High quality gloves with all the right features at an amazingly low price. Secret vent holes make a difference in warm weather (details below). And the triple wrist attachment keeps everything secure. British Motorcycle Gear has been around long enough now to call it an institution. Hard-core Britbike owners know BMG as the American go-to place for Knox armor, Barbour jackets and motorcycle clothing of classic British design.
But there’s more than that. They’ve recently started offering the classic made-in-the-UK Halcyon goggles. Those are, as any reader of the monthly classic British bike magazines will tell you, are de rigueur perched atop a Davida Jet helmet, which are also now available from BMG. We’ve reviewed a number of products sourced from British Motorcycle Gear over the years. These include a selection that includes products as diverse as the Knox Stowaway back protector (review) and the ultra-classic Barbour International waxed cotton jacket (review).
Also the BMG Zodiac jacket (review), one of my favorite lightweight motorcycle jackets. But not everyone owns a Thruxton or wants to dress the part of the ’50’s Leather Boys (review), so BMG also offers a good selection of modern gear, including their own line of motorcycle gloves. In fact, my experience with the retailer started many years ago with a pair of Belstaff winter gloves purchased from them. Those gloves were my favorite for cold-weather riding and they served me well for many seasons.
Thus, the BMG Rapido gloves bring me full circle, so to speak.
They’re as modern as can be, all decked out with carbon fiber and Schoeller Keprotec and the bright red contrasting leather shown in these photos.
Vintage bike jockeys can buy a pair in all black to wear with their Schott leather jackets (review)and maybe no one will notice the high-tech juxtaposition. Just make sure you put the sleeve over, rather than under the gauntlet.
By the way, we also have a pair of the BMG Thermosport winter gloves to review, which are similar to the Rapido version but with insulation.
I’ll report back on them when the weather cools down enough to use them.
I wasn’t sure what to expect with either pair, because they both carry the same list price of only $79.00!
Don’t tell BMG, but I’ll bet they could sell these babies for at least 100 bucks more.
That’s because the quality, the materials, the stitching and features are right up there with some of the best gloves that have ever graced my grubby mitts.
The Rapido gloves are made from “Grade A semi-aniline leather”; aniline being a treatment that colors the leather all the way through, so “only the best quality hides can be used”, according to the definition.
The leather used in the Rapido gloves feels robust, so they should have no problem protecting the hands when necessary.
All of the leather and Keprotec panels, the padding, the stitching and even the various colors on the red and black variety shown here has been put together with care and it all looks great and gives the impression of serious quality.
They fit pretty well also, with plenty of room in the fingers.
The size large gloves do seem to run just a touch larger than what seems to be the norm recently.
They fit like size large gloves used to fit, instead of the too-tight sizing standard that has apparently been adopted by the motorcycle glove industry as of late.
I’m not sure what’s up with the glove manufacturers lately; some of the gloves that have come through here recently are running much tighter than expected — up to a full size smaller, in fact — so a “normal” sized glove is a welcome treat.
I much prefer the slightly loose fit that also provides the correct amount of room in the fingertips.
The Rapido gloves are correctly proportioned for their size, and the finger length feels right with a touch of extra room in the tips.
The thumbs may be just a hair longer than normal, but again, this is better than too short.
The fingers on a pair of motorcycle gloves should feel slightly long, because the extra room is necessary to allow for the hands to be wrapped around the hand grips.
The lining of the Rapido gloves is relatively comfortable, with just a seam here and there that I can feel, but overall I’d say the Rapido gloves are about as comfortable as I’ve experienced in a race-style glove.
Motorcycle glove manufacturers of late must be sourcing these rubber-rimmed vent holes from the same supplier, because they’re showing up on just about every glove around lately.
To be honest, this type of vent seems more for show than go.
The theory is good I suppose, but I’m not fond of the rubber, because it will probably grind itself to dust in the first few seconds of a get-off.
And so far, I haven’t found a one that’s good at ventilation; the problem is the lining, which in almost every instance backs the vent opening and blocks any air from entering the glove.
That’s also the case with the Rapido gloves; I can blow into the vent holes while wearing the gloves and feel no air at all coming through.
So why bother? If they’re not going to flow any air, I’d just as soon have a hunk of carbon fiber or more protection instead.
The perforations on the gauntlet do seem to allow a modicum of ventilation, but a solid fabric jacket sleeve worn underneath mitigates this to some extent.
The real secret is the tiny holes popped into the sides of the fingers, which do allow air to flow in — and out.
I didn’t notice them at first, but I can definitely feel air coming through and it makes a difference.
Perforations can sometimes cause weak spots in the leather.
But I’m not worried about the few holes in the sides of each finger, because that area is probably one of the most hidden or protected anyway and it isn’t a part of the glove that one would expect to act as an abrasion surface.
The rubber vent holes notwithstanding, overall I find the Rapido gloves to be more comfortable than I imagined in hot weather.
Of course, they’re not really designed as hot weather gloves.
But I’ve worn them in temperatures reaching the high 80’s (29-31 C) and they don’t feel any better or worse than many of the fully perforated summer gloves I own, most of which have a lining that blocks the air from flowing anyway.
Add some carbon fiber, leather swatches and other forms of protection that is required for safety and the air flow will be blocked no matter what the glove backing material is made from.
So I’d much rather opt for full leather race protection instead of a pair of flimsy summer gloves that end up costing about as much as these anyway.
In addition to the substantial leather and the Keprotec, the Rapido gloves have a split carbon fiber knuckle protector that floats on a separate leather section that is double-stitched on to the back of the gloves.
The two-piece carbon fiber unit is a good idea, because it allows more flexibility than a single piece would while providing similar levels of protection.
Safety features abound, with a large single-piece swath of leather covering the palm and running up the heel of the hand and along the little finger.
The Keprotec lines the palm and there’s plenty of double stitching all around.
The back of each finger is covered with a separate pieces of leather to protect the knuckles, and the thumb and first three fingers have padding sewn in over the tops of the fingertips.
You can see in the photos that the gloves also feature an accordion-like stretch section between the base and middle knuckle for added flexibility.
The fingertip ends use a modified box section construction, with blind stitches; a costly and time-consuming sewing procedure found on better gloves.
We took a couple of close-up photos and you can see the thought and the care that went into this design:
The gloves are secured with a wrist strap that attaches underneath, below the heel of the hand, and the strap is covered by a leather flap to protect it.
The gauntlet is a single piece tube that has enough room to fit over a jacket sleeve.
It features a large patch of hook-and-loop material on the underside, and two separate covering sections start on the back of the wrist and fold over the underside of the wrist to form the three layers of protection.
We arranged the glove in the photo above to illustrate the system. You can see that the final layer on the left is leather, which covers the arrangement and protects the hook-and-loop.
This type of system may take a second or two longer to get it wrapped around the wrist, but it offers more protection and when it’s properly fastened.
The combination of the wrist closure and the gauntlet definitely keeps the gloves in place — I can not pull them off my hands, which is exactly what is required in a good, protective motorcycle glove and which is unfortunately not the case in most.
The British Motorcycle Gear Rapido gloves have all of the safety features of the best modern motorcycle race gloves.
They have outstanding fit, finish and quality, all at a price that’s almost unbelievable. And the gloves come with a one-year warranty.
I don’t think you’ll find a better pair of gloves at twice the price, so my advice is to grab a pair before they wise up!
From “I.H.” (05/11): “Nice! I like them, until… it started raining. I took them off and my hands were RED!!”
From “Bo” (7/09): “I’ve now had the gloves for a few thousand miles and want to post a review. Thanks again for the great deal.
Here you go:
Let me preface my review by noting that I have spent thirty years in the Quality Assurance field in different manufacturing environments, so I tend to scrutinize products through the proverbial microscope.
In my opinion these gloves are the best value on the market. I was looking for a full-protection, no-compromise, gauntlet glove at a reasonable price, and the only one that met these requirements was the Rapido. I looked at them all, from Alpinestars to Rocket but none could measure up feature for feature and still be cost competitive. It will cost at least $50 more to get the same features from another brand. Check the quantity and quality of the protective features on this glove and you’ll see what I mean.
The stitching on my gloves is impeccable, but I thought it might be because I bought them from (the) webBikeWorld (garage sale) and BMG would surely send the best they had for a review. A friend bought a pair directly from BMG after he wore mine and they were every bit as nice as mine. BMG must have gotten the stitching issue under control.
I’ve worn the gloves in the rain and in temperature from 25 degrees to 85. They are obviously warmer than a mesh glove, but by no means unbearable, and the finger vents actually worked well for me. The fact that they didn’t turn my fingers black in the rain was an added bonus. The fingers are slightly long for me, but not enough to cause me to downgrade them, and that has improved as they form to my hands.
In closing, if you are looking for a similar style glove, you owe it to yourself to try BMG.”
From “D.G.” (2/09): “1. I purchased my BMG Rapido gloves in November. Within 25 rides the stitching holding one of the floppy gauntlet flaps failed while donning my Rapidos. If the stitching is not robust enough to handle me pulling on the glove for the 25th time, how can I trust it to hold together when asphalt yanks it at 25 MPH? I appreciate the Rapido’s thick leather and ergonomic design, but the stitching undermines the glove.
2. BMG’s customer service has thus far been a pleasure to work with, and I will be refunded my money when they receive the returned gloves.”
From “R.S.” (8/08): “I read the review of the gloves and I decided to take a try and buy them. When I received them I noticed the left hand index finger threading was pulled apart. I gently lifted the loose leather and I can tell the treading on this glove would be a problem down the road. I would say the material is up to speck, but the stitching on the extra leather for the fingers may be a problem. Gloves go back.”
Follow-up from “R.S.”: “Follow up: BMG was quick to follow up and are sending a new pair of gloves……good service. BMG (also made up for) my troubles. I will definitely look at the rest of BMG products with service like that!”