The Komodo K-FX Race Gloves are "heavy duty" motorcycle gloves that are comfortable and have many protective features. The very large and roomy gauntlet is a real bonus and it also combines style with safety!
We reviewed the Komodo mesh gloves back in 2006. At that time, Komodo had only a basic lineup of motorcycle gear for sale, with simple names like..."Komodo mesh gloves". But a lot has changed since then.
Here it is five years after Komodo first started selling motorcycle gear and I just counted something like a half-dozen different motorcycle gloves for sale on their website. This includes gloves for street, summer and racing use. But have no fear -- the original Komodo mesh gloves we reviewed are still listed, still without a fancy name and still selling for $54.95!
Besides motorcycle gloves, Komodo now also makes boots, leathers, jackets, armor and even pants. The Komodo K-FX Race glove is their top-of-the line race glove. It has many top-notch protective features, like the Knox Scaphoid Protection System (SPS), mounted on a huge swath of what I think is Schoeller Keprotec that covers the heel and side of the hand.
The other really nice feature of the Komodo K-FX gloves is the nice, big, roomy gauntlet. Wimpy gauntlets have been a topic of concern on webBikeWorld for some time now, but the gauntlet on the K-FX glove is a winner; it combines style with a monster thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) protector over the wrist and it even has a border of reflective piping laid on.
The Komodo K-FX gloves look serious, they have all the right ingredients and they're about as hefty as they come. Let's take a closer look...
I'll list all the features individually because there are so many to describe.
In addition to the Kevlar abrasion protection covering the side of the gloves, the K-FX gloves feature the Knox SPS (Scaphoid Protection System), which apparently is designed to protect the bones towards the rear of the hand/front of the wrist. The system is found on other race gloves, and it has a couple of big TPU slider pucks that can be seen in the photos below.
The base knuckles are covered by a big TPU floating protector and it looks like it's going to take some grinding before these wear through. This protector floats on a separate section of leather, double-stitched at the front where it meets the fingers and also on the outside of the heel of the hand, where it meets the thick abrasion protector material.
On the inside of the hand, the leather for the floating knuckle protector is attached with a hidden seam folded underneath.
The protector has foam padding underneath and the TPU is molded with air vents, but they're just for show, because even if the air was able to get through the padded backing, it has nowhere to go other than out the back of the floating protector, which is separate from the glove itself.
The gloves also have TPU protectors over each of the top and middle finger knuckles; 8 in total. The thumb gets a separate padded protector with some type of fiber -- possibly Kevlar -- for abrasion resistance.
All of the finger protectors are mounted on separate sections of heavy cowhide. The pinky finger knuckle protectors are mounted in the knobbly-feeling black abrasion protection material covering the outer edge of the pinky finger.
The TPU knuckle protectors are mounted in that material, which feels like a cross between 40 grit sandpaper and a Michelin X car tire. It's tough stuff -- I can't imagine what it would take to wear it through!
The K-FX gloves also feature a big TPU wrist protector on the gauntlet is mounted on a separate section of tufted leather that covers the outside of the wrist. What's interesting is that the gauntlet is comfortable and the separate section is pretty much unnoticeable when I'm wearing the gloves.
The rest of the knuckle protectors are stitched to separate pieces of leather, which in turn are double-stitched to the backs of the top and middle knuckles. This is seen as the red leather segments in the photos (the K-FX gloves also come in blue or white contrasting colors).
The roominess in the big gauntlet probably adds comfort here; one more reason for manufacturers to take note. You can't make a gauntlet too big, we're all in agreement on that! Too-small gauntlets have been a bone of contention here at webBikeWorld for some time, but the Komodo version fits over any and all jackets we tried, so there.
Komodo says the stitching is Kevlar, which is an important feature. Many/most glove manufacturers don't tell you what the stitching is made from, and if it isn't the good stuff and if it isn't sewn right, it can unravel in a crash faster than Rapunzel's hair, negating any protective aspects of the gloves.
The Komodo K-FX gloves can be tightened up for serious work, with a dual hook-and-loop fastener over the underside of the wrist and a separate wrist strap that also features hook-and-loop.
A couple of comments on these: first, I'm not a big fan of the doubled-over wrist straps; one big one does fine I think. These are acceptable, but it's slightly difficult to get the gauntlet tight on the opposite glove after you have one glove on one hand.
The one nit I'll pick is with the thinner wrist strap that lives under the flap just at the back of the hand, right where the wrist bends. This strap is designed with a D-ring on the inside of the wrist, so you pull the strap tight through that D-ring to secure the glove.
I think that this is probably the wrong place to put that kind of pressure, because it hits just where the wrist bends. I'd rather see the wrist cinch on the back of the hand, or with the D-ring on the opposite side (the outside), which would prevent putting pressure on a sensitive part of the wrist.
This may change when the K-FX gloves get some more break-in time, so the trick is to not over-tighten the wrist cinch strap but just give it enough of a tug to hold the gloves securely.
It has been noted in other recent webBikeWorld glove reviews: the bad news is that in general, glove manufacturers seem to have lost their way with regards to sizing. Motorcycle gloves that have come through here recently are either too tight, too loose, with fingers that are a couple of lengths out of proportion or too narrow for any humans I know of.
Not Komodo! The K-FX gloves shown here are size large and fit just as expected for that size. The proportions of the glove body to the finger lengths is just right.
Komodo lists two size charts; the size chart for "Sport", which I assume means the K-FX Race gloves, shows a large as a 9" hand circumference, which is exactly my measurements. Based on this, I'd have to say that Komodo dimensions for other sizes in the K-FX range should run true.
Also, the fingers are nice and roomy without feeling too large. The gloves are lined on the inside on top with a thin fleece-like material and unlined on the palms. The palms feel like kangaroo hide but the Komodo website doesn't say. The unlined material provides a very good feel for the grips, which is necessary for racing.
Ah -- I almost forgot: venting! The middle knuckle protectors have screened vents, and although they do provide some air flow, the small perforations at the bottom of fingers, between the fingers in the "web", actually seem to provide a good amount of ventilation. The temperatures here in November are mid-50's F, so it's difficult to say how the K-FX gloves would perform in the summer, but you can always buy a pair of the Komodo mesh gloves for hot weather!
Komodo offers a one-year warranty on the gloves purchased directly from their website. It appears that they have a repair service also, but I'm not sure about that.
The gloves also feature reflective piping along the gauntlet and the back edge of the base knuckle protector.
The Komodo K-FX gloves have all the features that should keep your hands well protected for street or track. The gauntlets are especially nice because they're so roomy and comfortable, yet stylish and with all the features needed for protection.
The heavy-duty abrasion-resistant material wrapped around the side of the gloves and holding the Knox SPS sliders feels very robust and should also offer good protection when needed.
My bottom line is that the Komodo K-FX Race Gloves are my new favorites, due to their combination of comfort and protection.
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From "S.M." (4/10): "After having these gloves for four months they never really broke in enough for me to feel comfortable riding (with) them. That and the wrist closure strap could never get tight enough to make me feel that the gloves were secure. in all other regards they were fantastic."