Best summer motorcycle gloves

Keep your hands cool however hot the weather with these summer gloves

Riding an Aprilia Tuono V4 1100 Factory and Yamaha MT-10 in summer

by Jim Blackstock |

Even though they can be exposed to the oncoming air on many bikes (despite some going to great lengths to protect them from wind-blast), your hands can get very hot and sweaty on warmer rides if you’re not wearing summer motorcycle gloves.

Even gloves with breathable membranes, that allow the moisture developed by the hand in the way of sweat to escape, can get a bit too warm if you’re enjoying the summer or on a busy ride. So a pair of vented summer gloves will help you to keep cool.

Air will generally be admitted to the gloves either by perforations in the main material they are formed from or through specially-designed vents – or both. Of course, if air can get in, then so can water and they aren’t generally meant to be waterproof – if you’re going for a ride in the summer and there may be showers en route, then either take a pair of waterproof gloves too or accept that you may get wet.

Typically, summer gloves will feature relatively thin material with little in the way of insulation, so feel for the bike’s controls should be very good. However, just because they are cool and give great feel doesn’t mean they can't also give you protection. You should be seeing knuckle armour and protection to the fingers and the bottom of the palm.

Related: Best summer motorbike gear

Summer gloves can either be short or long, as many riders prefer shorter gloves that allow air to enter the sleeves of the jacket for better airflow. Longer gloves will inevitably protect the wrist better but will feel bulkier as a result – it’s down to personal choice which you wear.

Gloves should feature a CE rating to be sold as motorcycle clothing and there are two scores; either 1 or 2 with the addition of knuckle protection, or KP. So you should be looking for at least a rating of 1 KP or ideally, 2 KP (the KP is optional for level-1 but compulsory for Level-2).

Here are some of the cooler summer gloves around...

Every once in a while, I test a product that immediately becomes my go-to option above all else

Goldtop Predator gloves studio

The perforations mean my hands stay cool in hot conditions - even in 32-degree temperatures during a trip to Europe – and they’re just about warm enough for early morning rides before the sun has come out for the day. As Goldtop gloves were back in the day, these are silk lined and this makes them extremely comfortable. The clever floating knuckle armour (top spec Knox Microlock) allows some airflow to hard-to-reach areas, too.

The palm is unlined cowhide and gives excellent feel on the bike’s controls but there’s a second small patch of Knox armour on the ‘landing zone’ for added protection. With five-strand cotton thread stitching throughout and no-split fingers, these CE certified gloves should do the job in a slide as-well-as posing at the local bike night. After 4000 miles, these fit my hand like a second skin and haven’t worn even slightly.

Made from vented cloth and an Alcantara-type material, shortie summer gloves like these aren’t

Tucano Urbano MRK2 gloves

I’ve been wearing them way more than I expected over the past year: on two UK riding holidays and general tearing about on test bikes when the weather’s nice. The best thing about them is how comfortable they are - cool in hot weather, but thin enough to feel the full effect of heated grips in a chill. They’re also light and easy to take on and off. Best of all they’re affordable and have stood up to the miles perfectly with no signs of wear to the seams or structure."

Best value for money summer gloves

I've given these gloves a thorough test in our [Oxford Brisbane full

Oxford Brisbane Air Short Motorcycle Gloves
The best flexible summer gloves

When I am riding a bike off road on a warm day, I have a tendency to turn into a snowman and melt,

Klim Dakar Gloves
Klim Dakar Gloves on a motorbike
©Photo: MCN

The palms and fingertips are made from a suede like man made material which not only offers great feel when using the bikes controls but also offers protection, in the palm and on the two middle fingers silicon patches are printed on for additional grip of the controls. A simple looking, very comfortable, flexible glove with a lot of thought gone into them."

The Stella SMX-1 Air V2 women's glove from Alpinestars uses a mixture of leather and mesh, with

Alpinestars Stella SMX-1 V2 Air
Seal of Approval - We've tested this product and have found it performs well

These short-cuff gloves from German manufacturer Held feature significant hard knuckle armour

Held Spot

The Orsa from Knox is a short glove formed in perforated goat leather with a synthetic lining and

Knox Orsa

A variation on a theme from British manufacture Spada, with a glove formed in a combination of

Spada Air Pro

Another short, sporty glove, the X4 Coupe from Spidi features a combination of goat leather and

Spidi X4 Coupe

A short glove, the cuff is slightly longer than some and offers protection to the wrist thanks to

Weise Apex

Read out full, comprehensive review of the Weise Apex gloves here.

Seal of Approval - We've tested this product and have found it performs well

The Axis gloves from RST are made in perforated leather with Amara panels in key reinforcement

RST Axis

An aggressive-looking glove, the Richa Stealth is available in black as well as with white, red,

Richa Stealth

If you're looking for a bit of a retro vibe for your summer riding, these Nubuck leather gloves

Garibaldi Veneto

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