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Gear Review: Levi’s x Royal Enfield 512 Jeans


We test ride Royal Enfield and Levi's new denims designed for the moto-loving folks out there

Royal Enfield's riding gear has been loved as there is a wide variety of fashionable designs, backed with good protection, and all of it available at very reasonable prices. Now RE and Levi's have joined hands to create a special lineup that includes tees, jackets and jeans. We got to test the 512 Slim Taper jeans to see if they hit RE and Levi's benchmarks.

 

Model: Levi's x RE 512 Slim Taper jeans

Size: Waist 36”, Inseam 32”

Price: Rs 5999/-

 

Style 

At a quick glance the 512s could easily pass off as a pair of regular Levi's denims. But for those who choose to wear them there are a few discreet details that spell out the depth of the association between the two brands. For instance, the button for the waist closure wears the RE logo with pride and the model tab at the back has Royal Enfield emblazoned on it. 

As you would expect when buying a pair of denims, you get a few colour options: sleet (grey), indigo (blue), and black. We are testing the latter here and this shade helps mask some of the roominess around the hips and the fork well. This means chunkier riders, like moi, can also feel comfortable moving around in them. The 512s then taper downwards for that cool look, but the use of Lycra stretchable material also means that you get a good fit without the jeans feeling clingy.



Moto - Comfort 

The demands of motorcycling life are many, and often opposing. The 512s felt light and breathable to live in as the denim doesn't feel thick or bulky. The comfort and convenience factor is multiplied by weaving Lycra into the fabric, which makes swinging a leg over the tallest of motorcycles absolutely a breeze. Even dangling a foot out for some off-road shenanigans or supermoto-style riding will be unhindered by the denims and wearing them for touring is doable too. The only issue is that the taper fit will make wearing the denims over your full length riding boots nearly impossible. 

For city commuting these denims will prove quite apt and small touches like the zipper pocket on the right thigh adds to the convenience factor. A large smartphone fits in this pocket perfectly. For the rider this is an easy spot to access the device even while seated. As the pocket wraps into the slimmer portion towards the rear of your thigh it should also prove to be one of the safer spots for the device in case of a spill.   

 

Safety Quotient

Great riding gear needs to be comfy and protective. So, aside from the lightness and comfort Levi's and RE have also added in abrasion resistance by weaving in Cordura. They claim 4x improvement in abrasion resistance!  Knee armour is a must and the compartment has an additional inner pocket to adjust the placement of the armour too. The armour sits nice and snug against your knee when riding too. When you get to the office or college, you can easily remove the armour to blend into a motorcycle-less environment as the zippered armour compartment opening is on the outside.

But for moments when you need to stand out, like when riding at night, the Levi's offer a bit more safety too. The reflective strip attached to the leg seam near your calf and will help other motorists spot you from a distance. The stitching on the back pockets is reflective too. 

 

What could it do better?

The 512s are very handy and easy to live with, but they could offer a bit more on each front. For convenience the thigh pocket should have been waterproof, and the zip should have had a pull cord to make it easier to use when wearing gloves. Also, the stitching for the thigh pocket liner on our jeans didn’t look  very reassuring. For added protection there should have been pockets for hip armour too. 

And then there is the price. At Rs 5999, the 512’s seem reasonable by Levi's standards, but are pricey when compared to the regular RE fare, especially when you consider that this does not include armour, which will set you back by another Rs 2000 - 4000.  



Verdict 

The 512s are a good pair of riding denims for everyday use. They are easy to recommend for their comfort, style and practicality. However, for more serious riders the 511s from Levi's x RE might seem like a better fit. They have a tougher Cordura weave and even offer pockets for hip armour, for Rs 1000 more. The denims can be bought at select Levi's stores, or online at Levi's’ and RE’s websites.

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