Rev Up Your Ride

Essential Auto & Moto Gear

Motorcycle Gloves

Why Wear Motorcycle Gloves?

Hitting the open road on a motorcycle is an exhilarating experience, offering a sense of freedom and exhilaration unlike any other. But with that thrill comes inherent risks. While a helmet is universally recognized as essential safety gear, many riders underestimate the importance of motorcycle gloves.

This article dives deep into the reasons why wearing motorcycle gloves is non-negotiable, exploring the various ways they safeguard your hands and enhance your riding experience.

The Ultimate Defense Against Injury: Protection in a Crash

A motorcycle accident can happen in an instant, and instinctively, riders often brace themselves with their hands. Motorcycle gloves act as your first line of defense in a crash, shielding your hands from the brunt of the impact.

  • Abrasion Resistance: During a slide, your hands come into contact with the road surface, which can cause severe abrasions. Motorcycle gloves are constructed from tough materials like leather, Kevlar, and synthetic textiles that resist tearing and scraping, minimizing damage to your skin and bones.

  • Impact Protection: Collisions can involve forceful impacts with the ground or other objects. Motorcycle gloves are equipped with padding on the knuckles, fingers, and palm to absorb impact energy, reducing the risk of fractures, sprains, and dislocations.

  • Hand and Wrist Support: Some motorcycle gloves feature wrist closures and additional support features that help prevent hyperextension and other wrist injuries commonly associated with motorcycle accidents.

Beyond the Crash: Enhanced Comfort and Control

Motorcycle gloves aren’t just about crash protection; they provide a multitude of benefits that elevate your overall riding experience.

Safety and grip for riders.

  • Improved Grip: Motorcycle handlebars can be slippery, especially in wet weather. Motorcycle gloves are designed with textured palms and fingers that enhance your grip on the controls, ensuring better control over your motorcycle.

  • Reduced Hand Fatigue: Long rides can lead to hand fatigue and numbness due to constant vibrations from the engine. Motorcycle gloves often incorporate padding in key areas to absorb these vibrations, keeping your hands comfortable and reducing fatigue.

  • Weather Protection: Motorcycle gloves come in a variety of materials and styles to suit different weather conditions. Summer gloves are lightweight and breathable, while winter gloves offer insulation and waterproofing to keep your hands warm and dry in colder weather.

  • Touchscreen Compatibility: Many modern motorcycle gloves integrate touchscreen compatible fingertips, allowing you to operate your phone or GPS device without removing your gloves.

Choosing the Right Motorcycle Gloves: A Guide for Every Rider

With a wide array of motorcycle gloves available, selecting the perfect pair can feel overwhelming. Here’s a breakdown of key factors to consider:

  • Riding Style: The type of motorcycle you ride and your riding style will influence your glove choice. Sportbike riders prioritize gloves with superior grip and protection for high-performance riding, while touring riders might prefer gloves that offer comfort and weatherproofing for long distances.

  • Material: Leather is a classic choice for its durability and abrasion resistance. Textile gloves are often more affordable and offer breathability, while synthetic materials like Kevlar provide excellent protection.

  • Protection Features: Consider the level of protection you need. Look for gloves with adequate padding, knuckle protection, and wrist closures for optimal safety.

  • Climate: Choose gloves suited to your riding climate. Summer gloves prioritize ventilation, while winter gloves offer insulation and waterproofing. Consider convertible gloves that adapt to changing weather conditions.

  • Comfort and Fit: Well-fitting gloves are crucial. Gloves that are too loose can compromise dexterity, while tight gloves can restrict blood flow and cause discomfort. Try on different gloves to find a pair that fits snugly but allows for easy movement.

Top Considerations for Different Riding Styles

  • Sportbike Riders: Prioritize gloves with exceptional grip, knuckle protection, and a snug, race-oriented fit. Consider gauntlet style gloves for added wrist support.

  • Cruiser Riders: Focus on comfort and weather protection. Look for leather or textile gloves with ample padding and features like touchscreen compatibility.

  • Touring Riders: Choose waterproof, breathable gloves that offer long-distance comfort and protection from the elements. Consider gauntlet style gloves for added warmth.

  • Adventure Riders: Select abrasion-resistant, all-weather gloves that provide protection for off-road riding. Consider gloves with knuckle and wrist guards for added protection.

Taking Care of Your Motorcycle Gloves: Extending Their Lifespan

Just like any other piece of riding gear, motorcycle gloves require proper care to maintain their effectiveness and lifespan. Here are some key tips to keep your gloves in top condition:

Safety and grip for riders.

  • Cleaning: The cleaning routine for your gloves depends on the material.

  • Leather Gloves: After each ride, wipe down your leather gloves with a damp cloth to remove dirt and dust. Avoid excessive water exposure, as it can dry out the leather. For deeper cleaning, use a leather cleaner and conditioner specifically designed for motorcycle gloves. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for application and drying.
  • Textile Gloves: Many textile gloves are machine washable. Check the care label for specific instructions. Use a gentle detergent and avoid harsh chemicals or bleach. Air dry your gloves completely before storing them.
  • Drying: Never put your motorcycle gloves in a dryer, as the heat can damage the materials and shrink the gloves. After cleaning or getting caught in the rain, allow your gloves to air dry naturally in a cool, well-ventilated area. Stuffing the gloves with newspaper can help absorb moisture and speed up the drying process.

  • Storage: When not in use, store your motorcycle gloves in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. Avoid storing them in cramped spaces or near heat sources, as this can cause the materials to degrade.

  • Conditioning (Leather Gloves Only): Regularly conditioning your leather gloves helps maintain their suppleness and water resistance. Use a high-quality leather conditioner specifically designed for motorcycle gloves. Apply a thin coat of conditioner following the manufacturer’s instructions, typically after cleaning and drying the gloves.

  • Repairs: Minor tears or loose seams can be repaired by a professional cobbler or tailor who specializes in motorcycle gear. However, extensive damage might warrant replacing the gloves entirely.

Recognizing When to Replace Your Motorcycle Gloves

Even with proper care, motorcycle gloves eventually wear down and lose their effectiveness. Here are some signs that it’s time for a new pair:

Safety and grip for riders.

  • Reduced Abrasion Resistance: If the leather or fabric shows signs of excessive wear or thinning, the gloves may no longer offer adequate protection in a crash.

  • Compromised Padding: Over time, the padding in your gloves can compress or harden, reducing their ability to absorb impact energy.

  • Loose or Torn Seams: Loose or torn seams compromise the structural integrity of the gloves and can come apart in a crash.

  • Loss of Grip: Worn-out gloves can become slippery, reducing your grip on the handlebars and potentially compromising your control over the motorcycle.

  • Stiffness or Discomfort: Stiff or uncomfortable gloves can hinder your dexterity and make riding less enjoyable.

By following these tips for care and maintenance, you can extend the lifespan of your motorcycle gloves and ensure they continue to provide optimal protection and comfort for many rides to come.

Don’t Skimp on Safety: Invest in Quality Motorcycle Gloves

Motorcycle gloves are an essential investment in your safety and riding enjoyment. Think of them as an extension of your handlebars, providing crucial protection and enhancing your control over your motorcycle.

While the initial cost of a quality pair of gloves might seem high, the potential medical bills and long-term consequences of a hand injury far outweigh the investment.