Racer Gloves Elevate GORE-TEX Glove TestWinter motorcycle gloves – many can’t get them right. I ride 12 months here in Northeast Pennsylvania, and through many years of cold rain and snow, travels have ended with numb fingers.
It’s all due to lack of intelligent winter-glove construction, something that drives many gas station’s electricity bills up – those hand dryers are a cold motorcyclist’s best friend.There are a few brands that got it right, though, and Racer Gloves is one. The Austria-based manufacturer’s Elevate GORE-TEX Glove impressed in winter, even in wet conditions.Besides protection, warmth and dryness is all most ask out of a winter-riding glove. The elevate gloves does both.Warmth arrives due to a Polartec fleece liner that is combined with a Dexfil insulation. I have no clue what the science is behind the fancy names, but it works.I’ve tested the Elevate glove on two different bikes – a VFR and a V-Strom built for ADV. Both have heated grips, but the V-Strom has the addition of hand guards, which helps keep the elements and cold wind off the hands. The back-to-back tests on both bikes were completed at sustained 65-70 mph speeds of up to an hour in around 25-degree (F) temperatures.With the heated grips off, the gloves provided warmth on the VFR (without hand guards) for about 25 minutes, and on the V-Strom a little over an hour. With the heated grips on, the fingers remained warm on both bikes for periods over an hour, though I would have likely lasted longer on the V-Strom due to the hand guards.But be warned; any temperatures over 60 in dry conditions and your hands will start to sweat. The gloves allow excellent breathing when the hands get warm, but once the temps past 60, things can get sticky. And the sweating gets worse if you’re really working a bike, such as standing up off road with a heavy adventure bike. And don’t worry about a frustrating removal if the hands sweat – the gloves will still come off without the inner liner pulling from the fingers.Next is dryness. If it carries the GORE-TEX name, it’s guaranteed to keep you dry. Racer Gloves even back the gloves with a five-year waterproof warranty.The Elevate gloves are built with GORE-TEX X-Trafit Technology, and feature a waterproof zipper closure on the gauntlet.Even in sustained rain on a three-hour ride, my hands remained dry. This was while the gloves’ gauntlets were underneath my Klim Badlands Pro Jacket’s cuffs, which is the way I prefer to ride in the rain…the way a skier would.The Elevate gloves feature much protection, including a D3O shock padding that is covered with anti-abrasion “SuperFabric” across the palm. The tops of the knuckles also feature D3O for added protection.The protection is not bulky, and neither are the gloves themselves. This lack of bulkiness in a winter glove provides for extended comfort, and the Racer Gloves Elevate provide this. Further comfort arrives from the soft fleece liner. As for break-in period? There is none – the Elevate require no break-in period.At first I was annoyed with the gauntlet opening, thinking it was too small to go over some jackets’ cuffs. But on those types of jackets, the Elevate’s gauntlet is thin enough to fit underneath the cuff, like one would do with a short-cuff glove. And on jackets with skinnier wrist cuffs, the Elevate’s gauntlet works over the cuff.Another genius design on the Elevate gloves are magnets on the cuffs, which quickly became a favorite feature. These simple magnets allow for easy placement of the gloves when off the bike or stopping for gas. Simply pin them to your gas tank, and they’ll always be where you left them. And when storing the gloves at home, you can attach each one to each other.Racer Gloves simply got it right with the Elevate Gloves. If you’re seeking a cold-weather glove that will keep your hands dry and warm, the Elevate is the answer. Just remember these are designed for temps 60 and below, though I’d keep them packed away for rain in any temperature or for warmth at night.Racer Gloves USA also ships all gloves for free, and will even incur the extra shipping costs to exchange if the gloves are the wrong size.The Elevate gloves are available in sizes M-3XL, and fit true to size. The are available in black only, and retail for 169.99.For additional information, visit Racer Gloves USA.
This week we ride two genre-departing motorcycles from the established American manufacturers. Jess McKinley gives us his thoughts on the all new Harley-Davidson Pan America Special, and Ron Lieback gives his on Indian’s latest version of the FTR 1200 S.