We first reviewed the Veloce Legionnaire motorcycle gloves in
December of 2007 (review) and were impressed with their comfort,
quality and features, all at an amazingly low price.
The few quibbles we described in that
review have been
addressed by Veloce and the new version of the
Legionnaire gloves also feature a few upgrades to
make these gloves an even better bargain.
It isn't often that a motorcycle leather or glove
manufacturer demonstrates a real passion for their
This is partly because motorcycle gloves have more or less
become a commodity item.
Just about anyone can
source a design from an overseas supplier, throw on a
logo and buy a couple of pallets with a variety of sizes
and colors. How do I know? We get about a
half-dozen emails a day with such offers, and I've
followed up on a few just to see what it would take to
build the "webBikeWorld Ultimate Glove".
Don't worry though: with barely enough
time to get out for a ride, there's simply no way I'm
going to get involved in a retail operation.
Trying to run the annual
Sale is hard enough (sorry, I had to get the plug in
But there are a few glove retailers who
I assume are just in it for the money. Sometimes the importer doesn't know motorcycle
gloves from garden gloves, so it's "Buy 'em, mark 'em up
and move 'em, out the door. With lots of money is
spent on marketing...
By the way -- this strategy is also used for just about
anything that's for sale in our sport, including
motorcycle clothing, accessories and even helmets.
So it's very rare indeed to find a
designer or importer who actually cares enough -- and
knows enough -- to actually develop and
specify the design, materials, patterns, stitching and
quality for gloves that will really do the job.
Which pretty nicely describes VeloceGear.
We're impressed -- they took all of the feedback from
our review of the original version of the Legionnaire
gloves, along with comments and suggestions from owners,
and went to work on "Version 2.0", which are now
available for sale.
Frankly, I've never come across a
company that seems top be so obsessed with motorcycle gloves.
They've continued to communicate with us since the original
review for feedback, suggestions and discussion.
My impression is that they are very serious about their
products, and it shows.
The updated "Version 2" of the Legionnaire
gloves are equally as impressive as the originals, and
they now includes a few new features
that improve both the performance and looks.
guess what? The price hasn't changed! The
Legionnaire gloves still sell for $95.00.
VeloceGear has also introduced the new
"Primus" race glove
(review) that is covered in Part 2 of this two-part
series. The Primus is the flagship of
the Veloce line. They feature kangaroo palms; a
venting system on the fingers and thumb; attached 3rd and 4th
race-style fingers and a doubled gauntlet. The Primus gloves carry a list price of
$169.00, which is also an excellent bargain for race
gloves of this caliber.
The Legionnaire "Version 2"
But prospective owners won't have to
worry about feeling shortchanged by spending "only" $95.00
on the Legionnaire gloves. The Legionnaire gloves
have many of the high-end features found on top-line
gloves costing twice as much.
The overall look and feel of the updated
version of the Legionnaire gloves is even better than
the originals. The "Veloce" logo that was stitched
into the leather on the back of the hand in the original
may have looked good, but some owners didn't like to see
all those stitches perforating the leather.
The new version features VeloceGear's "SPQR"
trademark embossed into the silvery-gray contrasting
leather surrounding the carbon fiber main knuckle
protector. My 6 years' of Latin from high
school and college has long become rusted, but I believe SPQR
is an acronym for
"Senatus Populusque Romanus", or "The Senate
and People of Rome".
This was -- and is -- commonly seen in
many inscriptions in ancient Roman times, and I remember it shown on the flags of Roman legionnaires in
the Latin textbooks.
VeloceGear has been channeling ancient
Rome and using the Latin naming conventions for all of their motorcycle
clothing. They have a slightly different take: SPQR stands for "Salvus Praesto
Qualitas Raffinato", translated by VeloceGear as
"Safety, Performance, Quality and Refinement".
As far as I know from my half-Italian
ancestry, "raffinato" is Italian, meaning "to
refine". I thought "refinement" was roughly
translated as "excolo" in Latin, but probably
only a Latin savant would know (or care) about that.
In any case, some may think it all a bit
hokey, but as a student of ancient Rome, I think it's an
excellent idea and I can definitely see the connection
between Roman armor and philosophies and protective
Legionnaire Materials and
The leather used in the Legionnaire
gloves is 1.2 mm thick cow hide -- good stuff.
It's very supple, and as you can see in the photos of
the contrasting red sections, there are plenty of
doubled-up layers to add protection.
The large molded carbon fiber main
knuckle protector "floats" on a completely separate body
of leather and it's well-padded underneath. The
hand sizing across the palm is generous -- none of that
tightness we've found on many "race" styled gloves from
other manufacturers. VeloceGear says the gloves
are sized for American hands, which I assume means, uh,
"thicker than average"?
My hands are by no means beefy, but the
gloves fit about 1/2 size big, which actually leaves a
bit of extra room for the swelling that occurs when
gripping the handlebars or sweating.
However, the fingers on this example are a bit
too long, and an email to VeloceGear leads me to believe this pair is from an early
production run and VeloceGear has assured us that the
sizing will be correct on production models.
Other new features include the
semi-sticky palm/finger wear pad overlay, which is
double-stitched and has the cool "SPQR" logo. The
material does provide better grip, especially when the grips
are wet, as I can attest.
The downside is that the
extra layer of wear pad and the thick leather palms, in addition to
the full lining in the Legionnaire gloves conspire
against providing the same level of grip feel as the
Primus gloves with their thinner kangaroo skin palms and
smaller wear patches. Although, as you'll read in
that review, the lining slightly attenuates grip feel on
the Primus gloves also.
The Legionnaire gloves feature a covered
wrist attachment and a standard gauntlet attachment;
both secure with hook-and-loop. I can not pull the
Legionnaire gloves from my hand when the wrist strap is
secured, so they pass this crucial test.
Comfort and Feel
The gloves are comfortable overall,
realizing, of course, that these are semi-race or
sport-touring or street/track-day gloves and not touring
gloves. So ultimate comfort takes a back seat to
I might be able to do without the
full lining, but they are nice and comfy and the
material is soft. That thick leather may take some
time to fully break in though.
[ADDENDUM: I forgot to mention
temperatures. My feeling is that the Legionnaire
gloves are appropriate for riding in temperatures
ranging from 12 to 24 C (about 55 to 75 F), give or take
2 C or so.]
After Burn and I took the photos of the
Legionnaire Version 2.0 (or should that be "Exemplum
Duo"?), I realized we have standardized on our glove
reviews to the point where we ended up with nearly the
exact same set of photos for both gloves. So
here's a pictorial representation of the differences
between Legionnaire Exemplum Unus and Duo:
Veloce Legionnaire Original Version: Stitched "Veloce"
text, leather palm and some single stitching.
Veloce Legionnaire V2: "SPQR" embossed;
double-stitching, larger details and even higher
Veloce Legionnaire V1: "X" styled fingertip stitching.
Veloce Legionnaire V2: Note continuous leather
around the fingertip; "ceiling" and "floor" for lots of
Veloce Legionnaire V1: Single stitched, smaller heel pad
and strap cover.
Veloce Legionnaire V2: "SPQR" grip pad
(double-stitched); more padding; Keprotec sliders.
Legionnaire V1: We noted the stitching issue...
Legionnaire V2: ... But it has been fixed on Version 2 with a complete
Note less stretch/stress compared to photo above.
Flash Slide Show: Updated Version of the Veloce
The Veloce Legionnaire gloves are loaded with features
at a great price. It's nearly impossible to truly
evaluate and compare the protective qualities of
motorcycle gloves to determine how well they will
perform in a crash, but from what we can tell, these
seem to be equivalent to gloves costing two to three
times as much.
Comments are ordered from most recent to oldest.
Not all comments will be published (details). Comments may be edited for
clarity prior to publication.
Editor's Note: Fortunately, many riders assisted in various
stages during the development of this product; unfortunately, this means
that I can't post comments for the product due to the inability to determine
potential conflicts of interest. Sorry!
Follow-up From VeloceGear (Updated 5/09): "We would
like to thank you for an objective review of our gloves. We appreciate
your site’s candid feedback about our products and appreciate how detailed
your reviews are. You provide a valuable informative service not only
to consumers, but also to us as manufacturers.
We would like to comment on some things from your reviews.
With regard to our SPQR motto, we appreciate your understanding of how
ancient Rome and her army serves as our inspiration. We were further
impressed by your grasp of Latin and the translations of our SPQR and Rome’s
Indeed, Raffinato means to refine.
We do state that we do loosely translate it to Refined - as
in to refine is to end with something Refined. Excolo
unfortunately would not have worked. Great work! And Exemplum
Duo - Nice touch!
With regard to the women's apparel, we did our best to
research factual historical data of women's roles in Rome's history.
We came across the names Achillia and Amazon during such
research. These names were Greek inscriptions found on a marble carved
relief from Halicarnassus (Bodrum, Turkey).
This historical piece can be seen at the British Museum. We
named our women’s apparel Achillia and Amazon to honor these
female warriors with the same level of honor as their male counterparts – as
we did with our men’s apparel. Additional, the term Gladiatrix
was actually a term used in Rome for female Gladiators / Fighters.
However, we decided not to use this term or name.
Since our first review, we spent a fair amount of time researching new
manufacturing partners. After a thorough search, we decided upon a
Pakistani company. We share a passion to excel with our new partners
and we hope the benefits of this new partnership show in our new product
line. Our new partners are ISO certified and use modern technological
manufacturing processes and materials to deliver the best possible products.
With regard to the Primus, we decided on TPU for the knuckle cover primarily
for safety reasons. The material has excellent abrasion properties.
It also offer betters shock absorption and G-Force deceleration and
dispersion on impact.
Because it has a slight give on impact, it helps disperse the impact forces
across a wider area thus transferring less impact force to the rider's
Additionally, as the Primus is geared or targeted towards a
racing environment, there is less chance of shards of debris or shrapnel
like pieces left on the track in the event of a crash - and though a minimal
benefit, we at least hope this means the trailing riders do not suffer a
puncture from glass like shards from C/F.
We once thank you for taking the time to review our products.