Gloves are an important part of my riding gear, and I never ride bare handed.
For one thing, if you're involved in an accident, your hands are the first thing that you instinctively use to break a fall or slide, and road rash damage can be severe. I also prefer the improved feel that a leather glove provides on the hand grips and levers. And gloves keep your hands from getting blisters.
I have owned a lot of gloves: cold weather gauntlet gloves, warm weather short cuff perforated gloves and all kinds in between.
The problem is, I have also lost a lot of gloves, so I'm constantly looking for new gloves. I keep several pairs in my tail bag for different riding conditions.
Last year I got off my bike after a long ride, only to discover that I'd left my tail bag open. Apparently two gloves blew out of my bag, and naturally they weren't a pair, so I lost two sets of gloves. So I'll be reporting on several new gloves this year.
The first pair is from Racer Gloves USA. The Sprint is a warm weather, short cuff, perforated goatskin leather glove. I tested a pair in the August heat last year and they're great.
They feature a thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) hard knuckle protector and thermoplastic rubber (TPR) semihard finger protectors. They are vented with perforations on top and on the underside of each finger for good cooling airflow. Stretch fabric gussets in the crook of each finger also allows a lot of airflow into the glove.
The heel of the palms have a layer of padding for safety, but they also reduce some of the unwanted vibrations that come through the handgrips.
Proper fit is essential for any glove to feel all-day comfortable and to retain proper feel on the controls. And I, naturally, have a difficult time finding a glove that fits me well. Either the fingers are too long or the fit around the knuckles are too tight. However, the Racer Gloves USA website has an excelling fitment chart that shows you how to measure your fingers and palms, and choose the size best for you.
Usually I wear a size Small, but the chart told me to get a Medium. When they arrived and I put them on for the first time, they fit … perfectly. (I bet you thought I'd say they fit like a glove, didn't you?) My fingers were right at the tips of the gloves, and they were not too tight across the knuckles.
Inside, there were no bulky seams to cause any abrasion or discomfort. They felt broken in from the very first ride. I inspected all the stitching (and double stitching) and couldn't find a single flaw. When riding, I could feel the airflow on a hot, muggy day, and my hands didn't sweat at all, which is the way perforated gloves are supposed to operate.
The feel on motorcycle levers and grips was also excellent.
These gloves sell for $112.99, which is quite reasonable for a quality glove with the fit and finish of this pair. Now, if I can only keep from losing them so I can enjoy them all summer!
Racer Gloves sells dozens of different styles for all types of riding conditions, including heated gloves. So visit its website at www.racerglovesusa.com and find a pair that works for you.
• Email Glassman at KGHawkeye650@aol.com.