Until now motorcycle gloves have had a single function: protection. BearTek is changing that by introducing Bluetooth connectivity into its line of motorcycle street gloves.
Installed into the left glove are contact points, one on the thumb and two on each the first three fingers. In the gauntlet pocket of the same glove resides a Bluetooth module. After syncing the BearTek Bluetooth module to a smartphone, a rider can answer and end phone calls as well as play, pause, forward and rewind music by touching the contact point on the thumb to a particular contact point on one of the fingers.
As far as being a hands-free enabler, the BearTek gloves allow a rider to access the above mentioned smartphone operations without even uncurling their digits from around the handlebar. Once accustomed to the function of each button and its location on the glove, simply tap the two together and you’re listening to your latest track, answering a phone call, etc.
Adjusting volume, however, is problematic as BearTek gloves are unable to do so via Bluetooth, meaning you have to reach up and adjust the volume directly on the helmet mounted communication device. Beartek says it is working to incorporate this function, but for now the inability to adjust volume largely defeats the hands-free claim.
BearTek also offers an optional Wifi module devised to manipulate the functions of a GoPro camera by using the same process of touching the contact point on the thumb to particular contact point on a finger. Currently, GoPro is the only compatible camera, but BearTek says it is working on adding additional camera brands.
While negating the need to reach up to your helmet-mounted communication device is a small benefit, we can see that having the Wifi module will allow for better control over your GoPro camera. Because the camera is oftentimes inaccessible while riding, you’re forced to hit the record button and keep recording until you stop riding. With BearTek gloves a person can more precisely record when and what you want, or take photos with the GoPro’s snapshot option.
The leather gloves are manufactured in Pakistan from 100% cowhide with (real) carbon fiber knuckle and finger protection. Double stitching is present while Velcro secures the glove at the wrist and the gauntlet opening. Reinforced leather is used on the palms, and extra wrist padding will soften some impacts.
We found the BearTeks to be a more general purpose motorcycle glove rather than sport-specific. While the sizing fits correctly, the fingers are thick and cumbersome, and the gauntlet diameter small. Either module’s firmware is upgradable via connection to a computer with internet access. Hardware upgrades will require the owner to purchase a new module.
Pricing for the gloves is only $145, while Bluetooth and Wifi modules cost $140 a piece. Purchase a gloves/module package, and you save $10, bringing the total to $275 – nearly equivalent to a pair of Alpinestars’ GP Tech leather gloves.
BearTek gloves come with a 30-day, no-questions-asked, money-back guarantee and a one-year warranty against manufacturer defects. For more information or to purchase a pair of BearTek gloves, go to www.beartekgloves.com.