October 27, 2021
| On 3 months ago

MO Tested: Dainese Evo 4 Stroke 2 Glove Review

When is a pair of street motorcycle gloves worth $240? When you know they’re going to last a good long time, that’s when. If these new 4 Stroke 2’s are going to hold up as well as the 4 Stroke Evo originals I’ve been wearing for about the last decade, then 240 bucks is probably a bargain. I’ve got more than a few pairs of cheaper gloves that grew holes or fell apart over that ten-year interim – including some lesser Daineses – but then I’ve also got some cheaper ones that have held up really well.

With these 4 Strokes, you’re also getting large injections of Italian style, comfort, fit, and safety. Chances are if they’re not coming apart from everyday use, they’re not going to fall apart when the rubber hits the road, either. We’re CE-certified to the EN 13594/2015 standard.

These are short-cuff gloves, designed more for convenient off-and-on than for ultimate protection, and for being able to go either inside or outside your cuffs as desired. Still, the short gauntlets go about two inches above your wrist joint for a bit more coverage than some shorties. The biggest visible difference with the 2nd-gen 4 Stroke glove is in the closure method: The original EVO used a thinnish Velcro’d leather strap passed through a steel D-ring to cinch and secure itself at the bottom of your wrist; the new 2 has a bigger leather flap that you fold over onto the Velcro to secure the glove.

Original 4 Stroke at left, 4 Stroke 2 right.

I feel like the original securing strap was easier to deal with: Less Velcro equals less snagging on whatever other sticky fabric might be on the sleeve you’re trying to get the glove either over or under, and pulling through the D-ring gave better leverage and was just easier than pulling on that big flap. It seems like I’m trying to get the gauntlet inside the sleeves of most garments I wear them with, and the old way was just easier and less bulky. A small thing, but I don’t know why you change from a thing that was easier? Designers gotta design.

Sizing is another slight problem area. My original pair were Medium, and they fit great and snug, right up until my hands get a little sweaty (most of the time), and then the gloves become slightly hard to remove, then even harder to put back on to the point of what I’ve begun calling a micro-frustration. A large micro-frustration if you need to futz with your GoPro or phone at stops like we always are on MO rides.

Old 4 Stroke Evo size M left still in good shape, new 4 Stroke 2 size L at right. Rough-out leather patch in palm is replaced with grippy rubber pad, outer two fingers are more precurved, and the new glove has more thermoplastic protection.

So I asked for size L for my new 4 Stroke 2s, the next available size up, and while the fit is still good on my hand, now the pre-curved fingers are about ¼-inch longer than they need to be, which is less than perfect for operating brake and clutch levers. As the gloves have broken in and have been in the hot tub with me a couple times (the drum-dyed leather means the dye stays on the gloves not on your fingers), the extra finger length is no longer a problem as much as a slight annoyance. Do Italians have unusually long fingers?

Past those complaints, these are great, comfy gloves, made of supple but tough goatskin. That skin is double-layered in the high-wear areas of the palm, and there’s a high-tack rubber insert at the base of the two middle fingers for securely grabbing big handfuls of throttle. There are small thermoplastic armor bits and extra padding everywhere Dainese’s figured out over the centuries it should be. Where your metacarpals and back of your hand are going to whip into the pavement hardest in a heavy fall, there are padded stainless steel plates – a feature lifted from Dainese’s race gloves which can’t hurt on the street, and which do provide important style points.

Activate the Distortion Control.

The new 4 Strokes are semi-perforated on the backhands and between the fingers, just like my originals, and they do flow a bit of cool air, but not enough to keep my hands from getting a bit perspirey on warm days. Your palms interface the rough side of the goatskin, while the tops of the gloves are lined with a comfy neoprene-like material. Finger seams are sewn internally for max safety and style, but no seams come between fingers and controls on any of your eight digits.

Really, now that I’ve been wearing these for a couple months, my initial agitations at the new securing strap and the longish fingers have pretty much dissipated: It’s almost like a good leather garment adapts to your body the more you wear it. As the hand portion gloms better onto my hand with use, the fingers somehow seem to have shortened… I feel like the end of Casablanca with these gloves; it’s the beginning of a beautiful friendship

Check pricing for the Dainese Evo 4 Stroke 2 Gloves here


FAQ

Are short motorcycle gloves safe?

For riding on the street, short motorcycle gloves are probably as safe as any, unless you ride way above the speed limit wherever you go. For racetrack use, gloves with long gauntlets are less likely to be flung off your hands should you crash at ludicrous speed. At slower street speeds, a short glove should protect your hands just as well, provided it has a good retention system to make sure it stays on your hand, just like any good helmet needs a good strap to keep it on your head.

What are the advantages of a short-cuffed glove?

Convenience mostly. Short gloves are just easier to get on and off your hands when making frequent stops, they’re easy to tuck inside the sleeves of whatever jacket you’re wearing, and that lets air flow up your sleeves on hot days as well.

Is goatskin better than regular cow leather for gloves?

Seems like it is. Goat is a tad thinner than cowhide but almost as tough. It’s also stretchier and a bit softer than cowhide – which makes it an ideal glove leather since it’s better at forming into all the tight compound curves required to fit around your hand and fingers.

Additional Resources

Best Motorcycle Gloves
Best Adventure Motorcycle Gloves


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