Held Ninja Gloves
Held "Ninja" Gloves Review
| Owner Comments (Below)
"Burn" for webBikeWorld.com
Riding a motorcycling is a
fantastic sensory experience that never ceases to amaze.
We rely on our eyes and ears, the seat of our pants and
the feel of the air pressing against our bodies, but our
hands serve as the primary interface to the motorcycle.
Motorcycle gloves act as a barrier to the inputs we
receive through our sensitive fingertips. Thick
leather, padding, armor, Kevlar and metal knuckle
protectors are not the types of materials that one would
associate with enhanced feel.
Since motorcycle gloves do have an impact on the
riding experience, it's imperative to find the "perfect"
The word "perfect" is subjective, but, it's
probably safe to say that the perfect pair of motorcycle
gloves would fit comfortably when the hands are wrapped
around the grips; they would keep our hands dry and they
would protect us in case of an accident.
Sounds simple, right? But developing objective
criteria from these very subjective statements is nearly
impossible. For example, we're at the mercy of the
glove manufacturers' advertising copy when it comes to
evaluating glove safety. There is virtually no
scientific data that we can use to analyze or compare
the relative safety of gloves or any other piece of
The sensitivity of our hands means that even slight
problems with fit can make us uncomfortable. For
example, the internal stitching on some gloves really
bothers me for some reason. This problem isn't
always noticeable when trying the gloves on in the local
shop; it usually only becomes apparent after a few
minutes of riding with my hands tight around the
Finding the perfect fit is especially difficult for
the average motorcycle rider, who normally doesn't have
the resources to purchase several pairs for evaluation.
It's been hard enough here at webBikeWorld, where we get
to evaluate many different motorcycle apparel items over
the course of a year.
I'll admit that with all the gloves we've reviewed,
my old standby favorite pair are the original Teknic
Violator Pro gloves that we first reviewed several years
ago. Maybe it's because they're well broken in, or
maybe it's force of habit, but I find myself reaching
for the Violator Pro more frequently than any other
But this hasn't kept me from a continual search for
something better. And except for one problem, as
we shall see, I think the Held Ninja gloves may just
become my next all-time favorite.
Held has developed a rather extensive line of gloves
over the years, especially now that most of the
production has apparently moved out of Germany.
Remember when Held had live photos of the old German
women making gloves in their local factory? Now
their gloves don't even carry a country of manufacture
label. But the quality still seems to be up to
Held standards, while the prices on some of the models
have become more competitive.
The Held Ninja gloves are a good example. They
have nearly all of the features that I look for in a
motorcycle glove, and the $99.95 list price is not bad
(although we paid about $110.00 for this pair, which
seems to be the going rate for the Ninja). They're
very close in design to the Violator Pro gloves I like
so much, and that's what attracted me to them.
One of the nice features of the Held Ninja gloves is
that they apparently come in numerical hand sizes.
I say "apparently", because although the Held USA
website only lists size M through XXL, the Held Germany
site lists sizes 7 through 11. Numerical sizing
can sometimes allow a more custom-tailored fit.
Maybe I'm dreaming, but I tried on several pairs of
much more expensive gloves in the motorcycle store
before purchasing the Ninja gloves, and my hands seemed
to fall somewhere between a medium and a large in the
"S, M, L, XL" sizing selection, while the size 10 Held
Ninja gloves fit perfectly.
I also sat on a motorcycle in the shop to evaluate
the gloves with my hands around the grips and the Ninja
gloves have just the right amount of room in the
fingers. My opinion on the way they fit hasn't
changed over the last month or so of daily use.
The Held Ninja gloves also seem to be very well made.
They are double stitched throughout and the stitching is
not only perfectly executed on my pair, its contrast to
the black leather adds a touch of class.
The gloves have all of the requisite safety features,
with lots of extra padding and leather sections on both
the palms and the back of the gloves and Kevlar panels
on the backs of the fingers.
They also have carbon fiber knuckle protectors,
curiously for only the second through fourth knuckle.
The palms are made from
Pittards WR-100X "high-performance extreme use"
This leather is also used in the Held "Steve" glove
review), and it's usually not found on gloves at
this price level.
Pittards claims that the WR-100X
tanning process helps make the leather resistant to water and
sweat, which, as we mentioned in the Held Steve review,
is ideal for motorcycle gloves.
So what's the problem?
A good safety test for motorcycle gloves is to
tighten the wrist strap(s) and see if the gloves can be
pulled off the hand. If they can easily be
removed, then they are also more likely to come off in a
The Held Ninja gloves only have a single retaining
strap on the back of the wrist, but the Velcro fastener
under the strap is not long enough for me to get the
glove tight enough on my hand. I can get them
about 80% of the way, but not tight enough to prevent me
from pulling the glove off my hand by the fingertips,
although I will admit it takes a strong tug to do so.
The retaining strap also has an extra large pull tab,
which is good, but the downside is that the tab hangs
off the side of the glove, and I'm afraid that in a fall
the tab would catch on something, releasing the strap,
which could cause the glove to come flying off.
This is really a shame, because I like everything
else about these gloves, especially the way they fit my
hands. I also like the big gauntlet cuff, which
fits over all of my motorcycle jacket sleeves with no
One of the other features that attracted me to the
Held Ninja gloves is the unique finger vents, located on
the back of the fingers, between the knuckles and the
first finger joint. Unfortunately, they don't
really seem to allow much air flow, at least that I can
feel. But at least they look good!
The fingers of the Held Ninja gloves are tapered
towards the fingertips. I've learned that
motorcycle gloves with tapered fingers fit me much
better than gloves with box section fingers, like the
aforementioned Held Steve gloves. The box section
design provides too much room for my admittedly narrow
fingers, making it harder to find the correct fit.
Held Gloves are known for high quality and leading-edge
safety features, but many of their gloves are also
relatively expensive. The Held Ninja gloves bring
Held quality and features at a very reasonable price.
Although I'd prefer a double strap retaining system, the
comfort, fit and style of the Ninja makes them my
current "perfect" motorcycle glove.
Retail Price: $99.95 (We paid $109.95)
Black/Red, Black/Green, Black/Blue
Comments: Comfortable fit. Very good
quality. Double stitching around most features also
adds a stylish touch. Lots of padding and armor.
650x560 pixel photo of the Held Ninja gloves
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