We’ve had the opportunity to look at some great products from Canada, the most recent being the eWool Pro+ heated vest. Here’s a look at some more offerings from Canada, this time in the line of hand protection. Watson Gloves, with a US base in Midlothian, Virg., offers a range of 53 models of motorcycle gloves. That includes everything from traditional deerskin leather, with and without Thinsulate lining, to some high-tech products designed to meet ANSI/ISEA safety performance standards.
We checked out the O10R Extreme and 025 Overtime motorcycle gloves.
Watson Gloves 010R Extreme
The 010R Extreme style is probably a good choice when riding in cool conditions, as the base material is stretch Spandex on the back and heavy-duty microfiber fabric on the palm. As a result, the Extreme has limited airflow to the hand.
The touchscreen function works well on the fingertips, and the neoprene wrist cuff with Velcro strap closure makes for a secure retention system. A loop tab is provided on the wrist cuff, making it easier to pull the gloves on.
D3O impact protection padding on the palm is arrayed in two parts—one directly under the knuckles, the other at the heel of the palm. While this padding works great for taming the “awful waffle” grips on my vintage Hondas, it also increases the effective grip size. That may affect comfort for some riders, particularly on motorcycles with a one-inch diameter handlebar, though it didn’t bother me.
D3O is a “smart” material that is supple in normal use in its raw state. However, when a shock load is applied, the material locks together to absorb and disperse energy, and then instantly returns to its flexible state. According to a D3O spokesman, the harder the impact, the greater the shock absorption. D3O provides impact protection and is available in foam and TPR compositions.
The back of the hand is adorned with heavy-duty TPR impact protection on the fingers and thumb, and up to the flexure of the wrist.
Even with all this protective material, finger dexterity and freedom of motion are equivalent to a standard leather glove. The palm surfaces have excellent grip, so hand and forearm fatigue from holding the throttle and working the levers is not an issue.
Watson Gloves 025 Overtime
The 025 Overtime glove is constructed with stretch mesh on the fingers, backhand, and wrist, making it a good choice for riding in higher temps. Ventilation through the back of the hand and finger surfaces is good. It is very comfortable, with minimal seam intrusion in the fingertips, down the fingers, and in the palm. Although the fingers are not appreciably pre-curved, the base material is pliable enough to not really need it.
The Watson 025 Overtime gloves allow full dexterity; they are comfortable, with no binding or pressure points. The palm, fingers, and thumb all have lines of silicone printed on them, which provides excellent adhesion on smooth grip surfaces—some of my grips can be a little slippery with some glove surfaces. The microfiber palm also has light foam padding.
The touchscreen function works on the fingertips, though it requires more effort than the 010R glove. The neoprene wrist cuff with Velcro strap closure makes for a secure retention system. It’s as effective as when used on the 010R, and the same type of loop tab is provided on the wrist cuff.
Impact protection on the 025 Overtime is not quite as extensive as on the Extreme model because it doesn’t extend as far toward the wrist. Regardless, impact protection performance meets ANSI/ISEA 138 Level 2 standards for knuckles, fingers, and thumb. There is D3O at the knuckle bar, and the fingers and thumb are equipped with heavy-duty TPU rubber.
A soft neoprene cuff with a long hook-and-loop closure band secures the Watson 025 Overtime glove at the wrist without being uncomfortable.
The O10R Extreme and O25 Overtime Watson motorcycle gloves comply with EN 388:2016 and ANSI/ISEA 138 Level 2.
The gloves rating, using EN 388:2016, is 3121XP (watch for our upcoming article on glove safety performance standards). That score indicates an abrasion resistance rating of 3 (scale 1-4, higher is better on all scales), 1 cut resistance on the Coup Test (1-5 scale), 2 on tear resistance (scale 1-4), 1 on puncture resistance (scale 1-4), X on the TDM test for cut resistance (scale A-F, X indicating not tested by this method, only with Coup test), and P is “Pass” for the knuckles-only impact absorption test.
Each pair of gloves also has impact protection on the knuckles, thumb, and fingers compliant with ANSI/ISEA 138 Level 2 (level 2 where only up to 6.5kN is allowed). The 010R Extreme glove includes that impact protection on the back of the hand up to the wrist as well, and D3O impact protection on the microfiber palms compliant with EN 388:2016.
On the Watson motorcycle gloves size chart, my hand fell squarely between men’s medium and large, so I tried out both sizes and with my preference toward a snug fit. The predicted Medium size fits just right for both models.
The Watson 010R Extreme glove comes in sizes ranging from XS to XXL. Red is the only color choice, though there is a related variant in Camo. The sizes of the 025 Overtime are limited—M to XL—and there is just one black/orange colorway.
Watson Gloves doesn’t provide MSRPs for its motorcycle gloves, so shop carefully, as prices vary.