At $109.95, the RS Taichi NXT053 GP-X racing glove is simply a glove you can’t afford not to have in your collection. It doesn’t even matter what kind of bike you ride. Cruiser? Sure. Dirtbike? Yeah, why not. But if you do any kind of sport riding, I can confidently say, your search for a budget-minded glove is officially over. Let me explain.
Billed as RS Taichi’s entry level sport/street glove, the GP-X is a full-length gauntlet design with full leather outer construction and a polyester lining inside. It’s got all the features you’d expect in an entry-level glove, too: carbon knuckle protection, velcro closures, and flex paneling on the first three fingers for better range of movement.
Speaking of range of movement, the carbon knuckle armor is a “floating” design, which puts less stress on your hand and allows it to move around more freely. Perforated leather is strategically placed on the backs of each finger to aid in cooling for those warmer rides, though the amount of airflow they provide is really only noticeable when riding in frigid temps. Other nice touches include 5mm foam padding on the wrist and palm for better impact protection, and an additional layer of leather lines the little finger to help with abrasion resistance.
So why am I gushing about the GP-X? Because from the moment I put it on it felt like gloves I’ve owned costing much more. I’ve long known RS Taichi’s reputation for quality products, like the GMX-Motion jacket I recently reviewed, but I also accepted a hefty price tag as the cost of wearing something so finely made. The GP-X is shattering my perceptions about RS Taichi.
From the start the GP-X feels nice. One warning I can give is to be honest with yourself about sizing: the glove breaks in and loosens up after a few miles, so what might have felt perfect in the store now feels slightly too large. Aim for something a little tight at first, after the break-in period it’ll be spot-on. Otherwise, fit is comfortable and natural in the riding position thanks to the slightly pre-curved fingers. I can hardly notice the stitching, and no seams or stray fabric scratch or annoy me when riding.
In the past, other low-buck gloves I’ve tried have had scary instances of seams opening after only a modest amount of use, dangerously exposing skin. Thankfully, after approximately four months and tons of miles, the construction of the GP-X is as solid as the day I got them. While riding, the glove gives good feel for the controls with excellent range of movement.
Being a budget-minded glove, the GP-X is lacking some of the more intricate features more expensive gloves offer. Other than the carbon knuckle protection, you won’t find any hard armor elsewhere – no scaphoid protector and no plastic slider on the palm to assist in sliding should you stick your hand out in a fall, the most common reaction. There’s no kangaroo hide to be found, nor are there advanced levels of ventilation. But really, if those things matter to you, you’re not the target audience RS Taichi is aiming the GP-X glove at anyway.
I have yet to fall in these gloves so I can’t report on its crashworthiness, but otherwise I’m thoroughly impressed. RS Taichi has changed my perception on what is possible with a glove built to a low price point. I’d still grab something else when heading to the track, but perhaps the highest praise I can give the GP-X is that it has now become the glove I grab first when I’m heading out the door on a street ride.