Reviews

LAST UPDATED: November 7, 2019

Best Short Cuff Motorcycle Gloves: Ride With Style And Comfort

These are the most stylish, high-quality, and comfortable short cuff motorcycle gloves

Entering our 7th season of /DRIVE on NBC Sports, and with millions of YouTube and Facebook followers, The Drive is a leading authority of all things automotive.

The Drive on NBCThe Drive on YouTubeThe Drive on Facebook

The Review Team

  • Product Network

    24 Products

  • Clock

    8 Hours

  • Reviews

    14 Reviews

How We Decided

The Drive and its partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links.Read more.

PUBLISHED ON November 7, 2019

Motorcycle gloves are designed for comfort and protection from harsh weather conditions. Depending on their type and design, they also help reduce the impact on your hands in case of an accident. If you like to keep a low profile and don’t like the idea of arm-length gloves, short cuff motorcycle gloves are the way to go. Since there are a ton of options to choose from, we’ve narrowed it down to these three best short-cuff motorcycle gloves so you don’t have to.

  • Best Overall
    Harley-Davidson Cyrus Insulated Waterproof Gloves
    Harley-Davidson Cyrus Insulated Waterproof Gloves
    Summary
    Summary

    This snug pair of gloves from Harley-Davidson protect you from the cold and are also waterproof.

    Pros
    Pros

    These gloves feature industry-leading 3M Thinsulate insulation for ultimate protection against wet and cold. They’re made from high-quality cowhide leather that doesn’t get knotted up when gripping the throttle.

    Cons
    Cons

    They are pricey. Also, the gloves do not have ventilation, and hence cannot be used in hot weather.

  • Best Overall
    Harley-Davidson Cyrus Insulated Waterproof Gloves
    Harley-Davidson Cyrus Insulated Waterproof Gloves
  • Best Value
    ILM Air Flow Leather Motorcycle Gloves
    ILM Air Flow Leather Motorcycle Gloves
    Summary
    Summary

    These unisex short-cuff motorcycle gloves are designed to be used in warm weather.

    Pros
    Pros

    The gloves feature an external protection shell for the knuckles, palm, fingers, back, and side of the hand. They have a double leather layer and added foam for shock absorption.

    Cons
    Cons

    Some customers report that the gloves are not very durable. They are not suitable for winter riding.

  • Best Value
    ILM Air Flow Leather Motorcycle Gloves
    ILM Air Flow Leather Motorcycle Gloves
  • Honorable Mention
    Alpinestars SMX-1 Air Street Motorcycle Gloves
    Alpinestars SMX-1 Air Street Motorcycle Gloves
    Summary
    Summary

    This pair of gloves from the well-known motorcycle accessories brand Alpinestars has excellent ventilation and is very durable.

    Pros
    Pros

    The gloves have a 3D mesh on top that provides optimized airflow. They feature a hard knuckle protector and reinforced palm and the upper hand. The fingertips are touchscreen compatible and can be used with smartphones and GPS devices.

    Cons
    Cons

    The mesh fabric can get damaged easily. The gloves are unsuitable for riding in cold weather due to excellent airflow.

  • Honorable Mention
    Alpinestars SMX-1 Air Street Motorcycle Gloves
    Alpinestars SMX-1 Air Street Motorcycle Gloves

    Motorcycle gloves are designed for comfort and protection from harsh weather conditions. Depending on their type and design, they also help reduce the impact on your hands in case of an accident. If you like to keep a low profile and don’t like the idea of arm-length gloves, short cuff motorcycle gloves are the way to go. Since there are a ton of options to choose from, we’ve narrowed it down to these three best short-cuff motorcycle gloves so you don’t have to.

    Best Short-Cuff Motorcycle Gloves Reviews & Recommendations 2020

    Best Overall

    This snug pair of gloves from Harley-Davidson protects your hands from the cold. They are waterproof and feature a terry neoprene cuff and an adjustable closure. The palm is reinforced with extra padding and accordion stitching. The gloves have 45-degree pre-curved fingers and power-stretch knuckles.


    These gloves feature industry-leading 3M Thinsulate insulation for extra protection against wet and cold conditions. They’re made from high-quality cowhide leather with a brushed tricot lining that doesn’t get knotted up when you grip the throttle. Overall, they are comfortable, warm, and it's easy to move your hands while riding.


    One problem with these gloves is that they are a little expensive. They do not have ventilation and cannot be used in hot weather. In addition, they run a little small, so you may want to consider ordering one size up.

    Best Value

    These unisex short-cuff motorcycle gloves are designed for warm weather use. The goat leather is perforated, so it promotes airflow. The gloves are pre-shaped, and the stitched seams are on the outside for more comfort. In addition to riding, these gloves can be used for hunting, shooting, and other outdoor sports.


    Overall, they are solid and well-made. The gloves feature an external protection shell for the knuckles, palm, fingers, back, and side of the hand. They have a double leather layer and extra foam for shock absorption. They provide an excellent grip in the palm area for throttle and handlebar control. 


    However, some users report that the gloves are not very durable. Also, they are not suitable for winter riding, and while they're great for motocross, they may be a little too stiff if you ride a street bike.

    Honorable Mention

    These gloves are made by the well-known Italian motorcycle accessories brand Alpinestars. They feature excellent ventilation and are very durable. They are made of goat leather with microfiber reinforcements, and the palm is 100 percent leather for maximum grip.


    The gloves are comfortable, lightweight, and breathable. They fit well and are designed so you can easily use your bike's controls. They have a 3D mesh on top, which fosters airflow. They feature a hard knuckle protector and reinforced palm and upper hand. The fingertips are touchscreen-compatible for use with smartphones and GPS devices.


    One problem with these gloves is that the mesh fabric can easily get damaged. The Velcro on the wrist may tear up the mesh on the thumbs when you take them off. Also, the gloves are not suitable for cold weather due to their excellent airflow.

    Why Trust Us


    All of our reviews are based on market research, expert input, or practical experience with most products we include. This way, we offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.

    Learn more

    Benefits of Short-Cuff Motorcycle Gloves

    • Protection. Proper safety gear is essential when you're riding a motorcycle. You need to protect your head, body, arms, and legs, as well as your hands. Regardless of the weather, wear gloves to protect against abrasion in case there's an accident.
    • Beat the heat. When it's really hot outside, the last thing you want is to deal with larger gauntlet-style gloves that cover your forearm. Short-cuff motorcycle gloves keep you cooler when the temperature rises, particularly if they are ventilated.
    • Show your style. Short-cuff motorcycle gloves come in a variety of sizes, styles, and materials. You can choose a brand that matches your jacket or the color of your bike.

    Types of Short-Cuff Motorcycle Gloves

    Summer Short-Cuff Gloves

    Summer is one of the most popular times of the year for riding a motorcycle, and your gear should match the weather. Many summer gloves are ventilated to repel sweat and are designed to withstand warmer temperatures. Sweaty palms can interfere with throttle and brake control, which can be hazardous.

    Fingerless Short-Cuff Gloves

    Fingerless gloves are exactly what they sound like: They cover the palms, back of the hand, wrist, and the base of your fingers. They do not provide any protection for your digits. While the majority of your hand is covered, the fingers are exposed to the air, which can be problematic if there's an impact.

    Winter Short-Cuff Gloves

    Winter short-cuff motorcycle gloves are designed to withstand colder temperatures. They are usually very thick and are heavily insulated to keep your hands warm when the mercury drops. They usually feature thermal liners and several layers to prevent your fingers from getting numb. They typically don’t have any ventilation.

    Racing Short-Cuff Gloves

    If you are a competitive biker, you need specialized gloves for racing. While racing can be exhilarating, it can also be dangerous. Look for gloves that are designed to protect your fists during an impact. Racing motorcycle gloves have extra reinforcements to ensure that the back of your hands, palms, and knuckles are safeguarded if you are knocked off your bike.

    Top Brands

    Alpinestars

    The Italian company Alpinestars was founded in 1963 by leather craftsman Sante Mazzarolo. It manufactures a variety of products related to motocross and racing, including boots, suits, and gloves, including the Alpinestars SMX-1 Air Street Motorcycle Gloves.

    Harley-Davidson

    Famous American brand Harley-Davidson got its start in 1901 after childhood friends William S. Harley and Arthur Davidson launched the business out of a tiny shed in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. It manufactures motorcycles as well as protective gear, clothing, and accessories, such as the Harley-Davidson Cyrus Insulated Waterproof Gloves.

    Tourmaster

    Motorcycle apparel company Tourmaster has been in business since 1979 and creates gear designed for long-distance riders, such as jackets, pants, boots, gloves, and luggage. One top product is the Tourmaster Summer Elite 3 Gloves.

    Short-Cuff Motorcycle Gloves Pricing

    • Under $25: You don't have to spend a lot of money on decent-quality motorcycle gloves. Products in this price range provide moderate protection but likely won't be as durable as pricier gloves.
    • $25-$75: If you want the best short-cuff motorcycle gloves on the market, you'll have to invest a little more money. Gloves in this price range are long-lasting and are made of higher-quality materials than their cheaper counterparts.
    • Over $75: You can spend as much as a couple hundred dollars for high-end short-cuff motorcycle gloves. These gloves are usually reinforced with armor and are designed for people who race or need gear that will withstand hard, frequent use.

    Key Features

    Fit

    It's crucial that your gloves stay on your hands during an impact. If the gloves shift when you're thrown off your bike, they won't properly protect your hands or they may completely come off. They also need to fit properly so you can use the controls effectively. They should fit snug and have very little extra material at the top of the fingertips.

    Material

    Short-cuff motorcycle gloves are usually much lighter in weight than full-cuff or gauntlet-style gloves. The weight will also depend on what season they are geared towards. Usually, these gloves are made of soft materials, including leather. They are rather flexible, allowing you to properly operate the throttle, brake, and other controls.

    Ventilation

    Many people opt to wear short-cuff gloves in the summer because they are more breathable. This is important because your hands are more likely to sweat in warmer temperatures. Sweaty hands can make riding uncomfortable, and it can cause problems with operating your bike's controls. Look for gloves that foster airflow.

    Other Considerations

    • Armor: Some brands of short-cuff motorcycle gloves feature armor on the knuckles and the back of the hand. This is important, as it will protect your hands from abrasion and injury during a crash. Some armor is designed in a single piece, which isn't as comfortable as a split-piece protector.
    • Extra Features: Some motorcycle gloves have added features such as touchscreen capability, which allows you to use an electronic device without removing the gloves. Other features include knuckle vents, palm sliders, and finger bridges, which keep your little finger from getting broken.

    Best Short-Cuff Motorcycle Gloves Reviews & Recommendations 2020

    Best Overall
    Harley-Davidson Cyrus Insulated Waterproof Gloves

    This snug pair of gloves from Harley-Davidson protects your hands from the cold. They are waterproof and feature a terry neoprene cuff and an adjustable closure. The palm is reinforced with extra padding and accordion stitching. The gloves have 45-degree pre-curved fingers and power-stretch knuckles.


    These gloves feature industry-leading 3M Thinsulate insulation for extra protection against wet and cold conditions. They’re made from high-quality cowhide leather with a brushed tricot lining that doesn’t get knotted up when you grip the throttle. Overall, they are comfortable, warm, and it's easy to move your hands while riding.


    One problem with these gloves is that they are a little expensive. They do not have ventilation and cannot be used in hot weather. In addition, they run a little small, so you may want to consider ordering one size up.

    Best Value
    <strong>ILM Air Flow Leather Motorcycle Gloves</strong>

    These unisex short-cuff motorcycle gloves are designed for warm weather use. The goat leather is perforated, so it promotes airflow. The gloves are pre-shaped, and the stitched seams are on the outside for more comfort. In addition to riding, these gloves can be used for hunting, shooting, and other outdoor sports.


    Overall, they are solid and well-made. The gloves feature an external protection shell for the knuckles, palm, fingers, back, and side of the hand. They have a double leather layer and extra foam for shock absorption. They provide an excellent grip in the palm area for throttle and handlebar control. 


    However, some users report that the gloves are not very durable. Also, they are not suitable for winter riding, and while they're great for motocross, they may be a little too stiff if you ride a street bike.

    Honorable Mention
    <strong>Alpinestars SMX-1 Air Street Motorcycle Gloves</strong>

    These gloves are made by the well-known Italian motorcycle accessories brand Alpinestars. They feature excellent ventilation and are very durable. They are made of goat leather with microfiber reinforcements, and the palm is 100 percent leather for maximum grip.


    The gloves are comfortable, lightweight, and breathable. They fit well and are designed so you can easily use your bike's controls. They have a 3D mesh on top, which fosters airflow. They feature a hard knuckle protector and reinforced palm and upper hand. The fingertips are touchscreen-compatible for use with smartphones and GPS devices.


    One problem with these gloves is that the mesh fabric can easily get damaged. The Velcro on the wrist may tear up the mesh on the thumbs when you take them off. Also, the gloves are not suitable for cold weather due to their excellent airflow.

    Tips

    • It is essential to buy gloves that are a perfect fit for your hands. If the gloves do not fit perfectly, the palm sides of the gloves can fold up and strain the hands, making it uncomfortable and difficult to maintain a firm grip on the handlebars.
    • Watch for European sizing in the product details. If you have never ordered gloves online, we suggest you measure your hand to find the perfect fit.
    • Clean your leather gloves by turning them inside out and using a damp cloth. Do not use hot water or cleaning agents, and let them dry naturally.

    FAQs

    Q: What are the advantages of short-cuff motorcycle gloves?

    A: Short-cuff motorcycle gloves are much more convenient to use than mid-cuff and gauntlet gloves. They are easy to put on and take off and ideal for everyday commuting. 

    Q: How do I measure my hand for motorcycle gloves?

    A: Use a measuring tape to measure the width of your hand. Lay your hand flat with the fingers together. Wrap the tape around your hand below the knuckles, excluding the thumb. This is the measurement. You can round it off to the nearest half-inch.

    Q: Can I wash my motorcycle gloves in a washing machine?

    A:  It depends on the material. Check the product manual for detailed washing instructions. Leather absorbs liquid and once it’s dried, it gets stiffer and loses its shape. Therefore, it is inadvisable to wash leather gloves in a washing machine.

    Final Thoughts

    The Harley-Davidson Cyrus Insulated Waterproof Gloves are the most stylish, high-quality, and durable short cuff motorcycle gloves.

    For a more budget-friendly option, consider the ILM Air Flow Leather Motorcycle Gloves.