Icon TiMax Motorcycle Gloves
Icon TiMax Motorcycle Gloves Review
by Rick K. for webBikeWorld.com
| Owner Comments (Below)
Mad Max was a wuss. Everyone knows that the Borg
are the most bad-ass life forms in the Universe.
Well, if you've
ever wondered what the Borg wear when they go for a motorcycle ride, you're
looking at them!
The styling of these Icon TiMax gloves is obviously what hits you
Apparently, the styling is polarizing -- the reactions
I've experienced tell me that people either
love it or hate it. While you may at first think that the gloves
are aimed directly at the black-leather-and-spikes crowd on hopped-up Kruisers, a second look will tell you that there's more here than just
Besides, let's face it: motorcycling isn't really about
practicality. Not many like to admit this, but motorcycling is
mostly about image, posing and the tribe mentality. The make,
model and type of bike you ride say a lot about your self image and
how you want to project that image to the public. Motorcycles in
and of themselves are a radical statement to much of the unwashed
masses (although much less so since your wife's Obstetrician bought
Nevertheless, motorcycling is about image
making. So why not play the radical and wear a pair of
these? Even though I don't own a cruiser (but who knows, I may
some day!), and consider myself part of the
"Euro/sport/sport-touring" tribe, identified by its Aerostich-style jackets
and exotic German helmets, after wearing the TiMax gloves and
seeing the reaction from others, I think they're cool.
But let's get past the styling. While the styling may be
radical, it also serves a purpose in a way that goes beyond any other
glove available, at least in this sector of the Universe!
Those plates that you see are made out of gen-u-wine titanium!
That's the "space age" stuff that used to be hugely
expensive and rare on the Earth's marketplace, as most of it was mined in
the Soviet Union (remember them?) and hoarded by them for defense
purposes. Well, this is 2003, and titanium is so common
that here it is on motorcycle gloves.
Is capitalism great or what?!
Sorry folks - I'm not going to deliberately take a spill to test these gloves, but
next time I go sliding down the Interstate, I hope to have these TiMax
mitts on. For some reason, I have a phobia about messing up my
hands in a crash. I picture myself in slow-motion, falling off
the bike (a lowside, I hope!) and sliding down the pavement with my
arm outstretched. But if I crash bad enough to wear through
these gloves, I probably won't have to worry about much else....
count 8 titanium plates covering the second and third row of joints
on the fingers of each hand, and a single plate on each thumb.
There's also a huge titanium plate over the knuckles backed by two
separate pieces of leather; two more big Ti plates on each side of
the wrist; and a smaller one on top of the wrist.
wrist plates are strategically positioned to take the brunt of a
slide where the impact will probably be the worst -- on the outside.
Glove design of even 2 years ago would probably have made the TiMax
uncomfortable to wear. Someone somewhere along the line
recently came up with the brilliant idea of attaching glove armor
remotely, instead of attaching it to the glove itself. This is
a subtle but very significant design feature that furthers the
evolution of motorcycle hand protection.
For every bit of armor that is attached directly to the glove, you
lose that much flexibility. I dare say that with as much
titanium as the TiMax has, if it weren't for remote attachment, the
glove would be impossible to wear. Remotely attaching armor allows the
glove to flex just like it would normally, yet it provides a
flexible mounting point for armor AND another layer of leather over
Each piece of titanium armor on the TiMax is attached to a separate
piece of leather that is double-stitched to the glove's body.
The titanium bits are attached to the remote leather via
rivets. You'd have to wear through the titanium, through the
outer panel of remote 1.25 mm thick leather, and down through the
leather of the glove itself before it caused any damage to your
I am a bit concerned about the external stitching. I'm not
sure what the stitching fabric is made of; I sure hope it's not
cotton. While external stitching can offer better comfort,
it's sometimes too easy for it to get worn away very quickly in a
TiMax gloves have an interesting lining that feels like it has some
thin foam backing, which make them feel comfortable and
form-fitting. Everyone who has worn the gloves first
comments on their comfort. There are also leather expansion
panels at all of the flex points, which help to make the gloves feel
good right from the start.
Like any leather garment, it takes a while to break them in, and
they'll stretch a bit after a couple of dozen outings, so they feel
a bit tight at first. I'm guessing that the sizing of the
TiMax gloves is just a touch smaller than normal; I usually take a
size large glove, and these were a bit tighter than expected, but I
think after they stretch from normal wear that they'll fit just
When you get your hand past the cuff, the wrist entry definitely feels like it's a
bit smaller than normal, so I have to really push my hand to get it
into the glove. It kind of feels a bit like there is too
much pressure in that area when I'm riding and my wrists are bent,
but I'm sure this area will stretch over time also, so I'm not too
worried about it.
Once my hands are
inside, the gloves feel comfortable and secure. There's
nothing worse than having a glove come off when it's supposed to be
protecting your hand, so the tighter wrist is probably a good thing
that could help keep the glove in place during a crash.
The cuff closure is somewhat unique on
the TiMax also, and could certainly help keep the gloves on when
they're needed most. There's a zipper along the inside of the
wrist; it's backed by seamless leather to keep out the
The zipper is closed first. Next, there's an
internal narrow leather strap with "hook-and-loop"
material (Icon doesn't use the V-word) that tightens over your wrist
to secure that area. This strap is then covered by another
piece of leather attached to the palm area. This piece
is intended to protect the internal wrist strap in case of a slide.
The final wrist closure is provided by a two-piece external cuff system with the aforementioned titanium armor. To secure it,
you first attach the outer wrist panel over the piece of
hook-and-loop, then attach the inner wrist panel over that.
This, in effect, provides 3 layers of thick leather protection for
the "soft underbelly" of your wrist, a most critical area.
Let's see -- what else did we forget? The palm is protected by
60 (count 'em!) rivets on a separate piece of leather that goes from
the lower inside of the palm up along the pinky finger.
leather palm area is also backed by Nomex material, the fireproof
stuff that Formula 1 drivers' suits are made of. There's
an extra layer of leather covering the upper palm area that is also
placed strategically under the area where your hand rests on the
Also, the palm area is protected by "Pittard's Armor-tan
ceramic infused leather". Not exactly sure what this is,
but it sound impressive! And finally, the fingers are
pre-curved for extra comfort. The gloves also carry a one year
warranty against defects in material or workmanship.
One strange "feature" shows
up when riding. There is a separate external leather piece
that rides underneath the piece of leather that holds the main
knuckle armor. As the hand bends to fit around the
handlebars, this piece pops straight up. People have commented
that it looks like a fairing for your hands!
I guess it's
there to let everyone see the "TITANIUM PROTECTION" lettering
on the front side, and to show the "Ride Among Us"
Icon tag line on the back.
In any case, it's almost too bad that the styling of these gloves will
probably turn some people off, because there are some unique features here
that I think further the movement towards more and better protection for
motorcyclists, and this is A Good Thing!
||List Price: $149.95
Comments: Can you get
any more protection than this?! Comfortable lining; very
secure cuff closure. Wrist area
is tight; they may be warm in the summer; I get a kick out
of the styling, but it may not be for all tastes.
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From "P.L.": "I wanted these gloves, as pictured in black,
ever since they came out. But couldn't justify the price tag to myself, or
to my finance' at the time. So our best man for our wedding pooled the
guys together & got me a pair for my bachelor party & I've been loving them ever
since! I've ridden with them in all types of conditions for 3.5 years now &
every stitch, titanium plate, rivet & piece of leather of the gloves has held up
great during the 30,000+ miles I've put on them in that time.
I've taken two spills with them, both low side crashes caused by
rider error. One of which was during a track day, though both incidents
went off road, into a grass field & a gravel trap, respectively.
While the gloves are bulky compared to thin, skin-tight gloves,
there's no comparison in terms of protection, even from road debris or large
bugs. You hear the smack, but never feel a thing. I love the
gauntlet style as it covers further up the arm past the end of a jacket sleeve,
giving me assurance no part of my hand or wrist is exposed.
And I get rave comments on them all the time. People think
they're the wickedest looking gloves they've ever seen, (& I concur); like
something the Ring Wraiths out of Lord of the Rings would wear."
From "S.B.": "I recently last September when down on the
freeway going 65MPH on my motorcycle after hitting a bridge expansion joint left
out by the DOT. I promised myself after the next day of buying a new bike
that I would prepare myself better if I ever went down again. I had been
riding for 17 years and that was the first time, and not my fault.
I recently purchased the Icon TiMax Gloves which are being
clearanced out and not able to be found anymore. You did a article on them
and although the looks are strange, the are the best protection I have found.
If you know of something else let me know. I had plenty of protection, but
the gloves I had stuck to the pavement, and shoved the hand into the wrist, and
broke my wrist. This is too common of a problem with motorcycle accidents,
and no one is making it known, and glove makers don't respond. The studded
palm would have/could have saved my wrist."
From "J.": "I was reading
your review of the Icon TiMax's. I got the black ones just
like you reviewed. I'm two wheel only and used these
gloves almost exclusively (when it wasn't raining) for two
years, and these things have really held up. I thought all
that elaborate stitching wouldn't hold together for that long,
but I'm very impressed. It looks like they might be off
the market though? In favor of the new Merc line, it looks like.
Too bad! These things are true monsters and have survived
very heavy use with flying colors."
From "MCH": "Thanks
for your worthwhile effort on the site. I'm glad I found
it and wish you success. I
purchased a pair of Icon TiMax gloves, largely on the basis of
the product and owner reviews on webBikeWorld. My
particular interest was in protection and a glove that was
heavy enough to do winter duty. Protection is an
understatement. However, the lining and extra layers
bearing the titanium plates actually provide decent protection
from the cold as well. I have ridden with these gloves
in wind chill around 10 to 15 degrees Fahrenheit.
Personally, I'll stick with the Olympia winter gloves for
temperatures below thirty, but the TiMaxes do well above
From "T.": "GREAT
SITE! I just finished reading the review for the Icon
TiMax gloves. Love the part about the design being for
"the young at heart". My wife says that to me
all the time, I'm 38. Just bought the gloves from the
dealership I work for. Your review is DEAD ON all the
way, the pros and the cons, I'm impressed."
From "M.": "I ordered a
pair of the TiMax gloves after checking them out on your
website. They do run small, and one of my knuckle rivets
came loose the first time I tried them on. Other than
that, these gloves are badass, and after I fix the rivet I'm
totally stoked. now if the weather would cooperate!
Thanks for the info."
From "G.W.": "I read your review
on the Icon TiMax gloves. I normally wear a medium size
glove, but your review said that the gloves tend to run
small. Since I had to mail order, I wanted to get it
right the first time. Thanks to your review I ordered
the large and they fit perfect. Thanks for your review
it really helped."