Best Motorcycle Racing Gloves: Stay Safe on the Track
Stay safe and control your bike better with these top motorcycle racing gloves
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BY Alice Musyoka / LAST UPDATED ON March 15, 2020
Before hitting the race track, it’s important to make sure you have the proper protective gear. Your jacket, helmet, boots, and gloves keep you safe as you ride. Motorcycle racing gloves absorb vibration and prevent some of the tingling and numbing you may experience as you ride.
In this guide, we highlight the best motorcycle racing gloves on the market. They provide protection to the most vulnerable parts of your hands and add grip.
These gloves are ideal for the open road and for the race track. They are touchscreen-capable and provide a good grip and protection as you race. The gloves are unisex and fit different hands well.
- The Goatskin material protects your entire hand
- Stretch lips at the back of the gloves and in the fingers allow them to shrink and expand to accommodate constant folding and changing body conditions
- Perforation makes the gloves breathable and keeps your hands cool
- The finger area is small
- Even when your palm fits well, your fingers may not
- The gloves could use more reinforcement around the scaphoid area
- They do not insulate your hands in freezing conditions
If you’re looking for gloves you can wear on and off the race track, these are ideal. They are manufactured using injection molding and have alloy steel protection parts to protect your hands against accidents on the track.
- The forefinger is equipped with touchscreen capability
- The gloves are ergonomically designed and offer maximum protection to your knuckles and joints
- They are also waterproof
- Hook and loop fasteners make them extra secure Heavy padding reduces chances of injury
- The plastic bits of the gloves make them uncomfortable
- Excess fabric on the fingers can interfere with your race
- The material in the palm area is not tough enough for tarmac racing
This pair of gloves allows you to grip your bike firmly and is designed according to the human body. The gloves have poly-blend reinforcements (with foam padding) on the palm and thumb and offer complete protection for your hands.
- Touchscreen-compatible fingertips allow you to use smartphones and GPS systems while wearing the gloves
- They are breathable thanks to their leather and mesh material
- Between the palms and thumbs are ergonomic stretch inserts that enhance your comfort
- The gloves are not true to size
- They are quite small and don’t stretch out
- They are also bulky and don’t offer a good grip
- They are not well-constructed internally and are uncomfortable
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Benefits of Motorcycle Racing Gloves
- Protection. The main benefit of motorcycle racing gloves is the protection of the rider’s hands. Crashes are part of motorcycle racing, and using your hands to break a fall is a reflex action. You need gloves that can take most of the impact. Motorcycle racing gloves are made to withstand collisions.
- Control. The best motorcycle racing gloves have anti-slip pads to ensure you have maximum control over your bike. The gloves fit your hands snugly and offer a good grip. They are also flexible and quickly adjust to any sudden changes in riding.
- Comfort. If you’re going to ride fast, you need comfortable racing gloves. Good racing gloves have a breathable, waterproof membrane and internal foam padding to keep your hands dry and vibration-free. Reinforcements on the palm, fingers, knuckles, and joints improve your comfort.
Types of Motorcycle Racing Gloves
Asphalt race tracks and tarmac race tracks require unique motorbike racing gloves. These gloves tend to have more protective features than regular riding gloves. They are gauntlet gloves that cover the wrist area. The backs of them are well-protected and feature kevlar, perforated leather, or another type of tough material.
Some gloves have hard-shell PVC or TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane) around the knuckles and patterned leather on the outer palm area for added grip. The cuff area is thick and stiff to prevent fractures and broken hands. However, they are very comfortable on the inside.
Off-road motorcycle racing requires intense grip and comfort. The manufacturers of these racing gloves also consider factors such as weather and the terrain. These gloves are typically more flexible and may feature a breathable material like perforated leather. They have knuckle protection and are likely to have velcro straps that close around the wrist.
Their one standout feature is the padding on the wrist and palm areas. This padding cushions your hands against impact and vibration on rugged terrain. Off-road motorcycle racing gloves often have perforation for breathability, especially those used in racing circuits in hot regions.
Alpinestars is one of the most reputable brands in motorcycle racing. Founded in 1963, this Italian brand has headquarters in different parts of the world, from Los Angeles to Tokyo. If you get a pair of racing gloves like the Alpinestars Megawatt Hard Knuckle Gloves, you will notice the high-quality material, abrasion resistance, and the good grip you’ll maintain even during sharp turns.
Situated in Calabasas, California, Cortech prides itself on being a leading manufacturer of motorcycle apparel. Founded in 1969, it has maintained a sharp focus on developing apparel that solves problems related to performance sports. That focus has led to the production of motorcycle racing gloves such as the Cortech Duster Leather Motorcycle Gloves.
Avid racers rely on Joe Rocket for their motorcycle and snow gear. The Canadian brand is part of the larger Sullivans Incorporated. Joe Rocket is known for its high-quality protective motorcycle gear for both men and women. In the past, the brand has partnered with big brands such as Honda. You can see Joe Rocket’s attention to detail in gloves such as the Joe Rocket Speedway Motorcycle Racing Gloves.
Motorcycle Racing Gloves Pricing
- $10-$50: You don’t have to forego a pair of motorcycle race gloves because of a small budget. With less than $50, you can find gloves that offer basic protection against minor crashes. However, the quality of their leather is lower than it is for premium gloves.
- $50-$100: The gloves in this price range are made from tougher leather and have extra protective features. The knuckles are usually reinforced with extra padding or metal.
- $100-$200: Here, you’ll get racing gloves fit for asphalt racing circuits. Most of the gloves are made of tough leather and offer hand and finger protection. They are heavily padded around the wrist area.
- $200-$500: Popular brands that offer premium racing apparel (like GP Pro, Knox, and Evo) have gloves in this category. The gloves have features like pre-curved fingers, all-around wrist closure, extra scaphoid protection, and carbon fiber inserts. Some are even made from Kangaroo leather.
This is one of the most important things to consider when buying a pair of motorcycle racing gloves. They must fit your fingers and hands well. Your fingers must be flexible enough to grip the handlebars and maintain control when you’re wearing the gloves. Your hands and wrists should also be comfortable and flexible. Longer gloves offer protection to more areas.
Motorcycle racing gloves are made from a variety of materials. The most common material is leather (cowhide and goatskin). Leather lasts a long time and doesn’t get damaged easily. Some glove manufacturers use waterproof leather to make their gloves more durable. Nomex is another popular material for racing gloves. It’s a flame-resistant material that protects a rider’s hands in the event of a fire. Other popular materials include CarbonX, nylon, and lycra.
If you plan on hitting top speeds on the track, get comfortable gloves. A soft inner lining is a basic requirement for racing gloves. It ensures your knuckles don’t get bruised. Perforated leather can also improve your comfort as it allows cool air into the glove when it’s hot outside. Pre-curved fingers ensure you don’t strain to get a firm grip on the handlebars.
- Safety Certification: Racing apparel is certified by two organizations: SFI (SEMA Foundation, Inc.) and FIA (The Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile). These organizations test and approve helmets and gloves for impact protection. If you use your gloves on the racetrack, it is important to check whether they have passed these safety tests. Each certification has different requirements. Certified gloves typically carry certification tags. If they don’t, confirm with the manufacturer.
- Weather Conditions: Some gloves have a breathable material that makes sure your hands stay cool even when it’s hot. If the racing season is in the spring or winter, get gloves that protect your hands from the cold. They must also have an inner lining.
Best Motorcycle Racing Gloves Reviews & Recommendations 2021
- To make sure a racing glove fits well, buy a larger size. The glove should leave just enough room for hand movement. However, the finger area shouldn’t have the excess room or you’ll have difficulty controlling your motorcycle.
- Since your gloves are likely to soak up sweat from your hands, washing them is an important part of maintenance. If they are made of leather, clean them using leather cleaners and air dry them away from direct heat sources.
- Once you take off your leather gloves, lay them flat. This prevents the leather from deforming. It’s also not advisable to store motorbike racing gloves inside a bike helmet, especially if they are made from leather.
Q: How do I clean my leather motorcycle racing gloves?
A: Get a leather conditioner and a moisturizer. When you clean the gloves, don’t apply the conditioner directly on the leather. Instead, put it on a microfiber cloth and wipe down the gloves.
Q: How do I make sure a glove is the best fit?
A: The best way is to try them on. However, if this is not possible and you’re unsure about the size, order one size larger to accommodate hand arching. But the finger area shouldn’t be too large.
Q: Are motorcycle gloves machine-washable?
A: Most gloves made from fabric are machine-washable. However, if you don’t want the velcro to ruin other clothes, put the gloves in a delicate garment laundry bag. If you’re washing the gloves alone, you can put them in the washing machine without a bag.
The ILM Goatskin Leather Motorcycle Racing Gloves are our top pick. With their attention to detail, great price point, and enhanced protection, they stand out from the rest. Both men and women can get a pair and hit the track. But if you’re on a budget and still want to protect your hands, get the ILM Alloy Steel Motorbike Racing Gloves.