are backed by the same Cordura material used in the shell, so no water should enter here either.
Another nice feature is the leg cuff cinch straps, which are much better than the normal hook-and-loop strip on most pants of this type.
These have the same type of strap used in the waist.
It feeds through a robust D-ring on the opposite side of the zipper, which allows the legs to be securely fastened. I like this system much better than the basic hook-and-loop strap on other pants, which always seem to come loose.
My feeling is that the pants are designed to be worn alone and not as over-pants, and the legs are designed to be worn over a pair of riding boots.
Thus, the D-ring cuff closure works very nicely to keep everything secured down there but if the pants are worn under the boots, the "loop" section on the cuff would have to be about another 2-3 cm longer to allow me to cinch it up over my rather thin ankles.
The Pioneer pants are comfortable, warm and they offer good levels of protection against the elements and other hazards. I really like the waist belts and the leg cuffs and the Knox armor in the knees and hips.
There's nothing super-stylish about these pants but they're highly functional, well made and they have all the little features that should make them a perfect answer for that "if you only had one" question.
|wBW Review: British Motorcycle Gear Pioneer Pants|
|Available From: British Motorcycle Gear||List Price (2007): $229.00|
|Colors: Black/Blue/White. Black/Gunmetal.||Made In: China|
|Sizes: 26/28 waist to 44/46 waist. 28/29 to 36/37 inseam.|
|Note: The pants shown here are the "Short" length and labeled "XL" and are slightly big and slightly too short for a 36"W x 30" inseam.|
|Review Date: March 2007. Revised: July 2007|
From "E.C." (October 2015): "Here’s my review on these pants that I received in October 2015 (size XL Short).
Your review is spot on with the exception of the fly and YKK zipper. Mine arrived with a Velcro closure instead of a YKK zipper for the fly.
The pants only have only one snap for 'buttoning' the pants closed. It’s the weakest point on these pants and that’s unfortunate.
The snap easily 'unsnaps' and will most likely do so in the event of a crash. Also, the backside seems overly big, and bunches up in the crotch areas when mounting my bike. Overall, I’m disappointed in the fit."