Gloves are one of the most important pieces of motorcycle gear you can buy. They not only protect your hands but also allow you to drive with more dexterity. Whether you’ve just invested in expensive gloves or are getting ready to make a purchase, you’ll want to know how long you can expect your gloves to last before replacing. We’ve researched all of the options so you can get the most mileage out of your motorcycle gloves.
Though various factors have to be considered, in general, you can expect to ride about 12,000 miles with a pair of motorcycle gloves before you have to replace them. Unlike helmets, the material in gloves doesn’t deteriorate over time, so wear and tear from actual use is the most important consideration. Several other factors affect how long your gloves will last including:
- The type of motorcycle you drive
- The amount of driving you will be doing
- The quality and craftsmanship of the gloves
If you’re looking to maximize your investment and safety, read on to find out which gloves are best for you, based on how often you ride and what type of motorcycle you have.
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How Do I Choose Motorcycle Gloves?
Where you plan to ride your motorcycle is the most important factor in choosing motorcycle gloves. Gloves designed for motocross or dirtbike riding will not protect you on the road. All motorcycle gloves have either inner or outer seams. Outer seams allow for better tactility with your motorcycle controls but can feel bulky and push apart your fingers.
You’ll need to try on both types to see which one suits you better. When buying your first pair of motorcycle gloves, there’s no substitute for trying on a variety of gloves to find the perfect fit.
Gloves For Riding On Pavement
If you plan to ride on the pavement for any amount of time, even if most of your riding will be off-road, you need to buy gloves designed to protect you on the road. These gloves will have a reinforced palm, impact padding, knuckle protection, and usually a finger bridge. The finger bridge is to prevent your little finger from rolling back and breaking during a crash. They often have a gauntlet as well, so that no part of your skin is exposed. They are designed to protect your hands in case of a fall or skid on paved surfaces.
Gloves For Riding Off-road
If you are riding offroad, motocross gloves are a good choice. They also offer protection, though they are usually lighter and less protective than gloves designed for touring or sport riding. They often have silicone grips in the first two fingers to aid in gripping the bar. Gloves for offroading are usually short gloves, and are made without a gauntlet.
Comfort Features For Long Rides
Once you have narrowed your choice to street-riding or offroad gloves, you’ll need to think about how long you ride your motorcycle. Comfort is much more important for a ride that lasts for hours than for a quick trip to the store. Gloves that incorporate accordion fabric for flexibility and vents for cooling will be more comfortable for long trips. If you are commuting a short distance, gloves made with perforated leather can be a good choice for lightweight protection and comfort.
What Are Motorcycle Gloves Made Of?
Motorcycle gloves are made from a variety of materials, depending on their intended function. Perforated leather, intended for light use, is generally used for lightweight gloves. Perforating the leather weakens it, so it’s not a good choice if you need the extra protection. Many gloves have palms reinforced with goat leather, which is thick and protective. Most gloves designed to be worn for extended periods also incorporate accordion fabric into the design to allow for ease of movement.
For protective armor, many gloves use thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) as a defensive layer. Knuckle shields on motocross gloves usually have this, as do the palmar impact points on many sport riding gloves. Titanium is sometimes used for knuckle armor in more expensive gloves, but rubber and plastic can be just as effective, so that alone may not be worth spending more.
Gloves designed to withstand harsh weather such as rain or snow feature an outer layer of Gore-Tex or Hipora. They may also have an inner layer of fleece for comfort and warmth.
Are Motorcycle Gloves Supposed To Be Tight?
Your motorcycle gloves need to fit, not only for comfort but also for safety. Ill-fitting gloves will interfere with your ability to properly operate your motorcycle. Your gloves should fit snugly without any gaping or looseness, especially around the fingers. Leather gloves will naturally loosen up as you break them in, so it’s appropriate for them to feel a little tight when you first purchase them. Synthetic materials won’t stretch out, so you should start with a comfortably snug fit.
Your leather gloves should fit comfortably, so check out, “Do Leather Motorcycle Gloves Stretch [Yes! And Here Are 5 Ways To Do Just That!]”
Are Motorcycle Gloves Waterproof?
Some motorcycle gloves are waterproof. If you will be riding in rain or snow, look for gloves that are made with an outer layer of Gore-Tex or Hipora, which are waterproof but breathable fabrics. Generally, gloves made with Hipora are not as expensive as gloves made with Gore-Tex, but Hipora tends to be less breathable. It’s worth the splurge if you can afford Gore-Tex, although Hipora is an acceptable alternative.
Keep hands warm and dry, and stay connected while you ride. Check out, “Do Winter Motorcycle Gloves Have Touchscreen Fingers?”
Choosing the right motorcycle gloves for your needs is always a trade-off. You need to know what is most important to you before you can decide on the best pair. If you know you’ll be riding hard and fast, go for safety and worry less about comfort. If you plan to tour the countryside on your motorcycle leisurely, focus on finding the most comfortable fit. Fortunately, many companies are using the latest advances in fabric technology to provide you with a good combination of comfort and protection.