Motorcycle Glove Gauntlets
The Case of the Missing Gauntlet!
Whereby We Discover the Case of the Shrinking Gauntlets,
With a Digression Regarding the Innies and Outties of Gauntlet
by Rick K. for webBikeWorld.com
Motorcycle Glove Reviews |
I've noticed something very strange in
the last three or four pairs of gloves that we've
reviewed recently on webBikeWorld.com. Apparently,
glove designers are in a conspiracy to shrink the
Now maybe four pairs of gloves from as many different
manufacturers may not be statistically significant, but I'm starting
to wonder if we're starting to see a trend here.
I first noticed it with the
Icon Merc gloves,
which have a double gauntlet, but the inside layer is so narrow that it
barely fits over any jacket sleeve, no matter how thin. The
Joe Rocket GPX 2.0
gloves also have a narrow gauntlet, although the unique elastic adjusters
are somewhat of a compensation. The
gloves are only slightly better. And the REV'IT!
Solar mesh gloves we recently reviewed also have a
very narrow cuff, but apparently it is by design (see below for more
Some gloves, like the OSI Coolguard and FirstGear Burnout
gloves, do not have gauntlets at all, but they are designed for specific uses
and are not the subject of this article.
A gauntlet has been defined as "An
armored or padded glove intended to protect the hand and
wrist from attack". For our purposes, the gauntlet
on a motorcycle glove is that portion of the glove that
extends above the wrist. It is, or was, intended
to cover the cuff, or the lower portion of the
motorcycle jacket sleeve and to offer added protection
to the rider in this sensitive area.
Photo 1 (below) shows my old pair of Teknic
Violator gloves (one of my all-time favorites).
You can see the nice, big, comfy gauntlet on these
gloves, which fits over every motorcycle jacket I've
tried, and is fully adjustable!
Is this type of gauntlet disappearing? Apparently so.
I stopped by a local motorcycle shop who has a large display of many
different brands of gloves and tried on a few. Olympia, Alpinestars,
Held and Spidi -- all of the gloves I tried have very narrow and/or short gauntlets.
Photo 1: Nice, big gauntlet on the original
Teknic Violator gloves.
In my opinion, a motorcycle glove
gauntlet should have plenty of room to fit over just
about any size jacket cuff, whether the jacket is thin
or thick, with or without a lining.
should have some type of fastener, usually "hook and
loop", to secure it tightly to the rider's arm.
And the glove should have a secondary wrist fastener
that will make sure the glove stays put. The most
secure motorcycle glove attachment system we've seen so
far is the design on the
The gauntlet should be designed in such
a way that it does not prevent the glove from being
pulled fully on to the rider's hand. The recent
trend towards shorter or narrower gauntlets is causing a
number of problems; a short or narrow (or both) gauntlet
can prevent the glove from being pulled securely on to
the rider's hand. An ill-fitting glove may not
offer protection in a crash when the glove is supposed
to be doing its job.
So please, motorcycle glove designers: give us back our
Innie or Outtie?
Whilst pondering this situation, we discovered that some
motorcycle gloves are designed to be worn under the
jacket cuff, which may partly resolve the problem of
short or narrow gauntlets. During our recent
review of the REV'IT!
Solar mesh gloves, we learned that gloves
manufactured by REV'IT! are designed to be worn under
the specially designed jacket cuffs on REV'IT! jackets.
REV'IT! says that this both gives the
jacket a cleaner look and also prevents water from
running down the rider's arm and into the glove.
The waterproof liners on most REV'IT! jackets are
specially designed with elastic at the cuff so that it
will fit inside the gauntlet (see Photo 4 below).
Wearing gloves under, rather than over,
the sleeve is something new to us, although I now
motorcycle riders in Europe wearing their gloves under
their jacket sleeves.
Photos 2 and 3 (below) show a REV'IT!
Solar glove worn under and over a REV'IT!
Airforce mesh jacket. You can see that the
cuff looks much smoother in Photos 2 and 3 and avoids the
bunching evident in Photo 4.
Photo 2 - Top View: REV'IT! Solar glove worn under
Photo 3 - Bottom View: REV'IT! Solar glove worn under
Photo 4: REV'IT! Solar glove worn over jacket sleeve
causes bunching and
prevents the glove from fitting
Photo 5: Waterproof liner with elastic cuff on REV'IT! Airforce jacket.
One interesting thing I've discovered
that it actually seems easier to wear the gloves with
the gauntlet under the jacket than over and it also
takes me less time to get the gloves on and adjusted
correctly prior to a ride.
However, it may take some time to get
used to wearing my gloves this way and some jackets just
don't seem to be compatible with wearing the gloves
underneath the cuff. Which leaves me puzzled as to
why some of the recent motorcycle gloves designed for
track days or racing, which are obviously meant to wear
over the sleeve, seem to be coming with ever-narrower
End of diatribe #456.7! What do
you think? Ping us at
Date of Publication: April 2006
►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.
From " e' " (11/08): "I have pretty much always worn
gloves with a gauntlet underneath a jackets sleeve, every time I would gear
up with a group they would say, hey a gauntlet needs to be outside the
jacket. I then casually explain that no, it should be placed
underneath the jackets cuff and explain that unless you're on a chopper with
your wrist north of your elbows that in the rain water will slide right down
into your waterproof gloves...which will suck for you.
I have overturned many to this concept and all of them come back and tell
me how much better they're able to flex their wrists without having anything
pinch while working the throttle.
The few times I prefer a gauntlet over a sleeve is when its <10 F out and
DRY, in those temps, with an unfaired bike no matter how tight you manage to
get the gauntlet or cuff some cold air may seep through, however I am rarely
traveling faster than 50-60 in those temps, I'm just not riding far enough
away in that cold a weather to really need to make up time by riding
From "R.": "I agree, it seems nowadays finding a MC
glove with a decent gauntlet is becoming harder. If I have a choice
I'll buy a new glove just because it has a decent gauntlet. Why,
because I expect 4 things from my MC gloves, sun, rain, cold weather
protection, and comfort, besides road rash protection.
Tell you something else, I have a pair of cheap($35) leather winter
gloves that have served their purpose for 15 years now, even after crashes.
Because they're not better insulated, they work great with heated grips."
From "P.F.": "I saw you wrote a article
about the shrinking gauntlets. I'm fairly new to motorcycling (in fact
I'm just starting). But did some sailing before (not much but enough to
answer some questions).
With sailing gear most jackets have what is called a storm cuff.
It's basically 2 cuffs on a sleeve. One inner cuff and a outer cuff.
You tighten the inner cuff. Then put on the glove and strap the glove
over the inner cuff, then pull the outer cuff over the glove. It's a
water sealing, and I might add it works pretty well.
Why am I telling you this? Well, because I'm seeing more and more
motorcycling jackets in the higher end getting outfitted with these storm
cuffs. But of course there is a catch, the glove you need to wear
should be shorter and less wide then the outer cuff of the sleeve of such a
jacket. It could be the reason why gauntlet type gloves are getting
smaller. To accommodate for these storm cuffs."
From "R.T.": "I'm a big fan of long
gauntlets. My normal riding gloves are Held Profi gloves: they've got
to have some of the longest gauntlets I've ever seen. I always have
the fear that as I slide forwards that the pavement will push back on my
jacket's sleeve and expose bare skin to be chewed by the asphalt. I'm
also much more comfortable with the gloves overtop. It's more
aerodynamic: I don't need to worry about air filling my sleeve if it's not
tight enough nor do I have to worry about a wayward insect finding itself
forced into the cuff (like that wasp that made its way into my helmet one
sunny summer day).
On the track I wear MotoGP Nitrous gloves. The gauntlet isn't as
impressive but is worn overtop of the sleeve. I feel that the long
gauntlet offers far more protection.
I have rain gloves and they serve only a single purpose: to be worn in
the rain; those I wear underneath my jacket. They're much like my rain
pants: meant for rain (or, in the case of the rain pants, cold weather
From "E.S.": "Whether the glove “should”
be worn under the sleeve or over depends on the jacket, glove, and
conditions. I have a First Gear “Scout” jacket. It has these
little “scoops” that open on the lower forearms for ventilation in hot
weather. Large gauntlets would interfere with that. It also has
zippers over a gusset at the end of the sleeve to loosen or snug up the fit.
Thus, in nice weather I wear an unlined leather glove that fits easily under
the sleeve. Closing the zippers makes for a snug, but not tight fit.
In cooler weather, I put the liner in the jacket. Gloves definitely do
not fit under the sleeve when the liner is in place. Then I close the
“scoops” and zippers and wear Gerbing electric gloves (which plug into the
“gloves circuit” of the liner, which I had Gerbing wire up).
Fortunately, the Gerbing glove still has an adequate gauntlet and fits
nicely over the sleeve."
From "D.M.": "Hi all - first thing must
say great great site! Just finished reading the article about the
gauntlets getting smaller and to start I have to admit that in the 13 years
that I (have been riding motorcycles) I didn't (own so) many pair to be an
expert (plus the first were very budget aware, shall we say).
Anyway, my current two pairs are for the summer; a pair of
Joe Rocket Phoenix I think and for the winter a pair of Alpinestar Gortex.
The summer gloves -- I do wear them on top of the sleeve as my summer jacket
is of a short cut, but as for the winter gloves I do wear them under the
The main reason for that is because I myself at least believe
that the water proofing will be better that way, meaning the water could get
down and onto the glove instead of into it. What I wanted to ask was
do you think there is a difference in protection between wide (over the
cuff) gauntlet design and a narrow (inside cuff) style ? I am not
talking about short/non-gauntlet type."
Thanks for your comments, D.M.: My opinion is that a
longer gauntlet has the potential of offering more protection to the wrist
and forearm. But without scientific testing, who knows?
From "K.W.": "Must say I agree with
you...as far as I'm concerned, gloves should be worn*/ over/* the jacket
cuffs. My all-time favorites have been Tourmaster Roadrace II's, which
have been discontinued for quite awhile now. I've owned at least (4)
pairs since the mid-80's. 1st pair was stolen, 2nd & 3rd pairs got me
into the late 90's, and my current pair is still in great condition.
Best of all, there's NO hook & loop / Velcro anywhere on them! The
clever zipper design allows them to be cinched down & close off virtually
all air movement.
My biggest pet peeve with riding garments today is the
over-reliance on hook & loop fasteners...give me a good quality zipper */anyday/*!
The leather in some of the fingertips of my Roadrace II's wore thru but the
zippers were still in good working condition."
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