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The Ultimate Motorcycle Glove Buyer's Guide


There is little argument that the single most important piece of safety you can possibly wear on a motorcycle is a helmet. You need your brain to stay intact to stay alive and are also nice interface isn't scrapped off with an unscheduled meeting with the pavement. But that's obvious. The tougher question is, what's the second most important piece of safety gear you should use?

It's debatable, but many writers think it is motorcycle gloves and for a good reason. It is pure human instinct to put your hands down in the event of a fall in your hands can easily inflict enough damage to render them useless. Think about how much the use of your hands whether at work or at a desk are your many makers. And every daily task from eating lunch to going to the bathroom would be a nightmare without the use of your hands. You use them for just about everything so protect them.

FOX Carbon Fiber Leather Motocross Racing Bike Gloves

Going cheap on gloves usually doesn't have consequences until it's too late.

What makes a motorcycle glove motorcycle glove? You know you need gloves while riding your bike. Should you spend $50-$300 on a set of motorcycle gloves when you can get some deer skin gloves for $20 at Home Depot? Leather gloves are leather gloves, right? Wrong! Motorcycle gloves have many specific features designed to do two things that are critical went on a motorcycle. First they protect your hands from the environment to retain comfort and fine motor control while operating a motorcycle. Secondly they protect your hands from injury and impact in the event of a crash. This is the job motorcycle gloves are designed to do and a hardware store special is not capable of. There are hundreds of styles of different brands at different price points and each will accomplish the job differently. The essential features are that it protects you from motorcycle specific impact such as hardened knuckles, palms sliders and double layers in impact areas. There should be pre-curved construction to allow comfortable grasping of grips. Durable closure systems should keep the glove in a case of a crash. Lastly there should be ventilation or weather protection. Motorcycle glove manufacturers use years of feedback from riders and extensive studies of injuries to carefully engineer features. That is what makes them cost more than regular gloves and it is worth the extra money.

Gore-Tex Bike Gloves

Now that you know some of the features, let's get into the anatomy of a motorcycle glove. The upper, is the portion that covers the back are top of the hand and it should be thick and tough to protect not only from crashes but also from bugs and rocks. It is often made of thick natural hide like cowhide. The Fourchettes are strips of fabric that connect the upper to the Palm in between the fingers and are often ventilated on motorcycle gloves. The palm is often thinner than the upper, for more comfort and to allow for better feel. Typical skin used is goatskin or kangaroo. The lining enhances inner comfort and maybe multilayered. It will vary depending on the purpose of the glove and many use materials such as Gore-Tex or Thinsulate. The cuffs give risks a barrier for protection against cold and moisture and include protective elements for rest such as patting her armor. The closure must be strong enough to keep gloves secure on long rides and they may use buttons, D rings straps or Velcro. The armor is used to provide protection from impact and scraping. There may be padding or thermoplastic urethane, carbon fiber, steel or titanium and sometimes in exotic material such as stingray. The stitching is one of the most underrated parts of a glove but it holds the entire thing together. It is often made of an ultra-durable fabric such as Kevlar.

Hollister Shorty Leather Gloves

One of the questions is whether textile or leather gear is best. There is no definite answer that question it depends entirely on what you want from your gear. Generally speaking, leather has much better abrasion resistance and fits comfortably because it molds your hands. But textiles tend to stand up to extreme weather a lot better. If you're a big adventure or touring writer you may expect to deal with a lot of moisture in climate so head towards textile gloves, otherwise leather gloves are typically to go to choice.

It is crucial for all motorcycle gear to fit properly. Proper fit is so important for gear because it has to stay put in a crash. If you go flying off your bike and get tossed down the road your gear won't do its job if the armor is allowed to shift around or is too loose to come off completely. Gloves need to fit properly to feel the controls. If your gloves are too tight they can interfere with you manipulating the controls but if they are too loose, they bunch up. They should be snug around the entire hand, and have fingers that do not leave excess material at the tips. So how do you measure gloves? This is the hard part. Every manufacturer sizes gloves differently. Generally European brands tend to have a smaller, narrower fit than American brands. When selecting a size while buying online, first check the manufacturer-sizing guide found on the product page. Look also at reviews to see what other people say about the fit. You can always still contact the sales staff and ask questions.

Thinsulate 3M Winter Motorcycle Gloves

There are many types of motorcycle gloves. Manufactures put a lot of effort into racing gloves because of the demands put on these gloves and the exposure they get. Race gloves are always full gauntlets, and have serious armor and protection for high-speed crashes. They usually have thin palms and good throttle control and lots of ventilation. Gauntlets are a term for gloves extends to cover the entire rest. Race gloves are gauntlets for cross protection but they also prevent moisture or cold from getting to the hands. Gauntlets provide the most protection from both weather and impact from crashes. Summer/short are short gloves that end at the wrist instead of covering it. If you dress the part when you write in a cruiser you will want cruiser/urban gloves to match. Adventure/touring gloves have a big job to do. They have to be able to protect you from extreme climates, moisture and crashes. They are usually textile and use a lot of modern materials. They are not cheap. Rain/waterproof are gloves with water resistant membranes. Gore-Tex is the best. If you ride in an intense cold, you're going to want to check out heated gear in general. Gloves should be one of your first investments because of the amount of wind-chill your hands tend to take on. There are battery-powered and plug-in models available. Off-road gloves tend to be thin and not have a whole lot of armor. They are more to maintain grip on the bars and protect you in a crash. They are a lot less expensive because they are a lot less protection. Fingerless gloves are used more for a tough guy image than for actual protection. They may offer hand in knuckle protection but leave your fingers unprotected. We don't recommend you ride in them. They are all about style. Liners are used when temperatures drop and you may want to add just a pair of love liners to your normal gloves for warmth.

When choosing the motorcycle glove that is best for you there are three important things to consider. What is your writing style and style of motorcycle? To a large extent this determines what kind of glove suits you best. Cruiser gloves tend to have a simple, traditional look and sport race gloves tend to have a lot of armor and hot colors. Adventure touring gloves tend to have weather protection. What weather climate will you be dealing with? If you were in harsh weather you'll deftly want to lean toward all weather waterproof-touring gloves made of textile. If you writing mostly dry weather you can stick with leather. What is your budget? These days you can get a lot of gloves from reputable brands without breaking the bank. If you're on a budget shot for the features you need instead of for a specific brand and you may find there is an $80 glove that is all the features you find on gloves for $200 or more. If you try to save on gloves, there is no better place than eBay. And if you score a nice promotion code for eBay, you could save tons of money. Why buy one pair, if you can get 2 for the same price?