Choosing the right gloves involves not only choosing the kind of protection you want, but also picking the right pair based on your usage.
Picking the right riding glove is very important as it not only has to protect you in case of a crash, but it also has to allow you to grip your controls properly. The hands do most of the heavy lifting on a motorcycle (not quite literally!) as they cover the throttle, front brake, clutch and all your electronic switchgear and this why the best riding gloves are designed to offer great protection, without compromising your grip on the controls.
There are many types of riding gloves, separated by their length, type of protection they offer and whether the rider intends to ride on tarmac or off-road. Let’s take a look at some of these types of gloves so that you can evaluate which one will suit your requirement best.
Short Cuff gloves - These are gloves that cover your palm, the back of your hand and your fingers and thumb. However in most cases, their protection ends at the base of the wrist. These are great for riding around in the city and allow the rider to move his/her wrist freely, allowing for greater movement. The Oxford Holbeach MS Short Gloves are a great example of short cuff gloves. They are made of leather, but are perforated, allowing for their use during summer.
Long Cuff Gloves - These are riding gloves that can be used in almost all riding scenarios. The protection extends well onto the forearm and the riding jacket tucks inside it. These are great for many reasons. Firstly, in the event of a crash if the jacket rides up your arm, your gloves are still protecting the bulk of your forearm. Then there is the advantage of wind insulation. As the jacket is tucked inside the gloves, the oncoming air just goes over the gloves, without entering the jacket through the sleeves. This might not be applicable all throughout the year, but on those cold morning riders, it’s a lifesaver.
The Rev'it! Spitfire Gloves are a great pair of long cuff gloves that offer excellent protection for the fingers and thumbs, the back of your hand, your palm and half your forearm. They even feature a ventilation system to keep your hands cool on long rides.
Under Gloves - Rev’it! makes the Grizzly WSP under gloves which are meant to be worn underneath gloves that don’t feature a liner. These aren’t there to offer protection, as much as they are there to keep your hands comfortable. These have a moisture management system that keeps your hands perfectly cozy, no matter the temperature outside and are also water repellent. So, a light shower will not mean that your hands get soaked.
Off-road Gloves - While the best road going gloves are made of leather, off-road gloves are made out of more elastic materials. These are to allow better hand movement when riding off-road. The protection is also optimised for riding off-road. As dirt roads require more clutch and brake usage, protection is centred around the knuckles in off-road gloves. Off-road riders prefer to trade in armour protection for more flexible gloves.