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Ilakkiaraj

Universal : Riding Gear Thread

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by , 09-04-2015 at 04:43 PM (868 Views)
Quote Originally Posted by Ilakkiaraj View Post
My Highway Rider Motorcycle Gloves

Finally I bought a pair of leather motorcycle gloves!! The long story of the trials, selection, purchase and review of my full-gauntlet, full-leather motorcycle gloves.

I was planning for a real motorcycle trip for some time then. Though I have been riding for 5 years now and with 25000 km on the Odo, I had never gone on trips exceeding 800 km in total. All of my trips were one day trips. By the end of 2014, I took a 1200 km trip south of Tamilnadu. I wanted to 1-up that, and was planning to ride to Gokarna from Pondicherry. Kind of like East coast to West Coast. So i thought of investing in some standard motorcycle gear, if I was going to do this.

After reading through many blogs, posts, forums and mailing people who had tested motorcycle riding gear, I concluded that ICON and RIVER ROAD from yonder over the USA would burn a hole in my pocket, and decided to go 'Swadesi' in the glove department and zeroed in on Spartan Pro Gear's glove line. The official website of SPG was not up-to-date and had me go in circles when I wanted to check on the specs of a recently launched model, which I found out on their FB page. But my bad time, the stores in Chennai told me that SPG are revamping their glove designs currently and that I won't be able to get my hands on a pair of Spartan gloves for some time in the near future.

Reluctantly, I went for my second choice, the 'ZEUS' brand. I visited The Rider's Ranch, Besant Nagar, Chennai store. Mr. Abizer owns it and runs it along with his partner. I never buy something straight away. So I took many short trips to the store as it was just a minute's ride away from my place. After my first visit, Abizer started sharing tales from his rides around the country. From my visits and his tales, I came to know that he's an experienced rider, not just some businessman selling motorcycle goodies. He had done the Leh-Ladakh way back in the early 2000s among other rides. And a man who has ceased 2 Royal Enfield engines so far and trying hard to get the third one done. He let me try the gloves and gave me pointers on fit and comfort and things to note while buying a pair of gloves. He also encouraged me to visit other stores and try other brands and advised me to not to buy a pair until I was really comfortable about buying it.

After weeks of trying out the few variants available in the very few stores of Chennai city, (except the model that i would eventually end up buying) I finally decided on the 'Hawk' model from Zeus for the colours it offered.

The day I decided to buy the gloves, I went down to the store and gave the 'Hawk' a final try. After trying it out, Abizer asked me to try out the 'Highway Rider' from the same brand. I instantly felt the difference. Hawk was a semi-gauntlet, part leather, part synthetic glove. Highway Rider is a full gauntlet, 100% leather glove. That is where I felt the difference. Comparing to the Hawk, the Highway Rider was way more softer and comfortable on the inside. Abizer then made me wear a Hawk on one hand and a Highway Rider on the other. Without doubt, I was very much inclined to buy the Highway Rider, even though it was a full gauntlet model. As a final test, he asked me to take it for a little spin on my motorcycle. It was very difficult for me to operate the motorcycle with the gloves on, making me feel like wooden-handed. Finally, he checked for any manufacturing defects and I paid 3 grands for it. Worth the money if you ask me. Abizer asked me to pay 50 bucks more for another essential item. It was the reflective safety vest for high visibility during night rides. He had it in three different colours. Green, Orange and Yellow. I took the yellow one.

The next day i rode my motorcycle to work (something I never do owing to the Chennai traffic) with my new gloves on! I wanted to break it in before the big ride. I came to know about the lesser-feedback-from-handlebar condition that comes from wearing leather gloves. (Though I had worn gloves before, they were the cheaper ones made of fabric, not leather) I rode in it for a week.

The following week of my purchase, I finally made up my oscillating mind to do the Gokarna trip. The oscillation was due to the fact that I couldn't find a partner or co-rider for the trip until the last day. So I had to do it alone. And I'm basically a fraidy-cat. I finally started out, went upto Shimoga (Shivamoga), and returned back from there. I never made it to Gokarna. But still, the ride gave me experience, knowledge and memories for atleast half-a-lifetime.

During the ride, I rode through light showers. Though the gloves got wet in the rain, there was no water seepage to the insides. (The gloves are not waterproof) And under the scorching sun, it never felt uncomfortable. There was lot of air-flow through the vents provided. But the let-down was that I felt the biting cold on my fingers after a ride through another light shower at night. The gloves were quick to dry too. The first night I got it wet, the next morning when I woke up, it was ready to go. The next time I got it wet, two more hours of riding under a mild sun got the job done. I got used to the feel and when i tried to ride without the glove, (for clicking photos and using mobile) it felt a bit different. Actually, the gloves did a bit in damping the vibrations from my handlebar. Without them, I could feel it a bit more. My ring on the left hand made me feel a bit tingly whenever I rode without my gloves. I finished the trip with more than 1500 km on the tripmeter. I got a small pain on my right hand due to the gloves. I haven't figured out the reason yet, but I'm trying different postures to check it out.

Recently I took a small tumble on the road when I ran over a dog. The fall was at very low speeds, as I was kind of expecting the dog to double back on its route to escape the wheels of a speeding car. I had my gloves on me at that time. Was saved from a few would-be scratches to the palm. No visible damage on the gloves too. 3 grands well spent!!!

So if anybody's looking for a review of the Highway Rider from Zeus, this is it my friends. After returning from the trip, I have fallen in love with the gloves, even though my purchase was rather reluctant. I sometimes put it on when I play games on the PC. May sound stupid, but I like wearing it and showing it off. I'm planning on doing this same article on my friend's blog (brainprate.com) with some pictures of the gloves, and later a travelogue of my failed Gokarna trip too. Anything you want to ask me about the gloves or the trip, though I may not be that useful for the second thing, feel free. Because I got a lot of guidance from my peers and the netizens. Time to pay it back. Keep those wheels turning!!!

(But one thing yet. I still am not getting used to the lesser-feedback-from-handlebar condition)
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