Motorcycle gloves are
one of the most underrated pieces of motorcycle riding gear. In
my experience, a good pair of gloves provides a number of benefits
to the rider.
A good pair of motorcycle riding gloves is a good investment in
comfort and control. One caveat is for the gloves to be effective
they must fit well.
- Crash protection – Motorcycle riding
gloves are usually made of a quality leather or abrasion resistant
textile. Seams are reinforced to keep the glove together in
case you find yourself clawing your way along the asphalt at
highway speeds. Many have hard knuckle reinforcements made from
carbon fiber, Kevlar or other crazy strong materials. I have
a pair of Icon’s TiMax gloves that are plated in titanium.
The not only protect my hands but they look wicked and may come
in handy if I had to go toe to toe with a bear or something…
Many gloves have a gauntlet design to provide better wrist protection
as well. Hands can be particularly injury prone in motorcycle
accidents since many people will try to use them to catch themselves
if they fall (not always the best idea) and because the bones
are relatively small. Even with a good set of gloves, it is
possible for hands to be injured in a motorcycle accident but
wearing them can certainly help minimize the damage.
- Protection from debris – Look at the hood of any car that
has some highway miles on it and you’ll notice lots of chips
and dings where stones hit the hood. Motorcycles face the same barrage
of debris that cars face. Being hit with a stone capable of denting
a car’s hood WILL NOT feel good if it hit your knuckles. At
60 mph, even being hit with a big bug can sting. Gloves will help
protect the hands from most road debris, which will help a rider
concentrate better on controlling the motorcycle.
- Warmth – Wind chill applies both when the wind is blowing
and when the air is still but you are moving fast. The temperature
may feel great when your standing still but once you’re moving
at highway speeds it can feel much colder. If a motorcycle rider’s
hands get cold enough it can decrease fine motor skills and slow
movements. This means less effective control over the motorcycle,
which is a bad thing. A good pair of gloves will make the motorcycle
ride more comfortable and safer.
- Smooth brake and clutch control – Sometimes, especially
when it is warmer, a rider’s hands can get sweaty or clammy.
In this case, the metal brake and clutch levers may not slide as
smoothly along the fingers. Instead, it can stick and result in
a jerkier starts and stops. Usually, a rider can adjust to this
fairly easily and this isn’t the main reason gloves are worn.
Nevertheless, it doesn’t hurt to have the added smooth and
consistent release that a good pair of gloves can establish.