The REV'IT! Giri gloves are an excellent choice for the rider looking for a pair of medium-weight summer gloves but doesn't wish to opt for the weight and cost of a full leather.
Just like the humble editor of webBikeWorld, we are also big fans of REV'IT! gear.
Most of the rider equipment produced by the Netherlands-headquartered company is top-notch thanks to well-thought out designs, great build quality and the use of high-tech materials.
As the proud owner of a REV'IT! Air Jacket (review), and having experienced the Airforce Jacket too (since replaced by the Turbine), it was a natural progression to try out REV'IT! gear covering other extremities.
Being based in the tropics here in Singapore where there are only three subtly-different seasons (hot, wet or hot-and-wet!) a breathable summer glove from the 2010 spring/summer RevIt catalogue, the Giri, came up as the obvious choice.
The catalogue states that the Giri is exactly same as the REV'IT! Comet glove, both of which are aimed at sport touring, touring or off-road riders.
The only difference between the two is that the Comet has a carbon-fibre knuckle protector covered in leather while the Giri has a polyurethane/rubberized knuckle protector.
While comfort and protection are paramount when choosing any sort of motorcycle gear, admit it: a major consideration when choosing equipment is the sort of reaction you'll get when pulling up on a crowded street corner on Saturday night.
Nothing wrong with that of course, as long as the first two conditions are met well enough.
A key asset of REV'IT! gear is its design; in the modern paradigm for rider equipment its easy to fall into either the race-rep sport rider or the "You Can Have Any Colour You Want, As Long As Its Black" touring rider fashion.
REV'IT! designs tend to incorporate high-tech themes (check out the rest of its glove range for a few examples) and subsequently you won't mistake REV'IT! gear for something from the Continental competition -- Hein Gericke, Joe Rocket or even Dainese, for example.
The Giri gloves are available in white, red, blue or black.
Obviously the pair you see here is the latter, thanks to the limited choices at my local dealer, but it does look striking in white, even if keeping it that way will probably be a pain.
REV'IT! calls the design a short cuff, but it's not a true short glove and neither is it a full gauntlet.
In Singapore we usually wear gloves tucked under a riding jacket, and since the Giri cuffs aren't very thick, the photos here show the opposite for your visual benefit.
Dominating the top area of the gloves is the trapezoidal rubber polyurethane knuckle protector, while the "Giri" name in red adds a slightly racy touch. Overall its a handsome-looking glove, but doesn't come across as overwrought either.
Perhaps one of the biggest shortcomings of REV'IT! is the lack of information on its products besides its jackets and suits.
Other than a material composition percentage (sort of like a nutritional information chart) and suggestions on the the ideal usage for the gloves, there's not much to go on, which leaves it up to us and a little guesswork to decipher what materials are used and where.
The REV'IT! nutrition list cites "50% leather, 35% polyamide, 11% polyester and 4% other fibres". According to information gleaned from online retailers who sell the Giri gloves, the leather is goatskin.
This feels supple but tough, although not as thick as cowhide, and it's used on the whole palm/body of the glove, as well as the upper section surrounding the knuckle-protector as well as the fingers.
The 35% polyamide is used in the "PWR/Shell 500D stretch" and on the upper finger sections as well as part of the cuff. The thumb is constructed in the same pattern as the fingers, with textile used on the upper side and leather on the lower.
Polyester makes up the rest of the glove, in the areas around the cuff (which also features a rubberized REV'IT! logo), while the interior lining is composed entirely of polyester also (retailers call it 'tri-fleece') while the gloves also have the standard hook-and-loop fasteners for retention.
Like the recently reviewed Roadgear H2O Maxx gloves, the Giri gloves are constructed box-style with a blade-like thumb protrusion that comes out from below the glove rather than the side (see the photos for a closer idea of this).
Much like the Roadgear gloves, the stitching construction is mostly blind, with the main body panels all fused together by internal stitching.
Foam rubber protectors clad in leather or polyamide provide protection in the obvious places: lower palm, knuckles, fingers, outer thumb. Both left and right hands feature rubberised index finger tips for better grip, which is a nice touch.
A pair of Giri gloves weighs 150 grams, which as touring gloves go is pretty light, but keep in mind they are summer gloves and meant for predominantly hot weather.
No doubt the weight-saving is also a function of the textile/goat-leather construction and while these gloves don't have the reassuring heft/unwelcome heaviness of cowhide ones, they certainly don't feel insubstantial either. Not as lightweight as a pair of pure mesh gloves would, for instance.
As mentioned, the REV'IT! Giri gloves are designed for summer but they're not the super-breathable mesh type that serve best in the desert, even if the polyamide uppers on the fingers feature a similar-looking waffle-box pattern.
Full mesh gloves are certainly preferable in the climate of Singapore and Malaysia, with 25-33 degrees Celsius temperatures and 80% plus humidity, but would provide much less by way of crash protection.
Ventilation on the Giri gloves, other than their textile construction, comes in the form of holes (no high tech vents here). These are placed on both sides of the fingers, as well as on the palm and the trailing edge of the knuckle protector.
I can't actually feel the wind through them like I might with pure mesh, but the perforations do provide some ventilation relief. Considering the extremes of climate in which I have used the gloves, having slightly sweaty palms at the end of 40-minute ride wasn't too bad actually.
Riders in anything less than 25-degree weather have absolutely nothing to fear in terms of breathability, though I regrettably cant comment on Autumn/Spring riding in them.
As described, the Giri gloves feel like a typical mid-weight summer glove (though their actual mass says otherwise) in terms of construction and grip; i.e., not as heavy as a full-leather touring item but not as light as a full-textile or mesh set-up.
Notably the tri-fleece interior is smooth, snag free and feels great to the touch, while on the whole the gloves offer a good range of movement.
While the knuckle protector is rather large (you can actually feel it while making a fist), the gloves also have a good amount of feedback, thanks to the thinner construction. You could, for example, wrangle the operation of a full-sized keyboard or ATM without taking them off.
Cellular phones would still require bare skin for error-free communication, though.
Given the track record of REV'IT!, I was expecting quite a lot from the Giri gloves and they didn't disappoint, although there are two ergonomic complaints that spoiled the experience.
First is a limited range of thumb movement, because of the location and wideness of the thumb blade. Since it's not located on the side of the glove as you would logically expect, there's quite a bit of give engineered into the thumb to allow for movement.
This is fine for 90 percent of the time when I'm gripping the handlebars, but moving my left thumb upwards and outwards to indicate for a turn results in some resistance from the leather palm in between the thumb and forefinger.
It's a minor problem, but irritating -- although this will probably be eliminated with age as the gloves get broken in further.
The second flaw is another that only becomes apparent when clutching the handlebars; the blind stitch on the leading edge of both thumbs is rather thick inside (perhaps unavoidably so because of the strength of the construction).
It's fine most of the time, but when gripping the bars tightly they can chafe against the thumb, or worse, the thumbnail-thumb divide. Again, because of the goat skin construction, this will likely disappear the more the gloves get broken in.
Like most REV'IT! products I have tried, the Giri gloves are sized a little smaller than gear from other companies, so if you're usually a size S like I am, you may find the size M to be a better fit.
REV'IT! doesn't disappoint with this well-designed, sturdily-constructed summer glove. It could be a little more breathable, but the gloves are not a full mesh design here so that's forgivable.
Ergonomic quibbles aside, the Giri gloves are an excellent choice for the rider who's looking for a pair of medium-weight summer gloves but doesn't wish to opt for the weight and cost of a full leather pair.