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A motorcycle ride is both fun and thrilling. A bike will transport you from one place to another without getting stuck in heavy traffic and will allow you to enjoy fresh air. But, it isn't a totally safe mode of transportation. Motorcycles don't have airbags and other features that protect drivers in times of road mishaps. That is why drivers are required to wear protective gears like helmet, gloves, armored jackets, boots, and pants.

When looking for pants, you may be overwhelmed by the hundreds and thousands of choices available. To make choosing easier for you, here are the different types available, their purpose, and what you should look for from each type during your purchase:

Motorcycle over pants

These are designed to be worn over the driver's regular jeans to offer more protection for the legs, as well as to protect the inner jeans from rain, water splashes, dirt, and other elements. They let you to arrive at your destination with clean pants underneath and proceed with your business without a need to change outfit. All you have to do is take the pants off and store them on your saddlebag.

Over pants are usually made to be roomier, making them easy to wear over regular pants. They also feature large snaps or zippers, making them easy to take off after the trip.

Tip: When looking for over pants, look for one that's waterproof and with reinforced hip, knee, and seat areas.

Dedicated motorcycle-riding pants

Made specifically for motorcycle riding, these are usually made from heavy-duty textile or strong leather with sturdy armor inserts. Textile-made riding pants are weather resistant; some even have reflective logos or piping to make you more visible at night. Most riding pants are offered as part of jacket and pants set.

Tip: Go for riding pants that come with stretch panel and ensure adjustable fit. It also pays to choose one with memory foam inserts that are capable of absorbing impacts. The armor in the hips and knees must also be CE approved.

Touring motorcycle pants

Designed for riding through all types of weather and on various terrains, the touring or adventure pants will offer protection from varying weather rather than from a crash. This is the reason such motorcycle pants are usually made from weatherproof materials. They also have mesh panels or vent for airflow and breathability, as well as thermal liners that offer warmth during cold climates and are removable during summer. Touring pants commonly have a number of pockets for cargo as well as armor inserts to absorb impacts. Because of their construction and features, these are usually pricey.

Tip: Choose touring pants with outer shell that's resistant not just to weather but to abrasion as well. It's also wise to pick one with Velcro or buckles for easy adjustment when they don't fit you well.

Off-road or MX motorcycle pants

Since off-roading and motocross riding is ten times more challenging than street riding, the pants made for such activities usually have good ventilation and allow the rider to move freely. MX pants don't have integrated braces and armors; they are instead worn separately. However, they also have Velcros and padding on the hip area. These pants are usually fitted with ratchet or buckle system to ensure adjustable fit.

Tip: Pick MX pants that have heavy-gauge polyester or nylon construction as well as leather inner-leg panel that's resistant to heat and abrasion. The knee area should be roomy enough for braces to fit in, and there should be mesh liner for breathability.