While most people won’t (and often legally can’t) go out riding without a helmet, many people don’t even bother to buy gloves for riding.
While a injury to your fingers or hands may not be as life-threatening as a cracked skull, you can still suffer permanent and life-changing disability and disfigurement from injuries sustained during falls from a moving bike. That’s not even taking into account how biting cold or other nasty weather can be highly uncomfortable and hard on your hands. Believe me, you don’t ever want to go riding without good gloves and they aren’t a bother to have. You can easily stow them in a underseat compartment, a bag, or even inside your helmet while you aren’t wearing it.
There’s no excuse not to have riding gloves, but you shouldn’t just buy the first thing that looks cool. Have a look at my glove reviews where I take a look at some good (and not so good) riding gloves. If you don’t see anything that strikes your fancy, then here is the place you’ll find the info you’ll need to choose the right pair when you go out riding.
Like a Glove
As with most clothing items, it is very important that the gloves you buy fit properly. This is essential for three reasons. Firstly and most obviously, gloves that fit right are more comfortable. Secondly, if they fit correctly you can operate the controls of your motorcycle or ATV correctly. Thirdly, if they don’t fit right they won’t protect you properly and may actually cause additional injuries because of an ill fit.
So how do you know if a glove fits properly? The only way to make sure a glove fits is to test it, but luckily most online retailers these days will happily accept a return if there is a sizing issue. To test your glove for the proper fit, put it on and grip onto an actual motorcycle grip. Closing your fist is inaccurate since it will over-tighten the glove. When gripping, the glove should be snug without feeling restrictive or cutting off your circulation. There shouldn’t be a lot of bunched material in the palm, and your fingers should almost, but not quite, touch the fingertips from the inside. Keep in mind that there will be a little stretch from gloves made of leather.
What Type of Glove?
There are different kinds of glove for different conditions and types of riding. You should choose gloves that are appropriate for each of these factors.
Racing gloves are meant to give you high dexterity and fine feel and feedback. They won’t give you any thermal protection and they are very snug, with an aggressive finger pre-curve. They will, however, protect you well from road rash.
Touring gloves are the best all-round, everyday choice. They let you feel the controls well, but also give better protection against the elements and, of course, against crashes at normal road speeds.
Winter gloves are self-explanatory. The extra thermal protection may, however, diminish your sense of touch more than usual.