Welcome to motorcycling! Maybe you just bought your first bike or are about to do it. Either way, you’ve probably realized that you’ll need to buy more than just a motorcycle. Motorcycle gear can get really expensive really quickly, but you don’t need to spend a fortune (which you probably don’t have since you just bought your first bike) to keep yourself comfortable while riding or protect yourself in a mishap. While all motorcycle safety gear is important, there is a hierarchy of necessity. Since the assumption of this article is that you’re short on cash, we’ll work our way down the list.
Yeah, we know that we constantly say that you should buy the best gear you can afford. We think it’s time to show you some glove bargains. So, we’re gonna pull back a little and show you how nice gloves that cost less than a C-note can be. In fact, some of these motorcycle gloves are almost inexpensive enough to buy two pair without breaking our self-imposed ceiling. Our reason for undertaking this exercise is to illustrate the breadth of gear available to riders who maybe just spent all their scratch on a new motorcycle and don’t have much left for gear.
News flash: most motorcycles have very little cargo-carrying capacity. That’s why tank bags were invented. You can easily carry the little essentials you may need on your ride in a form factor that’s easily removed from your motorcycle. Still, in all my years riding, I’ve never had a tank bag stolen or looted when sitting unattended on my bike. For riders who have hard bags on their bikes, I’ve seen folks use a nylon bag with organizer pockets to carry many of the items on this list, making it possible to compartmentalize the gear like in a tank bag.
I don’t know why they call them “the fairer sex,” as they can be pretty unfair. When I offered Chrissy Rogers an all-expenses two-day paid vacay riding around on (back of) the new Yamaha Star Venture a couple months ago, I sensed some resistance. I sweetened the pot with a casual “maybe we can get you some new boots.” Fish on!
If you haven’t been keeping track, California has been a hot, dry state for the past several years. Which is a good thing when it comes to riding motorcycles year-round, but less so when you’re trying to test cold-weather gloves. Thankfully, that dry spell has come to an end this year, with bucket loads of rain bringing with it some chilly weather. Finally, a chance to put Joe Rocket’s Rocket Burner textile gloves to use.
Drum roll… And the award for most enthusiastic gear presentation goes to Alpinestars’ technical media guru, Heath Confran! Applause, cheers, whistles… Heath’s excitement for Alpinestars’ products is palpable and infectious. For good reason because coming soon Alpinestars has a variety of cool new kit for all riding disciplines. The marathon presentation included way too much to cover in entirety, so we chose our favorite five items. For viewing everything new that requires a license plate to ride, go here. For all you dirt-only guys, click here. To see our five faves simply continue reading.
Part of our jobs as editors at a motorcycle-focused publication is to model a variety of riding gear for our readers, as it gives visibility to a wider variety of gear than you might have access to at a local motorcycle dealership. So, while displaying a variety of gear options is part of our job, you’ll also discover, if you look closely, that every MO staffer has their favorite items that show up in more photos than others. In my case, for the better part of a year, you would have seen quite a few appearances of the Troy Lee Designs Apex Pro Glove.
So, Father’s Day is here, again, and when I complained to my wife about how I’d made a list of my ideas for motorcycle-related gifts only to discover that it almost exactly mimicked last year’s list, she said, “Remember, you’re providing a service. As a non-rider, I have no idea what to give you for Father’s Day.” My response to her was a simple, “You’re willing to spend more than $100 on me for Father’s Day!” Clearly, this buyer’s guide just became much more important.
It took a while to fully test Held’s Race-Tex gloves because we’ve been waiting for an opportunity to wear them in the rain. When the rain finally arrived, not only did the Race-Tex gloves prove to be impenetrable to falling water from the sky but also, as a follow-up test, to the direct torrent of water from the kitchen faucet. The Gore-Tex lining did its job of maintaining a dry interior while also keeping claminess to a minimum due to its breathability. Sometimes, name brands such as Gore-Tex are worth the extra cost of ownership.
Here’s a first-world problem for you: You’re out riding a new road only to realize you’re lost. You’ve got somewhere to be and now, not only will you be late but you also don’t know where you’re going. Luckily, you brought a GPS and your cell phone is fully charged (or, if you’re really fancy, your phone is your GPS). But having to take your glove off to use the touchscreen is annoying. What do you do?
Now that summer is officially over (though SoCal riders may not feel the difference), it’s time to switch gears and prepare ourselves for the cooler temperatures that are around the corner. What follows is an update to the Waterproof Winter Gloves Buyer’s Guide Evans penned at the beginning of the year. We realize the timing of that guide might have come too late to those who already packed their bikes away for the winter, and since that time many glove makers have introduced new or updated models for the upcoming winter riding season. Here now, in no particular order, are 10 more winter riding gloves.
When the temperature climbs, even the most dedicated rider may hesitate a moment before donning gloves. Without vents, leather and armor can turn gloves into a mobile sauna for your digits. Then there’s the indignity of sweating so much inside a pair of gloves that the dyes leech into your skin, leading to embarrassing questions. Well, we’ve scoured the interwebs to find a variety of gloves that offer both protection and a means to keep your paws cool during the summer months.
Got my Sena bluetooth communicator on and synced to my iPhone, the destination address entered into Waze, and KCRW streaming for my listening pleasure. I pull away from the garage and moments later everything stops transmitting during the switch from Wi-Fi to LTE. Damnit! Pull over, take off the gloves and re-sync. Not a hard task, but an aggravation. An aggravation I no longer suffer because of Nanotips, a liquid touchscreen solution you can apply to almost any material.
Two kinds of folks ride motorcycles: Those who ride year round and those who lock their bikes away during the cold months. Winter is a tough time of year for even the hardiest of riders to enjoy riding motorcycles. First, its pretty dang cold. And when the temperature really drops, roads can get icy. While there’s not much that can be done for the latter other than wait for the roads to de-ice, the former can be helped by wearing riding gear designed specifically for the conditions.
In German, these are motorradhandschuhe – motorcycle hand shoes – and really nice ones (as they should be for $279). (Another favorite German word is auspuf, which is just what it sounds like, exhaust system.) Actually these gloves are designed in Austria and made in China, where they’ve been cranking them out for two decades now.