Bionic Motorcycle Gloves
by Glenn W. for webBikeWorld.com
Summary: Probably better for cruising than Sportbiking, Bionic
Gloves have promise but leave me underwhelmed.
Whenever I happen to mention to a casual acquaintance
that I ride a motorcycle , the first question is usually
"Oh, do you have a Harley?"
That's a typical response, at least in the U.S.A.
When I tell them I own a BMW, I can count on this: "Oh -- I
didn't know BMW made motorcycles". At that point, I'll try to change the subject.
Which brings us to the Bionic Gloves. Great name,
actually, but something tells me that if the folks who designed them are
motorcycle owners at all, they're probably cruiser riders.
They also play golf, ride horses, work in the garden and play tennis,
racquetball and baseball, because there's a Bionic Glove for all of those
activities and more.
But what works for one sport doesn't necessary work for another.
Bionic Gloves were supposedly "designed by an orthopedic hand surgeon" to
provide "more gripping power with less fatigue", but ironically seem to do just
the reverse when compared to "normal" motorcycle gloves.
The defining characteristic of the Bionic Gloves are the gel
pads used under the fingers, over the base knuckles and elsewhere. Also,
the middle and top knuckle pads have a distinctive round shape, which is
apparently designed to spread the tension around the perimeter of the bent
knuckle, providing more comfort.
Bionic Glove Features
The gloves are made from sheepskin, according to the company, so
the gloves will "fit like a second skin", as they say.
This is where the paradox comes into play, because in one sense,
the Bionic gloves can feel comfortable with their snug and stretchy fit, when
riding certain bikes under certain conditions.
But the gel inserts and the Bionic design don't seem to work very
well for Sportbike riding, in my opinion, for two reasons.
First, the gel inserts isolate feel from the hand grips, which
is precisely what you don't want on a Sportbike. High quality leather race
gloves usually have kangaroo leather palms with no lining, which provide the
best feel for the grips, which is necessary to get feedback from the front end.
Also, when leaning forward, with weight on the hands, the gel
strips make the gloves uncomfortable. They actually pinch the skin
together on the palm side of my
fingers and hurt my hands. The gel strips are located above and below the
bend of the fingers under the middle and first knuckles. There's more irony
here, because the gel strips are apparently designed
to make the gloves feel more comfortable rather than less.
Just for kicks, I borrowed a friend's old Suzuki GL 1400 cruiser and
took it for a spin. Surprise (or not) -- the Bionic gloves felt
riding the cruiser. In this case, the gel helps isolate some of the vibes
and the upright posture doesn't place much or any weight on my hands, so there's
no pinching from the gel strips.
Thus, my conclusion: the Bionic Glove dudes are cruiser owners
and may not have considered how the gloves would work on a Sportbike. Of
course, this is all pure supposition on my part, but it's as good of an
explanation as I could come up with.
With This Link to Motorcycle Superstore and Help Support webBikeWorld
It's too bad actually, because a few of
the features on the Bionic Gloves
are rather nice. If you like motorcycle gloves with short cuffs, then
you'll probably like these, because the pure elastic cuff fits snugly and easily tucks up
under a motorcycle jacket sleeve. The elastic is also used in the center
of the doughnut-shaped knuckle protectors on the backside of the gloves, and this
material also helps provide better air flow than might be expected from a
non-perforated leather glove.
But the fingers seem thinner than normal for a pair of
motorcycle gloves, and since there is no textile or elastic on the sides of the
fingers, the tight fit only works for those with narrow fingers. I
have pretty slim digits and the gloves feel too tight when I curve my
hand around the grips.
I'm also not at all fond of the very shiny and plasticky feeling
clear vinyl on the tips of the fingers and the palm. It appears as the
shiny material in the photos below.
The vinyl feels like a bodysuit leftover
from Mistress Victoria. It has a kind of
creepy texture and appearance, in my opinion. I'd much rather see layers of sheep, goat,
kangaroo or Kevlar rather than this stuff.
Stitching and Protectors
Most of the glove sections are single-stitched, except the
elastic cuff, which uses a double row. The fingers are sewn with "blind"
seams on the outside, so the leather is folded in, and can be felt inside the
snug fingers at the tips and around the sides. This also makes the gloves
feel slightly more uncomfortable than they might have been if the seams were
I'm not sure how much protection is actually offered by the gel
knuckle protectors. The gloves have no hard armor or protectors anywhere
else and nothing other than the leather covering the first knuckles out by the
The palms have a thin layer of gel under the shiny vinyl
sections covering the palm and heel of the hand, but these seem more like they
were designed for comfort than as sliding protection.
The fingertips use a sort of X cross
pattern to bring the tips together, as can be seen in
the photo below.
I'm just not very fond of the Bionic Gloves; they seem
like a good idea but the combination of features doesn't
really do much for me.
Now I have a feeling that
my opinions may not be shared by many webBikeWorld
readers who buy these gloves, and that's fine.
I'll guess that under some conditions, and especially
for cruiser owners, as I mentioned above, the Bionic
Gloves will be much admired, but they just didn't work
out for me.
Product Review: Bionic Gloves
||List Price: $69.95
Sizes: M to XXXL
Note: For informational use only. All material and
photographs are Copyright © webWorld International, LLC - 2000-2011. All
rights reserved. See the webBikeWorld®
page. NOTE: Product specifications, features and details may
change or differ from our descriptions. Always check before purchasing. Read
Terms and Conditions!
►Your Comments and
Please send comments to
Comments are ordered from most recent to oldest.
Not all comments will be published (details
). Comments may be edited for
clarity prior to publication.