Racer Outdoor GmbH may not be a household name here in the States, but it’s been making premium street-riding apparel in Austria since the early 1990s, and in 2012 lifelong motorcyclist and road racer Lee Block formed Racer Gloves USA as the exclusive U.S. importer and distributor. Racer is known for its focus on fit – in fact its tagline is the bold statement, “The best-fitting gloves you can buy.”
As a European company, Racer’s products are performance-focused and carry CE certification – in the case of my Guide gloves, to level 1. The Guide, which is available in both men’s and women’s sizes, is a short-cuff mild to warm-weather glove with a textured, reinforced goatskin palm, soft TPR protectors on the fingers and knuckles, hard Knox SPS sliders on the lower palm and perforations on the fingers and the back of the hand for airflow. Goatskin is thinner and less durable than cowhide, but this is offset by improved dexterity and feel on the controls, ideal for a lighter-weight, street-oriented glove. The Guide also features “mcFit technology,” which means the soft polyester liner is bonded to the outer shell with adhesives rather than being sewn in, and along with exterior seams on the palm edges of the fingers, this eliminates pressure points and further improves feel.
After wearing them daily over the course of the summer and early fall, I have to say I’m very pleased with the comfort level and fit of the Guide gloves. Each glove pattern is slightly different, even within a single manufacturer’s line, and though the Guides seem to have a longer finger-to-palm ratio they still fit my long palms comfortably. In fact, they became my go-to gloves for just about all my rides, whether on official magazine business (this Moto Guzzi Road Test Review for example) or not. The textured goatskin fingertips on my clutch hand are just beginning to wear smooth, as is the palm on my throttle hand, but at no loss of grip and they’re certainly a long way from wearing through. In my experience, the hook-and-loop closure straps are often the first failure point, and so far the Guides’ are just as secure as the day I got them. Lastly, while the flat TPR armor on the knuckles looks uncomfortable, I’ve found it to be just soft enough to conform to my hands and I forget that it’s there even after a long day on the road.
The Guide is available in black in women’s sizes S-XL, and in black or white/black in men’s sizes S-3XL, for $119.99. Lee at Racer Gloves USA is always happy to answer questions about fitment; see below for contact details.
For more information, call (541) 460-7001 or visit racerglovesusa.com.