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Why you should wear gloves on a motorcycle.

Discussion in 'General Motorcycling Discussion' at netrider.net.au started by Jaqhama, Aug 21, 2006.

  1. I just wrote an article for a friends bike site in the USA about gloves.

    I thought it was worth re-printing here as I see quite a few riders in the summer who don't wear any kind of gloves at all.
    I will wear t-shirts and shorts in the summer around my local area, but never no gloves. Your body almost always manages to get a hand on the ground in a low speed fall...read on.

    XXXXX I am ahgast at the line you wrote to the college girl inquiring about cheaper alternatives to high priced bike gear. You wrote... "and you'll also see links to motorcycle aftermarket companies (like JP Cycles) for gloves, which are optional, but cheap enough..." My dear XXXXX gloves are NEVER optional, like over the ankle boots they are of vital importance. (We won't get into a helmet debate). Why are gloves so important?..If you drop or fall off a slow moving bike your body will instinctivly put out a hand or hands to protect the head and vital body parts. Always, without question. It's a completly reflex action. If you come off a bike at high speed the body will attempt to put a hand down, but because of the speed it may or may not be successful. If you are not wearing even short, rodeo style gloves, in a slow speed accident, chances are your palms will be lacerated, as will your fingertips and fingers. The fingers are very delicate, not being able to use your hand(s) for weeks because you were not wearing a pair of gloves seems completely pointless to me. You know I trail bike a lot, have you noticed every trail biker wears gloves? That's because we expect to fall, and we realise the palm and fingers are likely, 9 times out of 10, to make contact with the earth. If you had ever seen the palm and hand of a rider who has come off without gloves on...trust me you would be saying gloves are VITAL not optional mate. In a high speed accident the hands are often being thrown about like weights on the end of a rope. They slam into the ground, they drag, they get stuck under a sliding body. But a pair of gloves will lessen the damage by quite a degree. Armoured sports bike gloves will also protect the knuckles and wrist bones. (Not that I wear this style of glove myself, I just wear those tan colored rodeo gloves, but they have saved my hands trail biking countless times now.) I know guys and gals who have come off on the road without gloves, strangely enough they all wear them now, even in the summer. Additional note: It's best not to wear rings or jewellry on the fingers or wrists, even under the gloves. The rings and bracelets can get caught as you slide along and also cause damage. Heat transference being a major problem. Cheers: Jaq.

    And for those of you who question why I worry about gloves if I ride around the local area in shorts and t-shirts...it's simple...your arms and legs will take a lot more abuse than your fingers will.
    I've come off on the trail in shorts before and not even scratched my knee, but the left glove was badly lacerated, I was riding slow, and so my hand went out as I fell, to save me. Had I not been wearing the glove I would have had a badly slashed hand.
    Having a bad slash on the outer thigh is not such a huge problem, it's a big piece of muscle tissue, it will take lots of abuse. As will the shoulders and biceps. But the same slash that is inconvinent on a thigh or arm becomes a massive laceration on the delicate structure of the hand.

    Anyone reading this from a military background will understand what I am talking about.
  2. Spot on; how would you do YOUR job without the full use of your hands?????

    Wise words, Jaq..
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  5. Couldn't agree more, having damaged my hands a couple of times on the bicycle on the road, the hands still took the brunt of the damage, as you said, it's a reflex, and they are soft.

    Everyone who doubts the truth of this wisdom, grab the skin on top of you knuckles right now. How much sliding on bitumen do you think it would take to tear that away and have you scraping tar with your knuckle bones? Likewise on your palms.

    WEAR GLOVES!...................ALWAYS!

    Jaq, I know it's better than nothin, but I can't believe you wear those yellow gloves :p :p :p :LOL: :wink:
  6. I wear them because I look cool with my gloves on.

    Seriously, for protection of my hands.
  7. They do more than protect if you come off. Stones, bugs etc can injure your hands, and the sun will damage them too. The back of teh hands is the number one area of skin for skin cancers to develop.
    Gloves are also handy if you have to get off the bike and fix something hot on the bike, or something sharp!
    If I lost even some use of my hands, my life would be completely different. No more working on bikes and cars, no more trade based career. That would suck horrendously.
    Consider how close the joints and bone are on the hands, if you slide, you WILL permamently danage joints. We're not just talking annoying road rash here!

    Regards, Andrew.

    I don't care how hot it is or how uncool they may be
    but in the few offs I have had over the years
    the road 'won'
    ...the gloves 'lost' being totally destroyed
    the hands got off scot free (unlike the arm, knee etc :shock: )

    wear shorts...even thongs if you like (if ya wanna be a squid)
    but make sure gloves are covering ya pinkies
    ...simple really

  9. When i went for my l's the instructor threw some numbers at us which suggested that when you come off at 50kms and put your hand out the road will be moving faster against your hand then a bench grinder at full speed. He then told us if we wouldnt stop a bench grinder with our bare hands we should always wear gloves. I dont know how correct his numbers were but it got the point across very well to always wear gloves.
  10. Out of curiousity I did the math:

    50kph = 2734fpm (feet per minute)

    My 6" bench grinder runs @ 2850rpm

    6" * (pi) = 18.9" which is 1.575ft times 2850rpm = 4488.75fpm

    80kph = 4374fpm approx .. 50MPH is approx 80kph so maybe he *meant* 50MPH rather than 50KPH

    Either way ... it give an interesting indication of what your hands are protected against by wearing gloves
  11. I've only ridden 2-3 times tops without gloves, and never on the open road - but like not wearing a seat belt in a car, apart from the obvious risks, it just doesn't feel right!

    Also have you tried pulling in a heavy clutch repeatedly without gloves? Hmmm.
  12. The last time I rode without gloves, I had a stack.
    Slight graze on my knuckles... I got off very lightly.

    Now; I ALWAYS protect my hands.

    ... figure I owe it to tha ladies :p
  13. ive been lucky, my first fall was a low slide and i slid along the grass and finished up on a footpath so the gloves held up and my second time i flew into a bush.

    I have winter gloves, summer gloves and my leather riding gloves. I always wear gloves and a jacket. Im pretty bad though in summer i tend to wear shorts (going to shops, cafes etc)
  14. As a chiropractor i'd be screwed if i ever badly damaged my hands so would never even consider riding without gloves, and will probably get ones with armour as even without permanent damage if i hurt my hand then thats 6 weeks or mroe with no income cos i wouldn't be able to treat people!

    The other thing that was mentioned briefly above and needs to be reiterated i think is not wearing rings and bracelets... and not even cos they can get caught on things... if you come off and break a finger then it swells very quickly, if you have a ring on that finger then you can say goodbye circulation and unless you get it off quick smart goodbye finger. I've seen it happen when i used to race karts where someone broke a finger and had to get their wedding ring cut off with side cutters (stupid St Johns ambo's were trying ot cut it with scissors!).
  15. this would be one of the only things I worry about when riding the bike: loss of the use of arm/hands. no being able to work would be worse than a death sentence for me.

    just curious, what was the response? specially given the helmet debate?
  16. I'd also be stuffed if I ever f---d up my hands. I'm in IT. I wouldn't know what else to do. Computers are so much a part of my life, that I go nuts without one with internet access.
  17. Do you have a good mate? You know, a REALLY good mate. The kind of bloke you would trust through thick and thin, who would take a bullet for you. Yes? Good, now go and ask him if he will wipe your arse for the next 6 weeks while your hands are bandaged and currently without skin.
    Now tell me you're to cool for gloves.
  18. I play the guitar.
    No way in hell i'm going to ride without gloves.
  19. I play bass guitar!

    ... but I'm pretty sure I could still play with a hook.
    Have to learn a lot more pirate shanties though.
  20. This is probably a no-load speed.

    Which means this will be wrong and will depend on the power of the motor...