LAST UPDATED: March 15, 2020
Best Motorcycle Racing Gloves: Stay Safe on the Track
Stay safe and control your bike better with these top motorcycle racing gloves
The Review Team
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PUBLISHED 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’ve highlighted the best motorcycle racing gloves on the market. They provide protection to the most vulnerable parts of your hands, add grip, and keep your hands warm.
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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 2020
This pair of racing gloves uses tough goatskin leather to give you the confidence you need before hitting the racetrack. The leather is complemented by hard-shell PVC in the knuckle area for added protection. These gloves are all about comfort. They have a stretchy material on the fingers and at the back and quickly adjust to any movements you make.
ILM has designed these gloves for both men and women and given them touchscreen capability. Their stretchy fabric allows you to easily accelerate on the track. The gloves accommodate different wrist sizes thanks to their adjustable velcro straps. The perforation in the goatskin adds to their appeal and also keeps your hands cool, especially in hot weather.
However, these gloves could do with some improvements. For one thing, they don’t fit fingers very well. The scaphoid area is not well-reinforced, and they offer no insulation when it’s cold.
Bring your bike to the track and get ready to burn rubber with the ILM Motorbike Racing Gloves. Made from a breathable material, they have alloy steel protectors on the knuckles and joints for advanced protection. Anti-collision protectors safeguard your finger joints.
The gloves are arched, taking on the natural form of your hand to ensure you grip the handlebars and the throttle well. They stay in place and don’t shift or become loose, thanks to the anti-slip feature. When you ride at night, the reflective strips alert other road users of your presence. ILM has waterproofed the gloves, so you can race even when it’s raining. The long cuffs keep out the cold.
However, if you’re a high-speed racer, these gloves will not give you the highest level of protection. They are also a bit uncomfortable and can’t be worn for long periods. The extra fabric in the finger area may interfere with how you ride. Additionally, they are not well-padded in the palm.
These gloves are specially designed to keep your hands safe if you have any mishaps on the track. They are breathable and allow plenty of air inside for hot weather riding. Perforated leather and heavy-duty mesh work well together to create gloves that are perfect for racing. Poly-blend reinforcements with padding on the palm and thumb offer additional protection.
If you’re riding or racing in unfamiliar territory and happen to get lost, use the touchscreen fingertip to find your location on your smartphone or a GPS system. Alpinestars has added suede reinforcements to the side-impact areas and an ergonomic insert between the thumb and palm.
But as with all good things, these gloves have a few faults. We believe the manufacturer used European hand sizes, as they are much smaller than expected. They also lack a good grip because they are quite thick. What’s more, they are uncomfortable to wear.
- 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.