The Racer “Limes” (lee-muhs) gloves are made from leather and goat hide with a full-sized gauntlet. These gloves also feature a large and hard leather-covered knuckle protector on the mains. The Limes gloves have a lightweight feel with a comfortable fit.
They also feel a bit more protective than the short-gauntlet Racer gloves reviewed in this series due to the secondary wrist strap to secure the gloves. The fingers don’t have much added protection but they should handle most situations well enough.
The Limes gloves also flow a good amount of air through the perforated fingers, thumb and TPU vent on the back of the hand. This is the first pair of Racer gloves in this series that has a secondary wrist strap, which is really a requirement for safety and protection. It does the job to secure the gloves on the hands. The Limes gloves fit slightly small; this pair is a size large and it fits, but would be even better if it were about a half-size bigger.
Otherwise, these are a nice pair of summer gloves that don’t compromise too much compared to the short-gauntlet types. This is Part 5 of our eight-part 2013 Summer Motorcycle Glove Review Series. Actually, we have a couple of late arrivals with a pair of Rev’it gloves and one pair from Dainese that will be added later.
But for now, let’s focus on the Racer Limes gloves, which move up the hierarchy in terms of protection in the new 2013 Racer lineup. Racer is an Austrian-based company noted for adding something special to each of their gloves. They’re back in the U.S.A. and that’s good news, because it’s always a good thing to have more competition to shake up the status quo.
The Limes gloves have a list price of $129.99 (originally $139.99), which puts them up there a bit into “I’ll have to think about this” territory.
But the comfort is there and that wrist strap — plus the full gauntlet. Add it all up and it actually makes these the first pair reviewed in this series that is a serious contender for King of Summer.
Did I say that the Racer Summer Fit gloves could very well be the most comfortable of this series so far? Yep — I said it.
But maybe not… The Racer Limes gloves just seem to have a different fit that I noticed as soon as I first slipped ’em on.
I’m not sure why, or if I’ve been wearing too many different gloves lately, or if there’s just something that makes these match my hand shape better than the others.
One hint is that these were the first pair from Racer that didn’t have to be returned for the next size up.
It’s a bit strange that Racer prides themselves on their fit, mentioning it in most of their marketing materials, yet we had to return half the gloves for the next bigger size, moving up from L to XL.
These Limes gloves in size L fit nearly like they should, although I do wish they were maybe a half-size larger across the main knuckles.
And while we’re at it, maybe another 2 mm in finger length? But they’re close — real close — so I won’t complain (too much).
These are also made almost entirely from real cowhide and goat hide, and I’d have to say that the combination is leagues better than that Clarino stuff on some of the other Racer (and other brands) of gloves.
There’s nothing like the real hides for feel, comfort and even breathability.
The Limes gloves have quite a large amount of perforated surface area also, making these true summer gloves.
The only problem with this is the fully perforated thumbs. Perforated leather can tear quicker than other types and there’s nothing else on the outside of the thumb for protection on these.
Once more, it’s that compromise between ventilation and air flow and protection. You want a lot of air flow for summer riding but you also want the protection of thick, heavy, winter gloves.
Can’t have both I suppose and again, these are a pretty good compromise.
Racer Limes Gloves Ventilation
Strategically placed perforated leather sections are located along the fingers, using an interesting pattern where roughly half of each of the four fingers are split vertically with solid leather on one side and the perforations on the other.
The white/black colored Limes gloves show this very clearly in the photos.
The inner lining of the gloves is fairly lightweight, so the cool air can be felt flowing through the fingers, especially if you’re riding a motorcycle where nothing blocks the air from hitting the hands while they’re on the grips.
Those four fingers also have three to four single perforation holes on the inside, just like some of the other Racer summer gloves reviewed in this series.
While these holes may not provide a lot of cooling air flow, they can’t hurt the process either and at least allow some of the heat to escape.
The entire outer surface of the thumbs are also made from the perforated leather. The perforations are much more numerous on this leather and the other vertical sections on the fingers, so if the hands are in the air stream, you’ll definitely feel it.
In fact, if the temps turn too cool, like at night or in the rain, the ventilation is very noticeable.
The downside to the highly perforated leather only on the thumb is that there is no other protection, other than that thin perforated layer.
The Limes gloves have a stitched-in TPU (plastic) insert over the back of the wrist with a small screened air scoop for more ventilation.
It’s a bit difficult to tell if this really does anything, but if I blow into it, I can feel the air on the back side, so let’s figure it does something.
While this may sound logical, it isn’t always when it comes to gloves.
We’ve reviewed more than one pair with knuckle or other vents that look effective but don’t do a thing, usually because the inner lining blocks any air flowing through.
Finally, there is a section of perforated leather along the top of the gauntlet, although since this area is usually either under or over a jacket cuff, it’s probably more for show than go.
By the way, the gray-colored perforated leather wear pad used on the palm of the gloves is definitely for show, as that section covers the solid leather or goat hide palm, so no air can get through.
Overall, the Limes gloves have a pretty good combination of protection vs. ventilation and, in fact, they’re a nice choice for hot weather riding.
The Limes gloves are lined with the typical thin polyester type of glove lining found on numerous motorcycle gloves. It’s fairly smooth feeling and hides most of the seams, which means it’s working.
Something about the cut, shape or fit of the Limes gloves makes them feel pretty comfortable on my hands. As I mentioned, this size large is perhaps a hair small, but they work fine.
The gloves are also lightweight at just 98 grams each, which is pretty good for a full-gauntlet glove with a full-sized main knuckle protector.
The light weight is probably due — at least in part — to the use of goat hide, which is claimed to be lighter and thinner than cow hide, while providing better abrasion protection due to the microscopic texture of the goat hide.
The goat hide also has a natural breathability factor, which helps for hot-weather riding.
The cow hide used is fairly thin also, with probably just enough body to protect in most instances when needed but not so thick that it makes the gloves a drag for summer use.
Overall Construction Quality
The Limes gloves are nicely made, with good construction around the fingers, which have mostly hidden seams.
Detailing around the gloves is very good, with some double stitching and nice subtle touches like accordion pleats at the back of the hand and at the base knuckles along the fingers.
There are no hanging threads or other obvious mistakes on this pair, so I rate them excellent overall for construction quality.
Fit and Sizing
This pair of size large Limes gloves fits about as expected to perhaps 1/2 size small. My hands measure about 9.25″ across the widest part of the palm and my fingers are proportional.
The fingers could be a bit longer, because I can feel the seams at the tips of my fingers when I have my hands on the grips when riding. I would have liked to try a pair of the Limes gloves in size XL, but I didn’t get the chance and my guess is that they might feel too big.
Thus, like the Racer Summer Fit gloves (review), a size large to slightly smaller hand should fit the size large Limes gloves, but borderline larger may want to go to the size XL and, in fact, that’s just what Racer USA recommends on their website.
The Limes gloves have the secondary wrist strap that is missing from the other Racer gloves reviewed so far in this series.
A secure wrist strap is a very important component on a pair of motorcycle gloves, because if the gloves don’t stay on your hands during a crash, all the protective features in the world are for naught.
This was brought home very dramatically to me years ago when a local rider hit a deer that jumped out of the bushes in the center median of a local Interstate highway.
He fell, went skidding along the ground and when he stopped, he realized his gloves were gone and his hands were…well, I’ll spare the gory details. He still has the scars from that encounter.
The lesson here is that the gloves must stay on the hands. If you can pull a glove off your hand with little effort, something isn’t right. The Limes gloves have a nice strap on the underside of the wrist that does not get in the way, yet it holds the gloves securely on my wrist.
This feature — along with the large hard main knuckle protector — gives me much more confidence in the Limes gloves than the others reviewed so far in this series.
The gauntlet on the Limes gloves is proportionally-sized and full length and it fits nicely over any of the summer motorcycle jackets I’ve worn recently, such as the Rev’it Air mesh jacket (review)that is one of my summer favorites for when the weather gets really, really hot.
In fact, the Limes gloves complement the Rev’it Air jacket because they both have roughly the same design philosophy, with about the minimal amount of acceptable levels of protection that you’d want, while maximizing air flow for hot summer riding.
The gauntlet on the Limes gloves also has a large hook-and-loop tab along the bottom of the inside of the wrist to adjust and close over the jacket sleeves.
The Limes gloves have the big, hard, leather-covered main knuckle protector, which has a slight amount of padding on the inside and feels comfortable. There are no other hard protectors on these gloves.
There is an extra section of leather or goat hide over the bottom half of the palm, which continues in one piece along the outer edge of the hand along the “pinky” finger.
There are no other pads on the four fingers or thumb, other than a pair of very minimal pads on the pinky finger that appear to have been made by simply sewing a couple of circles on the existing leather.
So this is probably the only drawback of the Limes gloves — the fact that there isn’t much else for protection, although again, this is that compromise between air flow and safety that each rider will have to judge for their personal criteria.
The Racer Limes gloves sort of move up the ladder or hierarchy one step above the other Racer gloves reviewed in this series, with the large main knuckle protector, full-sized gauntlet and secondary wrist strap that add to the safety and protection factor.
The amount of air flow or the cooling factor in the Limes gloves is very good compared to other full-sized gloves like this, and that’s the difference here, although that cooling factor does come with the compromise of no hard protectors for the fingers or thumbs.
The Limes gloves would make an excellent choice for hard-core adventure-touring or regular touring or street riding; in fact, probably for most all-around riding other than serious sport and, of course, track use.
With a comfortable fit, lots of cooling air, the big knuckle protector and the secondary wrist strap, the Limes gloves may be a better choice than most of the short-gauntlet types.
In fact, the Limes gloves have apparently become very popular this summer, as the first batch at Racer USA was sold out but should be back in stock by time you read this.
From “J.H.” (August 2013): “Thanks for the website. It is my “go-to” source for gear. Based on your review of the Racer Limes glove, I purchased a pair from Racer USA. I never heard of them before that.
The order process was easy and gloves came very quickly. Just as you said in the review, they run a little small. This works well for me since I am almost, but not quite, a size large.
The quality is first rate and comparable to my BMW gloves they replaced. By their construction and features, I would not be surprised if Racer made them for BMW. My bike has hand guards, so I cannot tell if they flow a lot of air.
I like the fact that there are two methods of securing the gloves on my hands. I am always afraid they will come off in a crash. If they do, what’s the point of wearing gloves?”