Riding a sportbike is incredibly fun, thrilling, fulfilling, and any adjective that describes the phrase “the best thing I’ve ever done in my life.”
Yet, with every pro in life, there are sometimes risks and responsibilities. Crashing is a high risk associated with riding sportbikes, and having the right gear is crucial whether riding on the street or racetrack.
Women's Motorcycle Gloves
Even though there is still a lot of ground to cover compared to men’s race gear, women’s specific race gear is slowly hitting the market. Unfortunately, there is still a lot more work to do when it comes to deciding which brand or style is right for you. Many brands make some race gear universal (allowing both men and women to wear it). What separates the two are usually features like:
When it comes to women’s race gloves, the palm and fingers are generally smaller than men's. So while trying a pair on, make sure it’s snug around your hand, but not too taut where you can barely make a fist without putting too much tightness on the tops of fingers.
A good test is to make a “C” shape with your hand. Again, it should be comfortable to make the shape: Make sure it's not tight around the tops of the fingers and there’s only a bit of leather protruding from the palms. There shouldn’t be too much room around the palms or have too much access material coming from the tops of the fingers. You shouldn't be able to yank the whole glove off once it is fastened around the wrist (yes, I’ve actually seen this. No bueno).
Caption: "Try jumping out of your car at 120 and you'll know how he felt…" Bruce Brown. Remember this scene from On Any Sunday? The rider's glove goes flying off as he starts to tumble. Keep your gloves tight.
There are few things to look for in a race-specific glove, one being a well-designed palm protector. This is useful because it reduces friction in case of sliding during a crash. Secondary is knuckle protection for tops of hands and to help soften the blow to that area when it comes to immediate ground contact. Also, all gloves should be made of leather whether it comes from a cow or kangaroo and the stitching of the material should be of high quality (aramid stitch, double stitching, etc.) to make sure it doesn’t fall apart during a crash.
Any additional padding around fingers and/or palms is always a plus too. Finally, perforation is important since you want good airflow if riding in hot weather, or very minimal airflow if you’re riding in chilly conditions.
Without further ado, below are the top picks I considered good for a woman’s gauntlet race gloves:
Taichi: RS Taichi GP-WRX Racing Glove
When going to the Taichi site, you find these under the women’s section. I think these are more on the universal end, but for arguments sake we will put them in this guide.
Taichi notes that though these gloves are made of all cowhide leather, they are softer than some manufacturers’ kangaroo leather (kangaroo leather is known to be more supple and soft). Features for the GP-WRX include:
- RS TAICHI original molded carbon hard knuckle and finger protector with 6mm dual compound foam
- Perforated leather used between fingers for ventilation
- Carbon sliders with 6mm dual compound foam in palms to prevent a planted hand from grabbing in a crash
- 5mm foam padding on wrist for better protection
- Aramid knit on knuckle to finger tip for maximum structural strength (inside of glove)
- Wrist closure with molded rubber protection
- Additional leather layer on side of little finger for abrasion resistance
RS Taichi GP WRX Racing Glove retails for $179
Alpinestars: Stella GP Plus Gloves
Some female racers prefer the " target="_blank">men’s Alpinestars’ GP Tech gloves due to its awesome feature set. However, the fit can be difficult if you have narrow palms and overall small hands. From what I’ve seen, the Stella GPs have been around for a while, so maybe Alpinestars should consider an upgrade to these soon in order to get it up to par with the GP Tech gloves when it comes to overall protection. Specs for the Stella GP Plus include:
- Anatomically designed palm for superior grip and feel
- Women specific sport riding glove
- Patented 3rd and 4th finger-bridge protects against finger roll and separation during impacts
- Internal Schoeller Keprotec reinforcements
- External seams on the fingers
- Internal Kevlar lining
" target="_blank"> Stella GP Plus Gloves retail for $189.95
Source: Motorcycle Superstore
REV’IT!: Xena Glove
The Xena glove looks to be an upgrade from the Raven Glove in regards to durability and protection. The glove is made with both cowhide and goatskin for resiliency and comfort, and it’s also stitched with long-lasting, high-strength PWR|Yarn. Other features include:
- Goatskin, cowhide, PWR|shell 500D stretch, synthetic PU leather
- Aramid liner at backhand and tri-fleece liner at palm
- Carbon hard-shell knuckle, TPU hard-shell little finger protector, PVC finger knuckles, TPU hard-shell palm slider, Temperfoam at palm slider and under knuckle
- EVA foam at fingers and at thumb, PWR|yarn
- Adjustment strap at wrist, adjustment tab at cuff
- Ventilation panel at fingers, back hand and cuff
REV’IT! Women’s Xena Gloves retails for $159.99
Source: Motorcycle Superstore
Spidi: STS-R Gloves
Out of the all the gloves mentioned on this list, I would consider the STS-R Gloves having a more “feminine” design. These are sleek, sporty, and also have color options of black/white or pink/black/white. Also, it is the least expensive glove at just $99. So if you need a pair of well-fitted race gloves on a budget, these should do for the protection offered:
- 0.7 mm cowhide on the back
- 0.6 mm sheep hide on the palm
- Polyurethane knuckles protector
- Clarino® microfiber palm
- EVA reinforcements on hand side
- Velcro closure on sleeve
Spidi Women's STS-R Gloves retails for $99.95
Spidi Men's STS-R Gloves retails for $99.95
RACER USA: Hopefully coming soon?
Racer made a glove for women called the High End, one of the best gloves created for women riders and/or racers. These gloves were incredibly sturdy (enduring three crashes from my end), and it had its specs included cowhide leather, kangaroo palms, knuckle vents, hard palm sliders and a fit that was perfectly tailored for a woman’s hand.
Don’t only take my word for it. I bet if you asked any female out there who had (or still have) a pair the women’s Racer High End gloves, they will tell you they were the best. I’m sure those who fortunately still have a pair are clinging to them for dear life…
There is potential good news though. According to our friends at Racer USA they will be returning a women's glove, but there unsure of the time frame. Please come back soon!
The Importance of Gear
On a side note, you may have already seen Brittany Morrow's story from 2014. In case you haven't read it here: Ask a Girl: Bravery is more than Skin Deep. It's a story of a girl who was in a bad motorcycle crash without the proper gear. Read her story and watch the video above.