Gloves, A Required Motorcycle Accessory

Anyone who rides a motorcycle knows that gloves are required, if not to keep the hands comfortable in cooler weather, at least to protect the hands from painful bug strikes on those warmer days. As a motorcycle tourer, someone who takes longer, multi-day trips to visit any and all parts of our beautiful country, the United States of America, I have visited some 32 of the lower 48. It’s not likely that I’ll visit the other 16 since all of them are on the East Coast and the danger of the excessive traffic speed and congested highways prevents an ‘old guy’ from taking that chance. Even out here in the uncontested West the excessive speed on the Interstates continues to be a conundrum. It’s normal to have vehicles at over three digit speed pass (me) on the highway. On an exposed motorcycle vehicles at this speed are more of a danger to a motorcycle rider than to anyone in an enclosed, air bag protected environment of the automobile. But back to gloves!

As a tourer, a rider who wants to be comfortable on my rides, I have accumulated what I consider to be variety of pairs of gloves to wear in any and all of the weather conditions that I may encounter during a single ride. The picture below shows five of the six pairs that I routinely pack or wear sometime during a single ride. Not shown is the pair (liners) with built-in heaters used as glove liners in those below or near freezing, winter rides.

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Each of the pictured pairs is listed and described below:

Heavy Insulated:

These are actually insulated work gloves purchased (on sale for $10) at a local hardware store. After wearing them on only one tour I went back to the hardware store and purchased two more pairs for my inventory. While I own ski gloves that cost many times as much as these work gloves the cuffs on the work gloves are great, preventing cold air from entering the cuff of the jacket being worn at the time.

Liners:

When the insulation of the Heavy Insulated gloves is not enough to keep out the cold these liners are worn inside the Heavy Insulted gloves for additional protection. The Heavy Insulated gloves were sized with enough room to allow the liners to be used, when necessary. In those instances where the really cold weather penetrates both pairs my heated liner gloves are substituted for these liners.

Insulated, Leather:

These gloves are a simple pair of insulated leather gloves and provide a comfortable ride when the temperature is in the mid-range, too warm for the Heavy Insulated and too cold for the uninsulated or mesh gloves.

Unlined:

This well worn pair of uninsulated leather gloves are used when full hand protection is necessary even in very warm weather. While the mesh gloves might be preferred at the time those bug-strikes (or raindrops) are much better handled by these gloves.

Mesh:

These mesh gloves, while they are actually weight-lifters gloves, are normally worn in warmer weather when a grip not incumbered by sweat on the handlebar grips is absolutely necessary. The mesh allows ventilation to provide some comfort for the hand even on the hottest days.

In addition to a variety of gloves that I carry (in my tow-behind trailer) on every tour I also carry several jackets of varying weight. From a heavy weight, insulated (ski) jacket with liner to the HD brand ventilated (but not light-weight) jacket for protection and comfort even on the warmest days.

My mid-weight jacket, an unlined, lightweight jacket with loose fitting sleeves and elastic cuffs is one that I wear quite often but have had a problem with the loose fitting sleeves being caught by the wind causing the cuffs to be pulled up my wrist and arm, exposing that portion of my arms from the gloves to the cuff. The result has been an uncomfortable sun / wind burn even on short, one-day rides.

I have searched for a solution and believe that I may have found one. The picture below shows a short strip of elastic with a (suspender) clasps attached to each end. This specialty item can be found in the sewing section accessories of most large stores and has a variety of names, mine being called a ‘temporary’ adjustment for fitting clothing.

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Note that the length of elastic is only three (3) inches. This short length is critical to the fitment / wearing / use of the retainer. The picture below shows the inside of the hand, mesh glove worn, with the retainer clipped onto the cuff of the jacket. It may appear that the clasp is ‘in the way’ but it does not interfere with the grip on the bike handlebar grip.

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The picture below shows the back of the hand / glove with the clasp attached to the cuff holding it snugly up where it protects the wrist from sun or wind burn.

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Comment:

For all those (young) riders out there who might think I’ve gone to the extreme with the cuff-retainer I would point out that protecting my 75 year old skin from the ravages of sun and wind damage is both a necessary and intelligent decision.

I’ve also found that wearing a bandanna as a ‘mask’ when wearing a half-helmet on those warmer days has been another ‘intelligent’ decision since the wind and sun burn of my face was an even more uncomfortable situation than on my wrists!

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About justanoldguy

Retired Computer Programmer. Born and Raised in Missouri. Graduated from Missouri School of Mines in 1964. Retired in 2003. Moved to Colorado in 2010. Enjoying good health and 'front range'. Touring frequently on Can-Am Spyder motorcycle. Skiing during the Winter months at Monarch Mountain Ski Area (for free!).
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