When choosing motorcycle gear no matter the segment, one of the most important areas to look at is gloves. Obviously head protection in the form of a helmet comes first and it’s a tossup at that point between gloves and boots…some adventure and dual sport riders will lean more towards boots then street riders. Gloves are an important piece of gear for many reasons. They can protect your hands from cold weather as well provide abrasion protection should you take a nasty fall. Over the years I’ve tried several gloves from different manufacturers and here’s three pairs that I personally liked the best.
The first pair of gloves that I’ll discuss are the Joe Rocket Super Moto’s. I picked up a pair of these gloves about five years ago mostly because they had hard knuckle protection which was something that I needed riding single track in Colorado. These gloves were made mostly for sport riding but they did work in an adventure riding setting fairly well. The Joe Rocket Super Moto gloves are made out of drum dyed cow hide with PVC inserts in the knuckles and the wrist. On the back of the hand they have a stretch material for maximum flexibility for your fingers and they have conductive surfaces on the thumb and index finger for use with a phone or smart device. The Super Moto’s are primarily black but they do have options for the accent piping. This was the first real pair of motorcycle gloves that I ever purchased and I put mine through the ringer. I wore them on everything from single track to sport touring to off road riding. They took everything I threw at them and then some. What impressed me with these gloves was their durability. At no time did the stitching or materials ever break down and I still have them to this day. The only complaints I have with them is they aren’t really waterproof but then again, they were made for sport riding. The other issue I had with them is the conductive surfaces. Sometimes they would work on the touch screen of my Garmin GPS and other times they would not. However, for the price of $50 USD they are a great glove and something a lot of riders might be interested in.
The second pair of gloves that I’ve worn are the ARC Battle Born Wind Block’s. I ended up getting a pair of these for Christmas about a year ago and I’ve had very little complaints. These gloves were made for dual sport and adventure riding with goat skin leather in the palms and a moisture wicking fleece liner. What I really liked with the ARC gloves was how well they performed in cold weather and in wet conditions. They have a neoprene cuff which coupled with the moisture wicking fleece liner make them very resistant to wind and rain. Another nice feature was the use of D3O padding in the knuckles to provide impact protection. The Wind Block’s only come in black which can be a turn off if someone wanted a different color. Currently this is my back up pair of gloves and ones that I wear during the winter and spring. Durability wise they have held up fairly well and they’re still in great condition. While ARC claims that these gloves can function with a smart device, I’ve never had any luck with them on my Iphone or Garmin. Outside of that I’ve never had any issues with them and being priced at $35 USD make them an attractive option for dual sport and adventure riders on a budget.
Now this brings me to my current pair of gloves and ones that I recently just picked up, a pair of Klim Dakar Pro gloves. The Dakar Pro gloves are the flagship gloves for Klim’s Dakar line and that’s reflected in the $70 USD price as well as what the gloves feature. Since the gloves are designed for warm weather dual sport riding, they are made with durable goat leather in the palms and fingers with a breathable stretch fabric on the back of the hand. On the knuckles and fingers Klim has sewn in D3O panels for impact protection. What’s interesting about these gloves are some of the additional features that they have such as a rubber strip on the index finger for wiping goggles and Klim’s Multi E Touch in the fingers and thumb. The Dakar Pro’s come in three different colors which match the Dakar lines jackets and pants. I’ve worn these gloves for about three months and for the most part I like them. The Multi E Touch is amazing and I’ve had no issues using the touch screen on my Garmin GPS or my Iphone. The Multi E Touch is so good that I can text or take pictures without having to remove my gloves. The Dakar Pro’s were made for warm weather riding and they are perfect for it. They breath incredibly well and I’ve had no complaints with them while riding on humid 90-degree days here in South Carolina. Now durability is the area where I’m a little disappointed considering how much the Dakar Pro gloves cost. In the last month the stitching for the D3O panel on the right thumb failed and the panel came out. So far, the rest of the D3O panels have stayed in and I’ve had no other issues with stitching or any of the other materials breaking down. But is something that’s in the back of my mind. Overall, my opinion on the Dakar Pro’s is mostly positive minus the annoyance of having the stitching fail. For a $70 dollar glove I think they are a tad bit over priced and that primarily could be that Klim is an upper tier product developer. However, for a purpose built dual sport glove theirs very few competitors in that segment.
Wrapping up, here’s three solid options for gloves that work very well for dual sport and adventure riding and for the most part I recommend all three, I still think I need more time with the Klim Dakar Pro’s to see how they hold up longevity wise. I kind of look at all three of these gloves as a mix of getting the best bang for your buck to purpose-built performance. Overall, these are great options for beginner riders on a budget to a seasoned rider who’s looking for a glove that offers key features.