By Rick K. for webBikeWorld.com
REV'IT! designs and manufactures a substantial line of motorcycle jackets, pants and gloves in both leather and textiles.
The Ultra gloves have been designed to fill a market niche that's about exactly half-way between a full-on sport/race glove and a touring glove in terms of both styling and functionality.
I guess you could call them "sport-touring" motorcycling gloves.
The Ultra gloves seem to be designed and manufactured with as much attention to detail as the rest of the REV'IT! line of apparel, right down to the three vertical dress stitching accents on the glove back.
The Ultra gloves use high quality leather -- Nappa leather is used for most of the glove, and double-stitched Pittards leather leather covers a portion of the palm.
Nappa leather is a "soft, full grain leather made from an unsplit sheepskin, lambskin, or kidskin, usually tanned with alum and chromium salts and dyed throughout" (Etherington & Roberts).
Pittards is a well known and very old (circa 1840) U.K.-based leather manufacturer who produces some of the finest leathers in the world for a variety of world-class apparel retailers.
A visit to the Pittards website leads to an interesting diversion into the world of fine leather.
The use of Pittards leather on the palms of the Ultra helps to make them comfortable over the long haul, whilst adding a bit of class!
The Ultra is designed to offer a good level of protection while still remaining comfortable for touring.
They feature leather covered carbon knuckle and joint protectors on top of the glove, which minimize the "boy racer" look while still offering good protection.
Twin soft foam panels are stitched into the heel of the glove, one on the the back of the thumb and another soft foam panel helps protect the inner wrist. All stitching is Kevlar reinforced.
The fingertips of the Ultra gloves are rather unique; there's a soft leather panel sewn on the outer three fingertips, and slashes of silicone that help maintain feel and grip.
The Ultra gloves have a gauntlet that's a bit shorter than you'll find on a race glove. This allows you to wear the glove so that the gauntlet is either under or over your jacket's cuff.
I like to wear the gauntlets over my sleeves, so I wouldn't mind if the gauntlets on the Ultra gloves were a bit longer and wider, or had a larger range of adjustability.
The gloves have a wrist flap that closes with "hook and loop" fastener to cinch up the gauntlet, and this flap also helps to provide an added measure of protection over the wrist.
A narrow leather strap secures the glove over the top of the wrist, also with "hook and loop".
The Ultra gloves have some other subtle features: elastic under the wrist; pleated leather "stretch" relief between the knuckles and first finger joint, and an embossed "REV'IT!" logo on the outside of the thumb.
A careful inspection of the gloves also reveals the barely visible REV'IT! motto ("Engineered Skin") embossed into the piping on the inside of the wrist, which doesn't really add anything to the glove's protective qualities, but is pretty cool and illustrates the level of detail that seems to characterize the REV'IT! approach.
The Ultra gloves are comfortable, especially in the fingers. I've found that motorcycle gloves need to have about 1/4" extra room in the fingertips when the hand is held straight.
This indicates that there will be enough stretch room necessary to wrap one's hands around the motorcycle grips.
The fingers of the Ultra gloves fit me perfectly in both positions, but the thumb is a bit short, and I'm hoping it will stretch a bit over time.
I don't notice any chafing from the internal stitching except in the shorter thumb. This is probably due to the shape of my fingers and not necessarily a fault of the gloves.
By the way, the Ultra gloves appear to be fully lined, which helps make them more comfortable and which makes them easier to slide on and off.
These are conservatively styled gloves that have many subtle features that might not jump out at you at first glance.
Their price is reasonable considering their quality.
They're not all-out race gloves and don't pretend to be, but they should offer an adequate level of protection for sport-touring or cruising.
Since many of the motorcyclists I see lately either don't wear gloves at all or wear some type of fingerless cruising glove, a pair of Ultras would go a long way to offering a better level of protection for either sport, touring or cruiser riders.
|wBW Review: REV'IT! Ultra Gloves|
|Manufacturer: REV'IT!||List Price (2006): $119.99|
|Colors: Black/Gunmetal or Black.||Made In: China|
|Sizes: XS-2XL||Review Date: 2006 (?)|