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Roadskin Taranis Jeans Hands-On Review

Roadskin Taranis Jeans
Roadskin is a relatively small company with big ambitions. They make cool, comfortable motorcycle gear for men and women that offers impressive protection from the dangers of the road. The Taranis jeans are a AAA-rated, single-layer denim pant that comes in near the top of the mid-range for price but delivers an absolutely premium experience on all fronts. Full disclosure: I haven’t worn every pair of motorcycle pants out there, but I have three other options by major manufacturers—and these are the best by a wide margin.
Build Quality
Sizing & Fit
Value for Money
Single-layer construction offers lightweight comfort
Durable buttons and YKK zippers
Reinforced stitching at cuffs, waist, and pockets
Breathable mesh lining
CE Level 2 knee and hip armor included
Looks great on and off the bike
Available in indigo or black
This rider was caught slightly between pant lengths
No reflective elements built in
Buy Now

Review Summary

  • The Roadskin Taranis jeans offer premium comfort and protection in a mid-priced pair of comfortable and great-looking single-layer jeans.
  • These jeans might fit a little long, but they’re comfortable and flattering on and off the bike. Subtle detailing on the pocket stitching is a nice touch.
  • CE Level 2 knee and hip armor is included in the Taranis jeans, and multiple pockets let you adjust the knee placement easily.
  • They’re not cheap, but for what they offer, the Taranis jeans have seriously good value for money. Strongly recommended if you have the budget for them.

I’ve worn many pairs of pants while riding motorcycles (which is good, because you probably don’t want to see me ride without them). Not all of those pants qualified as protective motorcycle legwear, but I owned and rode in at least four pairs that did before getting the chance to review the Roadskin Taranis Jeans.

The Taranis Jeans are the best riding pants I have ever worn, hands-down. It’s not even close. But beyond that, they might also be my new favorite pair of jeans.

Having said that, I need to make it clear that Roadskin did not pay me to say nice things about their product. They did let me keep the pants though—which would be useless if I hated them—so the fact that I am beyond stoked to have them should tell you that my enthusiasm for this product is sincere. I’m not in the habit of giving five-star reviews, but these guys earned one.

Read on to find out why.

Roadskin Taranis JeansThese pants did everything I ever wanted—except make my hair grow back. 

About Roadskin

Roadskin is a family-owned motorcycle gear manufacturer based in the UK. They make CE-rated biker gear in a classic biker style, with a focus on providing both comfort and protection.

In addition to single-layer jeans like the ones I reviewed, Roadskin also makes double-layer jeans, cargo trousers, armored hoodies and shirts, and more. You can find something for almost every kind of ride—their brand new Tyrian Jeans, for example, are aimed at daily street riding and light touring, offering CE AA-rated protection in a pair of jeans that harkens back to 1950s Americana with its retro look.

Most of these retail between $200-$300 CAD (or $150-$220 USD) although you can get a few of their more basic items for less.

But gear isn’t something any rider should cheap out on—especially when it’s this good. Keep reading to find out why I’ll probably be buying my next pair of jeans from Roadskin as well.

Key Features of the Roadskin Taranis Jeans:

  • Level 2 knee and hip armor included
  • Triple-stitching on all main seams
  • High and low pockets for knee armor to customize fit
  • AAA rating for the entire garment—not just the material
  • CE approved
  • Single-layer construction
  • Super-light mesh lining for cooling
  • Built-in stretch to fit over most boots (except motocross boots with five buckles)
  • Double belt loops for attaching top layers
  • YKK zip fasteners
  • Available in 3 different leg lengths: 30”, 32”, 34”
  • Waist sizes from 28″ – 46″
  • Composition:  48% Cotton, 26.8% Kevlar, 19.4% PE, 3.2% Cordura, 2.6% Lycra

Roadskin Taranis JeansThis is the best my butt has ever looked in riding jeans. 

Roadskin Taranis Jeans Design

We’re not supposed to get too hung up on the way gear looks, but let’s be honest: if you don’t like the way a pair of riding jeans looks, are you more or less likely to put them on before riding?

That’s what I thought. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve ridden in 501s that would have been shredded into bloody strips in a slide because of sheer vanity. It’s stupid, and I know better.

Fortunately, I have no excuse to make that mistake again now that I own these. The Taranis Jeans are both more comfortable and more flattering than any pair of mall jeans in my wardrobe.

Fit & Sizing

The Taranis jeans fit like a glove, if gloves were a thing you put on your legs instead of your hands. The slight stretch in the material makes them snug without being tight, and ensures that they stay comfortable when you bend your legs around the tank.

I am genuinely looking for constructive criticism to give as I write this, though, so I’ll spare a little room in this article to express my wish for more granularity in the available sizes, especially when it comes to length. I am certain a 32” inseam would have been too short for me in these, but the 34” L jeans I got for this review feel just a bit like I’m going to tread on my cuffs whenever I step off the bike.

Roadskin Taranis JeansI may be too old for skinny jeans at this point in my life, but this is still a bit too much bunching around the ankles for my tastes. 

Color Options

I reviewed the navy blue version of the Taranis Jeans, but they also come in black—which makes me seriously want to order a second pair in that color. You can find the black Taranis Jeans here.

Roadskin Taranis JeansThe stitching details on the back pockets are made to look like the readings on a heart-rate monitor—Roadskin’s “cheeky” way of telling you these pants could save your ass.

Roadskin Taranis Jeans Materials & Build Quality

Main Fabrics

These pants feel considerably softer to the touch than most other motorcycle jeans, which probably has something to do with the fact that they’re 48% cotton.

Don’t let that put you off, though—these things are tough as hell. Don’t believe me? Watch this:

That’s two guys wearing Roadskin jeans as they’re dragged back and forth across a concrete warehouse floor by a couple of Harleys. I’d say that AAA safety rating feels well-earned.

You can chalk that up to the 26.8% Kevlar and 3.2% Cordura that help make up the rest of their construction—although my suspicion is that the 19.4% PE goes a long way to preventing heat transfer as well. The remaining 2.6% Lycra is there for the stretch factor.

Roadskin Taranis JeansIn case you missed it earlier, the entirety of these jeans are AAA safety certified. So yeah, they’re tough.

Buttons & Fasteners

No corners cut when it comes to buttons and zips, I’m pleased to report. The zippers on the Taranis jeans are YKK, and the buttons feel robust and secure.

The rest of the jeans are without any metal rivets—for reasons that will be obvious if you’ve ever seen the aftermath of someone butt-sliding across concrete in pants that have tiny metal pieces in them. Smart move, Roadskin.

Roadskin Taranis JeansThe way the double-stitching around the pockets creates a slightly tapered opening is a really smart detail I haven’t noticed often in similar products.

Stitching & Pockets

The use of reinforced stitching in these pants lowers their risk of coming apart in a slide, but that’s not all it does. You can actually see in the photo above that the thread on the inner stitch angles in slightly to create a taper in each pocket opening.

The mild taper means you can still easily fit your wallet into a back pocket, but makes it less likely to fall out by accident while you’re riding. This is a really smart little detail that drives home just how much care and attention Roadskin put into these jeans.

The armor supplied with these jeans might look a bit like it was made by Nerf, but you can’t really argue with the safety rating.

Armor Placement

I’ve had problems with the placement of armor pockets in riding jeans before—see my Scorpion EXO Covert Ultra Jeans “Legs In” Review from a couple of years ago. To be fair, though, I think it’s pretty hard to mass produce jeans with ideal armor placement options because two riders who wear the exact same length of pants can still have their knees rest naturally in different positions. Bodies are weird.

Anyway, I fully expected to run into the same issue with the Taranis Jeans—but ended up pleasantly surprised when I slipped in the armor and found that it fit my knees perfectly. It’s also nice that the Taranis Jeans have a couple of different pockets for each knee, so you can customize the placement a little to (hopefully) find something that works for you.

Knee armor pockets in the Taranis Jeans. You could probably carry other stuff in them, but I wouldn’t recommend it.

Roadskin Taranis Jeans Protection

There are probably people out there who review motorcycle safety gear but have never been in an accident themselves. Fortunately for you, and unfortunately for my soft tissue, I am not one of those shmucks.

When I tell you I believe in a garment’s ability to prevent you from tasting pavement, I speak as one who has reluctantly indulged. It’s not an experience I hope to repeat—but the Taranis Jeans give me confidence that if the worst were to happen, I would likely lose less skin over it than I might in other pants.

Learn More: Armor, Protectors, Airbag Clothing Reviews

Okay, “Smooth Ways” sounds like a Justin Trudeau re-election slogan—but these are actually good, I promise.

Armor Quality

This was one area I had a few questions about. I’m used to seeing a few names when I look at motorcycle armor: SAS-TEC, D3O, Knox, etc. One name I haven’t seen before is Smooth Ways.

A glance at the pads themselves told me these were from Pakistan—a part of the world not exactly renowned for the quality of its manufacturing. But after digging around and asking some of my colleagues, I’m not inclined to make too much of this. Here’s why:

For starters, the armor is still CE Level 2 rated. That means it has a ​​maximum transmitted force below 20 kN under testing conditions, whereas CE Level 1 armor can transmit up to 35 kN of force under the same circumstances.

For another thing, it turns out that some other pretty reputable brands use Smooth Ways protectors in their gear as well—including Oxford and Olympia. So the fact that they’re new to me doesn’t mean they’re dodgy or untested. I can’t know the specs on every piece of gear ever made.

Verdict? You’re fine with these. If you really want, you could probably throw some D3O armor into the pockets of these jeans instead and they’d still feel just fine—but I’m going to go ahead and say the stock protectors are more than enough.

Roadskin Taranis JeansJust me looking around at all the neighbors I was about to wake up. 

Real-World Riding with the Roadskin Taranis Jeans

I logged a few thousand kilometers in the Taranis Jeans this spring. Most of this was everyday street riding in and around Vancouver, BC—but it also involved a long weekend road trip to the Sunshine Coast in April.

With me was my girlfriend Carly (who took a bunch of the photos in this article), and my Neowise Jacket from Andromeda Moto, which I reviewed for our sister site Return of the Cafe Racers in 2022.

It wasn’t all motorcycling—we did a decent amount of visiting with family, and hit more than a couple of breweries along the way. But when I wasn’t doing that, I was out on the open road and putting the Taranis Jeans to the test.

Okay, maybe I mixed business with pleasure a little (this is not an endorsement to drink and ride). 

Testing Conditions

As a motorcyclist, there are two things you should know about the Sunshine Coast if you’ve never been there. The first is that it’s sparsely populated. That’s because it’s only accessible via ferry, private boat, or plane.

The second thing you should know is that the roads out there are nothing short of astounding. By turns, they wind through lush forests and along the pristine coastline, broken up only by the occasional cluster of shops or eateries. And compared to the gridlock of the Lower Mainland, there’s almost no traffic. It’s a biker’s paradise.

I am not a small man. The Rocket III Roadster is the only bike I’ve ever owned that didn’t make me look like a circus elephant on a tricycle. 

Is this a good time to mention that I ride a Triumph Rocket III Roadster? I’ve decided that it is. In case you haven’t noticed from the photos, I ride a Triumph Rocket III Roadster. A bike with 163 lb-ft of torque at 3300 rpm. A bike that makes a Road Glide look like a yard tractor. A bike I’ve heard described as “if Fat Bottomed Girls by Queen was a motorcycle capable of whipping a Hayabusa in a drag race instead of a classic rock song”.

So what do you get when you take a giant bike with a car engine in it and bring it to a secluded part of the Pacific Northwest with miles and miles of mostly-empty roads? A perfect opportunity to test riding gear, that’s what.

Test Results

Luckily, finding out how fast I could reach the top of my gearbox did not also involve a trip to the hospital. That means I can’t tell you firsthand how these jeans will hold up in a crash—but that’s why we have safety standards.

What I can tell you from personal experience is that these are the best-looking, most comfortable, and most practical motorcycle jeans I’ve ever worn. I was never too hot or too cold, I always had enough stretch to accommodate my riding position, and unlike the door plug on a Boeing 737 Max, my wallet didn’t fall out when I took off.

Roadskin Taranis Jeans Value for Money

Currently, the Taranis Jeans cost just under $200 USD. That’s about the same as what my Scorpion Covert Ultra Jeans cost—and while they’re not bad by any means, I like these way better. Sorry, Scorpion.

But I’d also rather wear these than any other pair of motorcycle pants I own—including my Ducati C3 Leather Pants, which cost roughly twice as much. Granted, the Taranis Jeans aren’t made with Tutu cowhide, but they’re much more versatile and practical (especially off the bike).

My verdict? These riding jeans punch way above their price point in every area that counts.

Stop honking, truck guy—I’m having deep thoughts about the Roadskin Taranis Jeans. 

Final Thoughts on the Roadskin Taranis Jeans

I said right at the beginning that this was going to be a five-star review, so if you read everything up to this point expecting some kind of dramatic twist, then I’m sorry to disappoint you.

Here’s what you won’t be disappointed in, though: this truly excellent pair of everyday riding jeans that offers premium quality, impressive protection, and endless comfort at a price point normally associated with far lesser products.

I sincerely look forward to whatever Roadskin releases next—and the Taranis Jeans have my vote to make wBW’s list of Best Motorcycle Riding Jeans next time it’s updated. But you shouldn’t wait until then to grab a pair for yourself.

Roadskin Taranis JeansWas I modeling the jeans or practicing for a shootout in the Old West? I’ll never tell.


  • Manufacturer: Roadskin
  • Price: $266 CAD (~$195 USD)
  • Colors: Dark Indigo Blue, Black
  • Sizes: W: 28–46” | L: 30–34”
  • Review Date: May 2024

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