Gloves are one of the most important motorcycle safety gear you’ll own. Think about it for a moment... dare say you come off the bike, what's one of the first parts of your body hitting the ground? Most often than not, it’ll be your hands, instinctively trying to brace the fall. So it's best to kit up with a quality pair of gloves, suited to your riding style and weather conditions.
Let’s Talk Fitment: When fitting a glove, it should feel snug in all parts of your hand. Your fingertips should be reaching the ends and palms nicely following the shape of the gloves. If there are any signs of excess material in the gloves, best opt for another size or brand.
It may sound pedantic, and overly picky, yet finding a pair of gloves that fit your hands will allow better grip on the throttle and handlebars, which ultimately gives you better control of your bike.
Here’s how to find your Glove Size! Psss, it's really easy.
Side note: (Different manufacturers will require you to find different measurements. Here are the two most common measurements you’ll need! - Hand Width, Hand Circumference)
Hand Width: Place the measuring tape (ruler) flat on a bench and position the widest part of your palm across the top. Repeat this process on the other hand and note down the measurements. Make sure you use the largest number from the two when checking the sizing chart of particular manufacture. It sounds a little strange, yet hands can vary in size.
Hand Circumference: Grab a soft measuring tape, and wrap the tape around your palm and below the knuckles, not including the thumb. Similar to what we did when finding the hand width, repeat the process on the other hand and note down the measurements. You’ll be using the largest number again.
Handy Tip: If you don’t have a soft measuring tape, simply use a piece of string and lay the findings against a straight ruler. Works just as well!
Now compare the findings to manufacturer charts to see which size you are. Often they will range from <XXS - XXL>.
This next step may be a little difficult/ impossible if purchasing online, but if you're in-store, try the gloves on and find a bike to test the glove outs on. Work the controls, ensuring you have full control and mobility. Ask yourself… any pinching or discomfort? Keep in mind, gloves do take time to “break-in” so if they are feeling a little stiff, this is completely normal. (Especially with leather gloves)
Now that you’ve found the correct glove fitment, it's time to investigate the different types of gloves. Like anything in life, each type will have countless variants in style, material and protection. We have picked out the most common styles for you, to help begin the purchasing process.
Side Note: It's not uncommon for riders to have multiple gloves in their riding wardrobe. Different seasons may require you to be wearing Warmer or Cooler gloves. Keep reading, as we’ll be going into more details about the differences in particular gloves.
Street - Textile Gloves
Most riders will own a pair of street textile gloves during their riding careers. Often worn by the daily commuter, these gloves are aimed with minimal styling, yet versatile use. Made from textile or a combination of textile and leather, street gloves are often short cuffed and designed for extreme comfort. In all honesty, if you're in the market for a pair of gloves that can be worn all year long, a pair of street gloves is the way to go. Quality textile gloves will be water-resistant, incredibly breathable in warmer conditions and offer great protection. Aside from the limited thermal protection for cooler weather, the street textile glove is a popular choice for the average motorcycle rider.
Racing - Leather Gloves
For more aggressive riding and added protection, Leather racing gloves are a great option. Leather and motorcycles are almost synonymous with each other at this point. Leather is durable and offers the highest level of protection for a rider. Keep in mind leather gloves do take the longest to “break in” yet when they do, they fit to shape your hands!
When it comes to ventilation, leather gloves are restricted by the tough material. Suppose that's the price you pay for an elevated amount of protection. Unlike other gloves on the list, even after a crash, leather gloves can be worn again. With a premium material, comes a premium price tag, so leather gloves are some of the more expensive to choose from. Nonetheless, if you're planning on attending track days and want maximum protection on the road, racing leather gloves are a must!
Grab yourself a pair of waterproof gloves, and your hands will never be wet by rain again! Often coming in a gauntlet style glove that stretches up your arm, these gloves offer riders completely water repellent properties. If you're a daily rider and often find yourself riding in the rain, a pair of these is a riding luxury and great to have in the wardrobe.
Early winter mornings and evenings can become unbearable if you're wearing the wrong gear. Especially if you're living in the southern regions of Australia, investing in a pair of winter gloves is a no brainer. With extra padding and thermal protection from the cold, these are such a great addition to your glove collection.
If you’re riding off-road, get a pair of off-road gloves - they're essential. Off-road riders are used to bailing out into the dirt rather than the cement so these gloves focus more on comfort and breathability than the other types of gloves. With limited impact protection, they aren’t suitable on the streets. Due to the lack of fabric, it's common to be switching out off-road gloves every couple of months (under extreme usage). Fortunately, picking up a new pair won’t put a strain on your bank account. You can never have enough off-road gloves laying around.
If your riding style is focused on more touring/ adventure riding, then look into a pair of gauntlet adventure gloves. Offering both comfort and protection, these gloves are built to protect your hands for long, cross country trips. Constructed with textile or a textile-leather hybrid, it’s worth investing in high-quality gloves here. For touring and other street rides in all conditions, a good touring glove is hard to beat.
Admittedly, a riding luxury, heated gloves are an incredibly practical piece of kit to help keep your hands warm in extremely cold weather. Often powered by batteries, but also through cables that plug into your bike, heated gloves keep your hands heated for long periods of time. Keep in mind, because of the added technology, these gloves are priced more expensively than others on the list.
Now that you know how to find the right glove size for your hands and have an idea of each other different styles, head into your local Ultimate store and start finding your right grip.
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