Alpinestars GP Tech Gloves
The GP Tech is Alpinestars’ top-of-the-line road racing glove and is no slouch when it comes to build quality and fitment. These have been areas of concern with the last generation of GP Tech gloves so these improvements are evident of the continual strive for product excellence at Alpinestars. Everything from dedicated track use to extended commuting use can be accomplished with the racing-inspired protection measures and street-accommodating mobility attributes.
Previous generations of the Alpinestars GP-Tech glove received heavy criticism because of fitment and comfort issues causing many riders and even sponsored racers to opt for the 2nd-tier Alpinestars glove, the GP Pro. Testing this previous generation in the past, we found that the large TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane) wrist guard strap would not secure the glove tight enough to the cuff and the finger construction greatly inhibited movement and feel. Fortunately, Alpinestars listened to this feedback from the field and addressed both of these areas for the latest GP Tech model. The size of the wrist cuff guard has been reduced and fits much better. Construction of the fingers is much more simplistic and less bulky while still utilizing kangaroo leather, double stitched seams and Kevlar “K-Tech” reinforcement.
However, it seems as if protection may have taken a backseat in the redesign process to make room for comfort and mobility (a perpetual battle in the motorcycle safety gear world). Though we haven’t had the opportunity to crash test these mitts, areas such as the top and inner side of the wrist seem exposed to the elements with minimal material hedging against risk. On the other side of the coin, this allows for excellent hand movement even for a full-race glove. The rest of the glove, including the entire hand area, is fully armored with TPU knuckle guards, TPU palm sliders, Kevlar pinky and palm reinforcement liners and the pinky/index finger bridge (though I have witnessed multiple broken pinky fingers despite this feature). Foam padding is also inserted throughout the glove to increase comfort in areas that are typically tight or sharp such as beneath the main knuckle guard and palm sliders. Finally, comfort is still achieved on the hot days of summer with perforated leather around the wrists, a venting system on top of the hand and breathing areas on top of the finger tips.
Fitment seems true to typical glove sizes with our Large set feeling right on par with other brands’ Larges. The Velcro wrist strap secures the glove to the hand firmly without much wrist interference but the leather flap guarding this strap from breaking away in the event of a crash can get in the way when suiting up. Again, the new wrist guard cuff design functions much better when securing the Velcro strap and the TPU construction offers a very high level of impact and abrasion protection. Accordion-style leather stretch panels are also located on the lower thumb area as well as on top of the secondary knuckles.
Overall, Alpinestars did a great job improving their top-tier road racing glove. The GP Tech has the latest protection technology developed from decades of race track testing as well as the comfort and mobility levels demanded by everyday street riders. The days of saving a few bucks while gaining a few points in the comfort category without sacrificing racing-level protection by dropping down to the GP Pro are over. The GP Tech is back on top of its genre and at the $299.95 price point, it will be tough to beat.