A rider’s gloves provide constant input and are critical to the overall function of a motorcycle. Shielding you from a crash and giving additional grip whether on road or off, they must be like a second skin in order to be comfortable and work properly. While finding the right pair may seem like finding a needle in a haystack these days, it gets easier if you understand the pros and cons of each type. From cruisers to dirt bikes, MCUSA editors have developed particular preferences in their choice of hand protection. As the holidays approach, they’re uncovering some of the most comfortable and effective gloves of the season in the 2011 Motorcycle Holiday Gift Guide to Gloves.
Fox Racing Polarpaw Gloves
With so much focus on keeping cool in the dirt, sometimes it’s easy to forget about those frigid autumn days when your fingers feel like ice cubes. Fox Racing’s Polarpaw Gloves are designed specifically to keep your digits warm on the trail when the temps begin to drop, and feature enhanced insulation properties while maintaining a dedicated moto fit. These gloves are a great option when looking for something less bulky for winter riding. Available in sizes small
Scorpion Klaw Gloves
Good gloves make for good ride. I’ve enjoyed the Scorpion Klaw Gloves this riding season. The goatskin leather is comfortable, with the reinforced knuckle plates pleasingly flexible. Fit might be slightly on the small side, but I found them comfy for both short and long hauls. While these gloves aren’t waterproof, I pressed them into touring duties with good effect. They look pretty good too. All told it’s a versatile glove, offered for a fair price. – Bart Madson
Klim Mojave Gloves
Made of high quality leather, Klim’s Mojave Gloves are breathable and soft yet extremely durable. The Clarino leather offers superb grip on the handlebars, and a fully ventilated palm section has been integrated. Comfort stretch material is included on the back of the hand for a better fit, and the cuff features an adjustable pull tab. The thumb section in particular has a full-flex construction with Clarino overlay, giving it flexibility and added strength. The design is available in black, blue or red.
Novik is one of the hip new gear manufacturers to join the fray. They only make gloves, and only three different models. The TEC “That’s Even Cooler” Gloves are the lightest motocross glove and are heavily vented for maximum cooling. These gloves have no wrist closure, and are for riders who expect the most feel possible on the grips and levers. But you’d better have tough skin. The Shanghai Version 2 “SV2” Gloves are the middleweight design with an unpadded-palm, but include rubber roost protection on the upper hand and fingers. These are my personal favorite. The Signal Gloves are for those who spend all day in the saddle or have baby skin on their palms. Whichever you choose, Novik gloves are a good match for any kind of gear. – JC Hilderbrand
Novik SV2 Gloves MSRP: $36.99
Pokerun Winter Long Leather Gloves
For those frigid miles on the highway Pokerun has created its Winter Long Leather Gloves. Made of goatskin and stretch fabric construction, these winter gloves feature a Bemberg waterproof membrane plus 100g insulation to keep you dry and toasty-warm. The adjustable Velcro wrist and cuff straps create a seal to keep cold air out, and the long gauntlet style provides full wrist coverage. The design includes a free-floating knuckle protector for added protection. The palm section is made of Clarino leather for comfort and durability.
Icon Overlord Long Gloves
I’m not an Aussie so I never knew Kangaroo hide made super leather until Icon sent over a pair of its Overlord Long Gloves. Now I’m a big fan of the hide’s suppleness and strength after feeling the Kangaroo Palms of the Overlord Longs against my skin over the course of the last riding season. After almost a year of wear and tear the Aramid stitching is holding up great, they’ve broken in nicely and the Velcro wrist attachment is in good shape. They’re gauntlet style, which I prefer, because if there’s any chill in the air at all, I don’t like wind rushing up my sleeve. Aside from the security provided by durable animal hides, the Icon Overlord Long Gloves have injected thermoplastic knuckle and wrist protection, too. Small vents in the fingers allow them to breathe in hot weather, but you can’t close them off, so they’re good down to about 45-degrees. They’ve still served me dutifully during this past riding season. – Bryan Harley
Firstgear Heated Rider Gloves
When the temps really drop one of the first things to suffer is your hands. Firstgear’s Heated Rider Gloves eliminate bulky winter gloves that provide little warmth by plugging directly into a heated jacket liner such as Firstgear’s 90 Watt Heated Jacket Liner. Featuring heat throughout the entire glove, including the fingers, the temperature of the gloves can be adjusted using a Dual Heat-Troller that is sold separately. Made of top-grain cowhide construction, the gloves have the thickness of a summer glove to increase control feedback. It includes a waterproof membrane and has pre-curved fingers for added comfort. The gloves seal using an elastic wrist and adjustable hook-and-loop gauntlet closure.