by Rick K. for webBikeWorld.com
Summary: Top-of-the-line race gloves from REV'IT! with all the bells and whistles.
Many protective features including very large and thick protective armor, especially on the back and wrist.
Comfortable and surprisingly cool in hot weather.
I've been wanting to get my hands on (or in) a pair of REV'IT! Jerez gloves since I first checked them out at the 2009 Dealer Expo.
The top-of-the-line Jerez gloves are new for 2009 and they include a laundry list of protective features.
Those features include goodies like kangaroo leather, Pittards "Armortan" WR100X treated goat leather, SuperFabric and big honkin' TPU knuckle and wrist protectors.
Oh, and they also have a bit of that old-fashioned cowhide too!
The Jerez gloves are serious race tools, proven in MotoGP combat by REV'IT! rider Randy de Puniet (#14, LCR Honda), who recently took a podium position with a third place at the 2009 British GP.
de Puniet wears Jerez gloves, as you can see in the screen shot below, taken from a REV'IT! promotional video. Those are Randy's REV'IT! Jerez gloves with his number 14 painted on the protector.
I definitely feel more confident knowing that a piece of motorcycle gear is "the real thing". If Randy de Puniet counts on the Jerez gloves for protection, then so can I.
Contrast this with the many faux race gloves hanging on the dealers' shelves. Sure, you can get a pair that might look the part, but what will happen the first time they have to do their thing for real?
So it's very nice indeed to know that these gloves incorporate just about every protective feature available. I'm a little surprised they don't have the connected third and fourth fingers to help prevent rollover injury, but I suppose the jury is still out on the effectiveness of that one.
REV'IT! Jerez Gloves Construction
The most noticeable features of the Jerez gloves has to be those huge main knuckle and wrist protectors. They're made from TPU (thermoplastic urethane), which seems to be in favor lately as the protector of choice in high-end race gloves. TPU is a good material to use for molding complex surfaces and it's also very abrasion and tear resistant.
TPU can be left transparent or it can be tinted -- the Jerez gloves have both. You can see in the detailed photos that the TPU protectors feature a clear section with some type of honeycomb backing, which looks pretty cool.
Calling the cover over main knuckles a "knuckle protector" is an understatement -- it's more like a hand slider. REV'IT! says it was designed with feedback from MotoGP racing, and I wouldn't be surprised to learn that it's there to help protect the hands in a lean, because the 800cc bikes are apparently tipping over so far in the corners that elbow sliders are the rule rather than the exception.
The TPU on this knuckle/hand slider covers nearly the entire back of the hand, giving the gloves a more protective feel than is usual. It makes other main knuckle protectors seem wimpy in comparison. The TPU is molded to thin out towards the rear, giving it some longitudinal flexibility.
The molding for the main knuckles also fits very perfectly over mine, adding to the comfort in this area that can often be a problem.
One issue with the matte gray knuckle protectors is that they pick up scuffs like a magnet. I believe the matte finish is the culprit -- as soon as it gets scraped against an object, the matte turns shiny where it was struck, and the shiny marks are readily apparent against the matte background.
The outer wrist protector is a separate large piece of TPU sewn on to a separate flap that covers the wrist. It encircles the outer part of the inner gauntlet and secures underneath in one of those three-piece hook-and-loop gauntlet arrangements.
There's another piece of the stuff protecting the heel of the hand; two pieces protecting the outside of the fourth or pinky finger; and smaller sections of TPU are also used to protect the second and third knuckles. So the message here is that the Jerez gloves have plenty of hard armor in all the right places.
I'm not sure where the kangaroo skin leaves off and where the goat and cow hide begins, because the gloves are made from several different sections of material. But the different types of leather overlap each other around the palm, the side of the hand and the tops of the fingers.
We've discussed REV'IT!'s use of SuperFabric in a couple of REV'IT! reviews, including the Infinity one-piece suit, the Cayenne Pro jacket and others. This is an expensive fabric that looks like tiny beads or shields, which offer good abrasion resistance while remaining just as flexible as normal leather. It's used on the outside of the thumb on the Jerez gloves, and the SuperFabric adds more flexibility in that area than any hard armor could.
Besides the over-gauntlet described above, which carries the TPU protector on a thick padded section of leather, the Jerez gloves have a soft leather under-gauntlet, which secures by a separate piece of hook-and-loop on the inside of the wrist.
The gauntlet is acceptable in terms of its size, but like always, I wish it was larger and longer. As far as I'm concerned, it's nearly impossible to make a gauntlet too large or too long -- it could always be cinched down tighter, if necessary.
Extra-large gauntlets are required for the heavy and thick motorcycle jackets now available. Some, like the REV'IT! Cayenne Pro, have 3-4 distinct layers of insulation, water-proofing, wind-proofing or padding material under the sleeve, along with their own thick cuff connectors, which means a robust gauntlet is needed as a cover.
The elastic at the base of the wrist in the Jerez gloves butts up against the sleeve cuff on some jackets, resulting in a different fit, depending on the thickness of the jacket sleeve cuff. This is something that happens on many different types of motorcycle gloves, not just the Jerez. A larger, wider gauntlet is almost always the cure.
The Jerez gloves feature a hook-and-loop wrist closure, protected somewhat by a section of leather that's embossed with the REV'IT! logo. It's part of the extra leather protector covering the palm and not a separate piece, but it could be twice as long as it is, because it just barely covers about half of the wrist closure strap.
The combination of the race-like fit and the wrist closure keep the Jerez gloves secure. Cinch everything up and the gloves should definitely stay put.
It's usually impossible to determine what type of material is used for the stitching threads on a motorcycle glove. It's probably better not to know in most cases, because it's more than likely plain old cotton.
For some reason, motorcycle glove manufacturers don't want to tell and they don't want the consumer to know -- not a good sign. But REV'IT! uses Kevlar stitching material for the Jerez gloves and is proud of it.
Other bits of high-tech fabric are used here and there throughout the glove. Besides the Pittards Armortan WR100X goat leather, the Kevlar stitching and the SuperFabric on the outer thumb, REV'IT! lists Schoeller Keprotec used on the palm and Aramide somewhere else -- where, I don't know. Aramide is another Kevlar-like abrasion resistant material.
REV'IT! says the gloves also feature something called Pittards "Digital" grip patches, which I assume is the section of material on the palm side, used for extra grip.
The fingers are stitched on the outside, which may look strange to those more used to the more fashionable look of internal stitching. Running the seams on the outside of the fingers can theoretically give better feel to the rider, because the bottom (palm side) of the fingers is one solid piece with no stitching to intrude.
This is the case with the Jerez gloves; although I have a bit of a sizing issue with this particular pair (more on that in a moment). Only a nice, flat layer of kangaroo lies between my digits and the grips, and the gloves have a minimum of internal stitching and seams that can sometimes -- make that always -- feel annoying.
Jerez Glove Sizing and Fit
This pair is a size large, the size I usually take, but these feel about 1/2 to 1 size small. I thought they'd loosen up a bit after break-in, but they haven't.
The problem for me is that the reach of my hands is compromised -- the gloves are tight front-to-back in the palm, and the tips of my fingers bump up against the tips on the inside.
My hands measure 24.5 cm (9.5") around the palms. The REV'IT! size chart (page 316 of their 2009 printed catalog) lists a size 9 as a medium and a 10 as a large. So the size large should fit, as I fall neatly in between. But I do think an XL would have been better.
To make things even more confusing, our affiliate RevZilla lists the Jerez glove sizing as 9" for a large and 10" for an XL. On top of that, there's a comment posted on the RevZilla Jerez page from a rider who says the gloves run 2 sizes too big. If that's true, then perhaps there is too much variation in the manufacturing process, which, by the way, wouldn't be uncommon -- we seem to be having an awful lot of trouble fitting gloves of all different brands lately.
The tightness shows up with my two-fingers-on-the-brake riding style -- it's a stretch to keep my hand in that position, the pre-curved leather resists slightly and my hand feels a bit cramped after a while.
Fit is very important, especially on gloves costing as much as these, so either try before you buy or when they arrive, make sure you're going to be happy with the fit before you take them out for a spin.
The REV'IT! Jerez gloves are available in sizes from XS to XXXL, which, in the REV'IT! scheme of things, is XS to XYL. They come in the black with white shown here; mostly white with black (the reverse of the gloves on this page) and mostly white with red.
The Jerez gloves have no vents or holes, other than some perforations in the inner gauntlet. But the inner gauntlet is covered by the outer gauntlet that holds the TPU wrist slider, and the gauntlet fits over a jacket sleeve anyway, so the holes really don't provide any ventilation that I can feel.
The absence of vents would seem to indicate that the gloves will feel hot in the summer, but curiously, this is not the case. Indeed, the Jerez gloves are listed in the REV'IT! summer gloves catalog...but that may simply mean that they are not insulated (which they are not).
Now it may be that the lighter weight kangaroo and goat skin breathes much better than cow hide. Whatever it is, I honestly feel a breeze blowing through the gloves when I'm riding.
Well, maybe saying a breeze is overstating it a bit, but in this summer of relatively mild mid-80 degree temperatures (~30 C), the Jerez gloves are a big surprise -- they just don't feel anywhere near as hot as they should.
This may also have something to do with the lining; the gloves are lined on both sides on the inside, with a full lining of the protective Aramide material on top (something not found in many or most or any other gloves in my recollection) and a soft material on the palm side. Both apparently do a very good job at absorbing and transferring moisture.
It's also possible that the poor kangaroo and goat that gave it up for this pair have hides that simply breathe better than the cow skin that other gloves are made from.
The REV'IT! Jerez gloves feel more protective than just about any other full race glove I can think of. This is mostly due to the extensive use of TPU in the large protectors, but surely there's a psychological benefit of knowing that these are the very same gloves used by at least one MotoGP racer.
They cost a bit more than your average run-of-the-mill super-street gloves, but to be fair, they're actually priced relatively low for what you're getting here. Compare that to, say, the $300.00+ Hurt Schizo (review) gloves and others. If you're looking for no compromise race gloves with the latest protective features, the REV'IT! Jerez gloves may be just the ticket.