Gloves are curious items. Like other riding apparel, they typically offer protection, style and—if needed—warmth (few things make a ride as unpleasant and dangerous as numb, frozen hands). But unlike a jacket or helmet, gloves come between your hands and your motorcycle’s most essential controls: throttle, front brake lever and clutch lever. Therefore, fit and thickness of materials are important considerations.
Scorpion’s XDR (Xtreme Distance Rider) apparel line is designed for riders who dish out the abuse. Its target audience is adventure tourers, riders who travel long distances over roads of varying quality in all sorts of conditions. Two XDR gloves offered: the Gunner ($65.95) and the Recon ($85.95).
Recon gloves look stout, with long gauntlets and a hybrid of leather and textile. The top and bottom of the hand are protected by pliable, abrasion-resistant goat leather, with pre-curved fingers for better grip. Rugged, lightweight ripstop nylon is used between the fingers and for the gauntlets. High-wear areas—palm, inside of the thumb and first two fingers, and outside of the pinkie—get a second layer of goat leather with a grippy texture. At the heel of the palm, a padded panel of steel carbon provides extra impact protection. Padding further protects the top of each finger, while accordion leather (“power-stretch panels”) on part of the first three fingers and top of the hand provides flexibility. There is also a small panel of textured leather on the inside-top of each gauntlet, but it seems to be more for form than function (the pattern matches accent panels on XDR jacket and pants).
These gloves are well-built and offer useful features. Leather-covered hard plastic knuckle guards are ergonomically shaped to disperse impact, and the floating knuckle design helps prevent binding. On the sides of the knuckle guards are reflective panels for nighttime visibility. A three-way wrist strap system dials in fit, though only one strap is needed to cinch the gloves tightly or loosen them for removal. Hands are kept dry with a Hipora waterproof membrane and a KwikWick moisture wicking liner, and fleece EverHeat liners provide additional warmth when needed.
Wearing these warm, waterproof gloves when splashing through wet dual-sport trails during winter was great. They fit well but are somewhat bulky—made even more so when the liners are in—but that’s true of any cold-weather glove. Although these gloves are not designated for a particular season, I found them too warm on spring and summer days. When my hands started to sweat, the KwikWick liner didn’t seem to help much; my hands stayed clammy. Since adventure-touring riders often pack gear for varying conditions, Scorpion’s rugged Recon gloves make a great cold-weather companion to lightweight summer gloves. Available in sizes XS-3XL for $89.95. For more information, visit www.scorpionusa.com.