Can Fashion and Safety Meet on a Motorcycle? – TMW Review

Can Fashion and Safety Meet on a Motorcycle - TMW Review

Can Fashion and Safety Meet on a Motorcycle - TMW Review

Can Fashion and Safety Meet on a Motorcycle? We look into that question as Total Motorcycle reviews the Indigo Kevlar Motorcycle Riding Jean to evaluate quality, performance and durability, and style. The Indigo Riding Jean is a stylish option for riders looking for significant abrasion resistance in a stylish riding jean. Tobacco Motorwear is a US based manufacturer of high quality riding gear and clothing.  Offering a wide variety or riding jeans, jackets, riding shirts, vests, and graphic tees, Tobacco Motorwear feels their customers don’t need to sacrifice style for safety.


TOBACCO Indigo Ladies Riding Jeans

Reviewed By: Jennifer Ross
Review Dates: April 30th to May 10th, 2020
Price As Tested: ~$339 USD


Tobacco MotorWear claims that their Indigo Protective jeans are a stylish riding jean made from “raw, selvedge denim”.  We asked, “what is raw selvedge denim?” (I had to look that one up too – editor), and managed to learn a lot about quality denim jeans in the process.  It seems that most jeans in the 1900’s were created using selvedge denim that was woven using old-fashioned denim-weaving techniques, most authentically woven on old looms. In the drive to increase mass production of denim, most denim producing factories moved to higher speed weaving with more of a focus on speed and cost than actual quality.  To cut to the chase, the quality and feel of the selvedge denim is obvious when in hand, and it provides insight into the market that Tobacco MotorWear is targeting.  The Indigo Ladies riding jeans are a stylish, high quality, and highly abrasion resistant option in a relatively crowded riding jean marketplace.




“Let’s face it, the only reason for shelling out roughly double the money for a pair of riding jeans over regular jeans, is that your legs are better protected in the event of a crash.”




The Ladies Indigo protective riding jeans are a skinny fit which is very stylish, but this also means that the legs fit is very snug. If you typically wear taller riding or touring boots, the jeans will not fit over top of them, or would appear awkward and be uncomfortable if you were to tuck them inside.  This necessitates the need for a lower-rise or medium rise boot at most, which if you own a pair would look great with these stylish jeans.  Personally, I wear higher riding boots with significant ankle protection and the jeans will not fit over them.

In the attached pictures I have included shots of me wearing my regular riding boots as well as shots wearing street shoes for the reader to see the difference. Along with the fact that I’m not a fan of the look of pants tucked into boots, this is a downside of the Tobacco jeans for me.  Truly they are best suited to a lower profile riding boot, which is something that you need to consider before you purchase.  I followed up with Tobacco, and unfortunately there are no immediate plans to introduce a ladies boot cut jean in the near future.



The Tobacco jeans are mid rise jeans which was a concern for me initially because I tend to prefer low rise jeans and was afraid of the typical bunch up of fabric in my low back area.  However, this did not prove to be an issue with these jeans, as the waist fits very well.  Unfortunately though, the sizing chart provided by Tobacco proved to be a little misleading.  After carefully measuring, the Tobacco sizing chart listed me anywhere between a 28 and 31.  Normally I wear a size 28 but decided to go with a size 30 on the recommendation of the sizing chart and the fact that I didn’t want the jeans to be uncomfortable on the bike. I also wanted to have the room for an extra layer for cooler riding days.

When the size 30 arrived I realized my mistake, as the jeans were significantly over-sized.  An exchange was handled seamlessly by Tobacco and they had me in the correct size within a couple of weeks.  I now had a stylish new pair of riding jeans that are comfortable on and off the bike with room to add an extra layer if need be.  All that was left to do was wait until the snow melted to test them on the bike.



“…microporous interlock knit provides strength and breathability”



Let’s face it, the only reason for shelling out roughly double the money for a pair of riding jeans over regular jeans, is that your legs are better protected in the event of a crash.  While Tobacco does not publish abrasion ratings, they do provide a couple of very convincing videos of the jeans being tested as they are worn by a model being drug behind a motorcycle. This demo is more convincing than any crash rating number could ever be, and if you questioned the abrasion resistance of these riding jeans the video should put your mind to rest.

The secret to this impressive abrasion resistance is the 100% Dupont Kevlar lining.  This lining is in high abrasion areas from the thigh, past the knee, to the front of the shin and also in the seat.  The Kevlar is extremely durable, and it is abrasion, heat and puncture resistant. Tobacco also claims that the “microporous interlock knit provides strength and breathability”.  While the Kevlar sounds like it might not be enjoyable to wear, you don’t notice it at all when you have the jeans on.  These jeans feel a little thicker than regular jeans, however they have 2% stretch which makes them very comfortable to wear.

Impact protection can be a component that prospective buyers are looking for in a riding jean and it is in this area that the Tobacco Ladies Indigo riding jeans have limitations.  Understanding that while some ladies looking for a stylish riding jean in a skinny style may be put off by bulky armor pockets, it would be nice to have the option.  Tobacco themselves will soon release a men’s jean with optional armor.  The Ironside Armored Jeanis to be available in mid-May 2020, which includes built in armor pockets for added impact protection.  When asked about a ladies armored jean option, Tobacco stated that they are planning for it, but no release date has been set yet.



Like style, value is somewhat subjective when it comes to what the buyer is looking for.  The Tobacco Ladies Indigo riding jean definitely rings-in at the upper end of the market with a retail price of $339 USD. In this price range you are getting into dedicated riding pant cost territory as well as a number of other stylish riding jean options that include optional impact protection.  Again, to properly compare to other jeans in the market you must consider the value of the selvedge denim and style vs. lower cost competitors.




The quality, comfort, and perhaps my opinion of the style of the Tobacco Ladies Indigo riding jean are all top tier, but the lack of available impact protection is a negative that needs to be considered, particularly when weighing the significant price point.  Target customers for the Tobacco Indigo Ladies riding jean will likely put a high value on style and quality, however the lack of a boot-cut option limits this customer base to not include those who prefer taller more protective riding boots. If you are looking for a very stylish ladies riding jean with impressive quality, comfort and abrasion resistance, the Tobacco Ladies Indigo riding jeans are definitely worth a look.  Final rating – 4 out of 5 starts on the TMW product scale.


Tobacco Motorwear

Further Reading

Can Fashion and Safety Meet on a Motorcycle? Check out all our other gear reviews at Total Motorcycle! We have hand selected some of our best motorcycle gear reviews from the last 12 months for you below:

TMW Review: REV’IT! 3-Season Ladies Ignition 3 Riding Suit