They’re a go-to for many motorcyclists who want the style and flexibility of a regular jean but proven protection against road rash – and this year marks 20 years since Draggin Jeans first came on the scene.
Words: BRM Pics: Draggin Jeans / BRM
Flick back two decades and you’ll find a world-first impacting on the motorcycling marketplace; Kevlar-lined jeans which looked just like regular jeans, but which offered protection against road rash. What a revelation!
This breakthrough in motorcycling clothing was the brainchild of Aussie, Grant Mackintosh, who started Draggin Jeans back in 1997. Back then, Grant’s aptly-named Classic Jean was the first product to appear in New Zealand outlets from the company based out of Melbourne.
It’s no secret that many riders prefer to ride in jeans – which, let’s be honest – are often far more comfortable and convenient than leather or textile trousers, particularly if you plan on wearing them all day long.
But when Grant met with someone who had an idea of how to make jeans safe for riders, the sprockets in his brain started turning and the idea soon started to evolve.
Being a jeans manufacturer by trade and a bit of a clever chap, Grant worked on engineering a protective lining into a pair of jeans. Kevlar – a composite fibre product made by DuPont and most famously used for making things bulletproof, meets denim – a fabric most famously used by well, pretty much everyone, really.
Grant tested his jeans by putting his own ass on the line – being voluntarily and famously, dragged on tarmac by a motorcycle, while wearing a pair of Draggin Jeans – but neither the story nor the rigours of product testing, ended there.
The company continued to develop over the years and today, Grant’s daughter, Fiona Mackintosh is the general manager of the company.
“Our products are all subjected to CE testing,” says Fiona, CE testing being the norm for motorcycle apparel. “There are companies out there who market themselves as having a CE Test Report to validate their product quality. CE Test Reports though, don’t tell the whole story. While all our product is CE tested, it is also CE-approved, which is the next step up and involves 10 different test protocols per product line.
“The only genuine Kevlar is made by DuPont,” Fiona says. “and it is only genuine DuPont Kevlar which goes into every Draggin Jeans product.”
It’s no coincidence that Draggin Jeans are the only jeans which appear on the DuPont Corporation website.
We incorporate DuPont Kevlar into our Roomoto™ lining,” Fiona adds “which is the essence of every pair of Draggin Jeans. The Roomoto™ lining combines strength, abrasion resistance, flexibility and lightweight characteristics, which enables us to continuously improve and innovate, without compromise,” explains Fiona.
By way of illustration, Fiona points out that the latest generation Roomoto™ MR7+ has double the abrasion resistance of any previous Draggin lining and is 20 percent lighter than before.
Most recently, Draggin has taken its clever approach to jeans and moved into other garments, introducing a very cool riding hoodie, adding a casual – but most importantly, safe – option for riders who find bulky riding jackets which offer protection, socially awkward.
Continual evolution and improvement will continue according to Fiona, who hints coyly at future product – to be announced later this year – being still lighter, more breathable, and more comfortable “and safer above all else,” she adds.
There are many imitators, but there will only be one Draggin Jeans and, as long as they’re around, they will continue to be the riding jean of choice here at BRM towers.