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Ahead of a trio of rides in SE Asia next year I decided to get a new pair of riding jeans.

I’ve owned a couple pairs of rider jeans over the years. Alpinestar and Draggin items, neither of which I liked because they were not comfortable on the bike and would always ‘ride’ (move) up my legs leaving bottom half of lower leg exposed. That led me to trying the BMW City Pants (V1) after hearing good things about them and indeed they have been great but now worn but even they used to always ride up my legs.

56 Design is a small Japanese design house who collaborate with manufactures to produce items for riders. The stand out feature of their jeans is the shape of the legs which have a distinct curve they call 3D. This means they are very comfortable in that constant bent position on the bike and they do not ride up your leg. Hallelujah! finally someone understands this.

The 56 design rider jeans are made from Cordura which is same material as my BMW City pants and have a comfortable feel but with added strength. There is knee armor also but I prefer to use my Hyod under jeans knee armor which is of a higher spec and proven all day comfortable. Also it cannot move about thus is always in place if needed.

The styling is very good with numerous little touches but I was attracted most to their function and having worn them for a short ride can vouch the hem stays down as advertised and in general the pants are very comfortable when in the riding position on the bike with their unique cut and pre curved leg making them fit correctly like leathers however whilst off the bike they look like regular pants.

I thought I had captured the curve when I photographed them, it’s actually much more pronounced in real life than my photo suggests.

You probably cannot buy these so easy outside of Japan but perhaps the idea for the legs will catch on or they might get a wider release in future. As always I will follow up with long term feedback in couple of months after they have covered some decent miles and been subjected to the rigors of couple of SE Asia laundry shops as well.

Update. They have been pretty good. The shape of the jeans works well on a motorcycle and whilst then looking a bit baggy off walking around they have enough style and small touches to not look odd. I do need to roll up the bottoms when using them purely off the bike with sandals as the length is very long but again that doesn’t look out of place and I only do that while my regular jeans are getting washed.

Update 2. I find I prefer my BMW City pants in summer despite them being a heavier pants. The BMW pants have a perforated liner and breath better then these jeans which are also hindered by being little narrow in the legs thus restricting airflow. However for riding SE Asia in my backpacker type travel these will be better and these can be washed in regular corner store laundry like found all over SE Asia where as the BMW pants require gentle washing.


  1. These look good. Just ask a few questions if I may –
    What size are you in “normal” jeans Warren? Is a Japanese XL equivalent to an 86cm waist?

    • Hi Dave, there are three models, these ones, the same in a winter version and smart fit which appear to be a different cut of pants.

      I take a Japanese size 35 XL. My waist is about 89cm when I am not drinking too much and the Japanese 33 or L is too small.

      Size really can vary with some manufactures. I have two pair of Alpinestar pants one is L 34 and fits correct and the other is XL 36 and waist also fits correct, neither is true size on the label. Fortunately buying from Amazon Japan I can exchange.

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