Racer Multitop Short Waterproof Gloves

By now, regular readers of Motorcycle.com should be familiar with Racer Gloves. All four MO editorial staffers have tested gloves manufactured by the Austrian manufacturer. If you take a look at any of our seven previous reviews, you’ll find a common theme: Racer Gloves feel like they are broken in from the first moment you put a pair on your hands. The Racer Multitop Short Gloves I’m reviewing here are no different. 

MO Tested: Racer Hi-Per Gloves Review

MO Tested: Racer Multitop 2 Review

MO Tested: Racer High Racer Glove Review

MO Tested: Racer Sprint Gloves

MO Tested: Racer Stratos Goretex II Gloves

Racer High Speed Gloves Review

Racer Warm Up Gloves Review 

Construction

The magic sauce in Racer gloves is the use of a combination of different leathers based on the requirements of particular sections of the gloves. For example, riders want maximum feel in the palms of their hands so that they can track what is happening at the front wheel’s contact patch. However, on the back side of the hands, impact and abrasion protection is of primary importance. So, the palms receive extremely supple and more expensive kangaroo leather, while the back of the hands utilize heavier cow leather. 

There’s more going on in the palm than just soft kangaroo leather. The heel receives two Knox SPS sliders to promote, well, sliding on pavement, while the top of the hand has a textured Pittards Leather patch to improve the rider’s grip on the handlebar. Under the kangaroo is a layer of Kevlar weave to keep the pavement on the outside of the glove.

More goes into the Multitop’s protection than just a variety of leathers. The palms sport Knox SPS sliders in the heel of the hand where it is most likely to make first impact. The sliders keep the leather of the palm from hooking up with the pavement and causing the rider to tumble. Additionally, underneath the kangaroo, a Kevlar under-weave provides additional abrasion protection. 

On the back of the gloves over the knuckles and fingers, the leather receives reinforcement from either carbon armor inserts, closed cell foam padding, and/or additional layers of leather. All seams are double-stitched without any stray threads. The single wrist closure appears to snug the short gauntlet up enough to prevent the glove from flying off in a tumble, but I prefer gloves that use a secondary strap to secure the glove to my wrist. Still, the gauntlets are small enough to fit under the cuffs of most jackets without exposing any skin. 

The combination of carbon armor and closed-cell foam padding should protect your knuckles from any hard whacks on the pavement. Their placement and the precurved construction of the gloves mean that finger motion on the controls is not limited.

The glove interior consists of a slippery nylon liner that makes donning the gloves easy. Although Racer says the gloves are not insulated, the waterproof liner makes them feel that way. I can see the Multitop Shorts becoming my go-to gloves in the mild weather we have in So Cal during winter. However, once the temperature gets around 60°, they get toasty pretty quickly. 

On the bike

As I said at the start of this article, the Multitop Shorts felt like well-used gloves from the first moment I put them on. The nylon liner makes it easy to slip them on and off. However, when the interior of the gloves is wet, the liner does try to stick to your fingers as you remove the gloves. Pinching each fingertip as you pull off the gloves remedies the issue somewhat. 

How did the interior of these waterproof gloves get wet, you ask? Well, the first pair I received from Racer failed spectacularly in the epic rains we had in Los Angeles in March. Within minutes of starting my ride, my fingers were wet. When I reached out to my contact at Racer, they told me to check for water tightness by filling the gloves with water. I did, and within seconds of filling each glove, water began dripping out of the fingers. Somehow, the waterproof liner in both gloves had been compromised during assembly. 

Although the single wrist closure feels pretty secure, I prefer a secondary strap across the narrow portion of the wrist to prevent glove fly-off in a crash.

Naturally, I returned the gloves and received a second pair as a warranty replacement. Although I haven’t ridden with these gloves in the rain (we’re back in drought season here), both gloves passed being dipped in a bucket of water and, after drying out, being filled with water for roughly an hour without any sign of leakage. 

The rest of my time with the Racer Multitop Short Waterproof Gloves has been similar to my previous experience with the company’s gloves. They are comfortable, offer excellent feel on the grips, and the armor appears to be appropriately positioned and constructed to protect my hands in a crash. The sizing of the gloves, if you follow the measuring methods outlined on Racer’s website, is spot on. The color options are limited to black or black/orange/white. If I only rode my 790 Duke, I’d opt for the tri-color version, but I opted for black. Since I think that white on gloves makes them more visible when giving hand signals, I wish a black/white color option were available. 

Racer Multitop Short Waterproof Gloves are available in sizes S-3XL for a retail price of $150 and offer the features and fit of more expensive waterproof gloves. I highly recommend them – just test them for leaks as soon as you receive them. 

Shop for the Racer Multitop Short Waterproof Gloves here

FAQ

Are waterproof gloves really waterproof?

That depends on the glove. There are a variety of waterproof membranes used in both the interior and exterior of motorcycle gloves, and some work quite well. Others, not so much. As this review shows, a glove that features a waterproof liner can have that compromised by incorrect assembly, while another of the same model will be watertight. One thing to note: When riding in warm rain for an extended period, some riders mistake their own perspiration moistening the interior of their gloves for a leak. 

What are the best wet weather motorcycle gloves?

That depends on the type of motorcycling you are doing. The protective demands made of dirt riding gloves are quite different from those of a commuter or a track rider. At the bare minimum, street riding gloves should be constructed of leather or an abrasion-resistant textile. A wrist closure to keep gloves on the riders’ hands during a slide is a good idea, and don’t forget the importance of armor or padding on the knuckles. 

Should motorcyclists wear full-fingered gloves?

Absolutely. In a crash, a rider will instinctively put out their hands to break their fall. Protect your delicate digits with leather gloves at a bare minimum. Gloves with armor and padding for the knuckles are an even better idea. 

Additional Resources

MO Tested: Racer Hi-Per Gloves Review
MO Tested: Racer Multitop 2 Review
MO Tested: Racer High Racer Glove Review
MO Tested: Racer Sprint Gloves
MO Tested: Racer Stratos Goretex II Gloves
Racer High Speed Gloves Review
Racer Warm Up Gloves Review 
MO Tested: Aerostich Competition Elkskin Roper Glove Review
MO Tested: Dainese Evo 4 Stroke 2 Glove Review
MO Tested: REV’IT! Jerez 3 Glove Review
MO Tested: Alpinestars SP X Air Carbon V2 Glove Review


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