Get a grip!

The incredibly helpful Bill Marsinelli.

A while back, I swung by Greater Boston Motorsports in Arlington, MA. A good friend of mine was visiting from NYC, and he just rode up to Boston on his  BMW R1200GS. Given that were were out riding for a bit, and it was getting cold outside, my friend was thinking about purchasing a new pair of motorcycle gloves. I don’t blame him. Ski gloves generally won’t cut it, as far as protection or grip goes.
Given that it often gets up here in the Northeast, you really need to invest in separate pairs of summer and winter gloves. The key problem with winter gloves, is not being able to flex your fingers correctly – so you can maintain your grip on the handlebar grips without stress or fatigue.
Remember – Don’t scrimp on purchases such as motorcycle gloves.  We’re talking safety equipment here. If you hit the pavement, hopefully the glove materials, like leather or kevlar, will be what’s scraped up – not your skin.
However, I wanted to learn a bit more about how to correctly size a motorcycle glove. Thankfully, my friend and I met Bill Marsinelli, who’s a parts associate at GBM. Bill just couldn’t have been more helpful, and he offers the following advice per glove sizing.  [Note: Bill’s response below has been edited for grammar, spelling, etc. — but the content remains as accurate as possible.]


Glove Sizing: What to look for, and how to fit
  1. Keep in mind what the glove is made of, leather or fabric.
  2. Leather IS going to stretch.
  3. Fabric will move better at pivot points, after a break in — but it won’t get too much bigger.

LEATHER– I hate to use the word “suffer,” but you want a leather a little on the snug side to compensate for the known “break-in.” I prefer my gloves to be as tight as I can stand it, without having my hand completely closed, as if my hand was on the handle bar. One gauge I use is: The harder it is to get the tips of my fingers to the palm of my hand, the better. You can also hold your hand palm up flat, and see how much material you can grab with fingers — the less the better.

Keeping your palm flat, see how much glove material in your fingertips you can grab.

The the fit will be similar to your proper fitting helmet — or for skiers, Rollerbladers, ice skaters or snowboarders  — like a good fitting boot. Gloves that are too big will cause hand and forearm fatigue, from the extra material in the palm — folding over and causing unnecessary pressure and possibly sitting on a nerve.

FABRIC –  I will size my fabrics gloves the same way as for leather gloves.  However,  just keep in mind that there not going to stretch as much as the leather gloves.  It is a inherent trait of the fabrics to feel looser or sloppier compared to leather… Not that there aren’t well fitting fabrics… I’m generalizing.

As for both materials and anything you might be trying to figure sizing — for gloves, helmets, boots, jackets etc…When you think that you’ve found your size, try one size smaller.  If you have the opportunity, sit on a bike and see how it feels.

Thanks for the tips, Bill!