Tag Archives: motorcycle gloves

iXS Releases the Carbon-Mesh Sport Glove 4.0

As an avid musician and a religious believer in ATTGAT (All The Gear All The Time), I’ve found quality motorcycle gloves with full knuckle support to be worth their weight in gold – all the more so if they allow my digits to breathe on those sweltering days between June and July. 

You can imagine my excitement when iXS, a company known for its quality motorcycle gear, released a set of gloves called the Carbon-Mesh Sport Glove 4.0.

a top view of the all-new iXS Carbon-Mesh Sport Glove 4.0

According to the innovative company, the sport gloves are not only air-permeable – they are also inundated with both carbon/PVC knuckle shells and palm/hand-edge reinforcements. 

The fabric? A mixture of high-quality goatskin, mesh, and fabric, complete with the obligatory adjustable Velcro grips around the wrist to prevent slippage, and air-permeable mesh inserts/leather perforations guarantee a cool ride on a hot day. 

a back view of the all-new iXS Carbon-Mesh Sport Glove 4.0

The gloves also have touchscreen-compatible material on the index finger and come in all your favorite colors – as long as you like black. 

a view of riders wearing iXS gear, including the all-new iXS Carbon-Mesh Sport Glove 4.0

The iXS Carbon-Mesh Sport Glove 4.0 can be had for the nifty price of € 79.95 in the EU/UK, $99 USD for American riders.

We’re still waiting to get our hands on a pair of these to see if they make our ultimate Best Motorcycle Gloves You Can Buy list.

If you’ve had a chance to try them out, let us know in the comments section, along with your go-to faves for opening the throttle on the twisties!

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

[REVIEW] Racer USA High Racer Gloves

Racer USA High Racer Gloves
Whether you’re looking for a new track day glove or prefer to ride with maximum protection at all times – the Racer High Racer Glove will cater to both. At $239USD, they will do the job they were set out to do. The High Racers sit in the middle of the road price-wise but they offer protection found in much more expensive competitors, and with the Knox sliders, even more.
AESTHETICS
PROTECTION
CONSTRUCTION
VALUE FOR MONEY
Comfortable
Palm feel was great once broken in
Excellent protection throughout the construction of the gloves
Finish construction had minor quality control issues
Grip pads on the fingertips were unnecessary
Break-in time longer than advertised

Racer USA High Racer Gloves

The High Racer gloves are priced among the giants in the racing industry with an MSRP of $239USD. They come packed with protection in key areas like the base of the palm, finger joints, back of the hand, wrist bone, and forearm. In fact, they are rated CE level 1 along with the competitors like the Dainese Druid 3 or the Alpinestars GP Pro.

These race-worthy gloves are best suited for warmer climate riding as they were designed for track riding not dashing through the snow.

The High Racers are overall great gloves and do what they were built to do – protect your paws. Aside from loads of carbon fiber bits scattered across key areas, the two biggest highlights are the Knox SPS palm sliders and the kangaroo leather palm. The palm sliders will pay for themselves should you find yourself sliding your way out of an apex. The kangaroo leather palms not only provides great dexterity but also provides excellent abrasion resistance.

If you’re looking for a full gauntlet glove capable of providing track-worthy protection, the High Racer from Racer (the name is a tough one), will get the job done.

Thank you to Lee at Racer Gloves USA for providing these High Racers at no cost for this review.

The High Racer comes in two colors: black and white. This review was on the all-black men’s version. You can also read wBW’s review on the women’s High Racer glove. The main difference between the two is that the men’s come with the Knox palm slider while the women’s come with a carbon fiber slider.

This glove comes to the party with a 95% leather construction. This figure is surprisingly high considering the amount of less expensive materials found in most products these days. Perched nicely over the knuckle area is molded carbon fiber held securely with a double stitch with padding underneath. This section was very comfortable and fit a closed fist with ease.

The index, middle fingertips, and thumb of each glove have a silicone fingertip grip material present. This actually hinders the dexterity and feel on the finger pads but it does give you a bit more bite when gripping the brake/clutch levers. At the end of the day, I can see the reason for them but I can’t say that I’m a fan.

Palm closeup of the High Racer gloves

Fixed atop of the thumb and fingers (excluding the fourth/pinky finger) are small carbon fiber gems or shells with a base layer of soft foam underneath that covers the finger joints. I appreciate these being left off of the pinky area – one less thing to rip off during a crash.

The fourth/pinky finger is bridged to the third/ring finger to prevent “finger roll”. Keeping the ‘weakest link’ (your pinky finger) tied to your ring finger is an absolute ‘must have’ for a track glove – if you don’t have this on your current gloves – upgrade now!

The palm of each glove flaunts two large-looking pieces of LDPE (low-density polyethylene). These are palm sliders that have been supplied and patented by Knox. They are conveniently placed over the scaphoid and pisiform (on the lower sections of the palm) to provide additional crash protection during impacts and/or slides.

At first glance, the Knox palm sliders look obtrusive and in the way, but they aren’t. I actually forgot they were there while riding for hours on end over the past few weeks.

Along the wrist section, is an accordion-style stretch (stitched into the leather) in addition to a velcro strap to keep the gloves snug – no matter how much you move around. Placed right on the wrist bone is another chuck of carbon fiber for more crash protection.

Lastly, on the gauntlet was another chunk of carbon fiber to provide crash protection and all was held together nicely with a large hook & loop for secure closure. The Racer

The interior of the glove is made up of 100% polyester Teramid fabric, a moisture-permeable and waterproof nylon woven fabric. This is present in all areas of the glove, excluding the kangaroo leather section (entire palm/finger area).

Overall, I did not have any “hot spots” or pain points while wearing the High Racer – even with the tightest of grip. The interior was comfortable and provided ventilation in way of the perforated leather sections on top of the wrist and in the sides of the fingers.

Both sides of the High Racer glove

Features

Here are the features as per Racer Gloves USA’s website:

  • Kangaroo palm with Knox SPS palm sliders
  • Carbon Fiber protection on knuckles, fingers, and wrist bone
  • CE certified
  • Ring and little finger adjoined to prevent “finger roll”
  • Perforated gauntlet and fingers for airflow
  • Available in Black or White/Black
  • Sizes S-3XL

Comfort

Racer Gloves USA promoted an “Outstanding fit with virtually no break-in” – but that’s a bit of a stretch (pun intended). Like “virtually” all gloves, the High Racers took over a half dozen, sweaty, hour-long trips before they calmed down and welcomed my hands into them.

Once the gloves broke in, they felt great and like a nice wine, they’ll only get better with age.

Carbon fiber knuckle protectors on High Racer gloves

Per the Racer size chart, I wear an XL, and my index, middle, and ring fingers each comfortably reach the end of the glove. The pinky does have a smidge of extra material but it isn’t a deal-breaker nor impede function. For reference, my hand circumference is approximately 8″ / 20 cm.

The materials used on the High Racer were quality but lightweight. On that note, my curiosity got the best of me, so I decided to weigh my current track glove against the Racer glove. When weighed against my Alpinestar GP Pro (another track equipped glove), the Higher Racer came in weighing 6.49oz (184g) while my trusty GP Pros (and chunky) scaled in at 7.12oz (202g) apiece.

For the purposes of testing, the High Racers were worn with an Alpinestars GP Plus R Air, an Icon leather jacket, and a Sedici one-piece leather race suit. Not only was I able to put the gloves on quickly (speed is ‘everything’ these days), but High Racer fit over all three with zero problems leaving zero skin exposed.

Dexterity

Utilizing kangaroo leather on the palm is a huge plus in this area. But for me, the grip pads or “fingertip grippers” completely disrupted the feel and dexterity that you typically get with kangaroo leather palms.

In all, the feel was great once the glove was broken in and after I had stopped thinking about the “finger ripper grippers” on the fingertips.

Grip pads stitched onto the fingertips of leather palm glove

Airflow

The intended use for the High Racer is to fit snuggle on the hands of a rider at the track. During a race or a track day, your hands are usually anything but dry. And like every glove I’ve had my hands in before, perspiration is a constant, and the High Racer was no exception.

I can appreciate the attempt with the perforated leather sections but in a glove meant to provide protection first, I don’t fault Racer for not keeping my paws dry. If they were claiming to be “the perfect summer glove”, this would be a different story.

Top view of the High Racer gloves

Water Resistance

Ever get caught in a rainstorm in a leather jacket? How’d that work out? Probably the same way these track gloves would react – wet, heavy, and wetter.

Build Quality

For a glove with an MSRP of just under $250, I would expect the seams and stitching to be next to flawless but this wasn’t the case with the High Racers. Aesthetically, the seams and stitches aren’t perfectly trimmed, nor are the edges as clean as those on other upper echelon racing gloves. These imperfections were mostly surrounding the finger areas while everything else checked out fine.

Closeup of stitching on fingertips

The High Racer gives the illusion of a hand-stitched glove from decades past. While I commend the classic look, the aesthetic is outdated when put beside a competitor’s new school design.

The High Racers aren’t all bad looks – the branded piping on the cuff and stamped logo on the velcro was a nice touch.

The integrity of the glove construction has the boxes checked as the downfalls are mostly aesthetic.

Fingers

The tops of the fingers consist of accordion leather and carbon-fiber armor with an additional leather layer holding them in place.

Motoring editor retires to two wheels

The stitching as mentioned above was not perfect but the overall functionality is not affected by the messy stitching or outseams.

The finger sidewalls are made up of perforated leather to assist in ventilation. Like all full gauntlet track gloves, these areas are extremely tough to provide enough ventilation without losing integrity, so no fault in this area.

Carbon fiber knuckle protectors on High Racer gloves

Palm & Wrist

The palms are made up of very nice kangaroo leather with the gripper material double stitched in place. The gripper material in this area is less of a bother with the exception of the entire thumb being covered. This does detract from dexterity but the purpose is to provide additional grip. While I understand the additional grip provided may come in handy, I don’t believe adding it solved a problem worth ‘fixing’.

I personally run a combination of soft and medium Renthal or Domino grips on my 2008 Yamaha R6. There has never been a time where I needed any more than that, especially at the cost of losing dexterity while on the track.

At the base of the palm lies the Knox palm sliders – they are genius! They may look obnoxious or in the way but they aren’t one bit. The protection they will provide while sliding on the pavement will fair well when compared to the competitors still using chunks of rubber or leather-covered foam in these areas.

Palm closeup of the High Racer gloves

The hook & loop wrist strap operated without fail and easy to adjust on the go.

Protection

This where the High Racer shines! The kangaroo leather palms, the full-grain leather everywhere else, and the carbon fiber armor paired with the Knox sliders are sure to protect your hands should you go down. They are on the same playing field as the major players like Dainese and Alpinestars with CE level one certification.

High Racer Knox sliders

The Knox sliders as mentioned before, are a huge standout. Having had my fair share of crashes in past, those sliders will come in handy when put to use.

The big piece of carbon fiber fixed on the gauntlet of the glove is light and flexible – a perfect combination that offers additional impact and slide protection.

Closeup of carbon fiber and Racer logo on glove cuff

The Verdict

The Racer High Racer comes to the stage packing a ton of protection for a medium price. Do they come with the same level of protection found in $400 gloves like the Dainese Full Metal or Alpinestars Supertech? Yes. Are they of the same refined caliber? No, but can they play with the MotoGP giants? Absolutely, for $150 less in fact.

After a few hundred miles of riding, the High Racers are broken in and conform to your hand. At that point, they fit perfectly and are ready to hit the track or canyons.

If you have a motorcycle gear obsession like most of us have, $239USD is a fair enough price to snag a pair. Sure you won’t have the flashiest gloves on the track but you can feel confident in knowing that your hands are about as fully protected as they can be.

Pros

  • Comfortable
  • Accurate fit
  • Feel was good once broken in
  • Excellent protection throughout the glove

Cons

  • Stitching/finish construction wasn’t built for looks
  • Grip pads on the fingertips
  • Break-in time was not as advertised

Specs / Where to Buy

  • Manufacturer: Racer Gloves USA
  • Price (When Tested): $239.00 USD
  • Made In: Made in China
  • Alternative colors: Black or White
  • Sizes: S – 3XL
  • Review Date: May 2021

Racer USA High Racer Gloves Photo Gallery

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

The Best Motorcycle Gloves You Can Buy [Updated Q4 2020]

No matter what kind of riding you’re into, every motorcyclist should own a pair of quality motorcycle gloves that offer real protection in the event of an accident. Falling hands first onto an asphalt road is painful enough from a standstill, and a hell of a lot more so at speed. Since you’re more likely to land hands-first in the vast majority of accident scenarios, a good pair of gloves will keep your paws protected.

Different riders have different requirements, so for the purposes of this list, we’ve decided to select products that cover a wide range of riding needs. These include options for sport, touring, and dirt riders, and dedicated summer and winter options too.

Our conclusions have been drawn from a blend of real-life experience and product familiarity, in partnership with quality reviews from trusted sources. Naturally, we also take into account customer reviews and feedback too. We also value the overall quality of a product and whether it truly offers value for money. After all, expensive doesn’t always mean good, and cheap doesn’t necessarily mean bad.

So, without further ado, here’s what we came up with.

Dainese Steel Pro Gloves

Dainese Steel Pro Gloves

Review: In-depth review
Price: $279.99
Buy: Revzilla | Amazon

First up, let’s look at sports gloves. When it comes to all things sport, Dainese is a go-to brand name. In terms of value for money, the Dainese brand can be a little too expensive for the average rider. However, when it comes to their Steel Pro gloves, you get a great return for your investment. They’re premium gloves without the over-the-top premium price tag.

Constructed from goatskin leather with advanced armor, these gloves are claimed to be the “ultimate track glove.” If you’re a regular track rider, they are worth your money. The leather is tough but supple, offering excellent flexibility, but the real benefit is in the protection. Composite and stainless steel inserts protect the knuckle area, while thermoplastic armor keeps fingers safe. It shouldn’t come as a surprise to learn that these gloves are certified to CE – Cat. II – PrEN 13594 Standard lev. 1.

There’s a shopping list of other armored features. But are they comfortable to wear? Thanks to elasticated sections, an adjustable cuff strap, and a tightening strap, these pre-curved racing gloves have a snug fit without compromising your freedom of movement. Pay attention to the sizing though—they’re known to run a little long in the fingers.

Knox Nexos Mk1 Sport Gloves

Review: In-depth review
Price: $169.99
Buy: Revzilla

If you’re looking for touring gloves, we recommend the Knox Nexos Sport Gloves. Though they say “Sport” in the name, they’re better suited to sport touring. These are replacements for the outgoing Knox Biomech gloves that used to be some of the best-selling gloves out there. The Nexos gloves carry on the Biomech’s tradition for excellence.

Made from a combination of cowhide, goat leather, and a dual compound synthetic material, these long-cuff gauntlets are comfortable and warm, but light and airy too. They are ideal for riding in three seasons, depending on your locale. They are quite bulky but they don’t hinder your dexterity in any way.

The main bulk of these gloves is taken up by armor. The Nexos Gloves use the Knox Scaphoid Protection System on the heel of each hand. In summary, they’re thick plastic sliders that defend the palm against impact and abrasion. The knuckles are protected by soft TPU armor with honeycomb gel inserts, and the fingers also have TPU armor and added leather on the little finger.

These gloves are secured using a BOA system. This is a dial-operated closure that pulls a metal cord tight around the cuff. It’s a great closure, but they can be quite bulky—and that’s the only negative point above these gloves: they’re bulky.

Alpinestars Megawatt Gloves

Alpinestars Megawatt Gloves

Review: In-depth review
Price: $59.95
Buy: Revzilla | Amazon

Though these gloves are designed for both on and off-road use, we think they’re exceptionally good in the dirt. They’re lightweight, tough, durable, versatile, and very well priced. In terms of your bang-for-buck ratio, it will be difficult to find a better pair of gloves than these. And since they’re manufactured by Alpinestars, you can truth in the quality of the construction.

The Megawatt gloves are made from a combination of materials that include perforated leather, stretch-polyamide, and synthetic suede. They’re pre-curved to reduce rider fatigue and boost comfort, but without restricting your movements. One feature that we really like is the reinforced thumb and palm sections that give you a confident grip on your handlebars, whatever the situation.

Protection comes in the form of synthetic suede panels across the palm, extra suede reinforcement with foam padding for boosted abrasion protection on key impact zones, and a hard polymer knuckle protector for added safety. Despite the layers of protection, these gloves are fairly breathable and well ventilated too.

The closure is a Velcro cuff for fast and easy removal.

Joe Rocket Atomic X2 Gloves

Joe Rocket Atomic X2 Gloves

Review: In-depth review
Price: $40.49
Buy: Revzilla | Amazon

At the budget end of the spectrum, we’d suggest these Atomic gloves from Joe Rocket. They’ll do the job and they won’t break the bank. Joe Rocket is a brand that’s well-known for delivering quality protectives on a budget, and the Atomic gloves do just that.

Manufactured from goatskin leather, stretch Spandex, neoprene, and Chamude, these short cuff gloves are comfortable and snug, without restricting your hand movements. Ideal for summer weather, they’re not that waterproof and you’ll definitely feel the cold in them if you’re riding out of season.

In terms of protection, these pre-curved, rider-friendly gloves feature 5mm high-density padding around the index and middles fingers, leather knuckle armor, and goatskin palm pads. These gloves also feature SmartTouch material that allows you to use touchscreen devices, a secure hook-and-loop closure, and a TPR pull tab.

Despite excellent long-term tests and reviews, we’d still urge caution about the life-expectancy of these gloves. Since they’re budget products, don’t expect them to last forever. However, if you need affordable protection for low-stress riding, these are perfect gloves.

REV’IT! Dirt 3 Summer Glove

REV'IT! Dirt 3 Gloves

Review: In-depth review
Price: $119.99
Buy: Revzilla

If you’re looking for a hardwearing summer glove that offers high-levels of protection with comfortable airflow, then we recommend the REV’IT! Dirt 3 gloves. They’re designed for warm weather riding but can stand up to the demands of adventure touring and street riding in equal measure.

To meet the needs of summer riders, these gloves are made from goatskin leather, 3D air mesh, corduroy, and polyurethane coated textiles. The result is a glove that has a close, snug fit, with plenty of flexibility, that’s light and breathable at the same time.

Hand protection comes in the form of thermoplastic rubber knuckle guards, palm sliders, and finger knuckle armor, as well as Temperfoam reinforcements. REV’IT!’s own PWR|Shield knit holds it all together, creating a tough, durable, and abrasion-resistant glove.

Other cool features include a connect touchscreen-friendly fingertip, a grip patch on the palm, and elasticated wrists. The overall design of this glove is a tour fit with a short cuff, making it incredibly versatile and compatible with any jacket.

For the best results, take care when sizing. Read other customer reviews to ensure you’re getting the best fit possible.

Alpinestars SP Air Gloves

Alpinestars SP Air Gloves

Review: In-depth review
Price: $129.95
Buy: Revzilla

Next up, we’ve got another set of impressive summer riding gloves. These long gauntlets offer exceptional protection without overheating your hands. They’re essentially a race-quality glove but with optimized airflow to let your hands breathe. In short: they offer everything you want from a summer glove and more.

The SP Air gloves are made from a variety of materials. The most significant of these is a full-grain leather, with synthetic suede, polyester, and polyurethane features. The leather section is perforated for ventilation and is used around the knuckle, gauntlet, and finger boxes. Suede is used across the palm for added grip, and across other sections of the glove.

Protective features include an injected TPU palm slider and knuckle slider, a patented third and fourth finger bridge, EVA foam padding, and a reinforced pad at the base of the thumb. Naturally, the glove uses abrasion-resistant material in key impact zones, keeping your hands safe and sound in the event of a spill.

We love these gloves because they really do have some impressive airflow. They even have dedicated TPR air intakes, though they’re not as effective as Alpinestars claim that they are!

Even so: these are great gloves for sport riders in hot climates.

Rukka Virium Gore-Tex X-Trafit Waterproof Gloves

Rukka Virium Gore-Tex X-Trafit Gloves

Review: In-depth review
Price: $179.99
Buy: Revzilla | Amazon

We’ve seen summer gloves, but what about waterproof gloves? There are plenty of gloves out there that claim to be waterproof, but very few live up to the hype. These ones, however, are the real deal. The Rukka Virium Gore-Tex X-Trafit gloves are warm, dry, flexible, and protective—everything a rider needs in a glove.

Made using Gore-Tex X-Trafit technology and a breathable, water and windproof textile, the Virium gloves are sturdy and durable. The palms feature extra grip sections for confident handlebar controls, with touchscreen fingertips, and a handy visor wiper too.

In terms of armor, these gloves don’t have a huge list of protective features, but they have enough for safe and secure riding. For example, they include adequate knuckle, scaphoid, and finger protection but not to the same level that you’d expect from a track-focused glove. However, these gloves are designed for wet weather riding, when you shouldn’t be taking any risks anyway!

These gloves are waterproof! And not just a bit waterproof. They’re seriously waterproof. If you’re in need of something that will keep your hands warm and dry, these well-ventilated breathable textile gloves are for you. This level of waterproofing costs money, but these gloves ship with a two-year warranty and they’re worth every penny.

Gebring Vanguard Heated Gloves

Gebring Vanguard Heated Gloves

Review: In-depth review
Price: $159.99
Buy: Revzilla | Amazon

Lastly, we have a solid winter option: Gebring’s Vanguard Heated Gloves. As the name implies, these winter gloves feature a heating element that promises to keep your hands nice and toasty, even on the coldest of days.

Constructed using premium Aniline cowhide leather, these gloves are tough and durable, but remarkably pliable and flexible. The leather is backed with water-resistant Aquatex, and complemented with Thinsulate insulation. They feature superfabric patches in high-risk abrasion zones, a TPU knuckle protection, and gel pads on the palm and on certain fingers.

On the surface, they’re just normal motorcycle gloves. But on the inside, they’re something else. Lined with Polyester microsuede, these gloves feature an advanced microwire heating system that delivers impressive heat to the whole glove, even to the tip of every finger. Connected using a discreet wire connector, these gloves are what you want to be wearing if you’re riding out in the cold.

These are easily our favorite winter riding gloves in very cold weather, but if you don’t really experience cold winters, they’re not going to be for you. They’re too expensive to own just for the sake of it. But if you’re an all-season rider who likes to tear it up in the snow, these are the gloves for you.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

MotoCAP adds 12 gloves to ratings

If you’re in the market for a new set of motorcycle gloves, Australia’s internationally awarded MotoCAP now has safety ratings for 73 pairs.

The safety intitiative that rates motorcycle jackets, pants and gloves, launched in September 2018 and is the first of its type in the world.

It has now rated 223 items of clothing, including 105 jackets, 50 pairs of pants and 73 pairs of gloves.

In the latest round of testing, 12 gloves were rated for their safety.

The highest performing pair of the release was the Alpinestars SP-Z Drystar, which was awarded three out of five stars for safety.

Alpinestars SP-Z Drystar MotoCAP adds 12 gloves to ratings
Alpinestars SP-Z Drystar

Two stars were awarded to Harley-Davidson Women’s Gage Gauntlet, Five Gloves RFX2 Airflow, Draggin Vivid 2, Dainese Druid D1 Long, Rev’It Summit 3 H2O, DriRider Aero Mesh 2, Five Gloves Arizona, Five Gloves WFX Skin GTX, Triumph Raven GTX, BMW GS Dry, Five Gloves Stun Evo.

The new ratings can be viewed here.

No comfort ratings

MotoCAP rates gear for thermal comfort and waterproofing on jackets and pants, but not gloves.

That is despite some of the gloves tested having perforations for airflow.

Transport for NSW says that to measure for comfort a large square of fabric must be obtained.

“There is not enough material in a glove to obtain a sample for the thermal comfort measure,” they say.

However, they do test for waterproofing.

Canstar Blue customer satisfaction research last year found that Baby Boomers are more likely to choose comfortable motorcycle gloves while Millennial riders buy for style.

All gear rated so far has been obtained through a secretive buying system to guarantee integrity.

Click here to find out how products are selected for rating in secret.

International award

Last year, MotoCAP won a Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM) road safety award.

MotoCAP is a partnership between Transport for NSW, State Insurance Regulatory Authority (SIRA), VicRoads, Transport Accident Commission (TAC), Royal Automobile Club of Victoria (RACV), Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR), Motor Accident Insurance Commission (MAIC), Lifetime Support Authority (LSA), Western Australian Police: Road Safety Commission, Department of State Growth, Insurance Australia Group (IAG), Australian Motorcycle Council and Accident Compensation Corporation in New Zealand.

Testing is carried out by the Deakin University Institute for Frontier Materials on behalf of the MotoCAP partners.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

How long does waterproof gear last?

Have you ever found out the hard way that waterproof gear has a use-by date after which it is totally useless?

Two pairs of boots, two pairs of gloves, a jacket and several pair of pants have failed me after as little as five years of periodic use.

This is despite the fact that I look after my gear and store it in a cool, dry cupboard.

Waterproof warranty

I’ve checked all my waterproof gear and none offers a lifetime guarantee.

Also, note that “weatherproof”, “water-resistant” and “water-repellent” are not the same as “waterproof”. These terms mean the garment is rarely watertight even in light showers when you are riding.

And check whether it says the gear is 100% watertight. Some may also include an Ingress Protection (IP) rating.

This rating consists of two numbers. The first from 0-6 measures protection from foreign bodies such as dust, while the second from 0-9K measures resistance to water. Click here for more details.

Also note that your supposedly waterproof gear may only be guaranteed to be impervious to water in some areas or just have watertight pockets.

Waterproof warranties are typically the same as the garment which is usually from one year to about three years.

Manufacturers could fit jackets and pants with more robust and heavier waterproof membranes and offer longer warranties.

However, that would impact on comfort, weight and price.

So it’s important to look after your waterproof gear.

Failures

Harley-Davidson CVO Street Glide Limited Road Glide Boom Box rain wet infotainment audio techno
Caught in the rain

One of the main problems with waterproof failures is that you may not notice a fault in your gear when you put it on.

You only find out when you go for a ride and get caught in the rain.

And even the most minor fault, crack or split can suck in moisture when you are riding at highway speeds!

There can be a number of reasons for waterproofing failures:

  • Waterproof leather gear is usually the first to give in because it can age and crack;
  • Boots can develop minuscule cracks in the soles from simply walking around in them;
  • Racing boots with bolt-in toe sliders can become loose as they repeatedly hit the ground, allowing in water;
  • Waterproof pants can develop small tears in the lining or you can dislodge the glued-on taped seams if you pull them on while wearing your boots;
    Waterproof pants
    Waterproof pants lose their taped seams and lining from years of use
  • Folding waterproof garments can cause them to wear and split at the creases;
  • Carrying waterproof gear on your bike scrunched up on a rack and secured by Occy straps can cause rips and wear;
  • Gore-Tex pants and jackets should last a long time, but the outside layer can get worn from rubbing in areas such as the armpits, crutch and backside;
  • Zippers can become rusted from rain and road grime and even waterproof zippers can become gummed up by dust and bugs; and
  • Machine washing your gear can remove or destroy the watertight capabilities of some materials.

Waterproof care

King Canute found he could not hold back the tide and maintaining waterproof riding gear can be similar.

However there are some things you can do:

  • Boots will last longer if you only wear them on the bike and do limited walking.
  • Regular treatment of leather with shoe polish, special softeners and waxes such as Dubbin may help prolong their waterproof life;
  • Take your boots off before pulling on waterproof overpants;
  • Re-spray your textile gear with waterproof sprays;Nikwax Gloveproof waterproofs gloves
  • Store your gear in a cool, dry cupboard;
  • Hang your jackets and pants and never fold them;
  • Always allow wet gear to dry in a well-ventilated area out of direct sunlight before storing;
  • Carry waterproof gear in a safe place in your backpack or bike luggage, preferably rolled up, not folded;
  • Give zippers an occasional spray with silicon or rub them with an appropriate wax to help the zipper slide smoothly and last longer; and
  • Leather gear requires special attention. Click here for our comprehensive tips on how to look after your leather gear.

WashingWater crossings

Riding in the rain or even doing water crossings not only get your gear wet, but also dirty.

So you should periodically wash your gear before storing it away.

When washing your gear, always follow the manufacturer’s instructions. They usually stipulate a hand wash or gentle, warm-wash machine cycle.

Long, hot machine washing cycles can limit the waterproofed life of a garment.

Never use fabric softener when washing and most manufacturers warn against tumble drying or ironing.

However, note that some materials, such as Gore-Tex, actually require tumble drying or ironing after washing to restore their waterproof qualities. Watch this instructional video.

User error

Sometimes it’s not the gear that fails, but the rider, says  Link International product manager Ron Grant.

“The majority of wet claims I believe are mainly due to incorrect usage or fitment,” he says.

“You can have the best jacket in the world, but if you don’t get all the closures correctly positioned, ensure your shirt collar or cuffs aren’t exposed (which creates a wicking point for water entry) you will still get wet.

“If you wear gloves over your cuff, water penetrates through the jacket stitching in the chest and arms, runs down between the outer shell and the outside of the waterproof liner (so the rider is still dry) and drains straight into the gloves. This is not a glove issue but a rider fitment issue.

“Likewise with waterproof boots. I see riders buy ‘shorty’ waterproof boots and then complain they get wet feet.

“If you have a look at their rain pants when their feet are on the pegs, the rain pants may ride up just enough to allow water into the boots.”

Ron Grant tests waterproof gear
Ron Grant tests waterproof gear

Ron warns that water will finds its way into that 1% vulnerable area in your whole riding ensemble and spoil your ride.

He says he left for work recently in the pouring rain on his Triumph Tiger 800 fitted with a new, large touring screen to protect him from the elements.

“This new screen creates a bit of a vacuum between the screen and I could see water droplets swirling around in front of me around my throat area,” he says.

“I didn’t really think about this too well, but I had pulled my neck-sock on before fitting my jacket as it’s more comfortable that way.

“The droplets eventually soaked my neck-sock which wicked the water downwards wetting my jumper and shirt. My waterproof jacket didn’t fail, it was the dummy wearing it that failed!”

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

MotoCAP testing women’s riding gear

As Australia’s internationally awarded MotoCAP safety and thermal comfort testing and ratings system for motorcycle clothing has surpassed 200 tested items, there seems to be a paucity of women’s gear.

The safety intitiative, launched in September 2018, is the first of its type in the world and has now rated 202 items of clothing, including 105 jackets, 50 pairs of pants and 47 pairs of gloves.

However, in women’s gear only eight leather jackets, eight textile jackets, seven textile pants and three gloves have been tested.

The lack of women’s gear is a common criticism we receive here about the MotoCAP testing.

However, it should be pointed out that the testing is actually quite representative of the proportion of female riders in the community which is estimated to be about 10-12%.

In fact, the women’s gear tested represents 12.9% which does not account for the fact that gloves are often sold as unisex, rather than for men or women exclusively.women's gear female riders testing

Testing methodology

Dr Chris Hurren*, a research scientist at Deakin University in Geelong where he and his laboratory work on protective motorcycle clothing, explains the MotoCAP methodology for selecting gear for testing.

“We have all of the instore women’s gear in the purchasing database alongside the instore men’s gear,” he says.

“The algorithm determines what will be purchased and it does not discriminate between men’s and women’s apparel.

“Appropriate proportions of both are being purchased.

“We have tested women’s gear in each of the categories of MotoCAP.

“If you compare the percentages tested with what is hanging in store the ratio of men’s to women’s is quite similar.”

In the past 24 months, all garments reported on the MotoCAP website have been purchased covertly by MotoCAP purchasing staff.

None has been supplied by distributors or manufacturers.

* Dr Hurren worked with Dr Liz de Rome and others to produce the protocol that is used by MotoCAP for their testing regime. He has also written a series of four articles for Motorbike Writer on the new European clothing standard which you can start reading by clicking here.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Ducati launches new touring gear

If you love touring on your Ducati in Italian style, safety and comfort, you’re going to want the new touring range from the Borgo Panigale manufacturer.

Ducati Australia and New Zealand head of market Alana Baratto says the touring gear will arrive in November.

If you can’t wait, you can buy the gear online on shop.ducati.com.

Sport Touring C3 Jacket ($A789)Ducati touring gear

The Tour C3 sport-touring jacket, is produced by Spidi exclusively for Ducati with CE-certified protectors on shoulders and elbows. You can also fit a back protector.

The outer jacket, made of a mix of polyester fabrics, is equipped with large air vents and has a waterproof and breathable H2Out membrane.

The removable thermal lining can also be worn as a casual jacket.

It is designed to be worn zipped together with Tour C3 trousers.

It comes in a men’s cut in black/red and high-visibility black/ yellow, and for women in black/red.

Tour C3 Trousers ($A499)Ducati touring gear

The Tour C3 trousers are designed by Aldo Drudi and made in collaboration with Spidi Sport.

They also have the H2Out membrane, CE-certified shin and hip protectors, a removable lining, elastic fabric, and zipper-adjustable air vents.

The pants are tailored in different cuts for men and women.

Fabric-leather gloves Strada C4 ($A299)Ducati touring gear

These limited Strada C4 gloves are produced by Held exclusively for Ducati.

The exterior is made of cowhide, sheep leather and polyamide fabric.

Inside is a Gore-Tex waterproof and breathable membrane. However, the reduced thickness created by the Gore grip process still allows control sensitivity.

They also have SuperFabric inserts, volume adjustments on the wrist and are fully CE-certified.

Horizon helmet ($A999)Ducati touring gear

The Horizon composite fibre helmet is based on X-lite’s X-1004 shell, but designed by Drudi Performance.

This modular helmet is one of only a few flip-up designs approved to be worn while riding in the open position.

The chin guard has a dual safety opening system and ventilation system.

There is a removable and washable internal padding, a sun visor with UV 400 protection and reflex inserts for greater visibility.

Black Steel helmet ($A949)Ducati gear

The Black Steel helmet is based on the Arai Renegade V and designed by Drudi.

The outer shell is made of SFL fibre while the inner shell is made of EPS with differentiated density.

Its interior is made of antibacterial and washable fabric, the VAS visor has a wide field of view and the ventilation system is able to circulate about 14 litres of air per minute.

All Terrain Touring Boots ($A569)Ducati touring gear

These CE-approved, full grain leather and suede, all-terrain boots were made in collaboration with TCX.

They are equipped with a waterproof and breathable eVent membrane and a closure system with adjustable, interchangeable aluminium levers.

The boots have a rubber sole for maximum grip on the pegs and feature lined pleats to increase comfort.

Ducati Communication System V2 ($A569)Ducati gear

This intercom system with voice commands allows up to 15 motorcyclists to communicate simultaneously in a range up to 1.6km in “ideal conditions” and about 1km in “real conditions”.

The connection is automatic, activates by talking and goes off after 30 seconds of silence.

In case of interruption, the connection is automatically restored.

It is based on a Cardo Intercom System and allows the rider to make and answer calls, control mobile devices with the touch of a finger or a voice command and listen Bluetooth music or the integrated FM radio.

The volume of the device adjusts automatically according to the background noise.

It features universal connectivity with any Bluetooth headset of any brand.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Women who ride motorcycles need gear too

(Contributed post)

Women’s motorcycle gear is a hot topic nowadays as more women take to two wheels. Yet time and time again, women mention the same issues when looking for gear: poor fit, clichéd pink colours or floral patterns, and a limited range. Most of these complaints are completely justified.

But Karolina from Liberta Moto recognises that the voices of women in motorcycling matter. “When I first started riding a motorcycle, I didn’t know any other women who rode, but now I barely know someone who doesn’t.”

“Girls need better than this”women's gear female riders

“I started riding a motorcycle five years ago and I traveled everywhere around Sydney and New South Wales,” Karolina says. “When you travel long distances, you want something protective and comfortable to support the longer rides. Let’s be honest, motorcycle gear shops that produce mass amounts of riding gear don’t keep your best interests in mind. Especially for ladies!”

In retail shops, she’s used to seeing bulky gear with ornate floral patterns—a stereotypical pattern she’s surprised to still see. The online space offers more options for women, but nonetheless, few brands cater to motorcycle-riding females.

Even with gear that looks nice, it doesn’t always have the benefits of functionality. Karolina recalls: “I remember when I bought my first jacket. It was the best of the worst—bulky, heavy and stiff. At least it was in a beautiful bright red colour. Having to wear this uncomfortable, bulky and unflattering ladies’ riding jacket in the early days, I thought ‘girls need better than this!’

Motived for her community, Karolina decided to provide girls with better gear, and in 2019, Liberta Moto was born.

Creating the Perfect Jacket

“Living in Australia where the summers can be very hot, riding in a heavy leather jacket is the worst feeling; always sweaty and hot as hell. I often ended up riding a bike without wearing a jacket at all, and I felt very unsafe and uncomfortable.” Since retail stores only offered fabric (or plastic) jackets—mass produced and lacking in comfort and style—Karolina decided to make her own.

women's gear female riders
Sugar Glider

She started with the Sugar Glider women’s motorcycle jacket: a versatile, buttery soft leather jacket that looks great both on and off the bike, made with women in mind. Specifically designed for summer, it features large, perforated panels for airflow but also comes with a removable inner layer, providing warmth on colder days.

The Sugar Glider has received high praise from the female motorcyclist community, and is now being sold online and in select stores across Australia and the US.

In order to achieve comfort and avoid a plastic feel, the jacket’s armour is impact reactive, meaning it hardens on impact, but is also soft, like memory foam. It comes fitted with removable CE Level 1 armour for the shoulders and elbows and CE Level 2 armour for the back.

As much as style was a concern, so was safety. “I needed to make sure the jacket was properly equipped with safety features, so I sought advice from professionals in the industry. The design was developed in consultation with a leather garment professional and with a professional in racing industry, a trusted well-known brand that make road and racing suits.”

And Don’t Forget the Boys

women's gear female riders
Men’s jacket

Leveraging the success of the women’s Sugar Glider jacket, Liberta Moto also wanted to provide an option for men. “We recognised that the same issues affecting women in summer were also a concern for men, so we decided to redesign the Sugar Glider specifically to suit men’s body type.”

Just like its sister, the men’s Sugar Glider is exceptionally light, comfortable and highly functional, looks great and keeps you cool during warmer rides. The success of the men’s Sugar Glider jacket has Karolina working on other pieces aimed at men. “We have a number of new products in development, so watch this space!” she exclaims.

New Ventureswomen's gear female riders

But a men’s line isn’t the only new project Karolina has been working on, with Liberta Moto recently launching a range of women’s motorcycle gloves.

Just like the original Sugar Glider jacket, all of the gloves have been designed specifically for women’s hands with a focus on comfort and functionality. “Liberta Moto continues to listen to customers as we strive to bring them impeccably designed and highly functional products”.

While creating motorcycle gear for women is Liberta Moto’s chief goal, it’s certainly not their only one. “We are working to expand our collection and support riders in the industry, as well as planning to make educational motorcycling videos on YouTube. Our aim is to build a supportive, educational community.”

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Royal Enfield launches first women’s riding gear

Royal Enfield has expanded its vintage-look apparel to include its first range of women’s riding gear.

Australian importers Urban Moto Imports says their shipments of the gear have been delayed due to the Covid outbreak.

“We are hoping to see stock around springtime,” says spokesman Mal Jarrett.

Meanwhile, you could buy it online from India at the official Royal Enfield website.Royal Enfield vintage-look women’s riding gear

Riding gear sizes

However, there may be differences in Australian/India sizing, so we suggest waiting until they arrive and you can try them on and get the sizing right.

The range includes jackets and pants, leather gloves and leisurewear such as shorts and t-shirts.Royal Enfield vintage-look women’s riding gear

The all-season Nubra jackets and pants and summer Breeze range include rain and thermal liners, CE-certified elbow and shoulder armour, YKK zips and Cordura reinforcement.Royal Enfield vintage-look women’s riding gear

Female riders have been complaining about being neglected by motorcycle gear manufacturers for years although it is getting better and more available.

MotoCAP has also included women’s jackets in their safety ratings.

It is great to see motorcycle manufacturers pay attention to the potential women’s market and providing properly tailored gear for the female form.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

MotoCAP ratings for more than 200 items

Australia’s internationally awarded MotoCAP safety and thermal comfort ratings system for motorcycle clothing has added 15 jackets to its list of more than 200 tested items.

The safety intitiative, launched in September 2018, is the first of its type in the world.

It has now rated 202 items of clothing, including  105 jackets, 50 pairs of pants and 47 pairs of gloves.

Latest MotoCAP testing

In the latest round of testing, MotoCAP has added 15 textile and leather jackets.

The RST Adventure III textile jacket shares the equal highest safety rating awarded to a textile jacket yet, having received three out of five stars.MotoCAP now rates more than 200 items

The Ixon Frantic leather jacket adds to the range of high performing leather jackets, having received four out of five stars for safety.MotoCAP now rates more than 200 items

Click here for all the MotoCAP jackets ratings.

International award

Last year, MotoCAP won a Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM) road safety award.

MotoCAP gives clothing two separate star ratings – one for protection and one for heat management or comfort.

Clothing manufacturers’ advertising is not an extremely useful resource for protection in a crash or from the extremes of an Australian summer.

Australian Motorcycle Council Protective Clothing sub-committee chair Brian Wood points out that MotoCAP tests the whole garment, unlike European Protective Clothing Standards which only tests samples of fabrics, fastenings and stitching.

“(It) gives the motorcycle community more information when they are making choices about the clothing they wear when riding,” he says.

MotoCAP is a partnership between Transport for NSW, State Insurance Regulatory Authority (SIRA), VicRoads, Transport Accident Commission (TAC), Royal Automobile Club of Victoria (RACV), Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR), Motor Accident Insurance Commission (MAIC), Lifetime Support Authority (LSA), Western Australian Police: Road Safety Commission, Department of State Growth, Insurance Australia Group (IAG), Australian Motorcycle Council and Accident Compensation Corporation in New Zealand.

Testing is carried out by the Deakin University Institute for Frontier Materials on behalf of the MotoCAP partners.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com