I was at the Quail Motorcycle Gathering, which is one of my favorite events to go to every year. It's a high-class event with everything from beautiful show choppers to perfectly untouched bikes from the turn of the century. A handful of vendors also attend—not very many, and they're usually of the higher end or touring variety, as the Quail is held at a country club and tends to attract a little older crowd. Racer Gloves was one of the vendors this year, and after hearing many good reports from Sean MacD and Bradley Adams, I had to go talk to the team and see what their product was all about.
Fit is the first thing. Lee, the head man at Racer Gloves, took a look at my hand, the lengths of my fingers, and said, “Yes, these will fit you very well. Might have to stretch a little bit on the pinkie, but they’ll break in nicely.” I was impressed, especially a couple of days later after riding in them and they had indeed broken in very nicely and were fitting like a dream.
At the end of the show, thick, black clouds were rolling in and I had to ride about 400 miles back to Southern California that night. Surprise—I didn’t pack rain gear. When you leave SoCal in sunny, hot weather, it’s shameful how easy it is to forget that other parts of California get inclement weather, even in the summer. Luckily the jacket I had on was “water-resistant,” which we sure put to the test, but I had to accept that my feet and legs were going to soak. The question was how would my hands fare.
The gloves I got were called the Traveller Glove, appropriately. It is a non-insulated waterproof glove that extends up the wrist with two Velcro closures—one cinch at the wrist and a larger one farther up. There is molded protection at the knuckle as well as a small pad on the palm and small impact pads on each finger. The leather is high quality, and the stitching is designed as to alleviate stress on seams.
Over the course of the two-day ride home, we saw some of the worst weather California has to offer (everyone who sees “real” weather can pipe down). My pants and boots were soaked through, and even my super-hip waxed canvas eventually met the limits of its waterproofing capabilities. But my hands? You know they were dry as a bone. Without any insulation, they did get a little cold when I went through high elevation at Gorman Pass, but we got through it just fine. Overall, I pulled into my driveway at the end of the trip incredibly glad that I hit up Lee to test a pair of these gloves and excited to use them on more trips.
Justifiably so. I have been wearing these gloves on and off for a few months now, mainly when we see the weather start to turn, and they show no signs of wear aside from the nice break-in.
When I look for gloves, I look for comfort, durability, and a range of functions that match my needs without overcomplicating things. The Traveller glove does that very well and for a very respectable price at $150, considering the materials and all that this glove does.