Canstar Blue reviews motorcycle gloves from Harley Davidson, Dririder, Fox, ALDI and Alpinestars based on factors including comfort, protection, durability, fit, functionality and value for money as well as overall customer satisfaction in 2017.
As the old saying goes, “If the glove doesn’t fit, you must acquit”. This is certainly true when it comes to motorcycle gloves. They might be the last ‘piece of the puzzle’ as far as motorcycle protective clothing goes, but gloves are certainly no less important. What else will keep your mitts warm in the cold winter breeze, and could you afford to cope with road rash in the event of an accident? Gloves may often be cheaper than boots, jackets or helmets, but they are still a vital piece to your motorcycle kit. So, which motorcycle gloves are rated highest in Australia?
To find out, Canstar Blue surveyed hundreds of motorcycle owners across the country, asking them to report their feedback on the gloves they most recently purchased. Top of the pile this year was Harley Davidson. Its ‘Americana’ vibe, blending fashion with function, places the iconic American brand at the top of our ratings table, scoring five stars across almost all categories.
So what does a motorcycle glove actually do? It’s about a lot more than just looking cool or saving a buck. Motorcycle gloves can ruin or make a motorcycle experience – here are some critical features to look out for when buying a pair:
No matter what type of riding you do – whether it’s on or off-road – doing your research and picking the glove that’s right for you and your style of riding is a good first step in getting more enjoyment out of your day out on the bike!
Our survey found that Aussie riders spent an average of $84 on their pair of motorcycle gloves. Harley Davidson customers spent an average of $117, which is markedly higher than the overall average. However, this wasn’t enough to deter customers, as riders evidently look at more than a cheap price when it comes to gloves. Just 17% say they always buy the cheapest gloves
There are a lot of other factors aside from cost when it comes to winning over customers, with the key satisfaction indicators being:
It’s telling that ‘value for money’ is of lesser importance in the eyes of consumers, but it’s still noteworthy nonetheless. It should be noted, however, that ‘value’ implies more than just a cheap price. Overall, five star ratings for brands other than Harley Davidson were few and far between, but Dririder did get top marks on value. Let’s look at the top brands in more detail, and see who offers what – and at what price.
Below are the five top brands that featured in our survey on motorcycle gloves. Keep in mind there are more brands out there. In any case, we hope taking a look at these five makes your purchasing decision a little easier.
To keep your mitts warm while riding your chrome-heavy Harley bike, Harley Davidson has produced a wide range of gloves to suit almost any application. Most are slick black leather in design, with some made of soft goatskin for ultimate comfort. Many feature pre-curved fingers, which aid in comfort and finger flexibility. Prices range from less than $100, up to about $150, which is higher than average but evidently many people are swayed by the big, bold American brand. Harley Davidson was rated five stars overall in our review and five stars in most other research categories, except value for money where it still achieved a respectable four stars.
Dririder is an Australian brand that has previously won our gloves award. It focuses on straightforward, protective gear without gimmicks. It manufactures gloves for both road-going and off-road applications, with different padding areas and ventilation depending on if you’re a tarmac lover or a dirt lover. Many feature full-length wrist coverage as well, to prevent gravel and wind from getting in. Prices range from about $30 for the most basic varieties to $150 for the most protective and elaborate models. Dririder was a solid contender, with four stars for overall satisfaction. Notably it achieved top marks in the key areas of comfort, protection and fit, as well as value for money.
Fox is a motocross specialist, specialising in all things dirt. Off-road gloves often come with greater grip, while slimmer in profile and boasting maximum breathability for days on the track. As a consequence they are often less padded than road gloves, but still offer protection in all key areas. Fox gloves, unlike other brands, are bright in colour to suit your tastes, and quite cheap in price. Prices start at around $30 for a basic pair of Fox gloves, up to about $100 for those with plastic protective knuckles, thumb guards and double-layer leather palms. Fox was rated four stars for overall satisfaction and in other key areas like comfort, protection, fit and value for money.
Budget grocery chain ALDI also happens to stock some interesting Special Buys, including – would you believe – motorcycle accessories. You’ll have to get in quick if you want ALDI motorcycle gear, as missing out could mean you’ll have to wait a whole year for it to come around again. Previous glove iterations focused on summer riding, with much ventilation and a cheap price to boot, under $50. ALDI rated three stars overall for its motorcycle gloves, but did get four stars on value for money.
Alpinestars is an Italian manufacturer of motorcycle gear, and its focus is on maximum protection and functionality. It makes both road-going and off-road gloves. Off-road gloves commonly feature plastic knuckling for ultimate protection, while road-going gloves often feature tough cowhide leather, plus ventilation systems and windproof exteriors for those chilly mornings, as well as Gore-Tex waterproof protection. Alpinestars is generally a ‘premium’ brand, with basic gloves costing around $50, but the top models costing more than $400. The top price is usually reserved for full-length motocross gloves with unwavering protection and design. Alpinestars got three stars overall in 2017, but did get four stars for protection.
Canstar Blue commissioned I-view to survey 800 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 bought and used motorcycle gloves in the last 12 months – in this case, 346 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 alphabetically. 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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