I've tried on a few different pairs of gloves with the hard stuff in the knuckles. I can't say that any of them were even remotely comfortable. They may look cool, and the armor might do something towards protecting your bones from debris or a crash, but I couldn't wear them for more than 5 minutes. Does anyone like this style of glove for actual riding?
I don't know.... Personally, I think if you're looking for a bad-ass, Mad Max look, you probably can't go wrong with the Icon TiMax Long Gauntlet gloves. I tried them on at my local Honda dealer, and was surprised at how comfortable they actually were (granted, I only had them on for a minute or two, and can't vouch for their actual riding comfort), and they certainly seem likely to provide you with a sh*tload of protection should you bite it. Plus, I think they look crazy cool. The only thing that makes me nervous about them is that all that titanium flapping around, and especially the rivets in the palm, just look like a prime opportunity to scratch the hell out of your bike if you don't pay attention to where you put your hand.
I think the Joe Rocket Speedmaster gloves are pretty cool looking too, and the venting seems like a great idea, especially here in balmy Dallas, TX, where it's just not summer if the temperatures don't go into the triple-digits for 100 days straight. As race gloves though, I wonder if they'd hold up to daily / frequent use.
Anybody have any experience with either of these gloves, especially long-term use? Anybody unfortunate enough to have crash-tested these things?
I'm glad someone else understands the appeal of a pair of bad*ss gloves. I've been known to wear a pair of icon TiMax gloves for my morning commute to the office. It get to spend 26.2 miles as a bad*ss motorcyle dude, scaring the cagers in the commuter lane before I get to work where I'll split my time between engineering and accounting.
The TiMax are actually quite comfy. Not well vented though, which limits their seasons of use here in Houston TX. They run small and I wish the thumb crotch was deeper, but once you get them stretched to your liking they are practical gloves. Yes, you do have to be careful about scratching your tank or helmet.
Are the TiMax worth the money? Not for functional reasons, no. But for that morning Bad to the Bone kick I'm happy to have spent the money.
Maybe it's just me, but when I come off a bike, which thankfully hasn't been often so far, it's not my knuckles which hit the asphalt but my palms. Maybe it's because they're all low-speed tumbles - well, two figure speeds, anyway - but the point is that armour on the 'heels' of the hands, in the lower palm area, seems to me a more useful thing than chrome knuckles. I used to have a pair of Furygan gloves which had studded palms, and saved me much skin and soft tissue. But I suppose the problem with studded palms is that nobody can see the butch metal bits while you're riding along with your hands around the twistgrip, can they?
I commute in the DC Metro area and wanted something with extra protection and sufficient insulation to use during the winter. Comfortable and warm without being bulky. On really cold days I stick a Grabber Mycoal into each glove. Although I'm not crazy about the exposed stitching, in all other respects they do the job. However, we've had a few days above 50 degrees and I'm certain I'll go back to my Teknic Violators in warm weather.
Here's a deal on last year's Teknic Violator model off New Enough, should offer better protection than the Street Fighter gloves, especially around the wrist area. I know I went down once when I was just beginning to learn to ride (practicing panic stop at around 15 - 20 mph) and locked up the rear wheel and did a low-speed highside [a highly overrated experience ], and landed on my hands wearing just regular leather gloves, and in addition to my palms being bruised and my fingers jammed, my wrist was killing me for days. It wasn't broken, but definitely sprained. As a result, I tend to hold good wrist support / protection in high esteem when looking over a pair of gloves.
Olympia sport gloves (mine) have a kevlar pad and double thickness leather on the heel of each hand, I havn't tried them out for abrasion resistance yet, but they're good comfy summer gloves in every other way.
The studded palm gloves look cool, but it seems like friction would heat them up if you were ever sliding on them
I have about 4 months riding time with the TiMax gauntlets. They're not as warm as my regular winter gauntlets; and a bit warmer than my usual gel-palm wrist length summer gloves (but not uncomfortably so, if you don't mind your hands smelling like feet). There is no padding to speak of in the palms, so if you need that you're out of luck. Try them while wearing your usual riding jacket, as the gauntlet seems a bit short and tight.
Oh, and I really didn't get them for protection. Last summer, I was rapping on an Explorer's passenger side window with my fist, trying to keep them from pushing me into a cement truck. Immediately went out and got the TiMax gloves. This summer, I'm harvesting windows.