Motorbike Glove Protection: Why You Need It and How To Choose The Safest Gloves For You

How To Choose the Motorbike Gloves That Offer the Best Protection To Maximise Your Motorcycle Safety

Every motorcyclist knows the importance of wearing protective gloves. They help to keep your hands safe when performing a variety of tasks such as changing tires, braking and starting the bike, and most importantly during a crash. Not only do they protect your skin, they also keep any injuries you do sustain from getting infected.

Why is motorbike glove protection important?

Motorbike gloves protect your hands in the event of a crash

Your motorcycle gloves are one of the most important pieces of protective gear, second only to your helmet. In the event of a crash, your hands are instinctively what you use to break your fall, meaning they are often the first part of you to hit the ground. For that reason, it is vital that they are up to the job of preventing injuries.

The two main tasks of a motorbike glove during a crash are:

  • Protect your bones from being damaged
  • Protect your skin from abrasions

Bike gloves improve your control of the motorcycle

The palm material of your motorcycle gloves gives you a firm and consistent grip on your handlebars and bike controls. Gloves protect against wet hands in the rain and sweaty hands in summer.

Motorbike gloves protect your hands from the elements and debris

If you rode along without a pair of gloves on, the windchill would end up chapping your knuckles and cause you a lot of discomfort. Even the thinnest and least protective pair of gloves will help you avoid this. The same goes for debris such as grit flying up at you on the road.

The GetGeared 5-Point Checklist on motorbike glove protection

Not all gloves protect in the same way or to the same level. There are many different features that some gloves have and others do not, so which ones are the important ones? The easiest way to figure out how protective a motorbike glove is to use our unique 5-Point Checklist.

  • Knuckle protection
  • Palm impact protection / Palm sliders
  • Side reinforcements (finger protection)
  • Wrist protection
  • Wrist restraint

Motorbike glove protection: Knuckle protection

Impact protection over the knuckle area is a must. Even if you're not involved in an accident, your hands can still suffer from damage when they come into contact with hard surfaces.

The best way to protect your knuckles is to make sure the gloves you choose have a reinforced hard shell which will absorb and disperse any impact from coming into contact with an object or surface.

Types of knuckle protection

Some gloves have hard armoured shells. A strong and reliable material used is carbon, which is what you'll want to go for if you plan on taking risks instead of cruising.

Others, like dirt bike gloves have flexible, soft knuckle protection, often made of TPR or EVA. This is because you need to have a solid grip on your bike's controls, so a rigid knuckle shell may not be the best option.

Motorbike glove protection: Palm impact protection

The base of your palm is the area you instinctively use to break a fall, so impact and abrasion protection there is a must. If your gloves do not protect your palms you'll end up with cuts, scrapes, and road rash. As an open wound that has just come into heavy contact with a road surface, this is very likely to develop an infection, so gloves that keep your skin in tact are vital.

Materials that protect your skin

Kangaroo or goatskin leather are commonly used as palm protection for motorbike gloves. This is because they are supple as well as very durable, offering optimum resistance to abrasion while being thin and comfortable to wear.

There are vegan-friendly options for palm protection, as synthetic material manufacturing has come a long way in recent years. Some examples of non-leather abrasion resistant materials include Clarino, which is a synthetic suede, EVA pads, and PVC fabric.

Motorbike glove protection: Side reinforcements

Side reinforcements help to protect your hands from injuries caused by abrasion and snagging the little finger. More padding is often the way it's done, but some gloves (especially race gloves) have a finger bridge.

Finger bridge: Ideal for track gloves

This is a piece of webbing between the ring and little fingers that prevents twisting caused by falling on the side of your hand. Keeping your smallest and most delicate fingers together means they're less likely to be broken.

Motorbike glove protection: Wrist protection

Mostly reserved for track gloves, wrist protection shields the small bones that make up the functioning of the wrist. It will wrap around your wrist to offer more padding and security.

Motorbike glove protection: Wrist restraint

An effective wrist restraint means the gloves cannot come off in a slide, which is especially if you're not wearing a full-length cuff. The faster you plan on riding, the more important this feature is. Look for a gauntlet cuff, or something with a secure wrist closure to seal the deal.

Motorbike glove protection certifications: What they mean and how to choose based on ratings

CE tested vs. CE certified vs. CE approved

  • CE tested means the glove manufacturer has conducted testing separate from a certified facility. Although it's better than nothing, there is no guarantee of standardisation.
  • CE certified means the glove will have been tested and approved at a certified facility in some areas but not all.
  • CE approved means the entire glove has been tested and approved at a certified facility. Armour, abrasion resistance, and tear resistance, right down to the seam stitching.

EN safety standards

This is the legal requirement of safety in Europe, so all gloves on the market should have an EN rating (although perhaps not the most recent one). EN 13594:2015 is the most recent rating for motorcycle gloves, so look out for the certification.

When it comes to motorbike glove protection, you get what you pay for

When choosing motorbike gloves, it is important to remember that you get what you pay for. A cheaper pair of gloves may not offer the same level of protection as a more expensive pair. While the best motorbike gloves can be expensive, they're a worthwhile investment if you ride regularly, or at high speeds.

The levels of protection can differ quite dramatically. Knuckle protection may look the same regardless of the gloves you are looking at, but at the top end the shell is crafted from carbon or titanium, while at the bottom end of the price range is quite often is a simple plastic shell you can crush with one hand.

The GetGeared 5-Point Checklist: The guide in action on our website

If you're looking for the safest motorcycle gloves to protect you on your rides, make sure to check for the features on our 5-Point Checklist. With this simple measure, you can quickly identify how well a glove will protect you in the event of an accident.

On the GetGeared website, you will see us reference the protection by describing gloves as having '3 point protection', meaning 3 of the protective features are present. For more information on choosing the right motorcycle gloves for you, visit the GetGeared website today.

Comfort is a key factor in protection for the best motorcycle gloves

A motorbike glove that isn't comfortable will impact your grip and concentration. Think about how different factors that will affect comfort, for example, would a gauntlet cuff be incompatible with your jacket sleeves? Do you have longer fingers than average?

It's important to try on a range of gloves in-store, or be extra careful with measurements if buying online. At the end of the day, you don't want to be focusing on numb fingers or stiff wrists instead of the road ahead.

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