Motorcycle personal protective equipment is essential for a safe ride. From helmets to custom motorcycle gloves, protective motorcycle gear is designed to protect you from serious bodily injury if you ever lay your bike down while riding or become involved in a collision. Anytime you plan to take a joy ride, you need to make sure you’re wearing enough protective gear to keep you safe.
You put it on every day and you’ve come to appreciate it for giving you peace of mind. But have you ever stopped to wonder about the history of your gear and how it came to be? Have you ever looked down at your hands while riding and wondered when the earliest motorcycle gloves were created, or what they looked like? To satisfy your curiosity, here’s a brief history behind motorcycle gloves.
The First Motorcycle Gloves
Some things never change, including the material used to make motorcycle gloves. The earliest models of motorcycle gloves were made from leather, just as many of them are today.
According to some sources, the earliest leather motorcycle gloves were made in Italy in 1977. Crafted by an artisan leather craftsmanship company, they were the first known gloves to be made specifically for use while riding motorcycles. They were called the Speed Kenny, and they were designed to improve both riding performance and safety.
Before this time, no one else had considered the need to make gloves specially designed for motorbikes. But once they were created, it was clear there was a healthy demand for them. Now, more than 40 years later, custom motorcycle gloves continue to serve their initially intended purpose. Today’s leather motorcycle gloves often include some synthetic materials, but typically include at least some leather as well.
Leather works well for motorcycle gloves because it has natural abrasion resistance as well as impact resistance that can protect your hands during a collision or fall. Despite its strength, leather is also flexible and provides freedom of movement. That’s exactly what you want when you’re gripping the handlebars while picking up serious speed or leaning into a curve. Without accommodating movement, leather gloves would be useless for motorbike riding.
How Today’s Gloves Differ From Their Early Counterparts
Though early and modern motorcycle gloves both use leather, modern gloves tend to use more synthetic materials than their earlier cousins. The first motorcycle gloves to include synthetic materials were made in the 1990’s. The overall design of the motorcycle glove evolved in the 90’s as well to include the addition of the gantlet and improved aerodynamics. Gauntlets help keep cold drafts out of the suit and protect the wrists from injury.
Additional changes included the first thermoformed composite material gloves. Carbon and air vents were experimented with to see how they’d help the gloves perform. The changes were designed to transform motorcycle gloves from separate components to an extension of the suit.
Today’s gloves also tend to look a bit different than their earliest counterparts. They are made with superior technology, and offer exceptional protection. Additional optional features of modern gloves include weatherproofing, breathable fabric and pre-curved fingers for racing purposes. Pre-curved fingers make it easier to maintain a strong grip on the handlebars when you’re moving at high speeds or maneuvering around obstacles.
Find Your Perfect Glove
Not all motorcycle gloves are ideal for all situations. That’s why it’s important to do some research before you find your perfect glove. Some gloves are intended for everyday cruising while others are specifically made to handle the rigors of racing. The type of glove you choose should fit your hands and your lifestyle. Find the perfect fit at Fast Mask or contact us for more information about our products.