Ganka GKS Winter Motorcycle Gloves
Ganka GKS 60-1003 Cold Weather Gloves
by Kevin Gould for webBikeWorld.com
Summary: A good cold and wet weather glove that won't break the
bank. Just don't try to wear it when the mercury is over 20 Celsius!
It's late Spring in the northern hemisphere, and
thoughts of winter gloves
may be fading from memory, but it's going winter in the lower half and
it's still pretty chilly up in the hills, so this
article isn't as untimely as you may think.
Besides, warm (and dry) hands are
always in season! So when a Canadian has something
to say about gloves, I pay attention, because if there's
a country where people know how to deal with the cold,
Ganka may not be a familiar
name to motorcyclists, but take a look at their website
and you'll see that they make some serious cold-weather
gear. Why didn't I know about this before?
Oh well...live and learn.
Quebec-based company Ganka has been making outdoor
weather gear for decades. Gloves, hats, pants -- you name
it they've made it -- for people who work or play
While many of the gloves in their
motorcycle/ATV line are traditional leather gauntlets
(with varying amounts of insulation), this article will
focus on their cold/wet weather gloves with the clunky
Come to think of it, everything made by this company has
a number instead of a name, but what they may lack in
imagination, they make up for in quality workmanship.
The 60-1003 is a short gauntlet with a mostly Cordura
shell and some articulation across the knuckles. The
palms and fingers have a significant amount of
reinforcement, with double-stitching and extra layers of
a rubbery material at the base, the fingertips, and the
top of the palm.
There is some padding along the palm,
but it's not very thick or cushiony. The sides of each
finger are made of polyester cloth, as is the base of the
thumb, which has its own articulation, again with double
stitching all around, and a wiper blade installed along
the side. Every stitch and seam is securely fastened,
with no hint of any loose threads.
The firm's redundancy
department must have designed the double cuff. The
innermost cuff is elasticized with a wide Velcro strip
to get nice and snug. This is very useful on those
frosty mornings, or if you're wearing this glove on your
The outer cuff has another soft polyester
lining, and can be tightened with a very well
Lock drawstring. One string holds the Cord Lock to
the glove, while a second elasticized cord goes around
the wrist and through the hole in the Cord Lock. The
practical upshot is that the glove can be easily cinched
with one hand -- or teeth.
On the Road
These are rain and cold-weather gloves, as proved by the
wiper blade built into each thumb. The blades are very firmly
secured under the Cordura shell, so there is absolutely
no worry about them ever coming off. Made of
solid rubber, a bit more than 4 cm long, they do a great
job of cleaning off a helmet visor.
The gloves also do a
fabulous job of keeping out the wet. The cordura shell
repels water for a decent amount of time before it
eventually "wets out" under a sustained downpour, and
the polyester cloth that helps with the articulation is
surprisingly water resistant. However, even after the
shell is defeated, the glove will continue to keep
fingers dry thanks to a waterproof layer between the
shell and the inner liner.
The overbuilt wrist cinches
also point to these being good cold-weather gloves. The
inner cuff with its wide Velcro closure can be a little
finicky, but it does provide options. It is possible to
do up the inner cuff and tuck that into a jacket sleeve,
then layer the outer cuff over the jacket sleeve for
maximum wind-resistance. For a long ride on a cold day,
this is the way to do it.
For all the finickiness of
the inner cuff, the outer cuff should win an award for
ease of use. The drawstring is a piece of cake to close
for even the most fumble-fingered person, and the idea
should be stolen by anyone who makes gloves and mitts
Anyone who has had to try and hold a
Cord Lock open with one hand, then use their teeth to pull
the drawstring tight will appreciate the way this Cord
Lock is already held in place. It's foolproof and
dead simple to get these gloves nice and tight.
The cold weather insulation
is top-notch, with a layer of 40 gram Thinsulate lying
between the outer shell and the interior polyester
lining. It's a blessing on cold days, and combined with
the wind- and water-proof shell does a fabulous job of
keeping hands toasty and warm. I recently took a
two-hour ride in light rain and temperatures a degree or
two above freezing, and my hands were the warmest part
of my body.
But all that insulation can
be a bit too much in warmer weather. When the mercury
climbs into the teens, I often found myself bypassing the
Velcro inner cuff, and taking the tab that goes along
the back and slipping it on the underside of my wrist. On a sunny day with temperatures around 18-20 degrees
hands will sweat like a pig, and anything warmer than 20
degrees is just too much unless it's raining hard, or
the cuffs are folded back onto the gloves.
For a motorcycle glove, the
padding on the palm is very light. This is a bad thing
if a rider is used to a thick gel cushion, but the lack
of padding does help make these gloves very lightweight. Unlike many other winter gloves that are over-padded,
bulky, and difficult to work with, the 60-1003 tips the
scales at just 188 grams for the pair. Compare that to
my bare-bones leather gauntlets, which weigh 157 grams
The light weight and lack of
bulk means these gloves will easily fit into the
smallest of under-seat compartments, so there are no
more excuses for getting wet hands in an unexpected
rainstorm, or having hands freeze if the temperature
drops to sweater and scarf weather when the sun goes
The Ganka GKS 60-1003 are excellent cold weather gloves. Any rider who is eager to get on the road as soon as the
snow melts, or expects to find bone-chilling
temperatures with or without rain would be well advised
to pick up a pair, and they are light enough to stash
away under a seat "just-in-case".
Product Review: Ganka GKS 60-1003 Winter Motorcycle Gloves
Retail Price: $54.99 CAD
Sizes: XS to XXL
May 2008 Notes: I bought my pair at
which does not yet do internet sales, but supposedly will make
arrangements for phone orders. I have seen the gloves at
ADM Sport, which
does do online sales. However checking their website this second I
see several other Ganka products, but no the gloves (maybe because it's
Devore also has a bunch of Ganka products. Ganka says
they may have online sales in 2009.
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From "K.T." (7/09): "Just ordered
these from the Joynes Department Store for $19.95 plus
shipping; ask for Elaine. I even double checked
the Ganka # with her and the catalog because of the low
price. I didn't complain one bit. She will
put them in the mail tomorrow; their number is
I hope you are right about them as I am trying to avoid
the electrical gloves because I don't like being wired
down. The Ganka people gave me her number.
Ride on ... and comfortably, thanks for your web site."
From "J.G." (10/08): "I just ordered
the gloves that J.D. ordered from ADM Sport (below) and
be advised that the shipping IS very expensive -- $38 to
From "J.D." (10/08): "Looking for a
good pair of winter riding gloves to use here in coastal
Massachusetts, I perused the reviews on wBW, and the
Ganka 60-1003 gloves were the only ones that you
recommended for very cold weather - even the PCi gloves
were only reviewed down to ~45F. Working overnights,
it's often in the mid-30's already when I ride home, and
it's only October yet!
I checked out the Ganka web
site, which has a plethora of swag; sadly (as you
mentioned), there is no way to order from them directly.
I scoured the web looking for a pair, but alas! naught
were to be found.
However, I did discover two
other Ganka products of note: the 50-WP-200[-DR-EX]
gloves and 80-8070 balaclava. The gloves are
Thermo-lite insulated Nylon with the same waterproof
internal membrane as the 60-1003, they have a detachable
polar fleece lining, a built-in wiper, and they are
reflective. The balaclava is a Windstopper
balaclava with a polar fleece lining. The gloves
are $60CAD ($80CAD for the deerskin palm version), and
the balaclava is $30CAD.
In my search for those
gloves, I realized how difficult it was to find a
retailer for Ganka products, even online. I found
only three websites that carry anything useful for
Recreation Supply Co.
For the American readers of
wBW, bear in mind that these are all Canadian retailers,
so shipping is double or triple (or more!) what you
would pay if you purchase from within the U.S.
Recreation Supply Co. is
located way out in Saskatchewan, which means shipping to
the east coast would have cost an arm and a leg (and I
need those to ride!), so I decided to try my luck with
the other two retailers.
I was going to order the
gloves from ADM Sport and the balaclava from Gear Up,
since neither carried both. I ran into a technical
issue (on my end, to be fair) while trying to place my
order on ADM Sport, which they promptly fixed, but this
is what puts them a cut above: while talking to them, I
discovered that they will happily special-order items
and even combine orders to save their customers on
Their customer service is
truly second to none, with phone support and prompt
email replies, and I highly recommend them to all wBW
In any case, I just ordered
them a few minutes ago, so hopefully they'll be here
early next week, and I'll send you an update. If
they're any good, maybe an official wBW review is in
From "H.B.C.": "...We have owned two
pair of the Ganka gloves for three years now...we carry them
in our emergency cold weather riding packs that stay on
whatever motorcycle is being used for a weekend or extended
trip. They have been used on many occasions (planned
or otherwise) - they are absolutely weatherproof and
extremely warm (overly if you have good circulation).
The extended cuff is excellent and sizing is pretty much
bang on for both men and women. The only downfall
found is that the outer material is very slippery and does
not roughen up much with use...so a bit of care must be
taken. But for protection and price, they are
extremely hard to beat, eh?"