Motorcyclists/riders by nature of hobby are non-conformists. And yet even within non-confirming circles, humans find a way to conform. In custom and retro circles, it takes form in the prevalence of all-black moto gear. From the helmet to the gloves and then down to the boots.
Retro Motorcycle Gloves
There are probably reasons for that. Seemingly, it could be that all-black moto-gear is safe, sartorially speaking. It looks great and allegedly black is the new black.
If however in 2022 breaking the mould, smashing a few eggs and experiencing a paradigm shift is the goal. Or, simply a new pair of gloves is needed – then here’s a small but bold way to accomplish that.
The retro motorcycle gloves listed below make a ‘stand out from the crowd‘ statement, in mostly shades of tan and yellow.
First on the list is Age of Glory, a relatively new brand though rapidly gaining traction. Age of Glory creates moto gear and apparel inspired by seventies Californian moto culture and vintage off-road racing.
Founder Sebastian Gerodias’ background in building motorcycle clothing brands, and love of all things vintage, combine perfectly in creating a fresh moto brand.
The use of vintage-style fonts for branding and lettering throughout AOG’s collection, coupled with bright colours is reminiscent of classic MX. No question the brand’s imagery evokes a nostalgic atmosphere. Equally, inspiration for this brand is drawn from the freedom offered by the motorcycle in general.
Established in 1951, Goldtop England is a brand with which more mature readers may already be familiar. A brand from the golden era of motorcycling.
Now family-owned, it has become a firm favourite with younger custom and retro riders too. Goldtop’s modern take on classic designs might be responsible for that. However, the decidedly high-quality craftsmanship of Goldtop’s products is also a major contributor to that fact.
Making this list is Goldtop England’s one-millimetre, drum-dyed, Aniline cowhide leather gloves, Predator. They’re available in a multitude of contemporary colourways. Sticking with the theme of this article, perhaps one might opt for either the burgundy, sand or red colourway. (Read our review of the Predator gloves.)
For safety, there’s a knuckle panel on the back of the glove with embedded Knox micro-lock armour. It floats for added comfort. Additional protection is provided through gel-padded fingers – along with double reinforcement in the palm and finger/thumb sections. Triple stitching is also found at all major points of potential stress.
A neo-retro, cafe racer glove with modern protection features is how the Predator can be positioned. With a perforated leather outer skin and a silk-lined interior, these gloves are ideal for spring/summer.
Hailing from the Pacific Northwest USA, Velomacchi is best known for its innovative approach to moto backpacks and luggage design, namely in the form of the Speedway collection.
With each product, the emphasis is placed on the use of quality materials and fine craftsmanship, with much consideration for testing for high-speed travel. Though more so, Velomacchi is distinctly anti-status-quo in its approach to design and problem-solving. And it’s in that same spirit the Speedway Glove has been created.
Inspired by the classic flat track and road racing gloves of the sixties and seventies, Velomacchi says this glove “…pays homage to flat track legends” – such as “Kenny Roberts, Eddie Lawson and Ray Carroll”.
Sleek in design, the Speedway Motorcycle glove is constructed from a combination of soft deerskin on the palm, enhanced with gel-backed brass rivet palm sliders.
On the back of the glove, you’ll find Highland goatskin augmented with rubber finger guards for protection. So, throughout the gloves, there are considerations for comfort and safety.
The Speed Motorcycle Glove is available in tan/black or simply black, though it’s with the title of this piece in mind, that only the former is featured.
Next up is Fuel Motorcycles, whose transition from a custom motorcycle workshop into a moto lifestyle brand is well documented. The Barcelona brand now has a sturdy range of riding gear and motorcycle apparel. Items in Fuel’s riding gear collections will fit perfectly into any retro scrambler/enduro rider’s wardrobe.
For this list, the Fuel Moto X gloves have been selected. They’re one-hundred per cent leather, finished in bright yellow and black. Inspired by motocross designs of the sixties, the aesthetic is bold and bright.
Apart from styling, protection is offered through integrated PVC knuckle armour. A safety feature that is consistent across all Fuel motorcycle gloves. Furthermore, the leather panels that provide abrasion resistance on the palms have been anatomically contoured for additional comfort.
Another brand that made a successful transition from its original products is Biltwell. Held in great affection by customisers the world over Biltwell began in 2006. Its primary business back then was aftermarket motorcycle parts.
The brand has since diversified into riding gear, moto-themed apparel and moto events. Biltwell’s retro Gringo Helmet adorns the head of many custom/retro riders.
Forming part of Biltwell’s riding gear collection, the Borrego is the glove featured here. A robust one-hundred per cent leather, perforated outer, vintage-inspired glove, with fleece and Lycra lining.
Notably, it’s the first of Biltwell’s glove range that meets Europen certification standards. High-impact, plastic knuckle guards no doubt contribute to its safety certification.
Regardless of its classic looks, the Borrego glove is built for the modern rider. Smart screen-compatible thumb and fingertips allude to that. Additional function comes in the form of flexible palm panels – along with wind and water-resistant thermal lining.
The latter probably means that riders in warmer climates can use these gloves on slightly cooler days. Riders in more temperate environments, however, may see the Borrego as Spring/Autumn riding gloves.
Based in Southern France, since 1927 Racer has been creating technical gloves for winter sports and outdoor activities. With that extensive experience, in 1970 the brand launched its first moto glove collection and just over a decade later produced its first heated motorcycle glove.
The glove featured here is the ‘Legacy‘ motorcycle glove which admittedly features a healthy dose of black.
Legacy has a full goatskin outer layer augmented with a POLYMAX membrane and FIBERFILL insulation. Hands, dry and toasty is the effect. The gloves lack knuckle protection, however, they are CE Certified, though for which part of the glove is unclear.
There’s a distinct seventies vibe about the gloves which are understated in their styling but not in colour. Namely, a brilliant, bright yellow somehow manages to dominate the predominately black backhand of the gloves. To that extent, the colour combination achieves a striking effect.
Despite the classic styling, a nod to the modern world is made with the inclusion of a tactile thumb, for seamless, smartphone scrolling. Nevertheless, phone operation is not recommended while on the road.