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alan Katkich

alan Katkich

Best Motorcycle Gloves: Protect Your Hands!

How important are your hands to you? What would life be like if you were unable to use them? We probably don’t want to think about this but it’s an important question riders should ask. 

For that reason we will look at the best motorcycle gloves for you.

In This Review

If you are going down the first thing you will do is extend your arms and hands. It’s our instinct. We try to protect ourselves and our hands are our best, most efficient method to do so. Therefore they need the protection of motorcycle riding gloves in case we go down. 

Here is a quick video. It’s a demonstration of what we do before we hit the ground. Thankfully, because he’s on the track he likely had good motorcycle gloves

There are other reasons we wear gloves as well. 

 Our hands control the bike. The clutch, throttle, breaks, steering and signaling are all done with our hands. With how exposed our hands are to the elements, this could have a detrimental impact on our ability to pilot the bike efficiently. This is especially the case when they are cold. It doesn’t take a particularly cold day to get our hands near frozen and moving slowly. Anyone who’s ridden before knows once you are in the wind, that mild sunny day can turn quite chilly after a half hour of riding without proper protection. 

Impact protection is important as well. 

Have you ever been driving in your car and have a rock hit the windscreen totally scaring the crap out of you? Maybe it’s even left a sizable crack? Now imagine that same rock impacting your unprotected knuckle as you are heading down the highway. That will put you in a very bad situation. It’s something a lot of riders don’t really consider. To be honest, it doesn’t happen that often but it can.

What Kind Of Gloves Do I Need?

There are so many styles of gloves on the market it is very difficult to narrow down which one to buy. I’ll first say that I always own at least two pairs of gloves at any one time. I don’t believe that there is a single glove that can do everything perfectly. I find gloves are very specific in their design and that’s actually how it should be. A more focused glove is a better performing glove and that’s what I prefer. I have my summer or warm weather gloves and I have my colder weather gloves. I think it’s important to have both for the reasons I mentioned above. 

First and foremost we want protection. Therefore we need leather. particularly in the palm. There are different types of leather. Cowhide is the most common and offers great aberration resistance. There is also goat leather and kangaroo leather. Both are considered superior to cowhide so you will see some gloves use them especially in the palm. 

You also have gauntlet gloves and short cuff gloves. 

A gauntlet glove has extra protection from the wrist up towards the forearm. Most tracks mandate a gauntlet race glove if you are doing track days.

My cold weather gloves have a gauntlet as it covers my sleeve opening and doesn’t allow wind to blow up.  

Most riders will wear short cuff gloves. They are less expensive and most riders feel they are more practical for day to day use. I tend to agree.  

Finally there are certain gloves that suit the type of bike you are on better than others. A full on race gauntlet glove for a Harley looks out of place. We may also be touring.  There are gloves that perform well for that. With the amount of choice out there there is a glove for everything. 

So to recap, we want a glove that will keep us either warm or cool depending on the weather. We want a glove that will protect our skin with leather.  And finally we want a glove that will look cool for the type of bike we are on. 

With that in mind let’s look at the best options out there. We will break them up into categories to help you decide what is important for you. 

Best Short Cuff Sport Glove

Alpinestars SMX-2 Air Carbon

 

I’m going to confess, I’m a bit of an Alpinestars fan boy. Which makes me a fan of this glove. 

It’s made with 3D mesh paneling on the back of the hand. This makes it an ideal glove for warm weather riding. 

The palm consists of goat skin leather with suede re enforcement.

There is moulded carbon fiber over the knuckle backed with padding for comfort. 

It has stretch inserts between the thumb and palm and stretchability between the fingers. Along with a pre curve design it makes for a comfortable fit.

The index finger is touch screen friendly. I would have liked to have seen the thumb be as well but for the price this is acceptable. 

Overall this is a comfortable glove with lots of protection. Being European, Alpinestars is known for its odd sizing. Size up for whatever size you normally take.

Pro

  • Lots of colors
  • Comfortable 
  • Protective
  • Great ventilation 

Con

  • Sizing can be tricky 
  • Some felt touch screen index wasn’t intuitive 

Best Lightweight Glove

Roland Sands Rourke

For those who are looking for a simple, clean, not overly technical glove the Rourke is a winner. 

I can see this being a great option for the cafe guys or the cruiser crowd. I’m personally a fan of the tobacco color option. This glove has a great classic look that Roland sands is known for

Made of cowhide leather, the Rourke is a very abrasion resistant glove. 

It’s a two season, warm weather glove.

There is no over the top carbon knuckles or bulky plastic protection. It has protective cuff with velcro sinching to give you a nice fit. What you are getting is a simple glove made of quality leather that offers more than adequate protection for most pleasure riders.

Pro

  • Quality Leather 
  • Quality stitching 
  • Transitional style over many types of bikes

Con

  • lack of a touch screen friendly index

Best Adventure Glove

Rev’it Sand 3

This glove is part of the Rev’it Sands lineup of adventure oriented gear. Truth be told, this glove could be used on a variety of bike styles and not be out of place. But, for the ADV rider out there this glove will do well on your adventures especially for those warm to hot days.

It’s constructed of goat skin leather and has 3D mesh on the back for ventilation. 

Rubberized CE rated protection adorn much of the glove. What I like about the protection is its honeycomb type pattern. This, allows the glove to bend and flex with your hand while still offering excellent protection. 

It’s finger and thumb allow for touch screen operation. This is handy for operating your navigation or phone. 

Pro

  • Four color options
  • Thumb and index touch screen compatible 
  • Great ventilation 

Con

  • some complaints about touch screen usage not being reliable 

Best Cold/Wet Weather Glove 

Dainese D Dry

 I like to call this the shit weather glove.

If cold weather is in your forecast then this is a good option. This makes the D Dry ideal for the commuter or sport tourer. 

It comes in a short and long version. If you are using it for more inclement weather I’d suggest going with the long. 

The back of the glove uses Dainese’s D dry material which is great at keeping you dry.

The palm of the glove consists of synthetic suede. Leather would be a nicer option to have but for a beefy glove at this price point this is a perfectly adequate material. The heel of the palm has reinforced protection so no issues there. 

The knuckles offer reinforcement as well giving you good overall protection. 

It has a touch screen usable index finger.

There is a mini squeegee build into the thumb to wipe your visor with if rain starts to build up. 

Pro 

  • Thumb visor squeegee 
  • Water resistant 
  • Reflective inserts 

Con

  • Wish palm was leather 

Best Track Oriented Glove

Sedici Ultimo

 The Sedici Ultimo is tough to beat in the race glove segment. It offers the full gauntlet protection you need for the track.

The glove is constructed of full-grain leather throughout. Along with carbon knuckles, you’re protected nicely from fingertips to forearms. 

The palm has memory foam inserts for comfort and vibration dampening. It also has an additional layer of leather for added abrasion resistance. 

The fingers are pre curved and vented with metal mesh for additional comfort. 

The cuff offers a large double hook and loop closure. This secures the glove comfortably to your wrist.

For its price, the Ultimo is a track focused glove that offers a lot of the same features you could spend a lot more to get. This makes it my pick as the best race glove.

Pro

  • Full-grain leather 
  • Carbon knuckles 
  • Comfortable memory foam palm
  • Good ventilation 

Con 

  • Would like to see reinforced pads on the heel of the palm

Conclusion 

I personally wouldn’t be caught without gloves on my hands when out on my bike.

Just the comfort factor alone, never mind safety, has me using them. 

Whenever I’m doing any extended travel on my bike I always bring a second pair with me. Just in case I lose a pair I always have back up. I can’t bear the thought of riding any length of time without them. 

The gloves mentioned here are well reviewed by users. They come from very reputable manufacturers in the motorcycle gear industry. 

Decide what your priorities are, whether it’s commuting or track days. From there, choosing a glove from this list will get you what I feel is the best of the bunch based on price and protection offered. 

Happy riding and check out our partners.

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