Unlined Motorcycle Gloves: Choosing The Best Dry Weather Summer Riding or Racing Glove For You

From leather to mesh, here is the guide to your next pair of unlined motorcycle gloves for summer

What are unlined motorcycle gloves?

When we say "lining", we aren't talking about the material lining the inside of your glove. What we mean is the climate membrane used in the glove's inner construction that makes a glove waterproof. An unlined glove has no climate membrane therefore it is not waterproof.

That's why unlined gloves are also called dry weather gloves - you wouldn't use them to ride in the rain!

Features of unlined gloves compared to lined gloves

  • Unlined gloves are thinner
  • Unlined gloves do not contain insulation
  • Unlined gloves are not waterproof
  • Unlined gloves are more breathable

Why do I need a pair of unlined motorcycle gloves?

Generally speaking, unlined gloves are for summer riding. Your all-season, or mid-season, gloves will keep your hands dry and protected from windchill for most of the year, but you definitely need an unlined pair to stop yourself overheating in the hottest weeks of the year.

When it comes to racing, the benefits of a thinner glove are clear when it comes to control over your bike.

Unlined motorcycle gloves improve your grip on the handlebars

Because they have no bulky insulation or waterproofing, unlined gloves are perfect in terms of grip. You get more dexterity and movement in your fingers. In an ideal world, your winter gloves would be as lightweight as your summer ones!

Unlined motorcycle gloves make it easier to operate the bike's controls

Consider the types of riding most commonly done in summer. Touring. Adventure. Racing. All the types of riding where you want to feel most in control of your bike. A thinner glove provides you with a more direct 'feel' for your motorcycle, letting you enjoy the open road or smooth track that little bit more.

Types of unlined motorcycle gloves

Racing gloves / Track gloves: Sport riding

These are the most technical of motorcycle gloves, and easily recognisable as a result with their pronounced knuckle protection and external wrist protection. It makes sense that they have no lining, as racing means you want the most control over your bike.

They are most often made of leather, for maximum abrasion resistance, with

Shorty unlined motorcycle gloves: For summer riding

As suggested by the name, these will have a short cuff. Designed for warm weather riding, they're made from lightweight leather or textiles. There are many styles on the market, ranging from sporty to retro, so you can be sure to find your ideal summer glove in this category.

Mesh unlined motorcycle gloves: The lightest weight for the highest heat

These are perfect if you plan on touring in a hot country, or if you overheat easily. A motorcycle glove with a mesh construction will maximise airflow to your hands, which actively cools them when the weather is warm.

Are unlined motorcycle gloves less safe than lined ones?

You may assume that a thinner glove won't keep your hands as safe as a lined one, but that isn't the case. In a lined glove, the extra material is waterproofing and insulation, which doesn't add a great deal to your protection aside from a little more abrasion resistance. An unlined glove can still have hard knuckle protection, long cuffs, and durable leather palms while being lightweight.

Different features of racing gloves: How to choose

Long or short cuff?

Always check the rules of the track you're going to, as some have a rule requiring your sleeves to tuck into your gloves. In that case, you'll want to opt for a gauntlet cuff. You get more wrist protection, and if it is raining you can tuck your sleeves to prevent rain getting to your hands. A great option is the RST Tractech Evo 4 Leather Glove, which comes in a range of stylish colours.

If you're planning on only race in summer, when the weather is dry, you might go for a shorter cuff. You'll get more flexibility and a better feel for your bike. While there is less wrist protection in the event of a crash, there can still be knuckle and palm protection, as well as a finger bridge.

Different features of shorty gloves: How to choose

Leather or textile summer glove?

This depends on the look you're aiming for. If you need a summer glove for commuting in the city, a textile or leather and mesh glove will give you an urban feel. If you plan on cruising in true retro style, then a full leather glove is the one for you. Many styles of leather gloves come in brown as well as black, like the Brown Weise Victory Glove, so you can rock that heritage look to the max.

Something else to consider is that the engineering of textiles have come a long way, so although something can be said for good old fashioned leather, when it comes to abrasion resistance most modern textiles do compare well.

Different features of mesh gloves: How to choose

Sporty or adventure style?

A sporty mesh glove will generally have a sleek urban feel, with a slim profile, such as the RST Rider Gloves. A great pair of motorcycle gloves for hot weather in the city.

An adventure touring mesh glove will look more rugged, often with breathable knuckle protection, like the Rev'It! Sand 4 Gloves. These set the standard for performance adventure motorcycle gloves.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is an unlined cruiser glove?

These gloves generally carry a distinctively retro heritage look and fall into the shorty category. If you've got an Open-Face helmet and cruiser boots, then a pair of short-cuff leather gloves are the ones for your summer rides.

What are the best summer motorcycle gloves?

It depends on what type of riding you'll be doing. All unlined gloves are aimed at keeping your hands cool, so ask yourself whether you want a stylish shorty or a super-breathable mesh pair.

Why choose leather gloves over textile?

Choose leather gloves over textile if you want to cruise in vintage style. Many mesh gloves are actually leather and mesh in their construction, meaning you can get the best of leather's abrasion resistance while enjoying excellent ventilation.

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