Crash Tested: Alpinestars Copper 2 Denim Pants Review

Evans Brasfield
by Evans Brasfield

How well do riding denim, Kevlar, and CE-approved armor do their job in a 50 mph slide?

I’ve been wearing Alpinestars Copper Denim Pants in one form or another for seven years, and while I’ve been quite happy with how they looked like traditional jeans and provided comfort off the motorcycle, none of our staff of MOrons have put them to the ultimate test until now. If you’ve read my recent 2024 Triumph Street Triple 765 R/RS Review, you know I did a little pavement surfing on an Andalusian highway. Naturally, to further my embarrassment over my first crash at an introduction since 2015, I need to document the condition of every piece of gear that contacted the pavement so that you, dear reader, can judge the efficacy of the protection provided by my riding kit. The short version is that the Alpinestars Copper 2 Denim Pants sacrificed themselves so that my legs could escape unscathed.

MO Tested: Alpinestars Copper Denim Pants

2024 Triumph Street Triple 765 R/RS Review – First Ride

Alpinestars Copper 2 Denim Pants

Comfortable and discreet off the bike and equipped with street-reasonable protection, the Alpinestars Copper 2 Denim Pants are worth their cost when you’re sliding down the road.

Editor Score: 86%

+ Highs

  • Protected me in a 50 mph crash
  • Comfortable and look like street clothes
  • Kevlar panels and CE-approved armor

– Sighs

  • Quality gear isn’t cheap
  • Will never be as protective as leather or heavier textile pants
  • One-and-done when crashed

Shop for the Alpinestars Copper 2 Denim Pants here

Cleverly disguised as a pair of traditional denim jeans, the Copper 2 Denim Pant features a classic straight leg denim fit and soft quality outer fabric. Abrasion protection is provided by the internal panels of Kevlar across the hips, buttocks, and knees. To make for a comfortable fit, the rear and knee panels float loosely, allowing them to move relative to the rider and jeans for a more natural feel. The Bio-Flex knee armor offers CE Category II protection while remaining comfortably flexible to the point that it’s easy to forget there is armor in the jeans while walking around. Additionally, the significant amount of perforations keep heat from building up under the armor in warmer weather. Finally, all seams are triple stitched to hold together in a mishap.

The knee area took the brunt of the impact.

My crash was a classic low side where I lost the front end, having the bike slide out from underneath me. Consequently, my shin and knee touched down first before the slide moved up to encompass the rest of my body. The photos will show minimal sliding damage to everything except the primary point of impact, my knee. Here the denim is worn through and the Kevlar backing even received a dime-sized hole where it was trapped between the pavement and the armor. My knee didn’t even bruise.

The light spot on the armor is where the Kevlar wore through and the knee pad continued the protection from the pavement.

The denim up my thigh to my hip shows significant abrasion but it never wore through completely. Across the seat of the jeans, there is minor scuffing. The Alpinestars Copper 2 Denim Pants did their job properly, and I could see myself being tempted to use them in the future. Still, for safety’s sake, I’d consider them a one-and-done product since it’s hard to tell how compromised the seams are from the slide.

The abrasion on my thigh and hip never broke through the denim.

Given the extensive use I’ve gotten out of my Alpinestars Copper Denim Pants over the years, and now with actual experience with their protective qualities, I recommend them with even more highly than I did in my first review in 2016. Consider them to be $240 well spent. The Alpinestars Copper 2 Denim Pants are available in blue or black Euro sizes 28-40.

Shop for the Alpinestars Copper 2 Denim Pants here


Are regular jeans OK for motorcycle riding?

No. While being constructed of a relatively sturdy fabric, which is why work clothes have been made from denim for years, regular jeans offer little abrasion protection and no impact protection for a rider in a crash. The advent of jeans manufactured specifically for riding has been a boon to riders. Riding jeans feature Kevlar or similar abrasion-resistant fabrics plus, in many cases, impact-absorbing armor at the knees and hips. This specially-designed armor provides protection while not calling attention to itself when off the bike.

What is the difference between riding jeans and regular jeans?

Riding jeans have abrasion-resistant materials, like Kevlar, in the knees and seat, which are vulnerable to abrasion in a slide. Additionally, they should offer knee armor, at a minimum, since your knee is one of the first places to hit the ground in a crash.

How should riding jeans fit?

Riding jeans should fit comfortably, but not too loosely, around the waist to hold in place in a crash. When standing, the knee armor will have its top mid-knee or slightly lower so that when the knee is bent in a riding position, the armor completely covers it. The legs should be a little long to keep them from riding up above your boots when sitting on the bike.

Additional Reading

MO Tested: Massive Riding Jeans Buyer’s Guide
MO Tested: Alpinestars Copper Denim Pants
MO Tested: Aerostich Protekt Jeans Review
MO Tested: REV’IT! Ladies Maple 2 Jeans Review

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Evans Brasfield
Evans Brasfield

Like most of the best happenings in his life, Evans stumbled into his motojournalism career. While on his way to a planned life in academia, he applied for a job at a motorcycle magazine, thinking he’d get the opportunity to write some freelance articles. Instead, he was offered a full-time job in which he discovered he could actually get paid to ride other people’s motorcycles – and he’s never looked back. Over the 25 years he’s been in the motorcycle industry, Evans has written two books, 101 Sportbike Performance Projects and How to Modify Your Metric Cruiser, and has ridden just about every production motorcycle manufactured. Evans has a deep love of motorcycles and believes they are a force for good in the world.

More by Evans Brasfield

Join the conversation
3 of 22 comments
  • Arjen Bootsma Arjen Bootsma on Mar 10, 2023

    Here I thought that Troy is the resident crash test dummy.

    Kudos to the MOron team for real life testing of protective gear! One doesn't get that from other moto-journos.

  • KC-GS KC-GS on May 15, 2023

    Were you wearing the optional bio-flex hip armor?

    Glad to hear they worked for you, I just purchased a pair last week.