When I started riding street bikes with my friends at the tender age of 16, there wasn’t a lot of specialized apparel around. Fortunately we just didn’t know how miserable we were because of it, since work boots, jeans, jean jackets and leather work gloves seemed fine for all of the fun we were having. Several decades and generations of motorcycling apparel development later, we ride waterproofed and protected from impacts and abrasion with miracle fabrics and space-age materials, in garments specially cut for outstretched arms, curled fists and bent knees, like earthbound spacemen. I could never go back to jeans and work boots even if I could be 16 again.
Even our good ol’ gloves have been transformed into specialty items, with good ones costing upwards of $100 per pair. Racer Gloves’ new Feeling sport glove, for example, is a good all-around gauntlet made of soft Indonesian sheepskin and premium tanned goatskin rather than cow leather to provide really good feel of the bike’s controls. The palm is lined with highly abrasion-resistant Schoeller Keprotec Kevlar, where you’re most likely to make contact with the road. More protection is provided by the soft armor across the knuckles and hard armor on the middle, ring and pinkie fingers, a plenty tough combination for a sport glove. And hook-and-loop closures on the wrist and gauntlet insure that these gloves will stay on your hands no matter what.
A perfect fit in my normal XL size, the Feeling’s gauntlet is large enough to fit easily over jacket sleeves. I’ve been wearing them for several weeks straight now and have really come to love them for riding in warm to moderately cool weather (check out the winter glove line for cold temperatures). Although the seam stitching is all on the inside, the leather is so soft it’s not noticeable; the gloves felt broken-in from the start, in fact. True to their name, the Feelings provide excellent tactile feel of the bike’s controls and switches, as well as little things like helmet vent controls, yet inspire confidence with their toughness.
Racer Gloves USA is the exclusive U.S. importer and distributor for Austrian motorcycle apparel brand Racer Outdoor GmbH, which has been making street motorcycle apparel since the early 1990s. There are currently 17 pairs of race, sport and winter gloves in the men’s motorcycle line and 5 pairs in the women’s selection. Prices range from $59.99-$259.99. The Feeling sport gloves come in black in sizes XS-3XL for $109.99 with a one-year warranty. For more information visit racerglovesusa.com.