A motorcycle glove is one of the smallest parts of gear that you can have, but hands down they are one of the most crucial gears in motorcycling. So, how do you choose from the sea of choices available on the market?
Well, I have categorized some of the most important things to look for when buying motorcycle gloves.
- Armor Level
- Type of material you want, i.e. Textile, Leather, Hybrid
- Type of motorcycle you ride
- Features that are essential for you
- Fitting of the glove
These are some of the points which you can look for when buying motorcycle gloves. Read on to better understand the importance of choosing a pair of motorcycle gloves based on your riding needs, your motorcycle type, and the conditions in which you use your motorcycle.
Armor Level (Soft, Hard, Leather)
Armor level is something that serves the rider with protection in case of an unfortunate event. However, it is important for you to know what kind of armor is used inside your motorcycle gloves, and how it will protect your hands.
Armor is usually made up of EVA foam padding, which can also be referred to as foam rubber, which dampens impact and also provides resistance from wear and tear. Other materials like TPU (Thermo-Plastic Urethane), steel, titanium, Kevlar, and carbon fiber are also used in the manufacturing of some high-end gloves.
Kevlar and Carbon fiber provides great resistance to heat and reduces the chances of getting burns due to friction from the ground during an impact. Other than that, steel and titanium give rigidity and strength to the gloves, and it reduces the chances of getting a fracture during impact.
These all materials contribute to the high level of armor, making your motorcycle gloves impact resistant. Now, let’s know more about the composition of the overall material of gloves and understand how they benefit the rider while riding.
Type of Material
The type of material which is used in making motorcycle gloves depends on the type of usage you want out of it.
Basically, motorcycle gloves are made up of either textile or leather, but there is another category in which both textile and leather are mixed to make a third category of gloves. Read on to know more about their pros and cons:
- Textile gloves- These are modern-day gloves made up of textile material. These are comparatively cheaper than their leather counterpart and they also usually offer better seasonal protection.
However, they offer many pros to choose them over their counterparts, but at the same time have some cons. Let’s see:
- Ideal for waterproof protection
- Consistent fit doesn’t get loose over time
- Can be used in extreme temperatures
- Doesn’t mold to the hand like leather gloves
- Needs to be replaced after a single crash
- Thermal and waterproof wires can be bulkier
- Leather gloves- Leather is extensively used in the manufacturing of different types of armor, be it for sporting or for security purposes. This is for the very nature of leather being resistant to wear and tear over a long period of time.
However, they might not be the best option when it comes to affordability. However, apart from this using leather gloves has its set of pros and cons:
- High level of abrasion resistance.
- Gets more comfortable over time.
- Can survive multiple crashes.
- More expensive than its textile counterpart.
- Not very ideal for waterproofing.
- Not very good in extreme temperatures.
- Hybrid gloves: But what if you want something which has both the pros of textile and leather? Here come the hybrid gloves which are made up of a mix of leather and textile. Apart from having the benefits of both leather and textile, they have some cons too, let’s see:
- High level of abrasion resistance like leather
- Ideal for waterproof and thermal protection
- Not so durable as leather gloves
- Waterproofing can be bulkier like textile
Type of motorcycle you ride
Depending on the design and nature of materials used in making a motorcycle glove, they can be categorized into various types, with usability options ranging from the street to sport to adventure riding scenarios.
You can select the type of gloves according to the category of motorcycle that you have, be it a cruiser, sport, adventure, motocross, or just a simple street motorcycle.
However, if you feel that any other category of gloves fits your requirements better, then you can always opt for going with that, as the features and fitting are the most important of them all.
Read on to find out more:
- Street- This type of glove is usually made up for general usage. They can work with a wide variety of motorcycles and work well with all of them. They are Short cup gloves designed for all-day comfort.
Material includes all three categories- textile, leather, and hybrid. Also, there’s a part at the fingertips to be able to use a touchscreen, in certain models of gloves.
They fall into a wide range of price since they are made up of different types of materials and can work with a wide variety of motorcycles.
- Sport- Designed for race and track use. They have a full gauntlet design and are aimed at maximizing protection as well as maneuverability while riding. They generally don’t have waterproof options to choose from, but they provide good armor protection.
This type of gloves is complex and expensive and they have leather at the palm side and mesh or textile fabric at the back. Due to the complex build, they fall in the mid-price point category.
- Motocross- These types of gloves are made for dual-sport and adventure riders.
They have a short cuff design to maximize maneuverability. Along with this, these also impact resistant and offer a good amount of protection to the ride. Due to the simplicity in design, they sit in the mid-price point category.
- Dirt gloves- These are short cuff gloves aimed at maximizing maneuverability with little or no impact protection. These are basic gloves and they come at a very affordable price point.
- Cruise & Touring- They have a full gauntlet design for all-weather riding situations and are made up of textile or hybrid materials. The main aim of these gloves is to maximize protection. They fall in the mid to high-level price point due to their overall usability.
Features that are essential for you
Did you know that motorcycle gloves come with a set of additional features other than just provide protection and comfort to the rider? These features contribute to making the gloves more user-friendly. Let’s have a look at some of them:
- Ventilated fourchettes- Motorcycle gloves have a special kind of ventilation to pass the air to your fingers and palm through the fourchettes. This doesn’t let the palm get sweaty during the ride and also provides greater grip and balance.
- Lining around the gloves- Every pair of motorcycle gloves has to line around them which serves many purposes such as providing grip, comfort, waterproofing, and also thermal protection.
- Thinner material at palm- Oftentimes, motorcycle gloves come with a thin material at the palm, which increases the comfort level of the rider and also doesn’t make him/her feel cramped. Animal leather is often used to make this durable and comfortable.
- Stitching- This is one of the most important features of a motorcycle glove, as it determines the durability as well as the impact resistance. Materials such as Kevlar are used as threads to either double or single stitch the glove.
- Palm sliders and touchscreen capability- Motorcycle gloves also have palm sliders that protect the scaphoid bone from getting a fracture in case of a crash.
Along with this, some motorcycle gloves have the additional advantage of a soft-touch material at the fingertips, which can be used by the rider to operate any touchscreen during a stoppage or for user navigation.
So, these were some of the features that must cement your decision to invest in a good pair of motorcycle gloves. Now that you know about the different types of features that your motorcycle gloves have, it’s time to know how to choose the best fit when it comes to buying gloves.
So, read on to know how to measure and choose the exact fitting gloves for your hands.
Fitting of the Glove
I won’t recommend using the glove which doesn’t have a snug fit as it can have a risk of losing control over your motorcycle.
To start with, first, you need to understand the difference in the size of American and European fit. Once you have understood the difference, measure your hand width and hand circumference using a measuring tape.
Do this on both of your hands, and pick the larger measurement of the two, then compare it with the size chart. Remember to not include your thumb in the measurement. Doing all this will help you to guess a rough size for your hand.
But, in order to get a perfect-fitting pair of gloves, I would recommend you visit a store and then try it, as it will give you a perfect idea about the type and size of the glove that you want.
To understand better about the fitting, you can watch this detailed video by RevZilla, you can learn a lot of things:
How do you know if motorcycle gloves fit?
Now, you have planned to visit a store to buy a pair of motorcycle gloves, but you don’t exactly know if the gloves are a good fit for you or not! Don’t worry, we have it covered for you.
First of all, as you know the measurement of your palm, it’s time to choose between textile or leather finish. If you are going for the textile version, keep in mind that these gloves don’t relax or expand over a period of time, and so while testing these out, you need to have a comfortable fit.
Check whether all of your fingers are moving perfectly and you have no trouble stretching your thumb out. This will help you to easily maneuver between the handle and the turn indicator or other switches of your motorcycle while riding.
Next up, if you are choosing a pair of leather gloves, then keep in mind that they have a 5% margin of stretchability over time, and it will mold to the shape of your hand over time. So, it is recommended to choose a pair having a snug fit, not too tight, as they stretch a bit over a period of time.
Whether you are choosing a short cuff or full gauntlet, leather or textile pair of gloves, it is very important to be sure of the fit of the gloves that you are choosing, as any pair of gloves will only be efficient during a crash if it has a perfect fitting.
How often should you replace motorcycle gloves?
You might be confused about whether your old pair of gloves are really old enough and you need a new one, or is it ok to use them for another motorcycle ride or a few 100 miles.
Since, there is a range of gloves to choose from, with varying manufacturers, it is difficult to exactly identify the exact time that they will last. However, you can consider checking these points before making a decision of replacing your old pair of gloves:
- Type of motorcycle that you drive: It is one of the most important factors when it comes to choosing or buying a new pair of gloves. Suppose that you have sold your old cruiser in exchange for a new adventure motorcycle, then it might be a good decision to buy a pair of gloves made specific to that category of motorcycle.
- Your travel routine: The time span for which your gloves will probably last also depends on your travel routine and how much you use them over a period of time.
Modern age gloves don’t need too much maintenance and usually last a long period of time if they are used very frequently. So, if you are one of those casual users, then you probably don’t need to replace your motorcycle gloves very frequently.
- Brand and the quality of the gloves: If you have bought the gloves from a very reputed brand, and it speaks quality in itself, then it is probably going to last you a long period of time, depending on the type of usage you take out of it.
It is mostly advisable to invest in a good pair of gloves, from a reputed brand, as it will provide greater protection and durability over its other cheaper alternatives.
There is no denying the fact that motorcycle gloves provide a great amount of protection to the rider during a ride, and also can prove to be a life savior in case of a crash. So, let’s dive a little into knowing the importance of wearing motorcycle gloves.
Importance of wearing motorcycle gloves
After going through the whole guide about what to look for when buying motorcycle gloves, it is very essential for you to know about the importance of wearing motorcycle gloves while riding.
The first thing that comes to your mind must be the protection that gloves offer while riding, but hey, apart from that, there are many other things that are important when motorcycle gloves are considered. Let’s have a look:
- The comfort of the ride: Well it might feel tiresome to wear an additional pair of gloves along with all the gear while going on a motorcycle ride, you should remember that it is due to the gloves that you are protected from the wind, sun, rain, and cold.
- Prevent Calluses- When going on a long motorcycle ride, it is very important for you to wear a pair of gloves as it prevents the soft skin of your hands from becoming hard and give rise to calluses.
- Reduces NVH levels- Be it a cruiser, sports, or an adventure motorcycle, each one of them has a certain level of NVH levels (Noise, Vibrations, Harshness). Wearing gloves while riding can dampen most of those vibrations if not all. Gloves also help in reducing numbness and sweating and also provides airflow to the palm.
- Safety- It is possible that while riding your motorcycle with naked hands, you may lose grip at a certain point in time due to sweaty hands. However, wearing a decent pair of gloves provides greater grip to the rider and ensures safety at all times.
- Protection- Last but not least, this is one of the most important features of using a pair of gloves while riding a motorcycle. In some unfortunate event like a crash or an accident, gloves prevent direct contact of the skin with the ground and form a separation between the skin and the surface that you are riding in.
This saves the rider from getting severe abrasions and cuts and also reduces the chances of getting bone fractures.