Updated February, 2018
Selecting the best motorcycle race glove can be challenging as it needs to be a delicate balance between safety and comfort. Protecting your hands is always a concern when racing, but it is equally important to be sure that you have a good ability to grip and a good sense of touch.
Dexterity of your wrists, hands and fingers sometimes can be the difference between a near miss and a race ending accident which leaves you sliding across the asphalt and putting gear durability to the ultimate test.
Most racers prefer the gauntlet-style race glove which provides a longer extension to cover the wrist and lower arm for added protection. The added material and thickness at the wrist might feel like overkill until the first time you are sliding and realise that your elbow pads are skipping along the ground and causing your jacket cuffs to slide up your arms. Gauntlet style gloves are designed to protect against this issue and eliminate road rash on your wrists and arms.
Some racers are just not comfortable or confident in the gauntlet style race glove and opt for the short style. These gloves still provide all of the major protection for the hands and fingers, but do not provide that added coverage for the wrist.
Our Top Picks
Motorcycle Glove Buyers Guide
Buying the correct motorcycle racing glove is a critical step to making the sport as safe as it can be while also increasing your ability to be successful. Unlike street riding, motorcycle racing is about learning the track, learning the line and then pushing both yourself and your equipment to achieve peak performance. And on some occasions, you will determine that perfect line by crossing it, which will result in dumping the bike, a nasty slide on the track or a near miss and an aborted lap.
The important part is that your gear protects you so that you are able to get back up and try it again. Having the best motorcycle racing gloves is a way to insure that you are ready to get back out there and take that next lap.
Dainese Full Metal 6
The Dainese Full Metal 6 is the gold standard for motorcycle racing gloves. This newest model offers improved comfort while still offering the penultimate protection for your hands and wrists.
Carbon fiber inserts protect the finger joints and the head of the ulna bond. This is the area which contains the muscle connections to allow for motion of the wrist, hand and arm. The back of the hand is protected by carbon fiber and titanium inserts held in place by aramid panels. Additional protection is provided for the little finger with a DCP system and a resin insert on the side of the finger. A single layer of leather wraps the side of the hand to provide maximum protection in a slide.
The palm is constructed of reinforced leather and also includes a polyurethane insert for extra protection. The pre-curved cuff is reinforced to provide added protection and comfort.
These gloves are safety rated to CE- Cat.II- PrEN 13594 Standard level 1.
In addition to all of these protective features, Dainese also paid special attention to the comfort features of the Full Metal 6 glove.
- The glove is constructed of goat skin for added flexibility and softness, then is reinforced with aramid jersey fiber to increase the durability.
- This interior lining is elasticated for addition comfort and security in addition to the adjustable wrist strap.
- The pre-curved fingers and wrist make this glove comfortable from the moment you put it on to eliminate added stress and discomfort due to fatigue during a race.
Even with a price tag of over $400, the Full Metal 6 is a superior glove for the cost. There are some pieces of equipment which should always be top quality and these gloves fit that requirement. At $419.95, that is a small price to pay to have your hands this well protected and comfortable.
The combination of quality, protection and comfort offered by these gloves make them our best overall choice when looking at motorcycle racing gloves.
Best Value Glove
The Knox Handroid glove is a unique combination of comfort and protection at a relatively affordable price. At first glance, the glove looks like some space age adaptation of an artificial limb with its exoskeleton. But the fact is that this is a creative solution to providing great safety and a high level of comfort.
There is a gel-lined layer on the back of the hand which is then attached to the Scaphoid Protection System (SPS).
The hard exoskeleton is designed to provide a very durable surface to absorb the impact of a crash and also work as a slider when necessary. This protective system covers the back of the hand as well as the fingers.
This glove is constructed of leather for complete protection and the palm is made of Kangaroo to provide a more soft and pliable surface for improved grip. Box finger construction and flexible concertina joints in the fingers provide instant comfort and help to reduce hand fatigue during a race.
As a gauntlet style glove, the Handroid provides the extended cuff, or gauntlet, to protect the wrist and lower arm.
What is really unique about this particular gauntlet style is the Knox BOA lacing system, which provides precision adjustment around the entire wrist.
- The dial on the top of the wrist is turned to tighten the lacing system evenly around the wrist.
- To release the system, simply pull the dial.
- This great system makes it very easy to adjust and remove the gloves as needed without trying to grasp thin straps which can be challenging when wearing gloves.
For a motorcycle race glove that is priced in the middle of the pack, the Knox Handroid offers many features that are lacking in other gloves in this price range. Riders can feel protected and comfortable during a race and easily be able to adjust the these gloves for a custom fit every time.
Scorpion EXO SGS
Not everyone is a fan of the gauntlet style glove even when it comes to racing. With that fact in mind, Scorpion offers the popular SGS model in a short version. The SGS offers the same great protection and comfort as the gauntlet style but with a smaller cuff that will fit inside most jacket cuffs.
The short SGS is still constructed of goat skin for maximum protection and comfort. It offers the same carbon reinforced knuckle protection, SPS palm sliders and TPU finger protectors as the gauntlet style glove. The Velcro wrist strap closure keep this glove secure while the perforated leather across the back of the hand allows for great air circulation.
The pre-curved palm and fingers helps to reduce hand and finger fatigue during a race or just when you are turning laps. And a surprising but useful feature is the touch screen compatible index finger, great for checking messages or your latest performance app.
Safety is not lacking in this race glove in spite of all of the amazing comfort of the short cuff. Care was taken to provide all of the same hand and finger protection offered by the longer gauntlet style SGM by simply removing the longer cuff. And the final benefit to these gloves for many racers is the very reasonable price.
At less than $100, there is no reason that any racer can’t afford to have great hand protection and comfort when out on the track.
Other Great Race Gloves
CORTECH ADRENALINE II
The Cortech Adrenaline II is a quality gauntly style race glove that provides great protection at a very reasonable price.
The glove is constructed of cowhide and kangaroo to provide the most durable surface in all of the right places and a softer, more flexible surface to protect the palm of the hand. The inside of the glove is lined with DuPont Kevlar for added protection. There is also Superfabric in the fingers and thumb for added protection without sacrificing flexibility.
The palms of the Adrenaline II have SPS protectors to insure that they slide easily and do not grip pavement to avoid causing additional trauma to hands, wrists and fingers. The pre-curved palms and fingers help to reduce hand and finger fatigue as does the elastic stitching in the pinky and ring fingers.
Molded TPU knuckle protectors, dual molded TPU wrist protectors, soft padding on the outside of the glove and two layers of leather provide maximum protection for hands and fingers without including a crushing price tag.
If you like the idea of a gauntlet style race glove to provide added protection over your wrist and cuff area but don’t want to spend $300 or more on a set of gloves, then this is your solution. The Cortech Adrenaline II is a great blend of safety, comfort and affordability.
FOX RACING BOMBER
Not every racer is looking for a way to wrap their hands in full leather when racing. Some racers prefer a smaller glove and a lighter weight material to provide more airflow and a lighter touch.
The Fox Racing Bomber is is the minimalist solution for a racing glove that still offers some protection when you need it the most.
The Bomber offers polycarbonate molded full knuckle protection, a Clarino double layer palm and Clarino reinforced thumb for solid protection all around your hand. The Pittards Perforated leather provides greater durability and flexibility without sacrificing safety.
The new style finger gussets allow for more airflow and greater comfort during a hot race. Comfort will never be an issue as the entire body of these gloves is pre-curved to reduce fatigue and keep you as comfortable as possible.
If you are looking for a glove to provide protection and comfort in a minimalistic way then the Fox Racing Bomber will meet your needs. The cost is very reasonable and the light fabric and vented leather will keep you comfortable on even the hottest race day.
SCORPION EXO KLAW II
The Klaw II is the answer for every racer who is looking for a summer weight short glove that provides great protection. The body is constructed of goatskin leather for both protection and flexibility. An added neoprene panel at the wrist ensures that you will always have a great custom fit from the hook and loop wrist closure strap.
The molded TPU knuckle protection is both safe and comfortable thanks to the rib-stretch expansion panels inserted across the knuckle area. TPR molded protectors also cover the fingers for added safety. Fatigue is reduced by the pre-curved palm and fingers which also provide an enhanced grip.
For lightweight summer protection when racing, the Scorpion Klaw II is a good choice. The full goatskin leather construction is a good balance of comfort and protection for less than $50.