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202 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Gauntlet or Short?​
What do you use? I'm deciding on what glove to use. I have both a leather jacket and textile/mesh jacket. My current gloves are perforated leather yet have minimal protective qualities. I was thinking the Scorpion SG3 MKII gloves or Alpinestars GP Pro gloves. Not sure If I want to have the full gauntlet glove or short gloves though. I have been riding a year and am not sure what it needed. What do you think?

Also, I see alpine star gloves on ebay and figure they are knock offs by their price. Would you take the chance they are decent. My current gloves are knock off icon's and are great for the price. Just curious...​

2,217 Posts
A) Do not buy knock-offs. You might as well get some work gloves at Harbor Freight or ride bare-handed.

B) Gauntlet.

C) Buy through a reputable authorized retailer.

1,308 Posts
I've always worn shorties. I can't stand the thick "gauntlet" type of gloves.
I have both A-Stars and Icon gloves and both are well made and comfortable, but I prefer a simple leather glove without all the armored knuckles and stuff so I didn't pay that much for them.
A-Stars and Icon make good gloves, but some of my favorite gloves have also come from lesser known manufacturers like Castre, Fly and TourMaster over the years.
The best ones for fit and finding what I really wanted have come from trying them on and buying them in person at a bike dealership rather than ordering them online.
In the case of gloves there's nothing like being able to try the merchandise, check the fit and see what you're buying in person.

75 Posts
I have the Scorpion SG3 MKII gloves, SHORT cuff. ....I really like them and they are true to size; they stretched out a little as all leather does. they're VERY comfortable.

Now... that being said, I do wish sometimes that I got the full gauntlet glove version because I do get some wind and rain up my sleeves, no matter how tight I velcro cuffs on my jacket. :/

BUT, I do not know for sure since I have not tried full gauntlet gloves yet! I'll probably look at them more towards the fall when it's getting cooler!

1,867 Posts
Just bought a set of Alpinestar GP Plus gloves. Full gauntlet with lots of protection. My last gloves (Joe Rocket) lasted almost 10 years, and they weren't that great.

I decided I needed to get something better. As you go on with your riding career you will appreciate quality safety gear more and more. I used to ride with leather riding boots, but decided I wanted more protection so I found some good used Sidi sport boots with armor and stiff sides. Ankle or finger injuries are a bear to heal, so having extra protection pays off if the need arises.

Short gloves and boots and mesh gear doesn't appeal to me at all, no matter how hot it is (and it does get hot and sticky).

3,226 Posts
two basic ways of looking at the question,
comfort/rideability and safety/protection..
most gloves today attempt both,
with varying success..

for general riding esp in hot weather
i prefer a/s summer gloves, which do have
additional leather at typical contact points
plus knuckle protectors, well integrated thus
not uncomfortable or restrictive etc..
they are easy to dry or rinse and dry..
lightweight, easy on/off, fit in pockets etc..

full leather gauntlets are obviously better for
cold wet weather riding, while good summer gloves
are better for summer etc..

some really nice very protective armour gloves
with great features such as boas fastening etc
are obviously well crafted riding/safety gear,
which also cost more..
another factor for some..

as truefaith observes, fit is everything
as in other motorcycle safety etc gear..
the best most expensive gloves that dont fit,
can only be a distraction while riding,
ie, contrary to focus/awareness
thus also to potential safety..

basically, go for an established maker
of gloves that fit well when tried and tested
[pick things up, make fists, move thumb around etc]
and according to your riding environment [eg heat,
cold, rain, day/night etc] - within your budget..

if budget is irrelevant to you,
build up a collection..
if not, choose wisely
and well..

196 Posts
I wear cheap joe rocket gloves that are tearing at the seams after just three seasons of normal use. They would NOT hold up in a crash. They only protect me from the wind...

Gauntlet gloves will offer superior protection. Im upgrading soon, and I'm buying leather gauntlet gloves, probably from A*

Don't buy knock off motorcycle gear. Ever. Believe me.

119 Posts
I went full gauntlet because I realise that I don't really appreciate or use the conveniences of those shorter, more basic gloves
I can't get cash out of my wallet with either gloves
I may be able to operate my handphone with the short gloves, albeit with much frustration
Doesn't take much longer to glove up the long gauntlet gloves
I'm alright with wearing wet gloves (yes, the long leather gloves stink up much longer than short semi leather ones)
And my gauntlet gloves do ventilate well enough even in the tropical climate that I live in, my hands don't really perspire much either.

So now I keep the short gloves for really short rides or for passengers

1,308 Posts
If you think your wrists are useful to you in everyday life, wear gauntlets.

Dress for the crash.
While I agree with this statement in general, I haven't found it to be 100% true in my particular case.
I would never wear sneakers instead of boots, or a t-shirt instead of a jacket, but when it comes to gloves there's more to consider than protection only.
I've been thrown off my bike twice in 35 years of riding, both times wearing thin "shorty" gloves and in neither case were my wrists injured.
That might be because I did break my wrist in 2 places on a bicycle before I started riding motorcycles and I now always tend to instinctively protect my wrists in a fall, or it might be because I've simply been lucky.
Whatever the case, I feel that the increased tactile ability thinner leather gloves gives me when riding is more important than wearing thick gauntlet-type gloves and I don't like the feeling of my hands and wrists being restricted in their movements by them.
It's a strictly personal preference, of course. If gauntlet gloves don't bother you then by all means wear them.
I just personally feel safer and more in control when I have a better and more direct feel for the throttle, brake, clutch and handlebar when I'm riding.

2,291 Posts
My gauntlets are single thickness deerskin. I know what you mean about control through feel. I could never wear those transformer gloves.

And while I did have two fingers crushed, it was totally my fault for taking my eyes off the direction of travel (not a head check), armoured gloves would have made no difference, in fact the hard pieces might have done more harm than good.

I recommend spatial awareness above all.


3,226 Posts
agree injuries are not necessarily direct abrasion related..
in a smash i fractured distal radius [side/end of forearm bone]
and shattered hamate [squarish bone in hand] and fractured
metacarpal [ring finger within hand], wearing a/s short gloves,
which would not have been prevented wearing gauntlets..

obviously tho the more armour you can cover an area with
the less potential abrasive damage, and to some extent
impact effects, but for high impact [which doesnt take much]
the bone will fractured or shatter anyway..

comfort is a big factor, including as a safety factor,
not merely in keeping hands warm and dry etc,
but in allowing full freedom of finger/thumb
hand movements..
as if not wearing anything restrictive
while allowing full tactile feedback to brain
with if anything enhanced contact with levers etc..

smashes, and avoidance responses happen in microseconds..
hopefully good reflex responses have been developed
thru specific practice together with reps from riding..
but any,, even minute hesitations in reactions
or any, less than full efficiency technique
can add microseconds to your responses,
which is like adding 'clumsy' to reactions..

in a word tho, comfort is one key to function..

no doubt the best shot is to try gloves on
including testing for full range of movements
in making fists, flexing and extending fingers
and if not riding then using clutch/brake levers
and throttle, horn, blinkers etc, on a passive bike..

toss something up and catch it, write with a pen,
use zippers, open your wallet and suchlike..
ie, give your yourself and your hands
the benefit of well fitting comfortable
gloves.. of whatever style or type..

if its raining or forecast wet i might wear
my full rainsuit.. sometimes i get caught out..
but not every ride just in case..
same for gloves..
you might choose to wear gauntlets etc
or short or summer gloves..

one thing about my a/s short gloves is how quickly
they dry out after getting wet when caught out..
convenience is a real factor.. easy to wash
and quick to dry out,, ie, functional..

as truefaith reaction from bicycle offs/wrist damage etc,
so you can do easy preps by practicing forward rolls,,
but instead of flat hands to start, practice lightly
placing the back, of one hand, to the floor
to begin your roll..
eventually this will be so light as to be
virtually no touch rolling,, with hands/wrists
oriented away from road contact..

people with no training typically react by
extending hands/arms towards the road,
thus taking serious impact thru hands/wrists
and forearms thus those bones..

forward rolls can be practiced on carpet
in a hallway or large room, or outdoors
on any grassy area..

what you do in that split second response
will be conditioned by what you have
practiced,, or not..

[watch motogp riders in their regular offs
showing good air sense or location in space
together with hand awareness and sliding
techniques.. so often jumping up running
to their bikes, or otherwise walking away]

1,308 Posts
I very much agree with and support the ATGATT philosophy. I shudder to think what would have happened to my skin in one of those get-offs if I hadn't been wearing a thick armored leather jacket. As it was the left shoulder and arm were torn through by the asphalt and they had to cut it off me in the ER, but it didn't prevent a 3rd-degree shoulder separation.
It sort of troubles me when I read people post about gear as if it will protect you from anything. Yes it will mitigate a lot of damage, but speed and impact can easily bypass the best gear. You're just a bag of bones and H2o under all that stuff, after all.
I had a friend who went into a curb at a moderate rate of speed. He didn't think he had hurt himself until he tried to get up and found his foot dangling from a single tendon despite a new pair of Alpinestars race boots.
Ultimately skill, experience and knowing what to do in a hairy situation will protect you a lot better than any gear, but that's no reason not to give yourself every edge you can out there. You just need to pick the right gear - gear that suits your riding style and is also comfortable. That usually means brand names from good companies.
The best companies like A-Stars, Icon, Bell, Shoei and the like know how to maximize protection and also make it comfortable. You can't get that technology from knock-offs and imitations. In motorcycle gear you most definitely get what you pay for.
I guarantee that if you pay $75-$150 for a pair of gloves from a reputable manufacturer, you won't ever spend one second wondering if you paid too much.

1,867 Posts
Standard leather gloves may be OK, but I like armor. I've crashed on the track with plain leather racing gloves (back-in-the-day), and ended-up puling rocks out of my knuckles that cut through the gloves.

The new Alpinestars have the little finger tethered to the ring finger so it won't tuck under in a slide. I've broken my little finger, and it's pretty painful. The palms have hard slider areas. The knuckles have hard plastic covers (not carbon). They are built to slide. They are not clunky or uncomfortable.

Look at what top racers are wearing. That's what works. They will use the best that's available, as cost is not a factor.

The leather may be fine, but it will reach its limit quicker and in certain situations will fall short in protection compared to an armored riding glove.

1,308 Posts
As long as you do your research. Their are lots of recent claims by track racers, including pros, that armored gloves can shatter on impact and actually make hand injuries worse.

196 Posts
That claim by the Lee Parks glove company seemed rather dubious to me, so I did some research.
I was unable to find any conclusive evidence that carbon fiber knuckles can cause lacerations to the hands.
However, the knuckles have been known to shatter, especially in cheaper gear, but because they are not in direct contact with the skin, the probability of lacerations is extremely small...
Of course anything could happen in the violence of an crash, so it cannot be completely ruled out.

The only thing I was able to find was other motorcycle forums referencing the claims made by the Lee Parks glove company.
All "evidence" is either anecdotal or being used to sell Lee Parks gloves.

I even looked up the accident Ken Meese (supposedly the guy holding up his scared hand) suffered during the 2011 Iron Butt Rally. Here is a quote from his website, "In 2011, less than 24 hours from the finish, he was in the lead to win…but a coyote had other plans. Ken ended up with a shredded spleen that had to be removed, collapsed lung, cracked ribs, broken left scapula, and broken bones/snapped tendons in his right hand. But from the time he woke up, his thoughts were on recovery and how he could get back into fighting shape for 2013."

It says nothing about shattered carbon fiber knuckles causing the injuries.

Make your own conclusion, but to me it looks like good marketing.
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