Some of you may know about my terrible experience with Spartan and their Odysseus riding pant. With the Bhutan trip approaching, I had to find something that won’t amputate my legs over the next 20 odd days. As is expected from a lazy slobbering piece of sloth doodoo like me, I waited and waited till just a few days before the ride was to begin, at which point Deepan Devraj came to the rescue and bought a Zeus touring pant for me straight from Hyderabad!
I was originally looking to buy the DSG Nero, but that thing somehow magically vanished from all the virtual and physical stores as soon as I was ready to get it. Had heard bad things about the Alpinestars riding pants available in India, ditto for the Rjays one. Didn’t really want to go all the way to PRS only to be treated like a fucking bum, and that’s how Zeus came into the picture. Here’s what I think of this pant after more than 8,000 kms of usage.
1. Zeus motorcycle touring pant review: Comfort (7/10)
Compared to the Odysseus, this pant is much more comfortable in all departments, except one, which we will talk about. The dual Velcro strapping system works well, making it easy to pee on some random bush somewhere. The pant is easy to put on and remove, although the ankle zippers needs to be opened to get yourself out of the pants easily, and then closed again when you wear it in the morning. The ventilation zippers work well, and the pant feels exponentially more airy than the Spartan one. Fitting is nice and loose, ideal for touring.
Now for the bad news, the ass-patch on this pant is useless. The grip panel is supposed to make your bum stick to the seat, which helps increase the butt comfort to an amazing level. That area in this pant uses some different material, but it isn’t grippy at all, which leads to a very sore ass at the end of the day. The Spartan pant excels in this department, with a rump patch rougher than sandpaper. Overall, these pants would be perfect if the ankle width is increased and the grip panel is rougher.
2. Protection (5/10)
Quite disappointing in this area, the Zeus motorcycle touring pants don’t really excel as far as protection goes. The pant feels considerably lighter than other riding pants out there, with the material used being rather thin and delicate. This helps in increasing the airflow for sure, but may mean a death sentence in case of a fall.
The extended knee-guards are probably the only positive here, which feel mildly sturdy and useful, while being blissfully comfortable at the same time. Even with full-length riding boots, the knee guards don’t get even slightly uncomfortable. The thigh protectors are a fucking joke, and not very funny at that either. They are too thin, and would provide absolutely no protection in case of a fall. I wouldn’t recommend this pant if you are a stunt/speed junkie with a high probability of making love to the asphalt, it’s better suited for low to medium speed touring only.
3. Water and cold resistance (8/10)
I couldn’t check the water resistance on this thing yet, but I don’t have high hopes. The pant comes with a removable thermal liner, which looks light but works well. In fact, the pant alone is quite good at keeping your warm, if you close the ventilation zippers. I had no trouble riding in near zero degree temperatures without using the liner. You can also buy a WARMEE Self-Heat Pad extra, which Zeus promises will keep you warm for 8-20 hours in extreme cold. How can you not trust what ZEUS says?
I’m more or less certain these pants would not be waterproof, because none of them are. Wearing a rain liner on top is the only sure way to keep the water away, something that I learned the hard way during my Ladakh adventure, where my balls were suddenly greeted by ice-cold water at 18,000 feet. These pants protect you well against the elements, up to a reasonable limit.
4. Looks (7/10)
Looks are subjective, and irrelevant. Riding gear’s primary purpose is NOT to get you inside someone’s pants, it’s to stop cuts and bruises from getting into yours. Having said that, Zeus riding pants are in no universe ugly, although they could have been slightly more lively. Their design is rather bland, not exactly something someone would look twice at.
I don’t like baggy pants, like Joe Rocket makes, I prefer to carry the narrow-bottom style from parties all the way to my bike. This pant is very functional, and thus sacrifices on some of the aesthetic fronts. I personally think it looks good on me, even though the bulging knee-guards make it look like I have deformed limbs.
5. Value for money (6/10)
At 6500 bucks, this pant is costlier than both DSG and Spartan. I haven’t tried the DSG yet, but have heard wonderful stories about it. It is definitely better and more usable than the Odysseus, but still the asking price is a bit steep for what you get in the end. The cost-saving approach is evident not only with the thigh guards, but in other components as well.
I was taking a leak somewhere in Madhya Pradesh, and realized the zipper was torn open from the top. To add to the misery, the lock was gone, lost somewhere in the wilderness. It looked flimsy from the beginning, and gave up well before the trip was to end. Spoke to Zeus people about it, and they very nicely offered to fix it if I could send them the pant, which I don’t really want to do. All in all this pant isn’t 100% bang for the buck in my opinion.
6. Verdict (6/10)
Zeus motorcycle touring pants are good for many things, just that the ass becomes rather uncomfortable over long distances, and you can’t really trust this pant 100% to save you no matter what. The quality of materials used can definitely go higher, especially the zips and those hilarious thigh guards.
For the money you pay, you can definitely get better things, however the pant does excel in keeping you comfy no matter how hot or cold it is outside. It is an ideal piece of gear to be used for Ladakh, apart from of course the red burning monkey cheeks you’ll get at the end of the day!
Let me know if you’ve used this pant or have some other shit to add here.