As bikers, we don’t like rain. Especially when it’s the middle of summer and meant to be sunny.
Luckily, we don’t have to face the situation pictured above but even if you’re in a short downpour, no-one wants to get caught in the rain without waterproofs. It’ll make you cold and wet and ruin your day. If you’re out with your mates and you’re the only one who’s drenched, you’ll be the laughing stock when you stop for a coffee!
This article focuses on waterproof over trousers. If you are looking for textile motorcycle trousers that are waterproof click the link.
Oversuit, Trousers or Top?
One-piece waterproof suits are a go-to item for most, but two-pieces do have their advantages. They’re great if you only need to cover a pair of jeans because you’re already wearing a textile jacket. Their lightweight nature makes them easier to store; not to mention they’re quicker to get on in a hurry.
Some things to remember when you’re buying new waterproofs:
- They must be easy to put on
- Lightweight for better storage
- Taped seams can provide added protection over the seam stitching holes
- 100% waterproof (obviously!)
You need your waterproof trousers to be a zero-hassle option; they need to be easy to put on, good at keeping the water out and easy to put away again. If they aren’t, you’ll just never bother to use them.
We’ve created this review of the current range of waterproof motorcycle trousers that tick all these boxes and are worth your money.
Easy to get on, 100% waterproof
Richa’s are a quality budget brand. These lined, 100% waterproof trousers have double velcro legs for a tighter fit and an elasticated and drawcord waist. Designed to be quick and easy to put on. Lightweight for secure storage, they come complete with a mesh bag. They’re RiDE Recommended too.
Quality waterproofs with simple drawstring waist
Properly over-sized, you need to order the same size as your riding gear. Water-resistant seams add more protection with adjustable ankles to stop any damp patches. Simple yet well designed for riders.
The Cheapest Waterproof Trousers
Cheap isn’t always the best option when it comes to motorcycle trousers. With the cheapest motorcycle specific ones costing around £15, is it worth saving a fiver to get a lesser quality set? It’s up to you.
While the cheap ones will do the job, when they’re not designed for motorcycling, they tend to be made from thinner material, so they can easily tear. They often don’t have elasticated hems, meaning they flap around when you’re riding, and most won’t have that additional material you need to go over your gear without being too restrictive.
We’ve picked a couple of good-looking cheap options:
Highlander waterproof trousers / £8.96 from Amazon
These trousers are cheap and cheerful; the elasticated waist provides a decent fit. The taped seams prevent any water seeping in, and the built-in pocket access holes allow you to reach things without removing the trousers. It comes complete wth a storage bag.
Regatta Pack-It waterproof over trousers / £12.00 from Amazon
Regatta is a well-known name for waterproofs and these Pack It waterproof over trousers are a great cheap option. With their durable water-repellent finish, the breathable fabric allows you to stay dry inside and out.
Our preference is for the Richa Rain Warrior trousers above. They’re a no-frills set of rainproof trousers, that’ll keep you dry in a shower and not tear to shreds when you get into them for the first time.
Is a rain suit a better choice?
If you want a bit more protection in the rain, then consider a one-piece rainsuit. A good one will be easy to get in to, with adjustable or elastic entry points and a long zip, meaning you can put it on over your leathers in seconds.
This Richa Typhoon Rain Overall is a top bit of kit, with excellent user reviews and a RiDE Best Buy award.
Non-motorcycle waterproofs should be OK but the cheaper ones tend to be made from thin material which can tear if you catch a rough edge of your boot on it. Also, they tend not to have elasticated hems, meaning the material flaps around a bit when you’re riding.
A stuff sack will make it much easier for you to get your waterproofs under your seat or in your luggage. Not all waterproofs come with a storage bag but you can grab one for a couple of quid on Amazon.
While trousers and tops won't be as good as an all-in-one suit, they offer a bit more flexibility. When I go touring, I take a separate top and bottoms as the top acts as a great windstopper on dry but freezing cold mornings.
Other great picks from our shortlist
Made from tough twill nylon and thermal quilted padded lining, these are comfortable to wear. Long YKK zips secure the large ankle gussets for ease of use. Reflective outer leg piping is a great added safety feature.
With a PVC-free inside coating, these trousers will slip effortlessly over leathers or textile trousers. Reflective logos provide extra visibility in darker conditions.
A well-known name in motorcycle clothing manufacturing, these Held trousers are a smart looking design that incorporates zips and Velcro at the ankles for a better fit.
The Trackday Option
Alpinestars Racing Rain Pants / £94.99 from SportsBikeShop
Alpinestars is a world-leading manufacturer of professional racing products and truly delivers in design aspects of their products. These waterproof trousers are no different. With the rider in mind, these trousers have a specifically pre-curved design to be worn over leather suits with specially designed cut-outs for knee sliders; they’re a perfect choice for track or race days.
Are leather motorcycle trousers waterproof?
No, but they can be rain repellant. Most leather trousers will withstand a light shower but a prolonged downpour will saturate the leather and soak in. Once they’re wet, they take a long time to dry.
You can buy products like Nikwax Fabric & Leather waterproofing which will hugely improve the waterproofing of your kit, from leathers to textile jackets or gloves but if you are caught out in a downpour and want to stay dry, you’ll need a pair of waterproof trousers.