The Best Race Motorcycle Gloves for the 2021 Season

We’d Know: We’ve Hands-On Tested 2500+ Pieces of Riding Gear Since 2000

Entry-Level

Priced under $150, these racing gloves are ideal for new riders or value-conscious shoppers.

See: Entry Level Racing Gloves

Mid-Range

Priced $150-$250, these racing gloves are high quality and offer great protection for the pricepoint.

See: Mid-Range Racing Gloves

High-End

Priced $250 and up. This category has the best of what is available when it comes to racing gloves.

See: High-End Racing Gloves

 

Race Glove Buyer’s Guide

Motorcycle racing is about pushing yourself, your gear, and your bike to the very edge. And sometimes the only way to determine the edge is to cross that line and take the punishment that the pavement hands out. But you can do that and walk away as long as you are wearing quality gear. Then it is just a matter of knowing where the line is and pushing yourself right back to it with confidence in your skills and the reliability of your gear.

When I think of the qualities I look for in a race glove, I can’t help but hear 38 Special and Hold On Loosely. They sum up all that a race glove needs to allow a rider to do. First, hold on loosely but don’t let go. And second, if you cling too tightly you’re gonna lose control.

A good race glove will provide all the durability, comfort, and protection that you need, in state of the art materials and innovative designs that allow not only does not dull your sense of touch but somehow enhances it.

As always, ride safe!

Chase

About Our Recommendations

There’s a lot of fake “review sites” online today. We get it. We aren’t one of them. 

Founded in 2000, the team at wBW has extensively tested more than 2,500 pieces of gear. Helmets, jackets, boots, gloves, accessories, and more. We extensively and exhaustively test gear. We do not fluff reviews. Read our review policies.

 


 

Priced under $100

Best Entry Level Motorcycle Race Gloves

Alpinestars SMX-1 Air Carbon V2

Price: $79.95

Where to Buy

RevZilla Amazon

Why?

The Alpinestars SMX-1 Air Carbon V2 are a carbon fiber version of the standard SMX-1 Air V2. For an extra $20, you get a full carbon fiber knuckle protector inlaid into a comfortable short glove composed of stretch, leather, suede, and 3D mesh. These gloves are great for warm climates and for $80 you can’t go wrong.

Specs

Specs:

  • Durable multi-panel main shell incorporating full-grain leather and 3D mesh
  • Innovative microfiber and PU grip insert strategically position on palm and thumb
  • Alpinestars’ exclusive ergonomic stretch insert between palm and thumb
  • Incorporates premium quality suede palm and landing reinforcement
  • Ergonomically shaped Alpinestars’ innovative carbon knuckle guard reinforced on the interior side with thick EVA foam
  • Finger tops and back hand incorporates poly mesh and TPR inserts
  • Impact absorbing EVA foam panels on thumb
  • 3D mesh finger and thumb surfaces for cooling performance
  • Pre-curved finger construction to reduce riding fatigue
  • Neoprene wrist cuff plus VELCRO® brand and TPR closure
  • Touchscreen compatible index fingertip
  • Stretch finger sidewalls for improved flexibility and comfort

Protection & Safety

  • These gloves come fully equipped with reinforces palm and landing areas
  • Unlike the non-carbon version, these gloves come standard with molded carbon-fiber knuckles
  • TPR can be found all around the glove from the finger tops and back of the hand

 

Icon Hypersport Short Gloves

Price: $65

Where to Buy

RevZilla

Why?

The Icon Hypersport Short glove packs an affordable punch in overall construction and safety. At only $65, the Icon Hypersport Short is a reasonable price for the amount of included features.

Specs

Specs:

  • Durable, multi-panel main shell construction incorporating a supple full-grain goat leather
  • Leather palm construction incorporates PU padding reinforcements on landing zone
  • Patented 3rd/4th finger bridge prevents finger roll and separation during impacts
  • Perforated leather on the back of the hand
  • Short cuff design with hook-and-loop grip closure
  • Open knuckle gusset
  • Ergonomic stretch insert between thumb and palm
  • Stretch accordions on fingers and thumb
  • Touchscreen compatibility on index and thumb tips for use with smartphones and GPS systems
  • This garment is CE certified Level 1

Protection & Safety

  • Floating knuckle with a D30 underlay provides armor protection for the knuckles
  • TPU and polycarbonate knuckle plates
  • TPU finger plates and the wrap-around TPU wrist plate protection for the rest of the hand and wrist

 


 

Priced $100- $200

Best Mid-Range Motorcycle Race Gloves

Dainese Carbon 3

Price: $179.95

Where to Buy

RevZilla Amazon

Why?

The Dainese Carbon 3 is the perfect everyday glove that incorporates comfort features needed for daily commuting and packages them with a hefty side of racetrack derived safety technology. Much like the Yamaha R6 you are perhaps riding, Dainese took a product for the track and repurposed it for the roadways. These gloves look great and offer awesome protection.

Specs

Specs:

Fit:

  • Runs slightly small, order the larger size if you are between sizes

Features:

  • Drum-dyed goatskin leather
  • Sheep skin leather at palm for added tactile feel
  • Reinforcement in goatskin between thumb, index and palm
  • Carbon fiber over knuckles
  • DCP system at fourth finger
  • Single leather panel reinforces side of the hand to palm
  • Polyurethane slider on the palm and joints of the fingers
  • Dainese branding on wrist closure
  • Impact-absorbing soft inserts
  • Elasticated insert on thumb and fingers
  • Micro-injection reinforcement on the palm
  • Pre-curved fingers
  • Thermoplastic resin slider on fourth finger
  • Perforation at fourchettes
  • Gloves certified to CE – Cat. II – EN 13594/2015 Standard Category II Level 1

Protection & Safety

  • These gloves feature a full drum-dyed goatskin construction so no square inch of the glove will sacrifice slide resistance
  • The knuckles of these gloves are reinforced with real carbon fiber (many companies will put a TPU panel with a carbon wrap, this is the real deal)
  • Sliders can be found on the palms and finger joints for further abrasion resistance in the event of a ‘hands first slide
  • Having an official safety certification is always nice, these gloves are certified to CE – Cat. II – EN 13594/2015 Standard Category II Level 1 – meaning that they have gone through the wringer to prove their worth

 

Alpinestars GP Plus R

Price: $199.95

Where to Buy

RevZilla Amazon

Why?

The Alpinestars GP Plus R are debatably one of the best racing motorcycle glove selection in this pricing category. These gloves keep safety in the forefront while ensuring your hands remain as cool as possible for those long days at the track. Alpinestars strategically cut corners to save on the cost by skipping exotic leathers and synthetic materials to ensure consumers can get a high-quality track glove at a fraction of the cost of the competitors without sacrificing any safety features.

Specs

Specs:

  • Constructed from supple and durable full-grain cow and goat leather
  • Localized perforations on palm and backhand
  • Ventilated fourchettes keep the hands cool
  • Ergonomic engineered leather reinforcements on the palm and outer hand landing zones provide maximum abrasion resistance in key impact zones
  • Ergonomic stretch insert on palm
  • Pre-curved finger construction reduces rider fatigue
  • Alpinestars Dynamic Friction Shield (DFS) knuckle protection system features dual density mold construction for superior resistance to repeated impacts
  • Molded knuckle protection air intakes and exhaust ports for improved hand ventilation
  • Injected TPU palm and finger slider for superior impact and abrasion resistance
  • Protective double cuff closure with TPR logo wraps around wrist and raises the entire profile of the glove to protect wrist bone from impact in a crash
  • VELCRO® wrist adjustable closure strap
  • Stretch leather accordions on fingers and thumb for superior fit and flexibility
  • Internal top surface hand and thumb lining made with DuPont™ Kevlar® fiber fabric
  • Internal little finger lining made with DuPont™ Kevlar® fiber fabric
  • Alpinestars patented third and fourth finger bridge prevents finger roll separation in the event of a slide
  • Palm pad panel combined into palm/thumb/little finger reinforcement
  • External finger and palm seams for a close fit and superior feel
  • Printed logos

Protection & Safety

Safety Features:

  • These gloves are extremely safe due to the fact that Alpinestars designed them specifically for the track
  • Alpinestars Dynamic Friction Shield is featured on the knuckles for maximum impact resistance
  • TPU injected inserts are found all around the palm and fingers for added abrasion resistance
  • DuPont™ Kevlar is found throughout the glove for maximum slide resistance
  • The double-cuff nature of these gloves add a much-needed layer of wrist protection

 


 

Priced $250+

Best High-End Motorcycle Gauntlet Gloves

Alpinestars GP Pro R3

Price: $259.95

Where to Buy

RevZilla Amazon

Why?

The Alpinestars GP Pro 3 uses a variety of different materials in strategic locations to provide riders with the ultimate in protection, comfort, and tactile feedback.

Specs

Specs:

  • Mix of cow and goat leather with kangaroo leather on the palm
  • Outer seam palm construction
  • Long cuff
  • Hard knuckle
  • Knuckle panel perforated gusset for better ventilation
  • Print on finger
  • Finger bridge
  • Double closure system with Cuff DFS protection
  • Side reinforcements with palm hard slider
  • Accordion panels in leather on fingers thumb and backhand to increase fit and direct comfort
  • Thumb and palm reinforcement for a superior grip
  • TPU finger protection
  • Soft padding protection on finger tips
  • Ergonomic stretch insert on palm
  • CE certified CAT II Level 2

Protection & Safety

The protection offered by the Bryce Gore-Tex is exactly what riders have come to expect from Alpinestars in safe yet comfortable armor.

  • Armored knuckles with a panel of perforations for better ventilation for added grip
  • Armor on the gantlet for added abrasion protection in the event of a slide
  • Side reinforcements with a palm slider

 

Dainese Full Metal 6

Price: $429.95

Where to Buy

RevZilla Amazon

Why?

The Dainese Full Metal 6 gauntlet gloves are a race quality piece of gear that bring comfort and innovation to every rider who wears them, though a price point over $400, they might not fit into the budgetary constraints of many riders.

The Dainese Full Metal 6 is almost like wearing a full exoskeleton that has been seamlessly integrated into a soft, yet durable, goatskin glove. All of the technology and innovation of the Dainese Full Metal 6 make them one of the best gloves money can buy.

Specs

Specs:

Protection:

  • Carbon fiber inserts at the joints of the fingers and the head of the ulna bone
  • Composite inserts in carbon fiber and titanium on the knuckles and back
  • DCP system on little finger
  • External thermoplastic resin inserts on side of little finger
  • Gloves certified to CE – Cat. II – PrEN 13594 Standard lev. 1
  • One single leather panel to the size of the hand
  • Polyurethane insert on the palm
  • Quadruple elastication between knuckles and back of the hand
  • Reinforced leather palm
  • Reinforced preformed cuff construction

Ergonomics and Comfort:

  • Aramid fiber stitching
  • Drum-dyed goatskin leather super soft palm
  • Goatskin Leather
  • Internal reinforcements with aramid fiber jersey
  • Adjustable cuff strap
  • Elasticated inserts
  • Micro-injection reinforcement on the palm
  • Microelastic elasticated inserts
  • Palm Super Touch in goatskin
  • Pre-curved fingers
  • Precurved wrist
  • Tightening strap

Other Features:

  • Cover on the tightening strap
  • Elasticated cuff inserts
  • Soft inserts

Protection & Safety

The protection in Dainese Full Metal 6 sounds like something from a futuristic movie but here it is…

  • Carbon fiber inserts at the finger joints and at the head of the ulna bone, (that’s basically the outside bone in your lower arm where it meets your wrist) work as a suit of armor
  • Knuckles and back of the hand are covered by carbon fiber and titanium inserts and there is a polyurethane insert to protect the palm
  • Little finger is protected by the DCP system and an external thermoplastic resin insert
  • Gauntlet cuff is reinforced and pre-curved for added safety
  • Overall, these gloves are certified to CE – Cat. II – PrEN 13594 Standard Level 1
Criteria & Methodology

How We Determine "The Best"

At wBW, “Best” Actually Means Something

Remember when you could open up a review of something, and when the publication – magazine, car show, whatever – said “best” they stood behind it? Yea, we remember, and we’re bringing it back.

Here’s how we do things:

  • We disclose our affiliate relationships – We make money via advertising and affiliate relationships on our website. It’s how we pay our team and invest in things like sending Jim to Italy. And Japan. And France… wait… why do we always send Jim places?
  • We obsessively hands-on test – We wear and ride with gear before reviewing it, and we update reviews down the line if our opinions change. We look at real-world situations because that’s the world we live in.
  • We’re objective – Good gear is good gear, regardless of who made it.
  • We’re value-focused – Why pay $500 if something for $250 is just as good? Our review scores and recommendations reflect best value. Brand only goes so far – the gear has to stand on its own.

Hands-on reviews of 2020’s best riding gear. More than 2,500 hands-on reviews since 1999!

Mini-Buyers Guide

What To Think About When Shopping For Race Gloves

Gloves are a very important piece of gear for any rider who is looking to protect his or her hands as well as enhance the riding experience. But when it comes to racing, gloves might be one of the most significant pieces of gear that a rider selects. Gloves are tasked with protecting the 27 bones, two ligaments and 34 muscles that allow our hands to function and us to function in our technology-laden world. But in addition to protection, racing gloves need to allow a rider to read the feel of the bike from the contact with the handlebar, make ever so minimal changes in acceleration or braking, and maneuver the two-wheeled rocket.

Some riders will prefer a minimalist style glove that offers a snug fit and has no added frills that create any bulk or limitations to touch and dexterity. Other riders are willing to sacrifice a bit of comfort and flexibility to have the added armor and multiple layers of material between their skin and the pavement. But one thing is for sure, each rider must make that decision based on his or her own level of comfort.

There is no guarantee that gloves will provide complete protection to your hands but it is certain that your hands will fair far better in the event of an accident if you are wearing a quality pair of purpose-built motorcycle gloves.

Be sure to check back regularly with us here at wBW to read about our latest hands-on reviews of race gloves and other great products for riders.

 

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