Compare motorcycle glove brands ALDI, Alpinestars, DriRider, Fox and Harley-Davidson, on factors including protection, durability, functionality, value for money, style/design, comfort/fit and overall satisfaction.
When it comes to staying protected on the roads, motorcycle gloves can be an underappreciated piece of kit. But gloves can come in handy on all types of rides, giving you respite from the harsh sun, chilling wind, or protecting you from the risk of road rash should you take a tumble. In addition, a good pair of motorcycle gloves will provide extra support and grip, helping to cut down on hand cramps or sore joints after long trips.
While they might not be the first thing on your list to buy when it comes to motorcycle gear, gloves are an important purchase, although with plenty of options available on the market, it can be a tough one to make. To help you feel your way through the market, Canstar Blue produces an annual customer survey of motorcycle enthusiasts, rating several crucial accessories, including helmets, jackets, boots and indeed, gloves.
This year, more than 400 Australian adults took part in our review of motorcycle gloves, with five major brands rated in the following order for overall customer satisfaction:
It’s the second year in a row that Harley-Davidson has proved victorious, which is a solid endorsement of its motorcycle accessories. While not the cheapest, sometimes it pays to spend a little extra on quality.
The research found that protection, durability and functionality are the biggest drivers of satisfaction for motorcycle riders, with value for money, style/design and comfort/fit considered slightly less important. Keep this in mind the next time you go shopping for new motorcycle gloves, because it’s easy to go for a cheap pair and end up regretting the decision!
Read on to find out what you can get your hands on from the five brands in our 2018 review. Meanwhile here are some of the standout findings from our latest survey on motorcycle gloves:
In addition to rating their motorcycle gloves, survey respondents were asked what the main purchasing factor was when deciding which gloves to walk out the door with, with the results listed below:
The survey found that Baby Boomers are more likely to prioritise comfort/fit than younger generations, while Gen Y are the most likely to purchase gloves based on their style/looks. Similarly, Gen Y are the most likely to purchase gloves as part of a deal with other protective gear, as well as buy online.
A popular choice for all things motorcycle-related, American brand Harley-Davidson offers a number of motorcycle glove options, including fingerless and hybrid gloves, in addition to gauntlets for those looking for maximum protection against the elements. The majority of Harley-Davidson’s gloves are made from leather for a combination of style and user comfort, with most gloves additionally coming with a padded palm for extra comfort on those long rides.
Harley-Davidson additionally uses pre-curved technology in the fingers, apparently making it easier to grip the handlebars, as well as cut down on forearm cramps. Gloves can be adjusted via wrist straps, with the gauntlets coming with a wrist strap and draw cord to ensure you don’t lose them while riding. While one of the more expensive options on the market, Harley-Davidson gloves are readily available from retailers around Australia, with a locator available on the company’s website.
Made for the outdoors, American brand Fox is well-known within the Moto scene, often the go-to choice for those who like to get away for the weekend. One of the cheaper options available on the market, Fox may be the option for those on a budget or those who do their riding off-road. If you’re not sure what size gloves you should be going for, Fox provides a sizing guide on its website, along with prices and available retailers, making it a handy stop for consumers.
Available in plenty of colours, Fox offers a number of ranges to choose from, including the introductory DirtPaw and Pawtector range, all the way up to the top of the line Attack Pro models. The DirtPaw models are made from lightweight polyester and are primarily used for racing, with the Pawtector gloves coming with additional knuckle coverage and compression moulding.
The more expensive Bomber gloves feature goatskin for comfort, along with moulded plastic along the fingers to ensure that your hands are protected while gripping the handlebars. And if you’re serious about your off-roading, the Attack Pro models feature a three-layer softshell fabric for protection, along with silicone grip on the fingers for additional lever control.
Founded in 1963 in Italy, Alpinestars is a well-known brand within the motorsports industry, producing a range of protective gear and sportswear, including jackets and gloves. While the majority of the brand’s range will be more suited for those who enjoy going off-road, Alpinestars does offer options for on-road riders as well, in addition to having plenty of colours and styles available.
Alpinestars’ on-road gloves include the Windstopper and Drystar ranges, each with features to make the ride more comfortable. Windstopper models include a knitted wrist cuff to stop wind sneaking its way up your arms, along with a touchscreen compatible fingertip for use with GPS and smartphones. The Drystar range has a waterproof membrane insert for additional comfort for when you get caught out by the rain, and is made with leather accordion to stretch and fit properly to your fingers and wrist.
The off-road range is where Alpinestars really shines, with riders offered plenty of options, regardless of if they occasionally enjoy an outdoor adventure, or live for the dirt track. From the light and breathable F-Lite glove all the way to the SP leather range, Alpinestars offers gloves with additional wrist support, knuckle protection and limited edition models for those who really want to stand out from the crowd.
An Australian brand, DriRider offers plenty of protective options, regardless of where you do most of your riding. With helmets, jackets, gloves and accessories, such as luggage bags, available, DriRider has plenty to offer for consumers on two wheels.
For on-road riders, DriRider offers all types of gloves, including fingerless, standard, as well as gauntlets for all riding types and styles. Most DriRider gloves include features like carbon fibre knuckle protectors, pre-curved fingers for additional comfort, and reflective patches for improved night safety. Models are primarily made from premium cowhide with abrasion resistant mesh, providing a good balance between style and practicality.
While its range primarily focusses on on-road riding, DriRider hasn’t forgotten about the off-road riders, with a number of models available, including the Rapid range, which includes elasticised leather panels for enhanced flexibility and a rubber wrist protector for those rough terrains. Other gloves include the Vortex model, which includes reinforced palm and little finger protection, as well as Velcro wrist straps for easy use.
While you may not be able to buy a pair of gloves every time you head out for your grocery shop, German supermarket giant ALDI does occasionally provide a cheaper option to keep you safe on the road if you’re strapped for cash, or aren’t after a big-name brand. Its Motorcycle Gear special buy event generally takes place once a year.
ALDI offers two sets of gloves, each made from leather with different protective extras. One primarily uses padded leather on the knuckles, while the other utilises carbon fibre for additional protection. Both pairs include reinforced rubber padding and palm protection, with the carbon fibre ALDI gloves also including pre-curved fingers for increase comfort on those longer rides.
Gripping the handlebars on long road trips or bumpy off-road tracks can quickly turn an exciting ride into a painful experience, so investing in a good pair of gloves may be a worthwhile option for many riders, as well as give you extra peace of mind in the event of an accident. With 50% of respondents to our survey indicating that they always wear motorcycle gloves when they ride – and 54% stating that they feel safer when they wear them – protecting your hands while you ride is a no-brainer!
Ultimately, which brand you decide to strap on will come down to personal preferences, as well as your individual circumstances. Some brands focus primarily on off-road riding, while others might be better suited for those likely to stick to the bitumen, with extra support and protection where you’re likely to need it. To avoid ending up empty-handed, doing a bit of research before you head in-store will not only ensure you’re getting a good deal at the checkout, but keeping safe on the roads.
Canstar Blue commissioned I-view to survey 900 Australian motorcycle riders across a range of categories to measure and track customer satisfaction. The outcomes reported are the results from customers within the survey group who have purchased and used motorcycle gloves in the last 12 months – in this case, 402 people.
Brands must have received at least 30 responses to be included. Results are comparative and it should be noted that brands receiving three stars have still achieved a satisfaction measure of at least six out of 10. Not all brands available in the market have been compared in this survey. The ratings table is first sorted by star ratings and then by mean overall satisfaction. A rated brand may receive a ‘N/A’ (Not Applicable) rating if it does not receive the minimum number of responses for that criteria.
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