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The 3 Motorcycle Gloves I Can't Ride Without

My original Racer High End Gloves, crashed back in 2015

My original Racer High End Gloves, crashed back in 2015

I have found that living in a climate with drastically changing temperatures means I’m using 3 different types of gloves throughout the year. When I lived in California I still had 2 key gloves in my closet; one for nice weather and one for wet/cold weather. Those 2 key gloves are still in my closet but I have a 3rd that I reluctantly added that you’ll see below.

The only time of year I do not have gloves for is Winter; ~30F-45F. Because I have no desire to ride when it’s that miserable. (cold tires make Goldie very very unhappy and unsafe)

So I’ve put together a list of the 3 Gloves I Can’t Ride Without. Unfortunately some of them are discontinued but I’ve provided alternative ideas for each category. Having very small, wide hands and shorter fingers means I’m hyper vigilant about finding gloves. When I see something that might fit me and work for my riding seasons I’ll jump on it. That’s how I’ve found all of these in the past 5 years.

1/ Racer High Racer - “My #1, Go Tos”

You should always have a “Go To” glove, the one you grab and want to wear ~75% of the time. These are mine. I’m always wearing these and pretty much live in them for the majority of my riding. Typically I’ll wear them from about 60F to 80F or until the humidity starts driving me crazy. The kangaroo palms breathe well for me and although they need a little more care (like washing once or twice in the summer) I love the protection, comfort and coverage. You can read my full review here including how to get a pair.

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2/ Rukka Apollo - Men’s

These are my ‘winter’ or cold weather gloves. For me, they fit quite well even though they’re men’s gloves because my palms are slightly wider than most women’s hands. Sidenote: if your hands are too big for small/medium women’s gloves but larges are too big then try any European brand (Dainese, Alpinestars, Held, Rukka, Revit, etc.) men’s smalls because they will be bigger than the ladies small/medium but you won’t swim in them like American brands.

But if you have smaller hands, Rukka now offers the Virve for women. If I had to replace my gloves, I would buy these. The main reason I like both of these is the fact that the GoreTex membrane is bonded to the leather (also known as GoreTex XTrafit), so when you pull your hands out the lining doesn’t separate. There aren’t a lot of gloves in that category overall, and then finding a women’s fitting option is even more difficult. The Virve and this Held Air N Dry are the only two currently available like this. The nice thing about the Helds are that they have 2 chambers, so you have something you can wear when it’s not only raining. With the lower, perforated pocket you can use them as a warm weather glove since the palms are perforated. There are certainly a lot of men’s gloves in this category too like:

  • Alpinestars Patron

  • Rukka Imatra

  • Rukka Argosaurus

  • Held Sambia 2 in 1

3/ Held Touch Perforated Gloves . See how there’s only a little bit of ‘bunching’ or ‘gather’ at my palms when I have them in riding position? That’s just right. Not too much, not too tight.

3/ Held Touch Perforated Gloves. See how there’s only a little bit of ‘bunching’ or ‘gather’ at my palms when I have them in riding position? That’s just right. Not too much, not too tight.

As of 2/16/19, these two women’s gloves are on closeout and are the most similar to my Apollos:

  • Held Wizzard. size 6 only (~womens XS/SM); without the hard knuckles and shorter gauntlet. Side note regarding men’s v. women’s motorcycle gloves. Generally men’s gloves have longer fingers, wider and deeper palms, longer hands and wider wrists. I’ve found that women can always fill the length and width of men’s gloves, but never the depth. When I mean depth, I mean the palms. What this means is that when you are using your handgrips, there may be so much extra material there that it can cause rubbing or blisters from constantly rolling off and on your throttle or reaching for your clutch lever. You certainly don’t want your gloves to fit tight like you’re wearing a latex glove, but this is why it’s always important to try your gloves on the bike before you decide to keep them.

  • Rukka Vilma, size 10 (~womens XL); ideal if you can wear the length of a men’s glove for fingers, but you need a narrower palm/hand and a thinner palm/hand space.

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3/ Held Touch Perforated - Women’s (discontinued)

These are a perforated leather glove with almost a full gauntlet. I reserve these for the hottest riding days that I ride in. Sometimes I’ll pack them with my Racers and wear them later in the day when the heat and humidity start to drive me crazy. The main reason I chose this glove was because it was a Perforated Summer glove with a Gauntlet (wrist coverage). I could totally wear short, mesh gloves but I just don’t trust mesh on my hands like I would on my body. And women’s mesh gloves are painfully underprotected with only moderate protection. As with the rest of my gear, I don’t like risking the loss in protection.

Read my review here to find out more of my thoughts on these.

Since they’re discontinued here are a couple alternatives:

Well I hope that helps, I’m dying to go riding. It’s still high 40s here and until Spring shows up I’m going to be trapped on my couch. I’m tempted to fly home just so I can have some decent riding temperatures. Someone go riding for me….

Knuckle protection is definitely necessary, see?

Knuckle protection is definitely necessary, see?

Overview of the High Racer Gloves

Racer Gloves have always been my favorite brand. I own four pairs that are over 5 years old because I have never found another glove to give me the same comfort and protection that I have come to love. 

Check out my first video overview of these gloves (as well as my first video review). Hope you enjoy, let me know what you think and look for more video reviews soon!

New Dainese Women’s Motorcycle Gear for Spring

dainese_womens_veloster_leather_jacket  

Dainese launched a few new products worth mentioning in its latest Spring 2016 Women's collection. Here are my favorites. 

Veloster Perforated Leather Jacket

This jacket has a great sport fit to it, without being too aggressive for street riding. It features a removable, long sleeve thermal liner so you can make this work most of the year depending how mild your winters are.  Lucky you! :-(

For those of us on the East Coast, this would definitely be a Spring/Summer/Fall Jacket. Even the toasty thermal liner wouldn't cut it in the middle of February!

I tried this one on and I really loved it. It reminded me of my Dainese Cage jacket,  which has a more relaxed fit from other women's Dainese Jackets. It's too bad my closet is already overflowing with leather.... #firstworldproblems.

Veloster 2 Piece Women's Race Suit $999.95

This suit comes in 2 pieces, both in the size that you choose. It isn't a new suit, but hot damn it's HOT! I just had to mention it. It also comes in 2 more colors including less red and more pink (for the few pinks fans out there)

! If there's one thing Dainese knows how to do, it's designing motorcycle gear. Why am I sweating so much right now? If I needed a 2 piece, I'd run out and get this one. Too bad I have tooooo much gear in my closet. The only downside to buying a set like this is if you are different sizes on top or bottom, then you're stuck. But the good news is you could always buy the Veloster jacket, and then buy Delta Pro Evo (race fit) or Pony Pants (street/touring fit)!

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Women's Torque D1 Out Boots

$389.00 I wrote a blog post about these boots earlier this week, check it out!

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Carbon D1 Long Gloves

$179.95 THANK YOU again Dainese, for adding Palm Sliders to these gloves which the mens version had previously! Some brands like Olympia and REV'IT has always made the women's gear equally as protective as the mens versions, but some brands are still catching up. These are also offered in 2 more colors as well. Whoop!

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As you may or may not know, Palm Sliders are *really* important for street riding, because the minute you fall down you will almost always put your hands out in front of you. And if you're moving, now you're tearing through the leather on your palms. These are also available in a shorter version, which I don't recommend unless you're wearing them with a Dainese jacket, because the elbow armor guards extend almost down to the wrist.

You can check out the rest of the items in the Dainese Spring 2016 Women's Collection on Revzilla.com!

Recommendations for Gauntlet Style Women's Motorcycle Gloves

Racer High End Gloves GearChic Reader Aya posted this question on my Facebook page, expressing how unhappy she was when she walked into a certain motorcycle store and found one of the worst selections of real motorcycle gear for women. More specifically, real gloves for year round riding (think temps between 60F-80F) with actual protection! So I've put together a list for her and every other woman who's shopping for actual gloves, not just ones that are hiding behind the pink. 

I only wish these gloves in the photo above still existed. They were hands down, the most protective, amazing women's glove on the market. Then Racer (the Austrian company, NOT the US distributor) decided we weren't important anymore and discontinued them. Very, very sad. But if you ever stumble upon these on eBay or on Craigslist, do NOT pass these up.

In the meantime, here are some suggestions by brand with fit descriptions for each one.

 

Alpinestars Stella GP Plus

MSRP $189.95, Size XS-XL, 2 colors

I have to give a shoutout to Alpinestars, not only for offering a full size run of XS-XL, but 3 different gauntlet glove options including this one. The other two gloves are less expensive with fewer features, the SP-2 and the SP-8. If you want a lighter glove without the extra reinforcements, then you may like those options instead. The GP Plus gloves have additional protection like DuPont™ KEVLAR® fiber, Schoeller Keprotec and 3rd/4th finger stitched together to prevent separation. These offer the same features as the men's version for race level glove. I like the fit on Alpinestars, not too narrow, not too wide, a little better for shorter fingers. 

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Alpinestars Stella SP-2

MSRP $119.95, Sizes XS-LG, 4 colors

The SP-2's are a great street glove, less aggressive fit than the GP Plus and a few less features which bring the cost of the glove down a bit. The gauntlet is a little lighter and you'll notice the lack of accordion panel above the thumb. These also have a lot less carbon fiber, with EVA foam on the fingers instead.

 

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Alpinestars SP-8

MSRP $89.95, Sizes XS-XL, 3 colors

The SP-8's are an entry level glove, with lighter protection reinforcements and an even more relaxed fit. Instead of a combination of goatskin and cowhide, these are only made of cowhide. They aren't as soft as the SP-2 or GP Plus, and less restrictive.

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Dainese Carbon Cover ST

MSRP $149.99, Size XS-L, 2 colors

The Carbon Covers are a fantastic glove with Distortion Control on the pinky finger (meant to keep your pinky from separating away from your hand) and a really nice fit. The finger lengths are average, the construction consists of a goatskin palm and cowhide chassis, with kevlar stitching and reinforced palm sliders. These have a strong precurve, with a rather aggressive fit.

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REV'IT Summit H2O Waterproof Gloves

MSRP $134.99, Sizes S-XL (as of this post, Revzilla still has XL's of the non waterproof versions available)

The Summits are only available in the waterproof version, but you may still find the non waterproof ones on various websites if they have inventory available. The non waterproof versions were discontinued as of last year. I love these because they offer an incredible amount of protection for a street glove. You can read my review of both versions here. These gloves don't have a really strong precurve, so they'd work well on any kind of bike, for any kind of rider.

These also make for great year round gloves since they're not warm, just lined with a waterproof membrane.

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REV'IT Xena Gloves

MSRP $159.99, Sizes S-XL, 3 colors

The Xena Gloves are REV'IT's answer to the sport / race glove for women. These are the replacements for the previous version, the Raven. They fit the same as the Raven with some minor design changes. Given the lack of protection on top of the fingers, I don't count these as a full race glove if you compare them to something like the SLR or Stellar. However, they make for an excellent, all around street glove. In general, Rev'it gloves are going to run longer in the fingers and narrower in the wrist. Since they're supposed to be a race glove, they will have a very strong precurve fit to them.

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Rukka Vilma Gore-Tex Xtrafit

MSRP $189, Sizes 6-10 (XS-XL)

You're probably wondering why these are so expensive. Well, aside from being a well made glove by Rukka, these are also completely waterproof and windproof with the Gore-Tex membrane. Also, the membrane is bonded to the leather ("Xtrafit") so it'll never separate. You know what's it's like to try and slip a wet or sweaty hand into a lined glove. These will definitely work better in that regard, but in addition to that they will be the lightest, waterproof glove you'll ever wear. As a result, they aren't good gloves for really cold temperatures (unless you have heated grips) since they don't have any kind of thermal/insulated membrane.

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If you're looking for even more protection, and want to explore men's glove options, I would recommend any of the men's race gloves among REV'IT, Dainese and Alpinestars. I would say the most slender, smallest fit among all three brands is REV'IT. I have very small hands (XS, 6) and I can almost fit into a pair of Jerez Pro's. The main fit difference with men's gloves will be wider wrists, palms, bigger thumbs and longer fingers.

I also recommend REV'IT men's gloves for women since they tend to fit fairly narrow as well. But you need to be at least a women's Medium or Large to fit into a Small/Medium on the men's side.