We said before how success in motorsport helps to improve the breed of road-going products. And in fact, you probably can’t get much better for the road than not just track-inspired products but those that are actually derived from use on circuits.
And these gloves from Alpinestars are just that – they are developed directly from Alpinestars’ MotoGP race products to bring that knowledge and experience to road and circuit riders for the ultimate in protection.
They are formed in a mix of kangaroo and cow-hide leather with lots of Keprotech panels to add both impact and abrasion resistance. They clearly work – the gloves get a CE rating of 2 KP, meaning they achieve superior passes in all test criteria and are fitted with knuckle protection.
Those criteria include abrasion and cut resistance and retention on the hand, so you know that these gloves are of the highest specification when it comes to protection.
I usually take a Medium in gloves but had to go up one size as they were a very tight fit – I couldn’t get the M on and even the L initially felt like it will need some breaking in to loosen up properly.
However, I tend to prefer gloves tighter rather than looser – I like the feel for the controls when gloves feel like a second skin and aren’t so large that they effectively insulate you from the controls with another layer of material between your hand and the bike.
Movement in the Supertech gloves is excellent; there are flex panels on each – pre-curved - finger, the thumb and there is a large elasticated panel on the back of the wrist that allows you to move your wrist perfectly with no restrictions.
There are strategically placed perforations to help admit cooling air and these actually make a difference, helping keep your hands cool when the going gets warm. There are several on the front of the gloves that, when gripping the bars, present directly to the airflow and there are exhaust vents on the back of the knuckle armour to allow warm air to escape.
The most obvious protection comes from the hard-plastic knuckle armour though there is also softer padding underneath this as well, with a layer of Kevlar-reinforced material too; we can’t see how you could be more protected unless you don’t ride.
There are Keprotech panels (a material developed for racing to increase abrasion and fall resistance) scattered liberally around the gloves, including on the heel of the palm and over the scaphoid bone and round the side of the palm, pull-tabs over the wrist-retaining strap, on the base of the thumb, on the fingertips and the outer edge of the index fingers.
There are also plastic nibs on the three main fingers and a bridge between the ring and little fingers to prevent the pinkie from being splayed and damaged in an accident. The leather bridge also forms a secondary layer of protection for the outer edge of the little finger and there is a grip panel across the top of the palm on both.
In addition to the hard knuckle armour, there is also a large section of TPU over the cuff closure, backing up the wrist strap to retain the gloves. Like the knuckle armour, this is vented to give airflow and hence, cooling, for the hands and wrist when riding.
Putting them on feels like adding another layer of skin – the larges are a tight fit but for me, there are worth the effort to get them on and feeling right. They move perfectly with the hand and fingers and provide an exceptional feel for the bike, as you can imagine.
The fingers are the perfect relationship between length and thickness compared with the overall width of my hand; the only slight tightness, for me, is at the very base of the thumb where my digit is a bit too chunky but this has improved with every ride.
These are a lot of gloves but for a lot of money. If you are looking for something sporty for warmer, summer road rides, then they are probably a bit much; however, if you are serious about track days or competing, then these should definitely be on your wish list.
They are created for track use and as a result, have impressive levels of design and protection. The use of layered leather and the Keprotech enhancements offers security and reassurance, and this is backed up with that CE rating of 2 KP – not easy to come by and the highest possible for gloves.
Developed from MotoGP racing
Exceptional levels of protection
Fit like... a glove
Too extreme – and pricey – for the road