Motorcycle Riding Gloves: How Many Are Too Many?

Motorcycle GlovesDo you have more riding gloves than might make sense to a casual observer?

If you are a season rider, you’ve probably got a few pairs to select from, when you crank over your bike’s motor.

Some gloves are easy to justify
:  Motorcycle gloves for hot weather.  Riding gloves for cool weather.  Different gloves for wet-weather riding.  Maybe you even have “rain covers” to pull over your gloves when Mother Nature offers a worldly cleansing while you’re on the road.  Of course if you are dirt-bike rider, that opens up another opportunity for a collection.  And perhaps you don’t like to mix your “riding” gloves with “working” or “mechanic” gloves.  (Should you confess to owning heated, electric gloves?) Finally, there’s “those” gloves.  More concisely, your “favorite” motorcycle riding gloves.  Regardless that they may be the most worn, and maybe even close to being completely worn-out.  “Those” are the gloves that offer the indescribable balance of tactile comfort and familiarity, having participated in endless miles of motorcycle enjoyment.

For all the experiences that a good pair of motorcycle gloves may offer, their primary function boils down to two primary areas of service:

#1) Increased comfort, enjoyment and control.
Your hands may seem to automatically handle the front brake, throttle and clutch: particularly when your hands are comfortable.  And of course, given that relative comfort, they naturally and easily convey the necessary steering to guide you along your motorbike path.  But, what if your hands become fatigued? Cramped?  Cold?  Or even sunburned?  As you know and have likely experienced, any of these conditions can negatively affect your riding control – ESPECIALLY in an emergency, when your split-second, precision command is what you most need to avoid a potential disaster.

#2) Protection. What would motorcycle riding be like without the full use of your hands?  Protecting your paws in the event of a mishap is arguably the primary service your riding gloves may offer – even if they are never called upon to fulfill that duty.  It’s probable that you don’t get on your bike thinking, “Today’s the day I’m going to crash.”  Heck, even if you haven’t been initiated into the brotherhood of motorcycle riders who continue to enjoy the sport after biting some asphalt, perhaps you can at least imagine that if/when YOU “might” meet such an occasion, that those mitts of yours would be vulnerable to damage.  Ultimately, if you should find yourself in that unfortunate circumstance, the last thing you want is to be going down without wearing motorcycle gloves.  (As well as wearing the rest of your gear!)

Speaking from experience, I’ve bitten the asphalt a few times. In fact, two of the crashes were somewhat dramatic.  Over the course of a few decades of riding, two motorcycles were totaled as a result.  However, in each case, motorcycle gloves kept my hands from sustaining injury.

So, are you a motorcycle glove junkie?

That’s one habit you can live with.

48 thoughts on “Motorcycle Riding Gloves: How Many Are Too Many?

  • I NEVER leave home without at least two pairs. Wearing one….stowing one. One lined….one not.
    Not to say that I don’t ever go barehanded either. (Doh! My baaaaaaaaad!!)

  • One pair of summer gloves..open fingers $20…..one winter glove (wind/water proof) with high tops (ordered from Internet for about $20) & great in 30-40f……..One mid weather plain thin leather work gloves……one pair of thin liner gloves. I never ride without gloves!

  • For Ron, Hey, Tex; for your neck of the woods, you might check out the”Fulmer” line of colder weather gloves. Mine are pretty toasty down to about 20°f and they have a built-in rain shield that unzips from the gauntlet. Plus the web between the thumb and forefinger is wider and kinda offset so the grip on the handlebars is more natural for biking. But, getting back to the original subject; 14 pair. Definitely not as many as some, but, if you’re not a biker, I wouldn’t expect you to understand.

  • I have two pair of gloves that have been filtered as “must haves” over my many years of riding and all types of clothing & gloves. Both are made by Held. The short race (SRRace1) for the summer and the Warm & Dri for the colder weather with heated grips. Can’t see me going to any other brand for any reason now that I’ve used these for a season of fun. These gloves give meaning to “fit like a glove”!

  • Things that bother me most?,?Generally speaking I have found it necessary to own at least three pairs of gloves for the weather conditions one light weight. It may not cover my wrist while the others a sport touring glove or the heavy winter train global always cover my wrist to seal up my sleeves. I agree with most of the others that they should be extraordinarily abrasion-resistant considering the dexterity and the field with your hands have for the majority of one’s life. It would pretty much be a disaster should one lose feel or function of your hands. I do like the Kevlar with armor and weather covering for resistance on the palm especially.

  • I ride my bike every day to work and back every workday of the week. I don’t have a problem with glove thickness or temperature containment. My beef is with the sizing between my index finger and my thumb. No matter what glove I have purchased (I’m a 3x plus glove size person) over the years all tend to all pull the thumb toward the index finger when you wrap your hand round a twist grip; caused, I suspect by the internal thumb length of most gloves being too short. The resultant being finger cramp and the cessation of feeling, mostly in the thumb on anything like a reasonable trip. Does anyone have a glove that they can recommend that has sufficient length index finger/thumb length so this doesn’t happen?

  • Ok, we’re a professional motorcycle motorists, and we need to keep in main a comfortable trip all the time depending of the weather conditions.

  • Good gloves still won’t protect hands from a fracture.
    I’m speaking from experience-ouch!

  • I’m in the Larry Edwards category, but I’m sure I’ve got his 17 beat. I’d have to open three different boxes to count them all and it’s too much work.

  • Gloves? ONE pair plus a spare in the closet when the old pair wears out. Plain deerskin that you can buy at mpst hardware stores for about $8, today. I have been wearing the identical gloves since 1974, as they provide a nice grip without making my hands sweat. They can even be machine washed once or twice before they wear out.

    I no longer need furlined gloves for cold weather as I quit riding in “below 50°” temps 30 years ago.

  • I own too many gloves, mainly because I’ve had to experiment to find how to keep my hands warm since I ride even when it is cold. So, I will post this to tell you not how many pairs I have, but what I have that actually works: Of course, for warm weather riding, all you need is something cool and comfortable, with good protection – so almost anything will do. For colder weather, I found that most cold weather rated gloves are roughly equivalent in terms of keeping hands warm and none of them work much lower than 40 degrees for me. A liner helps for a few more degrees. I wear Tourmaster Winter Elite 2 gloves – they are a bit pricey but the reason I like them is they are made from sheep and goat skin, so very supple and not bad even with a liner. Once the weather gets down there, I slip in a pair of First Gear heated liners. So far they have kept me happy into the lower 20’s. The reason I prefer a winter glove plus liner over just a heated glove is I ride extended distances at fairly rapid pace in all weather (except ice and snow), so if my electrics fail (and it sucks when they do that and you’re hundreds of miles from home), I still have a liner and winter gloves as backup. My next line of defense I keep in my top box – a pair of handlebar mitts made by Kwik Tek under the name Scootr Logic – about $20 bucks from Amazon. They strap on the handlebars (slits for the mirrors) and you can slide your hands into them – they work really well and are not intrusive. I also generally carry backup reserves in case my heated jacket liner fails – extra clothing and even an additional electric controller and liner.

  • I just counted ….. I own 17 pair of gloves. Those are just mine. Not counting all the gloves I have for the variety of folks riding my pillion.

    I am covered from 0 degrees to 100 degrees, dry arid to stormy and hail.

    Obsessed? … I think not!

    See you out there
    Larry

  • I have depending on season one pair on and one pair in the top-box , plus a pair of scrambler gloves for the hot times , whoops five pairs , there was an article in a monthly bike mag in the UK advocating mountaineering gloves for winter / cold weather dexterity

  • I am also guilty, I have eight pairs. I have an all time favourite pair which i would hate to lose. I have gloves for different seasons and gloves for differing weathers, i also carry a spare pair on the bike.

  • I have many pairs but on my full touring bike, nothing is more comfortable that my mechanic’s gloves. They are light, cool in the summer, offer great dexterity, dry quickly and stain free after rain and are warm with my grip warmers offering assistance. They may not be as good as armoured gloves in a fall but many out there wear nothing so I think I am ok overall.

  • Oh no !!! Read the article, ran out looked in the saddle bags. Yep between me and the wife there was eight pairs of gloves in there. Everything from ski gloves to mesh. We live in the High Uinta Mountains of Utah and can ride to the desert South West in one day, often time changing seasons four times. nice to be prepared. Hand protection is a must.

  • I bought some Olympia winter gloves in the US 6 months ago before my trip and they suck in the wet…. They’re marked as waterproof but they are NOT, so on wet rides here on my trip in South America my hands get wet and then cold. So I bought a pair of Seirus Snowboarding gloves for $50, then put the Olympia on one hand and a Seirus on the other and put both hands in a bucket of water for 5 minutes…. The Olympia’s , and my hand, got soaked. The Seirus stayed dry inside. I’ll be sending the Olympias back to store in the US where I bought them and demanding a refund. I’ll also be gluing on my own custom knuckle and finger protection to the snowboarding gloves and will finally have me warm, waterproof motorcycle golves. For hot days I have perferated leather.

  • Gloves…..gloves and more gloves. The best summer glove is a non gauntlet from Icon and a pair with gel palms that have lasted forever from Joe Rocket. Winter med cold is Held and Coooold is the new Gerbings gt5 glove. I have perforated, mesh, leather, composite, damn you guys made me realize that I could buy a new bike for what I have wrapped up in falanges protection.

  • I have two pair of gloves that have been filtered as “must haves” over my many years of riding and all types of clothing & gloves. Both are made by Held. The short race (SRRace1) for the summer and the Warm & Dri for the colder weather with heated grips. Can’t see me going to any other brand for any reason now that I’ve used these for a season of fun. These gloves give meaning to “fit like a glove”!

    Ride hard…ride safe!

  • I have two pair of motorcycle gloves .One pair=bmw airflow 2 summer gloves.Two years old and they work well.One pair tourmaster cool weather gloves-23 yrs old and still in good condition.Ireally shold have a high quality$$$$$$ pair of racing gloves as i do enjoy a fast road ride.Cheers,beers and brassieres…

  • I’m glad to see I’m not alone! I actually ordered two virtually identical pairs of Icon mesh gloves forr next summer’s riding, for got I ordered one! I have 5 pair, but still need a good waterproof pair, or maybe overglove rain gloves.
    I won’t ride without a helmet, jacket, boots and gloves. I will ride with my draggin’ jeans, but prefer overpants for safety.
    Be Alert – Ride Safely!

  • I have bin riding for over 35/yrs and gloves are part of ATGATT! dont leave home with out them!
    Yes I am a collector of gloves many paires and still can not cough up 165.00 bucks for heated ones! My grips are heated! hehe.

  • I ride in all weathers all year long. I carry 3 – 4 pairs of gloves with me. The best for riding in the winter if you don’t have heated handlebars is a nice set of inner gloves and then a medium heavy leather mitt with gauntlets. Wrap up warm. Venom hand will slow you down: that extra millisecond of warmth might just save your life.

  • I have a box of gloves, I bought, wore a few times, and then replaced….. until I broke down and bought a pair of GERBINGs heated gloved…
    I wear a pair of “deerskin” drivers glove spring, summer, and early autumn… a pair od insulated drivers gloves for those cooler spring/autumn days…. and the heated gear, for winter.

    I took care of the three season gloves pretty easily…. it was the winter gear, that killed me. If I swallowed my pride, and the price tag….. I would have saved a lot of money, just getting the heated gear

  • Yes, I am a glove junkie, I have four pairs, two gauntlets(Chuchill, my favorite, and the Harley gloves) and wrist Churchills and the short Harley gloves…Never wear the Harley gloves, love the Churchills, the gauntlets are the same as the cops wear.

  • For the Texan rider looking for gloves: The advice to check snowmobile clothing is good advice. Another source is bicycle gloves. The Specialized Bicycle Co in particular offers a wide range of gloves that allow better control feel than a typical snowmobile glove while protecting your hands from the weather. There are many Specialized dealers around the country where you can try them on before buying. Proper fit is a big deal for most of us motorcycle riders which makes buying online a bit of a roll of the dice.

  • I have fallen off motorcycles many times over the years and there are 2 constants. First – my hands hit the ground. Second – my head hits the ground. Thanks to always wearing gloves my hands work perfectly – as for my head well that’s debatable.
    They’re also handy when staggering around the bush in the middle of the night collecting fire wood….
    Keep it up
    Mike

  • Regarding the interest of the Texan in finding some warm gloves, I have a suggestion that comes from 3 years experience riding year round in Minnesota (yes, I had a sidecar). Some of the best, warmest and cheapest gloves are snowmobile gloves. They generally have lots of insulation though this is less necessary in recent years as many snowmobiles have heated grips. Many are made of a durable nylon with leather on the palm side for grip and comfort. Most have very large gauntlets and Velcro wrist adjustments. The pair that I use for cold weather riding are warmer than anything other than my heated gloves.

    My one caution is that most are NOT waterproof, so they might not be the best choice in a cold rain, or at least you need a glove cover of some type. In my college days, we used old bread bags for glove protection in the rain. They worked and helped keep the hands warm as well, though they did not make for the best grip. Since I doubt you have many snowmobile shops in Texas, you will probably have to buy them online, although a lot of motorcycle accessory stores also sell snowmobile paraphernalia.

  • I’ve only been riding a couple of years . Here in Texas snow isn’t a big issue until it is . Can one of you yankees who deal with this every year point to a brand of gloves that is actually waterproof and warm at 70 in the snow . I had to ride a couple of hours home last weekend in the snow . My fingers felt like they would break off . I layered up my clothes and the rest of me was fine but , none of the bikers down here had any advise for actul winter riding gloves . Help this southerner out .

  • Guilty also. Dakota winter glove, Olympia winter glove (best winter glove), Belstaff leather (spring and fall) 20 years old and favourite, Joe Rocket summer leather glove, Joe Rocket perforated glove, and HD perforated glove. Had a set of Joe Rocket amoured gloves (they did not work for my large hands). I am a 3X glove person.

  • I generally use three different pair, my mesh for summer my water proof insulated for winter and my deer skin leather for general and drill team riding. They have to fit good and be very comfortable so I dont even know that I have them on.

  • I have accumlated several pair of riding gloves. The technology keeps changing with better fit, feel and of course protection. Currently I use two pair the most, a perforated leather with carbon fiber for warm weather and A new pair of Steve gloves from Held have been a real improvement. They have very flexible Kangaroo leather on the palms for very good feel and dexterity on the controls,combined with real protection in case of a high speed get off. My old ones never to go to waste as my kids seem inherit them for themselves. I always wear gloves when riding.

  • Imagine having the backs of both hands scorched by a blow torch until the flesh was bubbling and blackened.

    A disgusting image, to be sure, but I met a rider whose hands looked just like that. He had slid across the asphalt and somehow his hands had been trapped under his body. Numerous skin grafts had not helped much.

    His experience convinced me to always wear gloves, spring, summer, and fall.
    I admit that they are the weakest part of my gear. I’m in the market for a heavier pair, but my current gloves do have good velcro closings to keep then on if I go down.

    Though some friends do, I’ll never wear fingerless gloves (or a half helmet). My bike has heated grips, so riding in the cold hasn’t been a problem. My next pair will be longer, with semi-gauntlets to better keep out the wind in cool weather.

    Precurved fingers really reduce fatigue on long rides, as does cruise control. The various throttle hand rest devices can relieve tension also.
    I have no experience with waterproof gloves, yet. My heated jacket has connectors for heated gloves, but I’ve never tried them either.

  • Pompies said:

    Ever noticed that on a balmy 70 degrees (F) weather day your hands are FROZEN stiff by the wind-chill factor after an hour riding?

    All I can say is “ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING????”
    Because I mean, if you’re not…..you are WAY,WAY too big a wuss to be riding a motorcycle!!!

  • I must say, I find myself in to that situation. I always keep in that mind, since, I really enjoy riding I must secure myself the protection needed for future ride.

  • I listened to a conversation between a female clerk at the bike shop and her female customer. The customer said she felt that gloves in hot weather were just too much. The clerk replied that when her sister had dumped, she had to endure two memorable experiences – first, they take the gravel out of your palms with a fine stainless steel comb, and second, while the palms are healing up over the next four to six weeks,, you need to get other people to do everything for you. “Everything.” she repeated. “Everything for a month or more – think about it.”

    The girl thought about it for a couple of seconds, and picked out a nice pair from the display.

  • How about some “intelligent” tips on how a proper glove should be?
    The little I know is condensed here:
    1. it must be a motorbike glove (they are pre-curved to your hand holding the grip), gloves designed for other uses (I did try them) just don’t cut it…
    2. the more protection, the better: knuckles are the most fragile part and the hard knuckle-protectors never get in your way in any case, plus they look the part, don’t they?
    3. palms should be as soft as possible (for sensitivity!) yet very resistant. The good ones have soft material (often kangaroo) surrounded by stitching; as far as I can make it out, this has two functions: it doubles or trebles the thickness of material all around the palm AND providing strong /resistant pads that contact the ground first, leaving the relatively unprotected palm raised from road surface. Clever!
    4. gloves must have a positive closure at the wrist, otherwise they will just come off as soon as you touch ground. In that case they are no good at all to anybody but the seller.
    I hope someone more knowledgeable than me can tell us what makes a good motorcycle glove.

  • Fourty-odd years into riding, and I still can’t make out how can one ride a bike without gloves. Yet I see many bikers riding without this essential protection gear.
    Gloves are useful ON the bike in the first place: ever had a bug committing suicide on your hand while you are coasting at a nice 40 miles an hour? Ever noticed that on a balmy 70 degrees (F) weather day your hands are FROZEN stiff by the wind-chill factor after an hour riding?
    When OFF the bike, gloves are indispensable. Instict makes you stretch out your hands when you fall (no Virginia, I don’t think you should try it), so your hands will be the first to contact the ground and absorb the impact.
    I don’t know about you but, even though I plan to never fall, I want my hands protected just in case. Tin-can drivers might disagree with my plans…

  • does any one know where we can find a pair of mens leather motorcycle gloves in sizes 5 or 6x? please let us know

  • I have a pair of mesh gloves with great protection for the summer months. I just bought a pair of tourmaster polartex gloves and with a thin underglove, they worked on a 35 degree ride into work this morning. I was impressed. I didn’t think that there were gloves that worked below 40 without plugging them in or getting hippo hands. Only problem with the polartex is that they have knuckle protection.

  • I must have 8 or 10 pairs. I’m always on the lookout for just the right pair, but after I buy them and try them out a while, they usually are not as good as I had thought they would be. I have a good pair of Triumph warm weather gloves with knuckle protection, leather palms and double velcro wrist closures. My cool weather gloves are by First Gear and waterproof with Thinsulate insulation. I also have a pair of Gerbings heated (and waterproof) gloves to go with my heated jacket liner. I usually carry at least one extra set of gloves in anticipation of the changing weather in the Pacific NW.

  • i only own 2 pairs now

    the full leather which is about 5 months old
    and a mesh type gloves that it replaced

    i still keep the mesh type though it’s worn off (as in i had to sew the ends of the fingers of the gloves) as a backup if its raining or the leather glove is to be cleaned

    i started wearing gloves with the intention of keeping my hands off dirt when i ride to work so my very first pair was a cheap textile gloves with some design effort for protection. i got it for P250 (about $2.50)

    When i got my first motor cycle crash, i was wearing that pair and it literally got torn on the palm. good thing that my palm was undamaged but i decided not to use it again…

  • Unfortunately, my glove collection, though it may have seven or eight pairs would be bigger if they made larger sizes. I wear a size 18 ring on my ring finger and 3x are usually the largest I can find. Then when I try to ride with them, they cause my hands to cramp. SO, I have one half pair and one set of Gautlets that see ALOT of wear. Where are the bigger gloves…4X & up.

  • Yeah, I am…guilty! They are the weak link to my riding though. I don’t give a lot of attention to weather when I select them and then berate myself when it get’s cold. Shoulda, coulda, gonna…! Fall protection is my biggest concern when buying a pair. I usually get mechanics type, armored knuckles, leather palm and fingers with velcro at the wrist.

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