Cards on the table. We have been a bit dismissive of the Fuel brand in the past. We felt it was a little ‘dressy upy’ for Motolegends. And although we we are not immune from the charms of gear that looks the business, authenticity is a big thing for us.
The original Sergeant pant was, and I suppose still is, a copy of a leather and suede pant called the Rascal, created by the Spanish brand El Solitario. It was a great-looking motorcycle pant, but so furiously expensive was it that nobody but the most dedicated dedicated followers of fashion would ever have bought a pair.
The other thing that put us off the original Sergeant pant was the fact that it was Kevlar lined, so even though it looked as though it was ready for an off-road adventure, it would not have been a particularly nice pant to be wearing when the going got a little hot.
But the new version, the Sergeant 2, is single layer, and although we are not big believers in chasing the highest AAA ratings just for the sake of it, the Sergeant pants are accredited to the highest level, without any real compromise in terms of comfort and wearability.
The look, of course, is ‘desert rider’. The pants have very much been created in the off-road aesthetic. And although they are very different to the kind of highly vented and breathable pants that are worn by Paris-Dakar competitors today, they are not dissimilar to the kind of trousers that would have been worn by somebody like the Belgian BMW rider, Gaston Rahier, back in the eighties.
The pants fit fairly close to the leg, although the material is too thick, in our view, to comfortably sit inside the shaft of an off-road boot. If you were determined to wear them like that, you could, but the problem is that, by contrast, the leg is not wide enough to be worn outside a proper, full-height, off-road boot. The perfect accompaniment, in our view, would probably be a short off-road style boot; something like the Klim Outlander or Icon Stormhawk. There’s elasticated concertina stretch above the knees, and below the waist at the back of the pant; both in the interests of added comfort. The pants have two, rear jean pockets. There are two more jean-style pockets at the front of the pants too, plus a small change pocket that is protected by a water-resistant zip.
You get a suede panel that runs down to the knee from the hip. And another down the inside of the leg for better purchase on the tank, and to protect the rider from the heat of a high-level exhaust. There’s some quilted padding above the knee, designed to emulate what passed for protective padding back in the day.
Interestingly, for the knees, the armour fits from above into the open-top armour pockets that fasten by means of Velcro. The jeans come with Fuel’s chosen ‘Smoothways’ armour. Impressively, it’s Level 2; it is soft, but it’s quite thick, and I think we might be tempted to trade up to Level 2 Ghost armour, which would be far more comfortable. We’d probably leave the standard hip armour in place.
Interestingly, the material in these pants does not incorporate high-tech UHMWPE fibres. It doesn’t even contain aramid fibres. Rather it is made from quite basic polyamide fibres, with cotton and a little Elastane. This might explain why the trousers are a little heavier than some single-layer pants, but the upside is that they do have a reassuringly robust feel too them.
The styling here is, as we’ve suggested, classic enduro, but it would be wrong to conclude that they are, in any way, style over substance. Yes, the look is very distinctive, but these pants are also very practical and properly protective. The Sergeants would not, in our view, be up to any heavy-duty off road riding, and they probably wouldn’t be anybody’s first choice for crossing the Sahara. And that’s because they are quite heavy, and because they have nothing by way of venting. But, then again, they will be way better in such situations than a lined pant.
The truth, though, is that the Sergeant is aimed at the predominantly-road rider who wants to adopt an enduro look, particularly a retro-enduro look. And so this is the pant for the owner of a BMW RnineT Scrambler, a Ducati Scrambler or Desert-X, a Triumph Scrambler, a Guzzi V85, a Honda Transalp, a Fantic Caballero, or a number of Royal Enfields. It’s going to look great with all kinds of mid-length textile or wax cotton jackets. But we’re thinking, in particular, of a Belstaff Crosby or Trialmaster. The Held Lawrence would also work, as might the Helstons Hunt or, conceivably even, their Division jacket.
The Sergeant 2 is going to be comfortable both on and off the bike. It embodies the enduro look better than any pant out there. If this is the style of pant you are looking for, then all we can say is that, from a functionality perspective, the Sergeant gets our approval.
It comes in waist sizes: 30”, 32”, 34”, 36”, 38”, and 40”. The downside is that it comes in only one leg length: 32”. That’s less than ideal, because anybody with a fairly standard 32” inside leg measurement would usually need a 34” leg length in a motorcycle pant. This, of course, is less of a problem if you are looking to tuck into a boot. The Sergeant come in four colours, including a highly impractical, but very dramatic white. The other colours are black, and tan. There’s a fourth version that is also black, but it is slightly waxed for a degree of waterproofing
At a price of £269, £279 for the waxed version, this is not an inexpensive pant. It is perhaps more expensive than we might have expected from Fuel, but it’s a single-layer trouser, and it comes with Level 2 armour and AAA accreditation, so one cannot argue with that!
For more information and to buy online, click Fuel Sergeant 2 pant.
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