Today will will be discussing motorcycle riding gloves. If you ride a motorcycle you will need gloves for two basic reasons – to protect your hands if you fall off the bike, and to protect your hands against the elements. There are thousands of different models out there, so how do you know which is right for you? There are a few general questions listed below that you can ask yourself to help narrow down your search.
- What type of fit are you looking for?
- What kind of protection do you need?
- Do you want a specific brand?
- What type of bike you ride, and where would the gloves be used? (ie on the road, track, offroad)
- What can you afford to spend?
Once you have answered these you will have a rough idea of what to look out for in your gloves. There is a bit more to it than that though, so carry on reading below to find out more.
The various types and features of riding gloves
To start off with you will be wearing the gloves, so they need to be a good fit. By good fit I mean they must be comfortable to wear. If you don’t find them to be comfortable you won’t want to use them, or they could distract you when you are riding which is a very bad idea. Most riding gloves can be slightly snug at first, but like a new pair of shoes they will loosen up over time. As long as you have some dexterity in your fingers and palm they should be fine.
Besides having a comfortable fit you need to take a look at what type of protection is included. Most gloves are made out of leather, though you will find there are different grains of leather, and different sources. Cheaper gloves will use goat or buffalo leather which is not very good, and won’t give you very good protection in a crash. Cowhide is quite a good choice as it is maintenance free, as is very tough. So make sure you know what type of leather the gloves are made out of first so you know what you can expect from them.
What should you look for in a pair of gloves?
Some other things you should look out for are Kevlar stitches, and extra padding/leather in the palm area. Many gloves will have composite pieces on the fingers or knuckles to protect them, and Kevlar on the pinky or palm area is another good bit of protection. Take a look at the most critical areas on the gloves and see what type of protection that can offer if you were to crash.
The next area of the gloves you should examine is the closure system. Popular types include straps or velcro. Some come in a dual enclosure style system with a snap or a latch. All three of the systems are perfectly fine, although some people do prefer one to the other. As long as the gloves are secure on your hands you don’t need to worry too much about that.
What type of rider you are is also a big consideration. If you only go out for a ride on the odd weekend then you will find that gloves will last you for many years. If you race motorcycles then you will have to replace them every couple of months as the gloves come under a lot of strain, and can get worn out very quickly. The life of your gloves are shortened by things like sweat and temperature believe it or not. Sweat will break down the leather, and can rapidly deteriorate the gloves. A good tip is to rinse your gloves out with water after a sweaty ride, and after they have dried apply a bit of mink oil. This will help to keep them in good shape.
You may be shocked that many of the big brand names in motorcycle equipment use cheaper materials on their gloves to cut costs. Remember that we want a good deal, but we are investing in something to protect our hands and fingers which can’t be replaced. If you were to have a nasty crash in cheaper gloves, it could affect your ability to ride, and you could end up spending many years in physical therapy and lots of money trying to get your hands working normally again. This may seem a bit far fetched, but in reality it does happen every day. For this reason we recommend investing in quality brands of gloves such as Alpinestars, or Joe Rocket. So take care when choosing your gloves, and make sure you have something that will protect you well.
What do they cost?
The last thing you should consider is price. This is quite a subjective matter for any consumer. You can find them ranging in price from dirt cheap ones at $20 all the way up to $300 for a top range set. How much riding you do should determine how much you spend. The internet is an excellent place to compare pricing, as there are thousands of sites offering great deals on gloves. You can also read reviews from other consumers before you make a purchase, such as on Amazon for example. There is a big advantage to this, and you can see Amazons large range of gloves for sale on.